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My wife has a neat trick to get a fire going faster

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Rhone, Jan 16, 2006.

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  1. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    I thought it was a fluke, whenever my wife reloaded our insert, or I'd come back from somewhere, her fires were always better than mine. Better flames, more even fire, more heat, more miles out of the wood. I started analyzing, was it the way she positioned the wood? No. Then, I found her little secret. Thought maybe you all could use it as well.

    After she reloads, she leaves the door open for about 5-10 minutes to get good flames, then shuts the door and waits another 10-15 minutes. Here's where I found her little secret, she then grabs a poker and opens it back up and starts shaking the logs around aggresively, I asked her what are you doing? She said, my Mom taught me you need to give the logs a good shaking a half hour or so after you reload. Then she shut the door and left for work. The fire turned into a huge roaring fire, my unit whipped right to temp, and I had to shut down the air. Cut my warm-up time by a lot, and the fire as a whole is much better through the burn.

    Anyway, give that a shot I'm surprised what "shaking the logs up" a half hour after reloading does. I was always told to avoid opening the unit up once you've got the door shut. We load our wood side/side, red oak, and rather high in moisture.
    TheGriz likes this.

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  2. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    I thought you were going to say something like " she complains untill I get it going"
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    My wife has always had more luck getting the boiler or wood stove to do what she wants. Practice makes perfect, I suspect, and not going into the thing with any preconceived ideas about how it OUGHT to work. She just deals with the situation and makes it work to her advantage. Heating with wood is really an art, and there's no substitute for experience.

    That's a long way of saying that I don't know why she's better at operating the heating system than I am (I designed and build the thing), but she is and I'm grateful.
  4. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    How true. I've been burning wood for over 20 years and have hundreds of fires in our insert and probably over a thousand in my life. She's never dealt with wood in her life and probably lit less than two dozen fires. Go figure, her fires are better than mine. The preconceived notion of how it ought to be done, and having an open mind and not knowing, rather figuring what works is two different things.
  5. TheFlame

    TheFlame New Member

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    Jan 12, 2006
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    Do not crack any of the load doors, nor the ash pan door to get the fire going. If you are using a cast iron stove, you run the risk of heating the unit unevenly when cold, which can lead to cracking the iron plates. It is best to let it heat up slowly when cold.
  6. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I load the VC Resolute before bed, and its dead in the morning.

    THE WOWEN, (caps on purpose) loads the stove before bed, and there is a nice burning chunk in the morning.

    Some places, you just don't go.
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