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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Redlands, Ca
    Posts
    43

    Default Smoker Fuel: cotton

    Hay, Anyone out there tried cotton as fuel. I did yesterday and it seems to burn hot. Had a couple of flames shooting out.
    Any other economical materials? we really don't have many Pine trees for needle collection...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    I have had great success with cardboard. Every smoker-load of cardboard burns for 2-3 hours with minimal effort to keep it going. In just several easy steps, you can have a well lit, long burning smoker. I will describe the steps here:

    1. Cut a length of cardboard to the depth of your smoker.
    Picture 001.jpg

    2. Roll the cardboard strip tightly into somewhat of a cartridge.
    Picture 002.jpg

    3. Insert the cardboard cartridge into your smoker.
    Picture 003.jpg

    4. Use a propane torch to light the cardboard. Make sure it is well lit.
    Picture 005.jpg

    5. Pump the bellows to get the flame going well.
    Picture 008.jpg

    6. Close the smoker lid to snuff out the flame and then gently puff the bellows to make sure it is staying lit. Now let the smoke roll!
    Picture 006.jpg
    Picture 009.jpg

    7. To extinguish your smoker, plug the tip/spout.
    Picture 007.jpg
    If the smoke is too hot, add a handful of green grass cutting to cool it down. If there is remaining cardboard, you can use it next time.

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,116

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    I've "heard" that the glue in corrugated cardboard can harm bees. My experience with cotton is that it is terrible and as described by efaure............ I just use old cut up cotton jeans, t-shirts, socks..........anything that is washed cotton.........
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    Where'd ya here that? I don't mean this in a challenging way. I'm just interested.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,098

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    Quote Originally Posted by snl View Post
    I've "heard" that the glue in corrugated cardboard can harm bees.
    The glue used to adhere the corrugated part to the top and bottom sheets forming the completed corrugated panel is generally starch. The most likely source of that starch is from corn.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starch

    Perhaps as a child you remember making paste (glue) from flour and water? One reason young kids are allowed use this glue is that it is edible with no harm.

    Here are two glue manufacturers indicating starch or corn is the base for their glue:
    http://www.tateandlyle.com/ingredien...estarches.aspx

    http://www.cargill.com/products/indu...ting/index.jsp
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,116

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    I don't mean this in a challenging way. I'm just interested.
    Did not take your response as a challenge. In short, I was attending a meeting some years ago and the question was posed by another and answered by the speaker as I have answered here. From that day forward I never used corrugated cardboard. From the response here that corn starch is the "glue" I should have researched their answer rather than accepting it as "gospel."
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    From what I've read just doing quick research awhile back, it is really only a problem when you use white carboard that has been bleached or cardboard with inks (printed logos and such) on them. I can't remember what is in the inks, but I know that anything burned with chlorine in it will produce dioxins which are pretty much bad for everyone and everything.

    So, I'd just suggest avoiding white cardboard and avoiding the printed-on stuff.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    Cotton rags and cardboard (basic brown stuff, no printing, no tape) works great for me. If I have them, pine needles in with the cotton, rolled up with cardboard works even better (smells better anyway).

    I don't fill the smoker because I only have two hives, and generally are only in there for a few minutes when I do inspections, and don't want to leave it burning for an hour, but I don't run out of smoke that way.

    My Grandpa used cotton rags -- you need to have enough in the smoker body that they don't flame up. Denim works great -- won't burn very fast, stays lit forever, and makes cool smoke as it smolders away.

    Fluffy or light weight cotton can burn pretty hot, make sure you pack it tightly enough to make it smolder.

    Peter

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Clark, Wasington, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    I just started using Liquid Smoke in a spray bottle. It is easy to use and seems to be effective. I think I put about 1tsp per 12oz of water in a new spray bottle or a spray bottle that you've used for sugar water. Just a few sprays seems to work for a while and you don't have to worry about keeping your smoker lit.

    Try it, if you don't like it, you can always go back.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Posts
    677

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    $3 bale of pinestraw and $2.50 bag of pine bark chips at Lowes/Home Depot lasts me an entire season. I run 25-30 hives. Straw on bottom lit well, bark packed in tightly on top. Once bark is lit, it gently smokes the entire time.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    I love raw cotton. It produces a wonderful white smoke. I only use small amounts of it rolled up in burlap. I never use it by itself alone.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    318

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    I grew cotton in my garden last year to get some for my smoker. We tried it (raw cotton, straight off the plant) and it worked okay, but nothing works better for us than pine needles. I have enough cotton left over to make about two pair of socks and a pair of boxers. And you CAN'T use pine needles for that!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveBee View Post
    I have enough cotton left over to make about two pair of socks and a pair of boxers. And you CAN'T use pine needles for that!
    Ha ha ha! That would get sorta uncomfortable.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,619

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    I don't have any trouble keeping my smoker lit...See?



    Whoa!

    Maybe I'll try your ideas instead of gasoline..(hee hee-just kidding!)
    Story is on the Bee forum section.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,838

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    If you have it in your area, I encourage people to try sumac berries. Very cool, very thick white smoke, very, very, sweet smeeling smoke.. I mix just enough pine needle to get it started, then it will last all day.

    I harvest a grass sack full each winter, and use the next year.

    cchoganjr

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    O.K.
    Lauri, you need to quite using C-4 as smoker fuel,,,,,read the label
    Dried road apples,,,,,also known as,,,,horse poop. Just grass with intestinal glue of some sort. Burns cool with a diminished "blue Grass" ambiance. JMO

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    As a child growing up, a cotton gin worker told me that if you set a bale of cotton on fire at Memphis and pushed it into the Mississippi River, that when the bale of cotton floated past 'Naw' Orleans it would still be burning. It is bailed that tightly. Pack your smoker half as tight and you'll have smoke all day.

    Within reason the tighter a smoker is packed, the slower the smoker burns because the oxygen supply to the fuel is restricted.

    The slower it burns the cooler the smoke.

    Cool smoke means fewer burning embers.

    Fewer burning embers means a longer lasting fire.

    A long lasting fire means the smoker burns slowly... ...wait, haven't we been here before???
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Redlands, Ca
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    Thanks all your your ideas and thoughts!
    You guys rock!
    Tired rolled up cardboard lastnight and it is not to bad. Might continue with it, sure have enough of it at work!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, Virginia
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    Ceder chips, like you put in your kids hampster cage. I have not used them yet but a friend swears by them.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,107

    Default Re: Smoker Fuel: cotton

    I use the compressed cotton dthat Brushy Mtn sells. Once it's lit, it does great. My only complaint is that is creates too much ash.

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