Discussion in 'All Resources About Fire' started by Don T, May 10, 2016.

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  1. Don T

    Don T Active Member

    Blog Posts:
    I have used commercially purchased Fatwood for a few years to get my fireplace started in the winter time. I have never harvested fatwood myself, however, I have seen it done. My question is, is it one specific tree that produces fatwood or are there more than one species that can be harvested? Thanks in advance.
    Keith H. likes this.
  2. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member

    Blog Posts:
    Any dry wood start a fire green wood is harder pine is great outside fire wood for light burns quick burning pine inside is hard on stovepipe. Maple oak cherry walnut hardwoods best for heat. Hickroy apple cooking wood start small and build up
  3. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member

    Blog Posts:
    Good day Don. This is not a native here in Australia, but colonial period fire lighting is my forte, so I do have some knowledge of it. As far as I know, this Fat Wood (Candlewood) only comes from the pine tree. I will add some period quotes for you.

    A quote on what is now called “fat wood”. Original term was/is “candlewood:

    "They are such candles as the Indians commonly use, having no other, and they are nothing else but the wood of the pine tree, cloven in two little slices, something thin, which are so full of the moysture of turpentine and pitch that they burne as cleere as a torch."

    Rev. Mr. Higginson. 1633.

    "Out of these Pines is gotten the Candlewood that is much spoke of, which may serve as a shift among poore folks, but I cannot commend it for singular good, because it droppeth a pitchy kind of substance where it stands."

    Wood, _New England's Prospect. 1642.

    Those same knots the planters split out into small shivers, about the thickness of a finger, or thinner; and those they burn instead of candles, giving a very good light, and they call it candlewood, and it is much used in New England and Virginia, and among the Dutch planters in the villages.

    The History of the Royal Society of London, for Improving of Natural Knowledge from its First Rise. Thomas Birch. 1662.


    The candle, made of either tallow or bayberry wax, was the standard lighting device at Jamestown. Pine torches were often used out of doors, and rushlights and candlewood were undoubtedly used in the humbler dwellings during the very early years of the settlement.

    The Project Gutenberg EBook of New Discoveries at Jamestown

    by John L. Cotter

    J. Paul Hudson


    Here is a link on my blog to my book, you may find it of some interest: http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/my-book-primitive-fire-lighting-ebook.html

  4. Don T

    Don T Active Member

    Blog Posts:
    Pine trees aren't native and often difficult to find where I'm from in Northeast Oklahoma. You can find them but they were planted by someone. Thanks for the help guys.
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