Fire wick — a wax-impregnated cotton string used to start fires — will burn for several minutes, and it’s a snap to make at home. Use a thick laundry string, commercially available candle wicking, or other 100-percent cotton cordage. Melt paraffin wax in a double boiler, slowly, never allowing it to smoke.
Dip cotton string into the wax slowly, using pliers to hold one end (A).
Remove by dragging the string over the edge of the pot (B) in order to wring excess wax from the wicking.
Hang the wicking by a nail (C), let it cool, then snip into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Store in small zip-sealed plastic bags or waterproof match cases.
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