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
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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

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    Here's a Canadian perspective



    pen
     
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  3. loudog

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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.
     
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  4. pen

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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
     
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  5. loudog

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

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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
     
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  7. loudog

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

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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.
     
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  9. loudog

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

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

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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.
     
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  12. Augie

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    .

    This
     
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  13. argali66

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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
     
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  14. begreen

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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.
     
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  15. HollowHill

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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.
     
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  16. Jags

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

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  18. begreen

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    Shh, getting the trademark registered.
     
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  19. remkel

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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.
     
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  20. BrotherBart

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    I can't crumple up Google News.>>
     
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  21. Dustin

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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
     
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  22. bag of hammers

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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
     
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  23. pen

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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
     
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  24. BrotherBart

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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.
     
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  25. Todd

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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.
     
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