Many people are looking for cheap ways to heat their house, but the rising costs of firewood have made even heating a home with a fireplace an expensive method of heat. While some people have the option to cut their own firewood, many other people will need to come up with other ways to save on firewood.
One of the best ways to save on firewood is to create fir logs out of newspaper. These logs are very similar to the fire starter logs found in many stores (which are usually made from compressed scrap paper). Making logs like this takes some work, but they are practically free and can last for hours in a fireplace.
To make logs from newspaper, start by collecting bundles of old newspaper, junk mail, and any other scrap paper. Collect old newspapers from friends and neighbors, and consider asking local businesses for their leftover paper from shipping. Local publishers are often willing to give away their scrap paper for free.
After collecting the paper, make a stack about one inch thick, eighteen inches wide, and three feet long. Keep in mind that these are only approximate values, fire logs can be made with any amount of scrap paper. Be sure that any shiny or glossy paper, such as that found in magazines, is not in the stack. You will need one stack of paper for each fire log that you want to make.
Next, fill a large tub (your bathtub is fine) with about six inches of water. Then, roll each paper stack into a tight roll. Secure each bundle with rubber bands. After rolling all of your stacks, soak the rolls in the tub until they are completely saturated. After their soak, move each roll to a flat area (most people choose their backyard), and allow them to dry. Depending on the amount of paper used, it may take up to several days for the rolls to dry.
As the rolls dry, they will shrink. Be sure to re-secure the rubber bands around the logs as this happens. Ideally, the finished log will be a very tight bundle of paper that cannot be pulled apart. If necessary, repeat the entire process to ensure that the logs are tight.
Once the logs are completely dry, they are ready to be burned. Some people prefer to brush wax onto the finished logs to make them burn slower. If you want to try this, use either leftover candle wax or cheap beeswax found in stores for jar sealing. Melt the wax on your stovetop, then use an old paintbrush to apply a thin layer of wax to the outside of the log. In addition to making the log burn slower, wax will also help the logs maintain their shape during storage.
Without wax, newspaper paper logs will last about two weeks. With wax they can last several months. If the logs lose their shape then just repeat the process to make them again.
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