Appalachia

Rich Pine Flowers

How to make flower fire starters from rich pine

When I first decided to write about rich pine I googled around to see what had already been written about the subject. There were a few articles and blog posts on rich pine-but not nearly as many as I thought there would be.

I did find an especially interesting blog post about making flowers with rich pine or fat lighter as the gentleman who wrote the post called it. He didn’t actually make flowers-he was making fire starter kits for a boy scout meeting-they just happen to look like flowers.

As soon as I saw them I knew I wanted to try to make them. You can click here to jump over and see how he made his-we used a slightly different method to make ours.

Lightered wood flowers

Luky for me-when we went on our rich pine hunt-we found several trees of rich pine with their small branches still intact-and fully formed into rich pine themsleves.

First we cut about a 5 inch length of rich pine from one of the branches-you can see the diameter was small.

Making fire starter flowers from rich pine

The Deer Hunter carefully shaved all the outer bark from the piece. We tried using the method from the blog post I found-but all our ‘petals’ kept falling off. The Deer Hunter came up with the idea of carefully starting at the top of the piece and pulling the shavings toward you-stopping about half way down the length of wood.

Flower fire starters from fat wood

As you pull the shavings-turn the piece as you go-pulling shavings from all sides. Eventually the top piece will sharpen into a point and fall or break off easily leaving the flower behind. The top piece can be used as a fire starter as well.

Fire starters for boy scouts or girls scouts or camping

Our method requires a sharp knife-and a steady hand. The method used in the blog post I found-of pushing the shavings away from you-would be safer for children and adults. We just couldn’t get it too work. Perhaps the author of the blog post had sharper tools or his rich pine was split differently. Either way-the flower fire starters would be good to take along on your next camping trip-or just for building a fire at home. They smell so good I may just use them as air fresheners.

Tipper

 

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Becky
    January 29, 2012 at 9:13 am

    They do look like flowers!
    I have got to get out and find me some rich pine and try this, too.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    January 25, 2012 at 7:28 am

    That’s a neat idea!

  • Reply
    RB
    January 23, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Never heard of ’em, but sure can see how they’d be great fire-starters.
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Darlene LaRoche
    January 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Enjoyed reading the articles on rich pine and the making of the pine rich flowers…had never heard of such a thing before, but we do alot of camping and I am going to make a point of getting out to the woods and looking for some rich pine.. 🙂

  • Reply
    Angie
    January 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Great ideas and the “fire-starting” kit would be easy to pack. Great page and very informative. Thank you for sharing.
    Angie

  • Reply
    Tom
    January 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Thanks for sharing Tipper! On my to do list for a weekend project. Like that we can use this to light the fire and freshen up the house.

  • Reply
    Rachelle
    January 23, 2012 at 11:47 am

    A flower pot made with those would be nice for an air freshner…. I love the way they look, and the way they burn is even better!!!!!

  • Reply
    Ethel
    January 23, 2012 at 11:03 am

    These are pretty, practical and would make a room smell fresh!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 23, 2012 at 10:27 am

    When I peel a tater or an apple, I don’t move the knife, I move the object. I hold the knife exactly like the hands in the picture shows. You’re not likely to cut yourself that way and if you do it’s only your thumb.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    January 23, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Tipper,
    Loved this post….I haven’t seen one of those in ages…
    There was a whittler that used to carve beautiful birds, animals..etc..and showed and sold his work at craft shows…One of my favorite things to attend, anyhow….If you couldn’t afford one of his birds…you could buy one of his flowers…Somehow he put the flower on a longer stick maybe ten inches or maybe the stick was part of the whole thing? He then stood the whole bunch of flowers in a fruit jar..I think he sold them for seventy-five cents…As time went on I saw that he dipped each one in natural stain to get very light colors (reds,oranges,and blue) flowers….I don’t remember them having the strong pine scent..only woody scent..LOL
    I bought one years ago and kept it in a small vase…It is now lost in never, never land with my other crafts….
    I love the idea of fire startes and baskets of them by the fire place…
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Cee
    January 23, 2012 at 10:22 am

    That picture reminded me of my Grandpa. He used to make dolls for me out of twigs and that technique was used to make the hair. He would make a flower top for hair and then carve in the eyes and mouth and then split the sides for arms.

  • Reply
    L. Woodrow Ross
    January 23, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Tipper,
    Thanks for the article on “Rich Pine”, lightwood, lightard, pine heartwood, or many other synonyms that could and have been used.
    I am a primitive crafts enthusiast and use small pieces of rich pine cut from limbs that make nice sections about 2″ in diameter and 4″ long as part of a fire starting kit. I shave or scrape small fragments from these pieces and add to my tinder of grass, bark, etc. They I use my bow drill to get a coal to place in the tinder to start a fire. It also works well with flint and steel.
    I do some seminars on primitive crafts and survival and pass these tips on to students.
    I enjoy your website, as it reminds me of my childhood and many of the customs and traditions that have ceased to be observed today.
    Keep up the good work.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 23, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I find it hard to believe that anyone could have a knife sharper than the Deer Hunters. He can, and does, seriously sharpen that pocket knife of his.
    These flowers are a great idea. Shaved out like that they would ignite very quickly.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    January 23, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Tipper, and all who would make rich pine wood flowers, this whole procedure, explained and illustrated so well with detailed photographs, reminded me of our Appalachian ways of “making-do” with what we have. This included, of course, using rich pine knots to kindle our fires, but it also included making our own games and pasttimes. I can’t remember my Daddy ever cutting rich pine flowers–but oh! The whirligigs he made us, cut out of any lightwood, and put on the end of a stick with a tack or even a straight pin! How many hours of pleasure they gave us. And who remembers the “toothbrushes” made from blackgum wood? These, dipped in baking soda, made a good brush with cleanser to keep our teeth clean! Maybe the latter worked, for even at my advanced age, I still have my own healthy teeth (not to mention that I was well-fed on calcium from the fresh milk from our cows). “Little Pine-Wood Flower”–you elicited many memories today. And I think Tipper’s creative brother (or the Deer Hunter–or Tipper herself–or someone) might even find a song in that expression!

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    January 23, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Very interesting and I think if you had several of those “lightered flowers” in a room it would smell like a Christmas tree. The idea of using that as a campfire starter is also a good one. I’d think some of the petals would come off, but that would be ok.

  • Reply
    Coffeemuses
    January 23, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Yup, that’s the method the Boy Scouts have been teaching since the very earliest years. I saw it in a 1940’s copy of the “Manual” I had as a boy.

  • Reply
    Belva
    January 23, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I look at the pictures of these flowers and it just seems like I can inhale their fresh fragance. A basket of these would make a pretty rustic air freshener. Tie a big bow on the basket and it would make a great gift for someone with a fireplace or a wood heater. Thank you for sharing them Tipper.

  • Reply
    dolores barton
    January 23, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Thanks for the information. Trying to live in the country, this information may come in handy one day.

  • Reply
    Rick Kratzke
    January 23, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Now that is really cool and definitely a conversation piece. I like it.

  • Reply
    Jen
    January 23, 2012 at 8:46 am

    What a great idea! Thanks for teaching me something new!

  • Reply
    Sandy kalvaitis
    January 23, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I am so jealous. When it quits raining I must goes look for some of this kind of wood.

  • Reply
    sandra
    January 23, 2012 at 8:40 am

    well they look pretty and i bet they burn pretty tooo

  • Reply
    kay
    January 23, 2012 at 8:22 am

    how cool is this!

  • Reply
    Sherie Rowe
    January 23, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Tip, those are so cute(yes I know they are functional, too!) but using them as air fresheners sounds good to me! Drop them into a big glass jar and they will look awesome!

  • Reply
    Mary Shipman
    January 23, 2012 at 7:45 am

    very interesting and useful!

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    January 23, 2012 at 7:40 am

    I can see why pulling the knife toward you would work so much better because you have more control. I peel potatoes and apples by peeling toward my hand also and it freaks so many people out! But I can’t control a knife any other way. Guess it is just because I was taught that way! 🙂

  • Reply
    kat
    January 23, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Never would have thought of this. A great idea to use for air freshener too.

  • Reply
    LINDA L. KERLIN
    January 23, 2012 at 7:13 am

    very interesting

  • Reply
    Special Ed
    January 23, 2012 at 5:56 am

    That’s just Sheer Genius!!
    Nuff said!

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