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How do you light your fire?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by MountainStoveGuy, Jan 26, 2006.

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  1. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    I was courius,
    1) I start with small kindling then progess to bigger stuff as the fire gets established
    2) I start with small kindling and newspaper "" ""
    3) I pack it full and use solvents to get it going (OBVIOUSLY NOT THE SMART THING TO DO!! DO NOT TAKE THAT AS A SUGGESTION)
    4) I pack it full and use a natural product like fatwood to start a fire
    5) i use wax based logs, alchahol base gel, or wax soaked chips to start a fire
    6) top down method.
    Please feel free to give a explanation. Im shure i missed a few.

    I think the way people start fires is almost as diverse as the stoves they pick. I personally whitnessed my old landlord make batches of his own firestarter out of keroseen and sawdust. I thought he was nuts.

    I personaly am a 4. I usually stuff my firebox from the side load, i try to get as much wood in as possible. I stick one or two sticks of fatwood in some of the spaces in the endgrain. I shut the side load door within a few minutes, then wa la! I made fire.

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  2. ChrisN

    ChrisN Feeling the Heat

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    Southeastern, Ct
    I use the oft discussed "top-down' method
  3. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    YIKES

    Try reading a few posts about the "top down " technigue while your still safe.
  4. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    I added it :D Thats new to me(top down method), I will have to research that.
  5. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

  6. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    My fire box is about 2.25 cubic feet by my reckoning so not a lot of room. it's 12 inches high by ab out 20 inches wide(wider in some spots... yeah weird shaped) and roughly 18 inches deep. Nooks and cranny's of course, but many of them are not practical to stuff wood into. So if I dont' have a bed of coals, I load some wood in, put a piece or two of fatwood in, apply this great flexi neck lighter I found at walmart and very quickly I have a fire. ONce I get the wood burning I add more. As many pieces as I can get in there and I like to have small pieces as well when I'm getting it going. Of course if I have any live coals available, I just toss a couple pieces off wood on them with some air space, leave the door cracked andd fire erupts in a minute or two.
    This being my 3rd year of burning, I am going to be more prepared in the years to come. With some of my bigger oak rounds, I have split from the sides so that I have large flat pieces of wood. I figure they will catch and reduce to hot coals much faster than traditional splits. I guess this is one of the benifits of having split enough to know I have enough to make it thru next winter. I can get creative withthe way I split my wood.
  7. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    top down. starting from the bottom of the firebox:

    a couple medium splits
    4 newspaper knots on/between them
    smaller kindling on newspaper
    larger kindling on smaller kindling
    maybe some irregular chunks stuffed where I can
    one loosely crumpled sheet of newspaper to help start the draft
    1 match. first light the crumpled (it goes up fast) then the knots.
    let it burn fast and furious until about 450
  8. mikedengineer

    mikedengineer New Member

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    mentor(northeast), ohio
    top down method. Pretty much like Elk does.

    -Mike
  9. ERPARKER

    ERPARKER New Member

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    Arlington, VA
    I'm still experimenting with our new flush insert. The problem we have is that no one is home during the day so I have to start a new fire going every evening. To get the blower to kick-in in a reasonable amount of time so that we're actually heating the house, I need to get a HOT fire going FAST.

    I've been using three very dry splits with some exceptionally dry cedar planks (from an old closet project) that I've cut into 8" long strips on the table saw. I lay down three cedar strips, put two splits on top of these, then two cedar strips, and the last split on top. Between the two lower splits, I crumple up four or five balls of newspaper. I light the newspaper and sit with the fire for 5 minutes or so, usually with the insert doors open about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. The cedar "spits" so I can't leave the room. Once the fire is going, I close the doors, make sure the blower is turned on so that it kicks-in when things are hot enough, disengage the bypass, leave the damper all the way open, and take the dog for a walk. Usually the blower is running by the time I get back and it's ready for another couple of splits.

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  10. johnnytugs1

    johnnytugs1 New Member

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    ok so explain this top down method. what goes on top of the fire brick. on inside of stove ? hmmmmm
  11. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    search top down in this forum, you will get a few threads covering it. I would explain it if i fully understood it, i havent had the time to properly research it.
    Ryan
  12. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    with the top down method if you arrange your kindling in a criss cross pattern and put the knots of newspaper on the very top (on top of the kindling) (about 5 knots) when the newspaper burns out the criss cross pattern is still in place and burning. if you put the paper under the kindling some of that kindling could scatter and make for a slow start or go out.
  13. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    start with bigger splits on the firebrick and as you get to the top they get smaller until you put on your kindling
  14. clambdin

    clambdin New Member

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    Geeez you guys make it to difficult ! I use a small propane torch it has a wide flame and only takes a minute or two to have your kindling blazing !
  15. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly Member

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    cll
    I agree with you. I also use a propane torch. Works great. Before I start the kindling, I use the torch to heat up my chimney to get a good draft going. Never have a problem with a smoke filled fire box at start up.
  16. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Propane torches work, but isnt propane expensive? how long does it take to get it going?
  17. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    you get at least 1 if not 2 seasons out of a tank of propane

    btw i did get some samples of supercedar fire starters, they work great they start very easy and get very hot very fast and last long than the others. i break the disk up into quarters and use one piece. it even started the green piece of wood i had in there without kindling.
  18. clambdin

    clambdin New Member

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    You can buy 2 cannisters of propane at walmart for $4.63, one can will likley last you all winter ! it only takes a few minutes to get the fire burning good especially if you wad some newspaper up in the kindling this will help to warm the chimney and start the draw.
  19. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    But if i have good kindling and newspaper it only takes one match. :D Im not knocking the propane idea, just doest seem right LMAO.
  20. bruce

    bruce Member

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    kindleing and a splash of kero,, fast and safe
  21. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Lately I have been putting a couple small splits on the bottom, then a layer of kindling, then about a 1/3 or 1/2 chunk of Pine Mountain fire starter, and a few more pieces of kindling on top. It works pretty good. I tried the top down method with news paper but the paper wouldn't always ignite the kindling. The fire-starters just seem to work better for me.
  22. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    im so lazy, i need to find a fatwood support group, i need to get off that stuff.
  23. got wood?

    got wood? New Member

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    for a pile of coals in the morning I just pull/tear off exposed bits of wood and bark on my splits, a little less than a handful, and throw them on the raked coals, then a couple of logs and presto, it's up and going again...

    for a new fire, all the junk mail I get (no glossies or color) gets crumpled up and some kindling to start...wait until that's good and going and on go the splits (a lot of em). Crack the door to really stoke the flames and off it goes. I get more than enough junk mail to start a fire every night if I need to!

    I used the fatwood a lot last year after my dad got a box when visiting...then I became so dependant on them that I abandoned the old fashion way all together! This year I've come around to the idea that if I'm gonna cut and split my own wood, I'm _not_ going to pay for kindling ;-)
  24. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    and the way i see it is that i get my wood for free, so why not buy some kindling? LOL, like i mentioned, im lazy in the winter time.
  25. johnnytugs1

    johnnytugs1 New Member

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    this top down method seems weird but i wll try it when i get home . i did use my mapp gas tank to start one fire with a bunch of oak flooring a friend from work gave me for kindling and it worked well ( he gave me 10 bags of scraps minus the beer cans and plastic tie thingys)i also get the left over oak pilings that the dock builders cut off the dock they're redoing at work. just loaded up my pick up with some nice sized pilings.damn they are heavy but free oak makes me smile. and doesn't hurt as much.could be close to a cord.i wish i could fit more in my bed but my springs are screaming as it is.but thanks for all the different suggestions i will e-mail this thread to mrs. tugs with hopes she'll get a good burn going. thanks again,
    john
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