DIY - Swedish Fire Log

DIY - Swedish Fire Log

Swedish Fire Logs: Many names, Always Magical

A Swedish fire log – also known as a Swedish candle, or a Swedish fire torch, or a Finnish log stove – will make your garden party memorable, whether it's a summer barbecue or a winter bonfire night get-together.

These simple fire logs are appealing yet practical, providing both light and warmth; if your DIY version is a larger size, it can even make a handy outdoor cooking facility, as the flat surface means you can easily use pots and pans on it. Or to evoke a more outdoorsy feel, you could treat it as a miniature campfire for toasting marshmallows while your guests share stories. A Swedish fire log is simply a captivating accessory, not to mention an easy DIY project.

A Roaring Fire Thanks To The Chimney Effect

Once lit, a Swedish fire log becomes a torch that lasts a long time and doesn't burn right to the ground. This is facilitated by vertical slits in the top of the log which readily supply oxygen to feed the fire by means of the chimney effect: as heated air rises away from the torch, cool, oxygen-rich air is sucked in at the bottom. It's an efficient design, apparently devised by the Swedish army, and it means the wood burns slowly and generates considerable heat along with an attractive glow.

The Right Wood

Softwood burns more easily than hardwood, making it a better choice for your DIY Swedish fire log: pine, fir or spruce are ideal. We recommend a log between 30 and 60 cm wide and 50 to 100 cm tall, and the wood must not be too dry, nor too damp. While damp wood will make your Swedish fire log difficult to light and generate a lot of unpleasant smoke, wood that is too dry will burn very quickly. 

Lighting Your Swedish Fire Log

You can use matches or barbecue lighters to get your DIY Swedish fire log started, and we recommend adding some tinder such as wood shavings on the top. You can also simply use loosely scrunched newspaper placed in the slots of your DIY torch.

DIY Swedish Fire Log: Materials and Tools

Making a Swedish fire log is a DIY project that requires very little effort and just a few materials. Here is what you will need:

  • Chain saw, e.g. STIHL MS 170 or MSA 200 C-BQ
  • Protective equipment, including chaps, cut protection boots, gloves, ear and face protection
  • Suitable wood
  • Barbecue lighters or matches
  • Chalk or crayon for marking

Let's Get Started On Your Swedish Fire Log!

1. Before you get started, make sure the log you are working on is securely on a solid base so it will not fall over. Get all of your protective equipment on to minimize the risk of injury.

2. On the face of your log, mark the cutting lines for your chain saw. You can make 4 or 6 diaganol cuts depending on the size of your log.

3. Use your chain saw and cut along the marked lines. Cut straight down, but stop around 10-15 cm before you reach the ground leaving a base for the fire log.

4. Tinder, shavings or scrunched-up newspaper are ideal for lighting your Swedish fire log. Just put the material into the hole in the middle, and add some more tinder or shavings on the top. Your Swedish fire log is now ready to light! Depending on its size, the log should stay alight for 2-5 hours. 

Cautions:

  • As your fire log burns, ensure it is on solid, fireproof ground. There should be no combustible objects near the fire log. 
  • Never leave your fire log unattended