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We’re in the middle of camping season for many Toolmongers, and an inexpensive magnesium firestarter is always handy to have — especially for under $5. SE’s version comes with a magnesium rod and a striker that is flat on one side and serrated on the other. Most folks recommend using the flat side for shaving a small amount of magnesium into the pile of Stuff You Wish to Burn, then using the serrated edge to strike the rod.

It’s safe, lightweight (0.6 oz), and at 2.75″ fits easily into your pocket — so whether you’re celebrating the fourth, camping with the family, scouting — it’s not a bad idea to keep one of these around.

SE Emergency Fire Starter Via Amazon [What’s This?]


Northern Tool + Equipment’s year-end sale includes the Drolet High-Efficiency model #DP00045 wood pellet-burning stove for $1399 (25% off the normal price) plus free shipping.

The stove is 25.5″ W x 28″ D x 33″ H and burns hard or soft wood pellets up to 60 lbs. at a time, which can run up to 45 hours, presumably on a low setting. It includes an electronic automatic igniter, a 3-inch vent, and an ash pan (which, if you empty into your garden plot through the winter, provides great fertilizer for the spring).

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You don’t own a boat or a trailer and you’re wondering what to do with your vehicle’s receiver hitch, so why not mount a grill? The Margaritaville from Freedom Grill sits on a heavy-duty swing arm that mounts in any 2″ receiver.

The grill’s 20,000 BTU stainless steel burner heats its 352 square-inch cooking surface using a 1 lb. propane tank or, with an optional adapter, a 20 lb. propane tank. The grill features fold-out side tables, a fold-down condiment tray, and even has carrying handles if you don’t feel comfortable with open flames near your gas tank.

You’ll pay about $400 for the Margaritaville Tailgating Grill.

Margaritaville [Freedom Grill]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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Unlike many fire starters, the BlastMatch from Ultimate Survival Technologies allows you to start fires using only one hand.  You might not think this is an important feature until you’re alone in the wilderness with an injured hand.

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Imagine installing a battery-operated smoke detector that communicates with other detectors around the house so they all go off at the same time — just like hard-wired smoke alarms.  Now give them a voice telling you where the smoke is located and you’ve got First Alert’s ONELINK Talking Wireless Alarm.

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Wildfires leave destruction in their wake, but you can protect all your hard work with a little insurance — Barricade fire gel.  You mix the gel with water from your garden hose, then spray it on your house and even your lawn to create an encapsulated wet blanket that’ll block fire for up to 24 hours.

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GasWatch Propane Level Indicator

Connect GasWatch’s TLV 212 propane-level indicator between your propane tank and your grill’s regulator and you’ll never have to wonder, “Do I have enough gas for the party?”  And it’s not just for your grill — it’ll work on all outdoor propane-burning equipment with a QCC Type I connection. In other words, if you can hook your 20lb propane tank to it, you can use the gauge.

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After being disappointed with the electric bazooka, I did at least find a propane flamethrower!  This lovely tool burns propane at a rate of 5.7 lbs. per hour and puts out 125,000 BTU, to bend 1/2″ to 8″ schedule 40 or 80 PVC — or you can set fire to your boots, pants, and anything under the pipe!

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July 4th — the firebug’s holiday — is coming, so I’m bringing up fire safety again. At the Toolmonger shop, we take safety very seriously, and although we’re not the final authority on fire safety, we run into some good information and try to get opinions from experts when we can. Whether you’re following our advice or someone else’s, make sure you’re as prepared for a fire as you can be — it could be your shop, or even a life on the line.

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There was a time in the US when the dream of every post-WWII suburban Dad was to have his very own backyard BBQ pit/grill — a monolith of brick and asbestos that he would work nights and weekend to construct, an atomic-age hearth to gather his family around. That trend seems to have passed, and now most people opt for a cheap disposable grill or a high-dollar stainless steel leviathan. But you have to admire something as solid and reliable as built-in masonry, made by hand, that can grill the living hell out of darn near anything.

So what do you think? Is this a relic that should stay in the past or a forgotten DIY treasure that deserves a resurrection? Tell us in the comments.

Free Backyard Grill Plans [Backyard Spaces]