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Using Cardboard To Start The Fire

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by fdegree, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

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    This post by firefighterjake prompted a question within my head...
    [quote author="firefighterjake" date="1281730498"]Although I may use large amounts of what I call The Arsonist's Secret Weapon -- cardboard -- on outside fires...[/quote]

    The post can be found here if anyone is interested in it's context:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/41005/P22/#654598

    Since my question doesn't pertain to the topic of that thread, I thought it best to start a new one.


    Anyway, is there a problem with using cardboard to start a fresh fire in a wood stove?

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  2. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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    i love cardboard! be carefull that a flame remains present so gases dont build up & explode, probably unlikely in a cold stove.
  3. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    I use anything that will burn to start a fire. Being that I burned 24/7 I only lit the fire once a month when I emptied the ashes. Well, not anything, but cardboard, if its handy, sure.
  4. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    There used to be a guy on the boards that pretty much only burned cardboard.

    I'm not that extreme, but I've used it plenty to start a fire.

    Matt
  5. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    I've heard it's almost as bad as pine for creosote production. :wow:
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Cardboard burns good. If you don't mind having this happen in your chimney. That ain't a chimney fire. It is coming from the cardboard burning in the stove.

    Attached Files:

  7. soupy1957

    soupy1957 Minister of Fire

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    I don't burn cardboard, ............only because I was told that the glue in between the layers, is a significant contributor to creosote build up. Don't know how factual that is, but decided to simply NOT burn it, to avoid any potential.

    -Soupy1957
  8. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    Im pretty sure when I used cardboard to light my stove, the 3 or 4 pieces did not cause that effect on my chimley fluke
  9. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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    i burn 2 grocery carts of flattened cardboard per week & have a piece of al tape on the joint 2' above the stove on singlewall pipe. the glue has dried bbut the tape hasnt fallen off, verily!
  10. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    Blimp, does the cardboard hurt the Magic Heat?
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    He didn't say if he takes it out of the grocery cart first. :coolsmirk:
  12. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

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    Will the cardboard have any impact on the cat in a catalytic stove?

    Some cardboard has printing on it...designs, logo, etc. -- will the print effect the cat?
  13. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    +1 for BB
  14. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_is_cardboard_manufactured starch adhesive , ink is soybased http://hearth.com/what/cat.html
  15. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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    sorry to confuse y'all but yes u have to take the cardboard out of the cart be4 u put it in the stove.
  16. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    I use a little of it sometimes. Works great!
  17. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    I've used it, without noticeable negative impact on the flue.
  18. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Looks like a nice way to clean the chimney. :lol:

    Matt
  19. allhandsworking

    allhandsworking Feeling the Heat

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    waxed cardboard from produce works like a charm for firestarter! I have a non cat epa stove. Any draw backs to waxed cardboard? I only use a few pieces 3"x3"
  20. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I love it. Couple layers to start a cold stove is a miracle worker. I'd rather use something I was going to throw out than something I'd have to buy. Firestarter and not primary fuel. I'd think it would be so hard to control a large portion you'd have to almost shut the stove down, which could be why some complain about creasote.
  21. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah it explains why I used to have chimney fires and such a clean flue when I burned that stuff in the old stove. The same stove sitting under the stack in the picture. Full baffle in that sucker.

    No cardboard ever going in one of my stoves again.
  22. SteveKG

    SteveKG Minister of Fire

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    I worked in a small store that was located a couple doors down from a liquor store. The liqour store gave my boss all their beer boxes, and we heated the place for two years with nothing else. The only thing is, cardboard burns furiously and very, very hot, so you have to be careful.

    I use it at home to start fires. Just a couple of smaller pieces and a couple pc of crumpled newspaper and I'm in business.

    I keep a box of it next to the bin of my kindling, already cut up with a box cutter to a size I want.
  23. gibson

    gibson New Member

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    A empty 12 pack box stuffed with newspaper is a great fire starter. Not that I've ever done that...
  24. rwh442

    rwh442 Member

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    I totally agree with BB, if you want to start a chimney fire go ahead and burn cardboard. I had two chimney fires started with that stuff. I keep it out of my boiler.
  25. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    While the referenced comment was about starting brush piles on fire using cardboard . . . the truth of the matter is I use small amounts of cardboard when starting a fire along with a bit of newspaper . . . that said, we're not talking about wedging in a banana box into the firebox . . . and I avoid cardboard that is waxy or glossy for the most part . . . ditto for newspaper . . . a small amount and it is never glossy paper.

    That said . . . two years in . . . no chimney fires . . . no excessive build up of creosote.

    And yeah . . . I stand by my original comment . . . cardboard is the secret tool of the arsonist . . . ;)

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