ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] kyleri. It also fills the "autumn" square in my 12-3-17 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest.


"Make Logs, Carry Water"


When you have a hearth
but no firewood, use your head.

You can buy fire bricks of
sawdust or compressed paper,
or better yet, make your own.

Roll wet newspaper into logs,
pulp or crumple it, and then
press the result into bricks
and wait for them to dry.

Mix wax with sawdust
or even coffee grounds
to make fire blocks.

Enlightenment is seeing that
you don't need to burn trees.

All you really need
is carbon, ingenuity,
and elbow grease.

* * *

Notes:

"Chop wood, carry water" is a Zen tenet.

There are various alternatives to firewood, such as bricks of compressed paper or sawdust, used for ecological reasons.  Learn how to roll newspaper logs, make paper bricks from pulp or pages, and make wax-bound bricks with sawdust or coffee grounds.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-12-06 03:05 am (UTC)
alexseanchai: Ladybug, of Miraculous fame, with a rainbow Pride background (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
:-D

(no subject)

Date: 2017-12-06 03:40 am (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
I saw an old tool to roll newspapers into logs at a yard sale a zillionty years ago, & I am KICKING myself for not getting it. (Nevermind I would almost certainly have given it away at some point or another in between...)

Thank you for this! In the long term I'm gonna coppice some of the trees in the back yard, but in the meantime...

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-12-06 06:16 pm (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
I spent several hours last night rolling newspaper into logs. Alas that I was dreaming at the time...

I clearly remember working on it long enough to get very bored. There was newsprint on my fingers. A couple of times I remember unfolding the pages of the newspaper & refolding it another way to see if it would roll better that way, & looking with relief (& some pride) at the stack of newspaper logs I'd already made. I thought about the times I'd tried it before, with no luck, & I remember being glad for the links you gave me, cos now I knew the right way to do it.

...& then I woke up.

I hope someone in some reality somewhere is keeping warm with them, cos I checked & they ain't here.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-12-06 11:48 pm (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
As long as _one_ of me has the warms, I'm good.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-12-06 03:47 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
<3

(no subject)

Date: 2017-12-06 05:11 am (UTC)
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon
I like this one!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-12-06 05:49 am (UTC)
pronker: tala the sorceress from phantom stranger comics (Default)
From: [personal profile] pronker
Yes! We had a roller for wet newspapers and did this in the 60s. What fun it was for kids, though I suspect we four were easily amused. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-12-06 08:08 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] mashfanficchick
Oh! I really, really liked this poem! *bounces slightly*

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2017-12-06 11:36 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] mashfanficchick
Me too. In fact, this is what I'm currently listening to:

Classical Piano Relaxation: By the Fireplace

It's literally just a collection of well-known piano pieces, but laid over a background of a crackling fire. In essence, like if a TV Yule Log program had better sound mixing, so it felt like one well-layered track instead of two separate ones. It's my current favorite album for background and sleeping music.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-12-06 12:51 pm (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
I remember the annual trip to load the car (big old 52 Pontiac, about the size of a Checker cab) with Presto logs for the fireplace. Basically compressed sawdust and glue.

I also remember the year they tore down a house a few blocks away and there were several cubic yards of coal in the coal bin. We salvaged several wheelbarrow loads of coal from that.

Getting the Presto logs to ignite was hard enough. Coal was *real* fun.

Fortunately we had a couple of pussy willows on the lower part of the back yard that grew back faster than I could cut them back. So lots of dried branches for kindling.

When I was in junior high I discovered a *great* source of kindling. Back then they still used bamboo poles for pole vaulting. and they'd break. The coaches were fine with me hauling away the busted ones.

Nice *dry* bamboo, and once broken they split easily. So I'd split them into relative flat pieces about finger. Break them into width pieces from about 3" to a foot and stack them criss-crossed like a log cabin. Put some crumpled newspaper in the middle and they'd usually catch on the first match. Burned hot enough to get the pussy willow branches going.

They were arranged in a another "log cabin" around the bamboo one. Finger thick to thumb thick. ZStack some slices of Presto log around that as it was catchimng and you could soon have a couple of the logs going nicely.

And when we had the coal, stack some of that around the "logs", and we had a very nice fire that'd burn a *long* time.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-12-06 11:31 pm (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
We'd have salvaged the whole batch of coal if we had a way to manage it.

Speaking of "making" things, do you know about "sailor's fire"?

Heard several origins/reasons for it, and they don't agree.

Anyway, you take a fireproof container (bucket or large pottery pot) fill it partway with sand and then pour in a flammable oil, alcohol, whatever. You want something that won't make nasty fumes (so you won't choke and so you can cook over it). Low boiling point is good, just not *too* low.

You can light some tinder on top and that should get the liquid burning. The sand acts like a wick.

And if you know a blacksmith, try making a "medieval space heater".

Basically some wrought iron bar & strap stock welded/riveted (real rivets, not pop rivets!) together.

The strop stock or lighter bars form rings with the lengths of bar stick riveted to them. The bars are bent fairly sharply outwards at the bottom and more gradually at the top. So you've got an openwork cylinder with a wide base, a striaght section and then it gradually widens a bit (not as much) at the top.

The one I recall had the last couple of inches bent horizontally to let you rest a tea kettle or pot on top. Don't recall how well that worked (it was a work in progress at the time).

The gaps were fairly wide but not wide enough to let even a half-burned charcoal briquet fall thru.

You set it in a raised "firepit" (those metal bowls some folks use) or in a low barbecue. Thus meeting the requirements for keeping fires off the ground.

You fill it loosely with charcoal, and light it with either crumpled newspaper or the like in the bottom or you can cheat and use charcoal lighter fluid.

Because of the semi-open structure it ignites easily and the heat for the lit charcoal at the bottom rises up and lights the rest.

It's great as a way to start a charcoal fire. Get most of the charcoal going, then stick a bar thru under the uppermost ring and lift the "cage" away from the charcoal. Which falls into a nice heap. Just have a safe place to put the ironwork until it cools.

But, as we found on a cold night in a tent that was basically a *huge* tarp draped over a rope and open at the ends, it also makes a great space heater. A bunch of us could sit around it and stay quite warm (especially if you had a cloak and spread it behind you to trap/reflect the heat.

Just had to hit the frame once in a while to encourage the ash to flake off and the chunks of charcoal to settle towards the bottom, and feed new charcoal in the top,

When we were down to just the firewatch, they could let it burn out and in the morning you just had ash in the firebowl to deal with.

Or they could keep feeding it small amounts of charcoal just enough to keep it going (as opposed to having it full to use as a space heater). they they had coals to start other fires from (for the folks who weren't using propane or white gas)

Not too hard to make if you are even and "advanced apprentice" smith. Rugged, easy to use, and the period police can't complain about it. Neither can the park rangers. :-)



Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-12-29 10:07 pm (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
That's cool! Also warm.... :)

The geeky part of me is into rocket stoves.... but that requires small-diameter fuel, not the big logs made/used here. Hmmmmm..... feeding a rocket stove something other than wood.... that might be a fun project.

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-12-30 01:37 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
For even simpler stoves, check out the "rocket stove" (which can be made out of 3 tin cans) and the "Dakota firepit", both of which work by letting air come into the combustion chamber from below.

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