Swedish Torch Failure

After reading on the internet about a “Swedish Torch” I decided to try it out. It basically involves taking a log and drilling a hole starting at one end about 2/3’s of the way through the log and drilling another hole in from the side to intersect this hole. This creates what amounts to a rocket stove, made out of wood. Of course this means it only lasts one fire, but I still thought it would be cool. In the back of my property there is a downed pine tree that I thought had been down for a couple of years and was suspended about 2′ off the ground on its branches, so I thought it would be dry. So two adult men armed with a big drill, a propane torch and a leaf blower tried to make one of these. Blowing the leaf blower into side hole did produce an impressive flame shooting up about 6″, but as soon as I took it away it died down to a smoldering, smokey log and went out completely. To determine the root cause of my failure I took the splitting axe to the log and discovered my problem. The first hit (which didn’t split the log) saw water on each side of the axe. Apparently the log was nowhere near as dry as I thought. There is a standing dead tree I’m going to try it on next. The above picture show the log split in half and we did produce some impressive charring, until you consider we spent 10 minutes of propane torch on it. The video below shows what I was trying to do. A commercial version is the TimberTote and it is supposed to be available at a local superstore called Meijer’s for about $10. If I figure it out maybe I’ll start selling them to the local KOA, $10 for one log is a good price for what is basically firewood and you don’t have to split it, just drill two holes.