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Best Way to Start E/W Fire

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by loudog, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. loudog

    loudog Member

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    What methods have you found to work well when starting in an E/W stove?

    I saw some people chop some splits in half and load those N/S to create a criss-cross for the top-down. That sounds like a good idea, but a bit labor intensive. So, is there a better, or similarly effective, way?

    I'll be lighting my first real fire tonight. The break-in fire happened last night and things went relatively well.

    Thanks.

    Lou

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Here's a Canadian perspective



    pen
  3. loudog

    loudog Member

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    Oh yeah, thanks Pen! I've seen that video, but for some reason my brain told me they constructed a crisscross top-down. If it works for them, it oughta work for me.

    I'll try the Canadian method tonight.
  4. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Personally, I've tried top down and became quite successful with it, and agree that it is the cleanest way I can find to start the stove (smallest amount of smoke from the chimney).

    That said, if I want to start a fire quickly I do a modified approach and seldom do a true top down, especially now that I use fire starters.

    pen
  5. loudog

    loudog Member

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    Is there a thread where you describe your modified method? Or is it irrelevant due to my E/W constraints?
  6. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    I move the ash to the left and right sides of the stoves, leaving a tunnel from the dog house air under the splits. I place a few small pieces of kindling in this N-S tunnel, then place a fire starter on top, then load EW above that.

    Doesn't start up nearly as cleanly as a top down approach, but I find it faster.

    pen
  7. loudog

    loudog Member

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    Interesting. I'll give that a try too. I like the experimentation associated with all this.
  8. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    I place 2 peaces of kindling N/S then a few splits on top E/W.

    I do the same on reloads but with out a fire starter.
  9. loudog

    loudog Member

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    Thanks. Do you put the fire starter on top or underneath?
  10. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Underneath i know it is not top down and it smokes some but it is what works for me.
  11. loudog

    loudog Member

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    Yeah, whatever works best. I'm not committed to top-down, or any method. I like the low smoke emission aspect of the top-down for sure, but like you said, what works best for you.
  12. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    .

    This
  13. argali66

    argali66 New Member

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    Here is how I do it and the fire starts right up every time.

    (2) Logs on Bottom North South Close Placed 3-4 Inches Apart
    (2) Logs on Top East and West Close Together (2"s of Space)
    (2) 1/4 Pieces of Super Cedar in Between the East and West and Underneath the North South

    Light Supercedar and leave door cracked with Air on Full, Secondary Open and Dampers Open.
    Close door 10 Minutes later or as soon as the fire is raging.

    After fire gets going set Air at normal position (almost closed).
    Close Stove's Damper
    Close Side Door Vent

    If Fire is going strong enough still partially-to full close stove pipe damper.

    Should = Long Hot Burn
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    +1 In the Castine, which was strictly E/W I would lay a couple 2" sleepers down like corey, about 6" apart, then build E/W on top of them. Even in the T6, I always start with a north/south fire, then build east/wet on top of that if desired.
    raybonz likes this.
  15. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    I also use the Canadian approach, modified to use a Super Cedar instead of paper, and find that it works very well.
  16. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    You...uh...giving up the "tunnel of love" description??;lol
    raybonz likes this.
  17. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Shh, getting the trademark registered.
    corey21 and pen like this.
  19. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Sometimes I think this whole fire starting thing gets overcomplicated.......crumple up 6 or 7 pieces of newspaper, put small kindling on top of it, some slightly larger pieces on that, light the paper and add larger pieces once that kindling gets going well.

    As my wife often tells me, don't over think it......

    Good luck.
    bag of hammers likes this.
  20. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I can't crumple up Google News.>>
    remkel and pen like this.
  21. Dustin

    Dustin Feeling the Heat

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    I place two small splits NS, two more EW with the super cedar in between the EW splits. Light super cedar then place two more NS splits right above it. It catches quick and the secondaires light off faster.

    I tried the tunnel of love method thought too, the other half likes that one because its easy on her and requires no splitting
  22. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    LOL - sounds like your wife and my wife could probably share a few laughs at our expense. I'm good at turning molehills into mountains
    remkel likes this.
  23. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    But at the end of the day, our trials and tribulations experienced while making this more complicated than it may seem to be, often result in the significant other gaining inside information on how to make things work well in our absence.

    pen
  24. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    For sure. Don't even mention kindling and newspaper to my wife after she saw a Super Cedar top down fire start. And the stove door not opened again for four hours.
    raybonz likes this.
  25. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    This is what I do, start out with a good pile of 1-2" kindling and a fire starter. Burn it hot to get your chimney and draft going, continue burning til you have a good coal bed, rake it forward and fill the stove as desired. I feel there is no need to start out with any splits at the beginning, a good pile of kindling will get things going and then you have a nice established coal bed to reload upon.
    BrotherBart likes this.

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