How to Make a Swedish Log Candle

Are you one of those people that has the opportunity to spend time in the country. Do you love sitting around the campfire, gazing up at the sky on one of those incredibly clear nights when you look up in awe at millions of shining stars. For those that live in the heart of the city, you may see stars, but because of all the lights from the buildings you dont see stars the way you do on those deep dark nights in the country. For those that want to experience a natural fire, but perhaps not a full on bonfire this Swedish log candle is really neat and will give you that outdoor ambiance you are looking for. You do need to have a chainsaw and a seasoned log to make this log candle. Simply, you stand the log upright and cut downward with 4 overlapping cuts. Just like cutting a piece of pie, you will want to make 8 equal triangles. Make each cut as low as 4 inches from the bottom of the log. You are going to need something to get that fire started like kerosene or a lighter fluid such as the one used to start fires. If you have the mixed gasoline you use for your chainsaw available, you can also use that. The method to this log candle is that you need to pour the starter into the cuts you just made and let them sit for a couple minutes so the wood soaks up the starter. This can pack a bit of a powerful POOF when starting it so be sure you are well off to the side. (Much like the big POOF when you start your BBQ)the starting process has to be done carefully. Once your candle experiences its initial poof, the internal fire will begin to grow. Those outside edges act as the kindling as it burns. Keep in mind that the fire will only burn as well as the quality and dryness of the wood allows. If your log is too wet, you wont have very good success. This Swedish log candle an also be used for cooking. How about smores or hot dogs by the light of the moon!

A couple of weeks ago I was a vender at a local Faire. One of the benefits is that you get to meet interesting folks who share a wealth of wisdom from their experiences. One particular item was the Swedish Log Candle which was news to me. Of course, any topic with fire interests me because firecraft is my specialty. In this case, its not a fire making method, but more akin to a campfire method. It all begins with a seasoned log and a chainsaw.

First, stand the log upright and begin to cut downward using 4 overlapping cuts in the same way that you would cut a pie, creating 8 equal triangles. Each cut can be made as low as 4 inches from the bottom. Some suggest that you can use the chainsaw blade tip to cut slightly lower at the junction of cuts, thus creating a shallow well at the bottom.

Next, you need an accelerant such as kerosene, lamp oil, or lighter fluid to use as a fire starter or primer. Because Ive already used my chainsaw, I also have the accompanying mixed gasoline, which works very nicely. Just pour the fluid down the middle of the cuts, wetting each wedge tip in the process, then let it soak for a minute or so. Be sure not to stand over the log when you light it, but stay off to the side, lighting it with an outstretched hand.

After a slight poof of flame, the fire slowly begins to grow, starting slender then broadening outward. The edge of the wedge acts as kindling which sustains the process. As with all campfires, the quality and type of wood will determine the speed and brightness of the flame along with the duration of burn time. With appropriate cookware and suspension, this could be used for cooking, or with supervision and safe surroundings, it could be used decoratively at your next event. In any case, its a fun experience and well worth the time and effort to make.


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