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  1. #1
    Gold Member sherpa's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
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    470
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    North Carolina Mountains
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    NH TC33D & Ford 8N

    Default Lighter wood or starter wood

    Has anyone ever heard of "lighter wood"?
    I usually keep some pine here to split and use as kindlin for starting a fire.
    I recently had one that I was spliting up and it was full of "Lighter wood".
    It is like hard sap or something and burns like a torch.
    What causes "lighter wood" which may not be the right name?

    Do you find it in other kinds of trees besides pine?

    How can you tell if a tree has "lighter wood" in it?
    Sherpa
    NH TC33D and Restored 1952 8N

  2. #2
    Super Member s219's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
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    5,607
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    Virginia USA
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    Kubota L3200 Deere X380 Kubota RTV-X

    Default Re: Lighter wood or starter wood

    I think all pines (and similar sappy conifers) naturally have it down at the very base, in the stump and root stem area. Some people specifically save this part of the tree and split it into kindling for this very purpose. I have no idea what the procedure is -- if you need to let it dry before splitting, etc -- but you can surely find that info somewhere. It's commonly called "fat wood" because it burns so nicely.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Army grunt's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    792
    Location
    Georga
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    TC 30 Newholland

    Default Re: Lighter wood or starter wood

    Lighter is the right name, Its found in the stump of a "short leaf" pine,(southern yellow)I know a fellow down here that cuts, digs, an works his tail off getting the lighter out of a few stumps for his fire starter for the year.
    I think there are places that sell just that in bags.
    Army Grunt
    "Be who you are, say what you will, those that matter wont mind, those that mind don't matter".

  4. #4
    Gold Member sherpa's Avatar
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    North Carolina Mountains
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    NH TC33D & Ford 8N

    Default Re: Lighter wood or starter wood

    It is real heavy too.

    I wonder if it dries out and looses its fuel?

    I would hate to see what would happen in a wood stove with a 2 inch square piece of this wood in the fire!
    sherpa
    NH TC33D and Restored 1952 8N

  5. #5
    Elite Member KentT's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    2,830
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    Sevierville, TN
    Tractor
    1993 Power Trac 1430 w/Kubota diesel engine

    Default Re: Lighter wood or starter wood

    Quote Originally Posted by sherpa View Post
    Has anyone ever heard of "lighter wood"?
    I usually keep some pine here to split and use as kindlin for starting a fire.
    I recently had one that I was spliting up and it was full of "Lighter wood".
    It is like hard sap or something and burns like a torch.
    What causes "lighter wood" which may not be the right name?

    Do you find it in other kinds of trees besides pine?

    How can you tell if a tree has "lighter wood" in it?
    Sherpa
    Never heard it called lighter wood -- I have heard it called "fat wood"...

    It's the resin of the evergreens that makes the big difference. Pine knots being a prime example...
    Power Trac PT-1430 w/Kubota diesel engine & numerous attachments
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  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    481

    Default Re: Lighter wood or starter wood

    Quote Originally Posted by sherpa View Post
    Has anyone ever heard of "lighter wood"?
    I usually keep some pine here to split and use as kindlin for starting a fire.
    I recently had one that I was spliting up and it was full of "Lighter wood".
    It is like hard sap or something and burns like a torch.
    What causes "lighter wood" which may not be the right name?

    Do you find it in other kinds of trees besides pine?

    How can you tell if a tree has "lighter wood" in it?
    Sherpa
    It occurs when a pine tree suffers a quick end (broken, cut down, etc). The root system is still trying to push sap up into the tree, but there's much less tree there so the sap saturates the stump. I've found some in stumps around here by hitting them with a hatchet and checking for the darker colors. I've also heard that it forms around some knots.

    Keith

  7. #7
    Super Star Member
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    Jul 2011
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    14,436
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    Yanceyville, North Carolina
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    Kubota L4400

    Default Re: Lighter wood or starter wood

    We have always called it "Fat Lighter". The resin from the pine trees accumulates in the stumps. In earlier days, the pioneers made turpentine from pine tree resin or pine tar. I saw "Fat Lighter" for sale in a catalog once. I think it was the Orvis catalog. It was sold in various size bundles. I do recall that it was quite expensive.
    The PUPIL who does not surpass his Master, fails his Master.

  8. #8
    Elite Member jonyyuma's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    2,972
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    35 miles North of Memphis,TN
    Tractor
    kubota L3000dt, ford 8n1952

    Default Re: Lighter wood or starter wood

    We have Sasafras [sp]tree here that burns hot and has good firestarting score. I like to put it in the bottom of our campfires...I have a friend that sells bundles of it from stump for Tea?
    Okay, Legal disclaimer: Old but not senile, definitely do not have the answer to everything!

  9. #9
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    10,987
    Location
    Triangle Of North Carolina
    Tractor
    JD 4700

    Default Re: Lighter wood or starter wood

    Years back a pine tree fell in a storm. The tree was across a trail so I had to cut it up. It took awhile for me to get to that particular chore so by the time I cut up the tree it had been down for years. When I cut it up the smell of turpentine was very strong. I have cut up a few pines before but that was the first tree that smelled of turpentine.

    To start a fire in our wood stove I keep the slivers of wood that get generated when I split firewood. I also take a big rubber made container and take a stroll in the woods pickup downed branches which I break up into small pieces. Make starting the fire real easy.

    The fat or lighter wood looks interesting but I ain't paying for it. Cleaning up my woods is cheaper and at least some exercise.

    Later,
    Dan

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2004
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    Polk Co , Fl
    Tractor
    bx1800

    Default Re: Lighter wood or starter wood

    My FIL works it the mines (dozers push it up ahead of the draglines) and he gets it by the truck load when we go camping. One week we were camping and fishing we were the only ones in the camp that had a fire going
    Kubota BX1800 60" mm deck , 42" land Pride box blade

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