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Aspen kindling

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Berone, Jan 12, 2010.

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  1. Berone

    Berone Member

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    A friend of ours used to work for a framing shop in Vermont. He would bring home crates of kd maple scraps that were great for kindling. Whenever my wife went up to visit she would come home with a box of it. Unfortunately he left that job and we ran out of the prime stuff. So during a trip to Home Depot I looked around to see what would make good kindling. I found a bundle of lath that looked dry and had potential. The tag on it said "aspen", which I never heard of, but it's wood. I figured it would burn. I grabbed a bundle of 50 48" pieces for $9, figuring to cut it down to 12" pieces. When I got home I Googled aspen. From Wikepedia: Aspen wood is white and soft, but fairly strong, and has low flammability. It has a number of uses, notably for making matches, where its low flammability makes it safer to use than most other woods. Seriously? Why don't I just use some asbestos shingles!

    Okay, that said, I used some this morning to get the fire going again. A couple of newspaper bows and 3 pieces of the aspen and I had the start of a good blaze. Would have had a good blaze if not for the "seasoned dry" wood I'm trying to burn.

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  2. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    If you're hurting for kindling you could do what a co-worker of mine does . . . buy some of the cedar shingles they have for sale. I would think it would be a bit pricey for kindling (especially since my kindling is free), but cedar shingles typically burn pretty decently.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    You can use that aspen for kindling. It may not have the quality of pine or something like that but it still will make kindling....as long as it is really dry.
  4. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Do people really use that much kindling? A friend (Vic) gave me a box of lathe etc that he tore out of his house and I'm not 1/2 way through it this season. If he hadn't given it to me, I'd use splitting trash, bark, and split a few rounds and be good for the season.

    Not criticizing- just curious. I don't get it.
  5. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    I'm with ya . . . why do peeps PAY for kindling??
  6. rnlincourt

    rnlincourt Member

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    yeah seriously- I split mine with a maul!
  7. Berone

    Berone Member

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    Yeah, unlike many here I don't consider burning wood a hobby. If I'm home there are many things that I'd rather do than cut kindling. And if I have to work, I get paid way more per hour than the cost of buying the kindling so I may as well pick up an extra shift somewhere.

    I think we're burning more kindling than we should because we need to burn something to get the wood we have going. Once we solve the wood problem I don't think we'll need as much. The insert is also new to us, and I haven't found a way to keep it burning through the night. I packed it last night around 12:30 am and, when I came down this morning around 8:30 am, it was cold and I had to start from scratch.
  8. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Berone -

    I'm guessing you're correct on the wood quality thing. I'm starting fires with good dry Ash and use almost no kindling. Pop a couple slpits in, add 2-3 slivers of that are clinging to the splits between them, hit the area between the splits with the push-button propane tourch for 5-8 seconds and it's off and running. I have some more than a year season'd Oak that's a pain ni the chops, but the Ash is a joy. Dry is so much nicer.

    All the best,
    Mike
  9. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    If the aspen doesn't burn well for you (I think it will be fine) and you need to buy kindling consider dimensional lumber, which is normally douglas fir or pine and kiln dried, I think. A 2x4 or a 1x cut into 8 in pieces will split almost effortlessly into smaller splits. You could get a whole bunch of kindling from one 2x4, and you could get slightly thicker pieces than the lath, which will burn longer and might help get the larger wood burning sooner.

    I would store your kindling inside to keep it as dry as possible. Firewood outside, once it is seasoned, is not a big problem, but kindling needs to burn really great. so keep it in a heated part of the house is possible
  10. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

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    :lol: sorry laughing at you and not with you.. just kidding but that was pretty funny
  11. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

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    i have to restart my fire every work night and on the weekends i'm able to get it going again with some pine kindling. so ya i use a lot

    once every three weeks or so i'll pull out the splitter and make up a bunch for myself and the neighbor lady as she starts her fire every night too

    this spring the game plan is to do an entire pallet just of pine kindling
  12. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I actually use quite a bit of kindling . . . since I often am too lazy to get up in the early morning hours to reload the fire and so when I do wake up I only have small coals. I suppose if I was a patient man I could just wing some smaller splits into the firebox and wait . . . but I am impatient and so I typically throw in a few pieces of kindling. I also tend to use a lot of kindling in the shoulder seasons when the fire is built and then left to die out.
  13. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Huh. I start my fire from scratch with little or no kindling- I'll peel bark off a split, or garb the stringies off the side of one on the way in the house, load it up, put some birch bark at the front and away we go. Once in a while I grab some kindling if I think the splits are too big.

    Kindling may or may not make it easier I guess, just how I do it. (my fires go up pretty easy).
  14. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

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    try kindling - i think you'll like it :)
  15. scotsman

    scotsman Feeling the Heat

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    I usually scrounge kindling from any of a number of places--lumber scraps from construction sites (always talk to the PIC to get permission). Lots of times they'll tell you about other sites. You get the kindling and they don't have to haul it to the dump. I also hit woodworking shops. At these I get hardwood kindling and lots of stuff that's good for it. I also will take some 5-gallon plastic buckets and fill 'em with sawdust. A handfull of this will start any fire pretty well. I've never paid for kindling . . . ever! There's enough lying around for free if you just pay attention--at least down here. I usually find it on the way home from work.

    There also is a place here in Lubbock where they make plantation shutters out of cottonwood. Several years ago I went there and filled up my 1-ton van with 4 ft. long slats that were rejects. Talk about good kindling! They haul about 20 tons of scrap wood to the dump per week. Wish I could use it all. Being a thrifty Scotsman, I try not to think about it.
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