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Another SMOKY start this evening :(

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Boozie, Jan 17, 2011.

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  1. Boozie

    Boozie Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, it is "awful". I got out of the house today to get some "fresh" air and hoped the house would smell better when I got home ... it did, but can still smell it.

    I checked out the link on top-down burning. Thanks. I haven't tried that. My stove has 4.4 cubic ft of space but it's not very deep. Doesn't "stack" very well.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    To start a fire in the shallow firebox do as the video. But for your base, take a pair shorter splits that you can put in side by side, 2" apart, sides parallel to the sides of the stove (north/south). These should be smaller splits, 2-4" and very dry. I like to put some crumpled paper in the valley between the splits first, then crisscross some dry kindling, then put your paper knots on top. Be sure the cat bypass is open. Then get the draft going with the hairdryer, or some newspaper balls burning near the flue exit. Once draft has started, start the top down paper knots.
  3. Boozie

    Boozie Feeling the Heat

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    "Then get the draft going with the hairdryer ....... " what am I doing at this point with the hairdryer ..... people keep saying use the hairdryer but they don't say what to do with it ...... do I aim it AT a fire I have already lit, or do I aim it up the pipe?
  4. rover47

    rover47 Member

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    The idea of the hair dryer is to get the pipe warmed up. You should be able to feel the air going up the chimney when it is warm enough. Then light the fire.
  5. Boozie

    Boozie Feeling the Heat

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    But WHAT am I doing with the hair dryer??? Am I aiming it up the pipe? Do I have it on hot air or cool?
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Barb, turn that thing on hot and aim it up the chimney.
  7. Boozie

    Boozie Feeling the Heat

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    THANK YOU!!!!! :)
  8. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    White Gasoline (coleman fuel) is still gasoline and just as dangerous. Fire starters, balled up newspaper, cardboard, proper kindling (handfull of pensil size, handfull of finger size, couple of arm size peices of softwood) all work fine. If you insist on using liquid fuel, at least use diesel, 1/4 cup at the most poured on some cardboard will give a great boost to a fire, with far less chance of explosion.
  9. Boozie

    Boozie Feeling the Heat

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    I don't think "newbies", like myself, need to be messin' with any kind of accelerant (sp).
  10. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I can't say for sure how your chimney works, but with my 25ft masonry chimney I dont have to pre-heat the chimney if I use a super cedar. I just build a pile of firewood for a top-down fire and light the firestarter. It burns clean and seems to be enough to get my flue drafting up. I am not trying to sell super cedar firestarters, just pointing out that a good fire starter may really help. I find stuff like paper burns too quickly to start the draft and makes a lot of smoke, too.
  11. Dave_1

    Dave_1 New Member

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    Barbara,

    fwiw

    get a large cardboard box, a leaf rake & gather up brown pine needles (pine straw) & open pine cones.

    Use a license plate, small sheet tin or whatever to make a 6" trough from front to back through the ash in your stove.

    Get some dry 1-1/2' v 1-1/2" x 12" kindling & lay it in the ash trough front to back.

    (Every year I fine split some hardwood splits that have dried out 4 or more years.)

    Take @ 6 open pine cones & lay them atop the kindling front to back.

    Now get a couple fists full of pine straw & lay such atop the pine cones front to back.

    Next install three - 4" to 6" quarter round splits from left to right.

    One split must be atop the seam between the bottom two splits.

    Now lite it off & follow the Buck instructions as to air adjustments.

    This procedure fits the Buck manual recommendation.

    I used cardboard for @ 25 years until someone on this forum mentioned pine straw & cones.

    Been doing it for @ 5 years & it works better than cardboard.

    I now lite the pine straw & immediately close the door that has a spin knob fully open.

    @ 10 minutes later I adjust that spin knob for run mode.

    However, I initially load our stove to the hilt if it is going to be cold.

    If it is going to be mild I load less wood initially.

    If your firewood is truly dried out, & you have a good draft, this procedure works.

    Good luck with it ;-)
  12. Loco Gringo

    Loco Gringo Feeling the Heat

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    Barb, just so you understand whats happening here let me explain, just in case you dont know. Whats likely happening is that your chimney is filling up with cold air. When you light a fire the cold air, which is heavier that hot air, is keeping the smoke from rising up and out. Thats why we here call it smoking the chimney. Youre just wanting to fill it with hot air by forcing the cold air out and then when you light your kindling the smoke will easily rise. And mine starts drawing the flame after maybe 10 seconds of the newspaper burning. Unless you have a leak of some sort and its pulling smoke in from somewhere. But you would smell smoke more often than just when you start your burn. Hope this helps. I hate the smell of smoke in my house.
  13. Boozie

    Boozie Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks Loco. I probably won't try starting another fire until Friday. It's supposed to get in the teens then. If you see smoke signals coming from SW Indiana just say .... Oh, that's just Barb. :) I do have Cherokee ancestry, so maybe the Indian in me wants the smoke ..... NOT!!
  14. Boozie

    Boozie Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for all those good tips. I appreciate all the help I can get.
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