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  1. Archminer

    Archminer New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
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    25
    IVe been reading these threads on top down fires and such but what other ways are there? What kind of stack do you start with in a wood stove? And is there a certain way y'all add wood or just throw it in when you find a space?

    I've been Starting with a log cabin style stack with bigger pieces on the bottom. Kindling kinda stuffed in the middle. Maybe post a pic tomorrow . Fires already well on its way. Lol.

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  2. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Chittenden, VT
    I found a bottom-up works best for me. Two medium size splits, one on each side (N-S loading). Several sheets of crumbled up paper in the middle; first smaller kindling, then larger one on top. Using the splits on the sides as support some longer pieces criss-crossing over that. Light it, wait about 5 minutes with the door open, close door, wait another 5 min and then I start dialing down the air.

    For a reload, I rake the coals in the front and just stuff the firebox full with medium to large splits. I close the door and the airwash works as a bellow, fanning the coals and quickly igniting the splits. Takes me about 15 to maybe 20 minutes before I have the air pretty much closed and I can do other stuff.
    Hills Hoard likes this.
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Bend, OR
    There are probably about as many ways to start a fire as there are people who start them. Do whatever you find works well for you. I've tried a bunch of different methods, and for me it just all comes down to 1/4 of a Super Cedar, some small wood and some bigger wood, "bottom up". In my big Lopi I get a fancier stack packed in there before lighting it, but in my little shop stove I just set down a couple of small splits, put a lit 1/4 Super Cedar between, and then build a fire over the top of it.
    firebroad and alforit like this.
  4. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Jan 15, 2012
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    Loc:
    NW Arkansas
    I've never tried a top down, this winter I'll try and make it a point.
  5. Oregon aloha

    Oregon aloha Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
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    Loc:
    Willamette Valley and the coast
    In my old Fisher I would throw a lit crumbled news paper into the back of the stove to start the draft. Put two splits side by side and one on top of them. stuff more newspaper in between and light it off. I used a smaller split on top but no kindling in that stove.

    Do these new stoves start up differently?
  6. USMC80

    USMC80 Minister of Fire

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    Mar 27, 2013
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    Loc:
    New Jersey
    top down, two medium splits, two smaller split then kindling on top. Smallest piece of supercedar you can break off will work with dry wood
  7. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    CT
  8. Oregon aloha

    Oregon aloha Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Willamette Valley and the coast
    So the heat to the top starts the draw and the air vents in the stove draw the fire down into the kindling. Is this what happens?
  9. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    The kindling on top starts the draft and the embers falling down ignites what is underneath.
  10. USMC80

    USMC80 Minister of Fire

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    New Jersey
    Not sure TBH, maybe one of the smart guys can explain the process :p. I just know I've had three fires in the new insert, the third being top down and it blew the others away
    GS7 likes this.
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Feb 14, 2007
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    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan

    As someone else stated, there are many ways to start a fire. We've tried the top down but never has as good of luck with it so just keep on doing what we've done for years. I will state though that starting a fire in a cold stove is where my wife had the biggest problem. However, since we started using the Super Cedars, she can start the fire with ease now.

    Here is what has worked best for us. Two small or medium sized splits on the bottom. We form a slight Vee with the 2 splits. Then we place 1/4 of a Super Cedar in the middle and light it immediately. On top of that, sometimes we use a couple pieces of kindling and sometimes just a couple more splits. If kindling, then we also add a couple splits. Close the firebox door and the stove is all set for a few hours.
  12. Archminer

    Archminer New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    25
    Here is how I have been building a fire lately. Seems to take off well and easy to add fuel without smothering. Loaded her up with maple tonight.

    Attached Files:

  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I usually stand the stove up after loading. ;lol

    Turn the phone the other way.
    HDRock and n3pro like this.
  14. Hills Hoard

    Hills Hoard Minister of Fire

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    Melbourne, Australia
    as a few have mentioned earlier, these days i set up the kindling in a cross hatch/chris cross pattern...3 bits of wood per layer....i stack that up high, and load up the sides with medium sized splits ....after i;ve lit the fire i put larger splits on top as soon as i can, shut the door and walk away.

    The top down seems like a bit of a gimmick to me...
  15. Archminer

    Archminer New Member

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    Sep 13, 2013
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    I am using the wife's iPad. I had it held upright. I don't know why it keeps doing that. I'm not exactly the most tech minded person. I apologize. Lol.

    tipping the stove over does make for fuller firebox though. Hell to add fuel To. Lol.
    n3pro likes this.
  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Might be handy for cleaning out the ashes....
    HDRock and Archminer like this.
  17. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    SW Washington
    If you have a marginal draft, top-down may help get a draft going better since more heat should be going up the flue at first, rather than the initial heat going into the main fuel. My overall flue length is only 13' and initial draft can be a problem sometimes especially if the outside temps are moderate, so I'm going to try it more this season.

    Otherwise, it may just be a matter of preference.
  18. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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  19. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    Mass north of Boston
    I do a kind of modified top down method. I put some small splits on the bottom, sometimes
    I will add some news paper between. Some pallet wood crisscrossed on top, then some kindling, either thin pieces of pallet wood and/or small twigs crisscrossed on top of that.
    A small piece of fire starter on either side, in the middle of the pile and light with a propane torch.
    I do a lot of cold starts and this method will get the stove up to 400::F within about 15- 20 min.
    PDR_0004.JPG

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