A couple of weeks ago I was a vender at a local Faire. One of the benefits is that you get to meet interesting folks who share a wealth of wisdom from their experiences. One particular item was the Swedish Log Candle which was news to me. Of course, any topic with fire interests me because firecraft is my specialty. In this case, it’s not a fire making method, but more akin to a campfire method. It all begins with a seasoned log and a chainsaw.
First, stand the log upright and begin to cut downward using 4 overlapping cuts in the same way that you would cut a pie, creating 8 equal triangles. Each cut can be made as low as 4 inches from the bottom. Some suggest that you can use the chainsaw blade tip to cut slightly lower at the junction of cuts, thus creating a shallow well at the bottom.
Next, you need an accelerant such as kerosene, lamp oil, or lighter fluid to use as a fire starter or primer. Because I’ve already used my chainsaw, I also have the accompanying mixed gasoline, which works very nicely. Just pour the fluid down the middle of the cuts, wetting each wedge tip in the process, then let it soak for a minute or so. Be sure not to stand over the log when you light it, but stay off to the side, lighting it with an outstretched hand.
After a slight “poof” of flame, the fire slowly begins to grow, starting slender then broadening outward. The edge of the wedge acts as kindling which sustains the process. As with all campfires, the quality and type of wood will determine the speed and brightness of the flame along with the duration of burn time. With appropriate cookware and suspension, this could be used for cooking, or with supervision and safe surroundings, it could be used decoratively at your next event. In any case, it’s a fun experience and well worth the time and effort to make.