Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Jfigliuolo, Dec 2, 2005.
What are the pro's/con's of each?
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I'll be watching this post with interest. I've used tightly balled up newspaper for years in my masonry fireplace with no apparent problems. Of course, the 12" clay tile in my chimney may not exhibit the condensation that Flue Bug mentions below, and also, I think there is a difference between tightly rolled or balled paper and just loose leaf. The loose stuff will be lifted by the draft more readily. I also do not use coloured flyers or glossy paper as these typcially burn poorly and I think release more toxic fumes.
I watch with interest because with an impending switch to an insert I've been pondering how best to light. Of course, the general plan is to just not let it go out....;-)
Flu Bug had this topic posted last week:
Yeah, that post is what got me thinking about it.
Put my vote in for shredded paper. I run all the junk mail through a shredder for security reasons...in summer it goes to the recycling bin, in winter it goes into the stove to start fires. Can't really comment on the flue pipe build-up. I clean 2x per season...once in the middle and once at the end so I have a clean flue to start the next season. Each time I get probably 1/2 of a 1 lb coffee can full of dry particulates. Who knows...maybe that is all the paper going up the flue? Although it seems to me that the amount of sparks coming off the wood is always pretty trivial compared to those coming off the kindling and firewood.
I vote paper! Its free for me, and works just fine.
Dylan - all too true. I guess the cans in my garage that store screws, nails, etc are actually antiques from a by-gone era. I should probably dump out the nails and screws, polish them up and hit e-bay! I was just trying to think of some way to describe the volume of "stuff" I get. Maybe I should have said a couple of double hand-fulls, a stove shovel full, a Starbucks large cappuccino-with-double-foam-and-extra-cream cup full (although I've never had anything from Starbucks!)
I used firestarters in past. I was wondering why my grates were disintegrating. Was talking to a buddy about woodburners and he said his grate and cast ash shaker were disintegrating on a fairly new stove. The connection, or maybe not? He used firestarters.
Nowadays, it's newspaper and sticks from the yard to get the fire going. Haven't had any problems.
I've been using firestarter for years in my insert with no problem. The one I like is called StarterLogg. You can break off a small piece. Light it and forget it! It's a beautiful thing.
Ha, you noticed that too!
Every time I thought I was getting a pound of coffee, it turns out that they give a 12 oz standard!
Of course, I am now a coffee snob (although still mostly decaf)....the BEST coffee I've ever had.....
I'm telling you...just the smell of the grounds will delight you...not too expensive either....
Oh, and firestarters....it's like this. If I have firestarters around, I use 'em cause I'm lazy. But given a lot of good kindling and some balled up paper, I can actually get a fire going faster and harder!
I almost always use firestarters. I tend to use the compressed wood chip and wax variety, which are usually fast and effective. Once, my wife brought home a box of Duraflame fire starters. They appear to be mini versions of their awful wax logs, and they absolutely sucked.
My vote: I use small slices of the duraflame logs ( 1/2" slice off the log and then broke into 1/4's ) Less ash , get hotter , burns longer and does not fly up the stove pipe .
Paper gets my vote too.
I have to vote for firestarters in the form of broken up Duraflame-type logs.
I break one up into 30 or 40 chunks, not being too fussy about the size, usually about the size of a walnut.
I find them much better and cleaner than newspaper.
As for newspapers being free, well, they do cost a wee bit. I am not a daily paper reader, and therefore was in the position of having to rummage thru my neighbours recycling bin to get my supply.
Now I just fill a cookie tin, usually 2 or 3 times a burning season, for a maximum of $4-5 a year, and my fly ash is down to nothing and my stove has stayed much cleaner as a result.
Several of my friends have started using them as well, upon seeing the easy time I have lighting my VC.
Seasons Best to Everyone,
I should also mention that, aside from once a month chimney cleaning, my stove is burning from the middle of September until May. So, I really only have to light the fire less than a dozen times per year. 20 sheets of newspaper, maybe?
i know i will catch hell for this but i use kero, just a splash on my kindeling, works great!
My neighbor uses an alcohol gel for pellet stoves to start his fire. Is this safe to use on a wood burning stove. It says its safe for catalytics.
anyone have any experience with it?
I know our local Harman dealer, Stovekeepers in Amherst, NH, stopped selling it citing safety concerns. IIRC there was a serious injury or death involved. The problem with the gels is extreme flammability and the possibility of flashback. Alcohol gel can burn with a nearly invisible flame, exacerbating the problem. The scenario is the gel is applied and lit, the user sees that it didn't light, squirts a bit more on for a second attempt, and... kaboom.
I haven't played around w/this method much but the person who showed me swore by it. No kindling 2 sheets of newspaper fire start-(1) Take 2 1/4 split logs lay them on the grate a couple of inches apart flat side down and other flat side facing in. (2) seperatley roll up 2 sheets of newspaper diagnally(long way) lay the paper tubes in the gap between the logs. (3) lay a third split flat side down over the gap w/paper tubes in it. (4) light ends of paper.
My success rate with it wasn't that great but I haven't tried it that much-it is cool when it works.
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