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Speaking about kindling

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by elkimmeg, Aug 27, 2006.

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  1. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    There are many sources for kindling. Wind blown sticks one can pick up in the yard. Ends cuts from any building or remodeling job
    The best is oak flooring cutoffs. What about picking up the small splits that are a by product of any splitting process. Again dry bark another good source. One can also create mini splits from end logs that are cut offs. So many ways to build a decent fire with what is available and free. The only comcerial product I have used is fat wood and IT does work rather well. With both stoves being cats
    There will be less cardboard or cardboard cut in strips than before. No colored paper that's for sure. I have never used anything with wax no starter fluids or kero. To me that seems dangerous. I think top down discussion needs to be described again for the newer members. Be patient learn how to build a fire Learn how to feed it with smaller splits as things progress

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Another good place to gather kindling is the spliting area. I will let someone else describe the top down method, i have yet to try it. For you beginner folks, a piece of fatwood guarentees success.
  3. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    I use fatwood as well. I do collect all the long splinters from processing and put them aside, and as needed I process my own kindling. This is where my Mean Green Splitting Machine really shines. It allows me to place the wedge exactly where it needs to be to create small kindling splits. The wood is held in place between the wedge and the base, so you don't have to hold or balance a small piece of wood, and then try to hit your spot (instead of your hand) with the ax.

    I've read about the "top down" method, but thus far haven't tried it. Damn Elk...now I want to go dig up the old "how do you start your fire" thread and re-read some of the stuff.
  4. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I never had good luck with Fatwood. It was hard to lite and didn't seem to burn well after that. I use a small chunk of Pine Mountain fire starters under some kindling and it never fails me. $6 for a box of 24 will last me all season.

    I like to use a modified top down firestarter method. First I lay down a couple small splits, then a small chunk of fire starter, then kindling, and finally a couple small splits on top. So I kind of squish the kindling in the middle.
  5. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I use sticks from the trees, splitting material,etc stuffed into cereal boxes and stored in the shed to keep it bone dry, maybe 5 boxes worth. I tear the box lengthwise when loading it into the stove, stuff some paper in there too and viola.

    Which leads me to the "modified" top down lighting method for a cold stove.

    2 splits on the bottom.

    Cereral box full of sticks/newspaper

    Small rounds/small splits on top.

    Works for me. Just started using this method last year from other peoples suggestions and it works great and gets the draft going in hurry.
  6. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    Sandor the way my kids eat cereral I have a lot of boxes around. I'll give you'r method a try,and see how it works.
  7. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    I use twigsand the scraps from the processing area in my yard. If I ever run out of these items thereis a "Truss" manufacturer about 5 miles from me. Tons of end cuts from the manufacturer free for the taking. I use mostly in the chimnea for evenings ouside. A good place to practice your "top down" technique if you haven't done so already. Comemid November I don't worry too much about kindling because I'm24/7 till March.
  8. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Thats how I got started on it. The cereal box, with the plastic liner removed, is nothing but a neat way to store all the twiggs and stuff. I stumble around the yard with beer in hand, and load the boxes up. I mix all sizes of sticks in the box. Keep them in the shed so they stay dry. I am doing something constructive.

    The key is to make a lengthwise tear down the center of the box, and place it in the stove, tear side down with crumpled newspaper underneath. That cardboard is rather dense and really does not light easily. But once it does, it provides a nice boost to really get the draft and fire going.

    Hope it works for ya.
  9. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

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  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Oak flooring scraps, yeah! Like gold out here. I just visited a job site to look at an oak flooring install. There were two big boxes of scraps hanging out by the door. Oh boy did I want to get them. But the homeowner has a Scan stove and will put them to good use. Ah well, we should be generating flooring scraps ourselves soon.
  11. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I use a somewhat modified top down method that works well for my stove. I place two splits in lengthwise so the draft is directed in between them. If possible I make them pine. Then place balls of newspaper in between followed by smaller twigs, followed by larger twigs, followed by some small splits. If the stove is stone cold, I usually have to light off a peice of newspaper on top to get things going. This seems to work pretty well for my stove/chimney setup.

    The neverending source of my sticks and twigs is a combination of the brush pile at the back of my property, and the small stuff that comes off the splitting process. I find the small peices that come off the splitting process is really the best. It lights much better than twigs and seems to smoke less and get hot faster. I think it's because the edges of those peices are basically paper thin, so they get burning fast.
  12. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly Member

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    Saturday was kindling processing day at my house. I was given a bunch of old tobacco sticks. I think they are Oak. Plugged in the miter saw and started cutting them into 4" - 6" pcs. After a couple hours I had two 55 gal. drums full of kindling. This is the first time I used tobacco sticks for kindling. I don't see any reason why they would not work for kindling.
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Hillbilly - Sorry for what may be a silly question, buuutt, What the heck is a tobacco stick?
  14. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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  15. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks BB, got the picture now.
  16. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly Member

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    Wow!!! I think I just cut up $ 1500.00 worth of kindling.
  17. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    OHH NO, looks like you did!

    One note, im shure everyone knows this, but a little reminder. The best kindling in the world wont light unseasoned wood. In my pile i had some stuff that isnt full cured. I have been fighting my stove all morning trying to get it cranking, the entire time grimacing knowing that im filling my chimney full of creosote.
  18. brian_in_idaho

    brian_in_idaho New Member

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    Wouldn't be P-pine would it? I have had problems in the past, one piece of slightly damp or punky ponderosa seems to kill a fire with half a dozen nice sticks of tam or fir in it.
  19. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    doug dir and spruce, i dont burn much ponderosa. After three hours my stove is just starting to take off.
  20. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Is it possible to burn branches in a stove for heat? I've seen some of my neighbors gathering and piling up ~3' lengths of branches <= 3" in diameter or so. Maybe they have a stove that can take 3' lengths? I'm thinking it's too much work, ie, not worth it.
  21. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Its a matter of mass, it would take a lot of small branches to get 30 lbs of wood in a firebox. It would have a lot of surface area and burn up fast. Now if they were 2" plus it might be worth it...
  22. tradergordo

    tradergordo Minister of Fire

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    Its been mentioned numerous times, but...

    Never burn painted or treated wood, or wood products containing glue. Never burn magazines, gift wrap, or colored paper. They all produce particles that can clog a wood stove's air passages and can also produce noxious, corrosive or even carcinogenic gases. This of course includes cereal boxes!

    See: The Center for Disease Control's Wood Stove/Respiratory Hazards Page for more information.

    And from the EPA:

    Never burn household garbage or cardboard. Plastics and the colored ink on magazines, boxes, and wrappers produce harmful chemicals when burned.

    Never burn coated, painted, or pressure-treated wood because it releases toxic chemicals when burned.

    Never burn ocean driftwood, plywood, particle board, or any wood with glue on or in it. They all release toxic chemicals when burned.

    Never burn wet, rotted, diseased, or moldy wood.

    Only bring into your home the amount of wood needed for a day to reduce the chance of allergy-causing mold spores circulating indoors.
  23. brian_in_idaho

    brian_in_idaho New Member

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    I'd say it would depend on your scenario. I sure wouldn't go to a lot of trouble to get smaller branches on a woodlot, but if they are in your yard, why not? I have plenty of wood available (20 acres) and pretty much burn anything over 1-2 inch dia, the small stuff is starter fuel. It's just to avoid quite so many slash burns for cleanup of the property, anything smaller I just let rot. Sucks to cut with a chainsaw, I keep a cheapie Harbor Freight cutoff saw for cutting up miscellanious "junk" (trim ends, small limbs) for kindling.

    Bri
  24. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest


    Please submit this post in wiki form good job finding the info and submitting it

    We had a post about burning wood that had saltwater exposure a few days back this pretty much puts that in perspective
  25. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Great input to post , I always thought these were the rules of thumb and why i dont use paper , cardboard and such in the wood stove. I couldnt find this info so i didnt say anything to be the bearer of bad news. I use sliced up fire logs in 1/2" X 2" small slices. They get hot , dont need a lot and last long enough to get the fire started. I use about 1 fire log a year sliced up and most of it is used in the Fall and spring.
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