OnTheFly...DIY
OnTheFly...DIY
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  • Saint Louis, MO

Light Your Table On Fire (Seriously!) Part Two - DIY Gel Fuel

6 Materials
$8
20 Minutes
Easy

In another project posting, we made a gorgeous modern Fire Table (check it out here: http://www.hometalk.com/36964749/light-your-t... ). In this project, I'm going to show you how to make the table's gel fuel. Sure, you can buy the gel fuel online - it costs about $4-5 per can and even when you buy it in bulk, comes out to 30 cents an ounce. Make the fuel yourself and it will only cost you four cents an

I've researched several recipes for homemade gel fuel, all of which require you to spend several hours evaporating the water out of the vinegar. Since I'm looking for something a little more quick and easy, I experimented with reducing the vinegar before mixing with the other ingredients...and it turned out, it worked! So here's my special process for a much quicker concoction.


Pour a half cup of white vinegar into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. I found that after about 5 minutes, it's reduced to just under ¼ cup. This process is imperative - you aren't just needing less liquid, you're wanting less water in your vinegar. It's the same process as reducing a broth when cooking. Make sure you reduce it to at least ¼ cup. Reducing more is better than less.

light your table on fire seriously part two diy gel fuel

Once the reduced vinegar has cooled a bit, pour it in a blender and add two TBSP of calcium carbonate. It will produce a lot of bubbles when you add it (and might be a little stinky!). Put your blender on 'stir' or the lowest setting and set the timer for five minutes. If you are using a whisk vs a blender, stir for a full five minutes. I prefer the blender route because I can multitask while the blender does the work.

light your table on fire seriously part two diy gel fuel

After five minutes, it's time to add the alcohol. The specific amount of alcohol depends on your level of vinegar mixture. It's easier to use a measuring cup with lots of different types of measurements so you can get a more accurate reading. For example, on the US measurements side, my level fell just below ¼ cup - not exactly specific. But on the milliliters side, it was right at the 40 mL line - much better! The ratio you want is one part vinegar/calcium carbonate mixture to 8 parts alcohol. So with 40 mL of mixture, I added my alcohol so that my level went up to 360 mL - roughly 1 ¼ cup of alcohol which brings the entire recipe to just about 1 ½ cup.

light your table on fire seriously part two diy gel fuel

Here's the irritating part - this is supposed to be 'gel' fuel yet more often than not, my mixture doesn't gel. That's ok though because as long as I have my ratios right, it will still light. Stir well and you're done!


If you don't plan on using it immediately, store it in an airtight container. You'll notice that the mixture will quickly settle so a quick stir before pouring will get everything mixed up again and ready for use.

light your table on fire seriously part two diy gel fuel

When you're ready for a flame, pour it into a small metal can or other fire safe container. I like to use rinsed-out tuna or soup cans.


light your table on fire seriously part two diy gel fuel

After you've placed your fuel-filled can into your Fire Table, light the end of an uncooked spaghetti noodle so you can start the fuel from a safe distance. It should light immediately!

light your table on fire seriously part two diy gel fuel

And what exactly are you saving by making the fuel yourself? My homemade version comes out to a whopping four cents an ounce while the two main retail brands, even when you purchase them in bulk, come out at 27 cents and 31 cents an ounce, respectively. And that's not including any shipping costs!


A total of three products and a few minutes of your time saves a lot of money while you get plenty of use out of that amazing Fire Table!

light your table on fire seriously part two diy gel fuel
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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