My First Fatwood Find!

Discussion in 'Fire' started by AngryDaddyBird, May 23, 2013.

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  1. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    My First Fatwood Find!**update #1**

    ***Update in post #28 and #29 pictures.. More pictures of processed wood soon.

    Went out with my daughter for a hike and found an area with pine trees. I found several dozen dead trees that are still standing and several that are blown over where the roots are out of the ground. I figured give it a shot and started kicking and poking around. After several dozen attempts finally found a small dead limb on a standing tree that looked to be fatwood. Split it up and tried it out. Fatwood in Hawaii! Awesome!
    I found that the three trees that I tried on the ground had none but the dead still standing trees have it.
    Didn't find a skeleton tree or stump but the dead branches have it.
    Just wanted to share my very first Wild Fatwood find..
    My daughter picked up some giant cones too!

    A close up look... 2" diameter.
    [​IMG]
    A look compared to these cones! The cones are about 6" diameter!
    [​IMG]r
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  2. Daywalker

    Daywalker Guide

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    That's tha good stuff, down here we call that greasey, and some time's you find the purple stuff. Nice job with the eye's to find it. Peace
     
  3. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    well done ...
     
  4. Boe

    Boe Scout

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    sweet find, i have yet to find some.
     
  5. Shnick

    Shnick Bushwhacker Bushclass II

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    Good find! Now is a good time to bag it up and save it!
     
  6. Yellow Lab

    Yellow Lab Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Great find. Nothing like it and it burns every time.
     
  7. OldMoccasin

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    I love the look of resin enriched pine. I would have said fat wood but it just didn't look right. Haha
     
  8. AngryDaddyBird

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    Thanks guys I am pretty happy about it. Heading back this weekend for a full day hike so I will be looking for more, bigger stumps.
    It burns great with black smoke so I think its Fatwood?
    I been buying fatwood online but now I have some chunks to keep on standby!
     
  9. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    I have no Idea if this is resin enriched pine or fatwood? It burns with black smoke like my box of fatwood I bought online but the color is different. It starts well with a ferro rod though.
     
  10. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    My thoughts exactly. Just a good size stump will be enough. The rest I will just leave for the next person.
     
  11. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    It is like dried grease or waxy. The shavings are nice and its packed in there. I would love to see some purple stuff!
     
  12. Loogaroo

    Loogaroo BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Yup, I've made that slip up.
     
  13. Loogaroo

    Loogaroo BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I was at work the other day and when I tossed a pallet onto a stack I caught a familiar smell. I tore a board in half and sure enough it was high resin and very near fatwood. I shaved a sliver off and when lit there were those black curls of smoke. Boss thought I was nuts but he let me rip the 2 boards that were like this. The shavings go right up with a spark. if it hadnt been kiln dried and treaated it may have actually been decent fatwood. Right now its okay though.
     
  14. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    Does age have alot to do with fatwood?
     
  15. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    Whats the difference between fatwood and resin enriched wood? Any input on this will be appreciated.
     
  16. Dux

    Dux Banned Member Banned

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    Dunno the exact definitions. I consider any natural, heavily resin saturated wood that burns well with lots of sooty smoke to be FW. Under that definition, so far I've found FW in White Pine, Red Pine, Jack Pine, Eastern Red Cedar and Paper Birch. I've found it in roots, stumps/trunks and where branches leave the trunk. The more slowly the tree died, the higher up I find FW. Yours looks top of the line!

    So far I've found that age has nothing to do with burnability. FW dries out on the surface and ceases to smell as strongly which is why many become concerned. Shave a few curls off and you're back into the primo stuff even after years of sitting. I don't bother to bag splinters, scrapings, sawdust, etc much less larger pieces.

    My favorite way to use any wood, especially FW, with a ferro is to make fluff. That is to say scrape, not saw, with any saw blade, squared knife spine, etc. With FW this fluff usually produces flame spontaneously from ferro sparks in five or less strikes, much more easily than curls.

    I liken the burning process of FW to that of a candle. The wood fibers act as a wick for the resin. As you heat it, it burns more strongly.
     
  17. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    Thanks for that info! Now I feel better about what I got. I will play with it more today when I get home. I will take a few pictures of it too!
     
  18. LostBoy808

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    Where did you find this? I've had the hardest time finding or identifying fatwood here in HI.

    Makin' noise from my Galaxy S3
     
  19. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    Kohala Watershed Forest. Pig hunting area Waimea Side. I headed up this weekend again on Sat. And Sunday heading to Parker Ranch with a friend to look for some.
    You from Big Island? We can plan a trip if you like meet up? Pm me your info..
    If you just need some and don't have time to harvest some I can give you some. Let me know.
     
  20. scurvy

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    sweet find brah.... that color even looks tropical.... thanks for the photos.
     
  21. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    Anytime my Bradda!
     
  22. LostBoy808

    LostBoy808 Tracker

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    Ah rahj. Thanks for the invite ma braddah but sadly im on Oahu. Idk where to find dat kine stuff over here.

    Makin' noise from my Galaxy S3
     
  23. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze Usual Suspecto Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Mega score ,nice stuff
     
  24. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    If you ever dis side hit me up!
     
  25. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    Thanks man! Not as good as most peoples scores but for HI its pretty decent stuff.
    I like your Signature!
     
  26. boyscout42

    boyscout42 Tinder Gatherer

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    Here in North Carolina, I was shocked that you could buy fat wood at various grocery stores! A box of 50 - 60 pieces, 6 inches long, harvested from Georgia. It was with the charcoal and lighter fluid but I would be cautious about using it to start my kingsford. The smell of fat wood burning brings back memories of my childhood but it does not make very good wood for hotdog roasting (BTDT) unless you let it burn up completely. Some folks have asked me why its called fat wood. Just this past weekend as a matter of fact on a camping trip, a young boy was curious . I took a small piece of fatwood and placed it close enough to the fire to get the radiant heat of the fire but not touched by the flame. In a few minutes, the heat was causing the pitch (aka, turpentine) to start bubbling out of the stick. I pointed out "doesn't that look like fat bubbling off of a piece of bacon being fried in a skillet??" Just a guess. To me, part of squirrel hunting is hoping to find an old pine stump thats loose enough to kick free. Another local name for fat wood is "fat lighter" sometimes pronounced with a "d" at the end (fat lighter'd). Since I am on a roll here with local culture (and southern grammar) if you have ever tried to split a piece of fatwood into smaller pieces, any knots in the wood are next to impossible split. From this experience, you may use the phrase "Grandma may be old, but she's as tough as a lighter'd knot"
    One rainy day, many years ago, I put something together and threw it the go-bag I use for hunting (first aid and survival gear). It started with a piece of fat wood about the size of a matchbox. I drilled a hole in the middle along he length large enough to contain a firesteel. I had an old P-38 that i found in a tackle box I picked up at a yard sale. The prior owner had put a sharp edge on one side and covered with duct tape. I put the P-38 alongside the fatwood and wrapped it with jute twine end to end. I put the firesteel in the hole leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch sticking out and wedged it in with a piece of toothpick. Finally, I dipped the entire thing in paraffin wax. Prior to dipping, I sealed the firesteel in with paraffin careful not to make it permanent. One ene had a void where I stashed some of the shavings from the drilling process before sealing it in. I made two and used on to make sure I could hit the exposed end of the firesteel to dislodge it from the fatwood. One observation; the newer model US marked P-38 would not throw sparks from the firesteel like the older one even after sharpening or dressing the edge with a sharp 90 angle. Carbon content? But i could use the jute to catch a spark after it was frayed. And I could scrap the fatwood for enough material to catch a spark also or split the fatwood for kindling. The untouched package has been in that bag for at least 4 years. I thought to one day try to make a firesteel handle out of fatwood; spark and tender in the same package.
    Thank you all for your comments here. When I get the time, I really enjoy reading here. Enjoy your day.

    Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF700T using Tapatalk 2
     
  27. AngryDaddyBird

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    Thanks for sharing some great info! Appreciated!
     
  28. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    ***Update***
    Few pictures of that rest of the pieces. I will update the prcessed stuff later on.
    This tree they came from was standing but very rotted.
    Theres alot of dark almost purple stuff. Most of the roots were darker stuff. Strong smelling!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  29. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    Few burning shots...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  30. Dux

    Dux Banned Member Banned

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    That is as rich of a find as they come, congrats!
     
  31. Mountain_Matt

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    Looks really yellow. All the stuff I find here in the midwest is really red in color. Don't know what that means, but congrats. Good stuff.
     
  32. texhenge

    texhenge Tinder Gatherer

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    My South African Stiky Pine Nessmuk

    [AT knife_1_0378.jpg Image0382.jpg

    Friend in South Africa hand-forged a Nessmuk knife with sticky pine handlr from my 430 year old stump, accentd of enony and boar's tusk. A
    Sheath has ferrocerrium rod and thin tube of 1/2 oz fuel oil. The complete kit.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 1, 2013
  33. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    Sweet blade!
     
  34. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    Theres lots of yellow for sure!
    Any pictures of your red stuff?
     
  35. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    Thanks. Hope to get some good stuff ot of it.
     
  36. Nex Ut Tyrannus

    Nex Ut Tyrannus Scout

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    Awesome. The fatwood I find is from 1881 there was a fire here that burned the almost whole thumb of Michigan. I am sure the stumps I find were from that fire. Most are all rotted but some still have good wood in them. They are very piney and light terrific. We do not have too many pine trees here now mostly hardwoods.
     
  37. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    All the pine trees here are in tiny bunches. Makes finding really good stuff very hard.
    Does a tree that got burned have better amounts of fatwood?
     
  38. Dux

    Dux Banned Member Banned

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    The more slowly it died the richer the find. Conifers apparently survive quite a while after fires as my richest finds have come from fire kills. Second richest have been ones that fell over exposing most but not all the roots. Speaking of roots, they are generally the richest part of the find yet are usually so difficult to dig up that I don't always bother. Much easier to gather the stump and limbs.
     
  39. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    The area I am heading to has trees that got blown over with half the roots showing and some just broke but attached to the stump:). Hoping good stuff comes from there?
    Theres an area that burned but some of the trees are still surviving. Many are standing but dead. I should check that out next!
     
  40. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    Is Findig Fatwood an Obsession? I know I am addicted to this stuff! Anyone else have this problem?
     
  41. texhenge

    texhenge Tinder Gatherer

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    Please see these two pix. I don't know how to make them display inline?
    View attachment 86361
    View attachment 86362
    I sent pieces of that old tree from Georgia to several knife hammer & tong makers who I know. My friend from Georgia said his grandmother told him her stand of giant pines were logged off in the year 1900, and the stumps (3' dia & standing 6-8' tall) stood in a low place that flooded each year. My friend got down there in 2008 with a D8 Cat and a small tracked crane, and managed to pull a couple. They weighed 1-2 tons depending on how enthusiastic the kids with shovels and chain saws could tackle the roots, now mostly pitch. A tree expert here tested the wood, and told me 85% pitch by weight was mighty flammable. I hope these two pix of a prototype bushcraft knife made for me by Kylie Harris in New Zealand shows the beauty of the wood and Kylie's skill. The spear point was special request to match a knife made for me in 1965 by Bo Randall before I started traveling as a guest of the guva'mint. Note the book-matched natural laminates in the handle. He said cutting the block nearly ruined his carbide blade, and shaping the handle ate his belt sander. Anyway, thanks to Kylie for making this old dog a beautiful and very tough knife. He will never again make a knife with a sticky pine handle (maybe).
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  42. haqiqat

    haqiqat Tracker

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    Your images don't work; I'd be thrilled to see them.

    The easiest way to make them display inline is to click the "photo" button in the toolbar when you're posting or editing. It's the small square that looks like it might be a tree or something, to the left of the strip of film and the speech bubble. That will open up the upload dialog box, where you can browse to them on your computer and then they should pop up as forum codes inline.
     
  43. sebastianvdm

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    Do you think that I can find fatwood here in Chile? here are lots of pines but I don't know if I can get fatwood from them.
     
  44. AngryDaddyBird

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  45. sebastianvdm

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    Thanks man!
     
  46. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    Anytime! Let us know if you find some!
     
  47. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    So whats the best way to store Fatwood? Processed into sticks or whole? Leave the bark/old useless stuff on or clean it off and whole? Sealed bag or air dried? Any advice!
     
  48. elcarlstono

    elcarlstono Tinder Gatherer

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    From the research I have done FW is waterproof and highly rot resistant so it shouldn't matter how you store it.
    When I was a kid growing up in south central VA, just a few miles from the NC line, we heated our house with a wood stove and the first step in the process was to chop off a few strips from the "lighter'd stump", provided from my grandfather's farm. At the time I didn't know about "fatwood" and having done it my whole life just took it as fact and never asked any questions. In my teenage years we converted the house to electric heat and supplemented with propane insert, and forgot about my fire building tricks.
    Now I'm in my late 30's and had recently starting remincsing about my old days with "lighter'd". Let's be honest here: in the last few years I have been embarrassed by my poor firestarting skills. I always get it started but have resorted to "cheating" using paper and dry leaves, and realized I had been spoiled by liberal fatwood use in my childhood. So I googled "lightered" and found out about fatwood and how it is formed and where to find it. I now live in a suburb of Raleigh in an out of the way neighborhood backed up by a several hundred acre forest of large loblolly's (or long leafs). I had been eyeballing this one stump just 10 yard behind my fence and one day I hopped the fence with a shovel and axe and bingo! The sight, and moreso the smell, instantly took me back to that place of my childhood.
    Now in my shed I have a crate of probably 30 pounds of the stuff from various sources (stumps, fallen trees, chopped limbs) and haven't even scratched the surface of what I know is back there (I'll wait for winter when the ticks and copperheads are gone, and it's cooler).
    But yeah, it's definitely an obsession for me. And let me tell you I now rock my firestarting skills.
     
  49. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    Awesome story! Wish I had acres to search but the patches of pine here are literaly 100 yards wide by 150-200 yards long.
    Good thing is it high elevation and many are broke but still attached. Some are dead which I been lucky to find decent stuff. Some old stumps that are standing have rotten so bad that I can pull old solid limbs out which are fatwood! The roots are awesome too! No really nice stuff like I see people getting but still searching..
     
  50. AngryDaddyBird

    AngryDaddyBird Scout

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    Thanks to all that posted.
     
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