Cedar kindling is arguably the best kindling available. Why is it so good? Cedar is very porous and it contains natural oils within the wood that burn hot and fast.
Since cedar lights quickly and easily it produces a hot fire, so it's perfect for starting a morning fire in your wood stove because it reduces the possibly of a slow burning, smoldering fire.
Slow burning fires that simmer at a low temperature create creosote which can adhere to the inside of your cold chimney walls and potentially start a chimney fire over time.
Wet wood only increases the odds of creosote buildup so make sure you only burn seasoned firewood inside your wood stove or fireplace.
Ok.......cedar is great for kindling but what happens if you don't have access to cedar trees or you live in a region where cedar is not readily available?
Good news, there's a cheep and easy way to make your own!
Many local farm and garden stores sell cedar fence posts. Make sure you look for cedar and don't buy the treated pine fence posts that are more commonly found.
You can choose from either a 4 or 5 inch post and they're 100 inches long.
The wood is usually very dry and it's ready to be burned immediately. This dry wood is perfect because you don't have to let it season before you use it.
You can also use cedar split rail fence, but I like the round posts the best because they're cheaper and they split easier because they're round and don't have a lot of knots in them.
The cedar post in this picture is a 5 inch post that's 100 inches long. I purchased it from a nearby farm and garden store for about $8.
I put this post on a sawbuck to make cutting it safer and easier. Since the post is 100 inches long, I cut it into ten inch sections.
I found that 3 or 4 pieces of 10 inch long kindling is more than enough to light a fire.
I chose to use a handsaw because I only needed to make a few cuts but a chainsaw or miter saw would also work.
After you have the 10 inch sections cut, place one on a splitting block and split it into small pieces.
Splitting wood on a splitting block works great because it elevates the wood off the ground which prevents your axe or hatchet from digging into the dirt.
Plus, the elevation is easier on your back and allows your axe to contact the wood at a perpendicular angle which also helps reduce the chances of a glancing strike that can cause your axe to skip off in an unsafe direction.
As the pieces get smaller, I found it's easier to switch over to a smaller hatchet instead of using the larger splitting axe. Since cedar splits so easily, a sharp hatchet works really well.
Split the cedar until the pieces are about 1 inch wide.
One chunk of cedar produced 37 individual pieces of kindling which is enough to light around 10 fires.
If each post will produce 10 chunks of wood......each post will produce about 400 pieces of kindling which is enough to light around 100 fires.
Once you have all the kindling split, store the pieces in a rubber tote and you'll have easy access to quality kindling all winter long.
Buying cedar posts to make kindling is a great way to make your own fire starters, especially if you don't have access to cedar trees on your property.
Plus, as we mentioned before, the cedar posts are already dry and ready to be burned so you don't have to let them season throughout the summer. Just buy the post, cut and split them up and you're ready to start your next fire.
For around $6-$8 (depending on the size of the post) you can have enough dry kindling to last the entire season.