Cub Scout 749 - Fire Safety/Fire Building - Sawdust

Hello Dallas Maker Space Woodshop,

My name is Ronald Chu and I’m the Cubmaster for Carrollton Cub Scout Pack 749. I’m currently working on August’s Pack Meeting Topic of Fire Safety/Fire Building . I was planning on having the Scouts build “Bird Nests” Fire Starters:

I’m trying to source some materials for this project. I recall a that you had a woodworking shop during an open house in the spring. I was wondering if we could have some of the sawdust for our project.

I hope I posted in the correct forum. If needed please move this thread or delete.

Thanks for your time,



Ron, looks like a great project. We have lots of sawdust! I will send you a PM on how to get ahold of me to arrange a pick day/time.


or “Wood Chips”


I’d recommend using turning chips from the lathes rather than sawdust from the dust collector - that could include plywood and other mystery ingredients.

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I saw a video last weekend where the fire starter was made using deep ice trays. Pour in the sawdust/chips, pour heated parafin wax over the chips and set in the fridge to harden. It also has use as a candle. I’ll add it here if I can find the link. cheers!

When I was in scouts, we used cardboard egg cartons and cut them to separate.


I do similarly with cardboard egg cartons. I use them for Dutch Oven Cooking. Fill, cool, tear into pieces. I usually just use the lid of the carton torn up to act as a wick instead of the sawdust (or laundry lint).

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We had the dust collector open yesterday. It’s nearly full … but a lot of what’s in there is fairly coarse.

here’s the link to the short video: fire starters

Some great ideas! I was planning on cutting up an 18 count egg carton into 3 pcs. Then having the scouts place some sawdust into the cartons, we would then pour wax over the sawdust. Then have them top it with some jute fibers.

If you know where I can source some inexpensive wax, please let me know. We have collected some from the parents, but I’m not sure we have enough.

I found some soy wax on amazon(5#) for ~15$. Parrafin is about 20$ for 5# Not sure if using soy vs parrafin wax matters that much.

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Try Goodwill and the Salvation Army - look for the big Christmas candles. You can also buy paraffin wax by the pound at Hobby Lobby. One is cheap with a 40% off coupon.

Use a double boiler when melting the wax to minimize a chance of fire. The wax fumes are quite volatile.

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Probably not viable for this project, but I keep thinking it would be nifty to set up boxes in your favorite restaurants, and asking people (patrons and/or workers/management) to stuff their used crayons in. Pick up when filled, and recycle.This would be a worthy place to put some of those collected in my opinion.

There are other programs, too, e.g.



Haven’t found one in DFW, yet, but maybe we need one…

The scouts had a great time making the bird’s nest for our upcoming campout. Here are some pics:

And of course, you cant have a topic about fire safety/building without :


Thanks for the supplies!


This was lovely thanks for the update!

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Haha Keith looks like he was hungry!!

Glad the event went well!!

I miss being a scoutmaster but looks like all had a great time!

Come volunteer with Ayden’s troupe!

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We did that when my son was in Cub Scouts! Fun side effect: you can figure out which kids have cats/dogs from the scent of their dryer lint burning… :smiley: