Fatwood – Part 4: DIY MayaDust

Through the years I have heard people refer to Fatwood by a lot of different names including maya wood. Some of you will recognize the name Maya as part of a product name from Light My Fire. I know a few folks that swear MayaDust is the best tinder ever sold. On the flip side of that I also know folks with the opposite opinion of it.

I tend to side with the later group for two reasons: 1) Cost: At an average price of $5 for 1oz its too expensive to justify its the purchase and 2) Ease of lighting: As Jason over at Gear Talk demonstrated, it is extremely difficult to start with the typical scout sized firesteel. If you have lighter its not a problem but then again it is also not needed.

If you are an advocate MayaDust then you may be relieved to know that you can make it yourself for next to nothing.  This video shows you how.


If you are looking for a wood rasp to do this you should take a look at the Curved Multi-Rasp from Harbor Freight Tools. At the diminutive price of $2.99 it costs less than a single package of MayaDust and will pay for itself after you use less than an once of DIY MayaDust. The rasp I use is called the Surform Pocket Plane from Stanley but I only use it because I already had it on hand.

2 thoughts on “Fatwood – Part 4: DIY MayaDust

  1. Chris,
    You may like this;
    Surform blades like the one you use are a fine tool (I'm a woodworker so I use a bunch of different tools), and if you already have invested in one don't change. But, Microplane rasps cut a lot faster and smoother, they are stainless so they are easy to clean/care for… but best of all, this one has an option of a tray to catch all of that precious Maya dust so it doesn't blow around camp.

Comments are closed.