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Why not start fire with kerosene?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by samhoff2, Sep 17, 2011.

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  1. samhoff2

    samhoff2 Member

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    Growing up we always used sawdust (lightly) soaked in kerosene to start our fires.

    My new fireplace (RSF Delta 2) says to never use kerosene at all.

    Why not please? (I suspect that someone poured on a gallon at one time and sued somebody, but I'm talking about 2 tablespoons of lightly damp sawdust...)

    Thanks,

    Sam

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  2. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    #1 It stinks
    #2 If your wood is dry you dont need it
    #3 super ceders are cheaper
  3. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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  4. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    it goes BOOM!

    careful use can be safe but accidents happen , an unnoticed spill near the stove could be catestrophic. better to use an approve solid firestarter like the supercedar and have the added security of not having to worry about an accident with a flammable liquid like kerosine
  5. Hanko

    Hanko Minister of Fire

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    would you like me to send you pictures of the third degree burn scars i have on my chest and arms from doing just that
  6. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Thomas will send you a couple of free samples if you e-mail him your name & mailing address:

    http://www.supercedar.com/

    If you really don't understand why the stove manufacturer put that wording in the manual, perhaps a letter to them would get you a clue. Rick
  7. DoubleClutch

    DoubleClutch Member

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    I do it all the time with one of those "torch stones" on a brass stick. It works great in my VC Intrepid II. A lot less fly ash than newspaper too.

    ETA: This is KEROsene, not GASOLINE.

    GASOLINE KILLS in this situation. Do not try it. It is explosive.
  8. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Why would I want to have the smell around or even on me? I get dirty / smelly enough doing my regular maintenance / repairs.

    Can it be done safely? Probably, but I just don't see the advantage considering the alternatives available and the possible consequences in a freak accident.

    pen
  9. gmule

    gmule Feeling the Heat

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    I use a hand full of sticks from the slash pile and a couple of pieces of newspaper. Better to be safe then sorry
  10. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Besides all the safety concerns, the main practical reason is that it is not necessary. There are alternatives that are much easier, less messy, oderless and work just as well if not better. Solid fire starters (such as the aforementioned supercedars) do very well with good dry wood (or even marginal wood) and have virtually no mess, no odor (cedars are rather pleasant to smell if you get close enough to smell them), and if you spill them you just pick them up. Any sort of liquid fuel you use to start up will certainly make a mess if you spill or drip it and that mess will be a hazard.

    Oh - and the risk of explosions or flaming liquids around the stove is clearly worth avoiding in my opinion. All about risk/reward to me, in this case there is significantly higher risk in using kerosene over other choices with no noticeable reward so why bother?
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    In a closed stove the risk is un-ignited vapor filling the firebox and then igniting. I think the scientific term for it is explosion. Lots of people do it. Some people wish they never had. I used to and was lucky. Now with the high price of kero and low price of fire starters I don't push my luck anymore. Put some splits in the stove over a half a Super Cedar and sit back and enjoy.
  12. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Some sawdust, old candles that you don't want anymore, and some cardboard egg cartons, and you can turn out dozens and dozens of firestarters in about half an hour. If you're cheap like me.
  13. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    What is wrong with some screwed up newspaper and some dry kindling?

    As soon as people start putting kerosene on fires to get them started, someone somewhere is going to put some on a cool fire where the wood is not seasoned properly "to get it going better".

    Accelerants are dangerous things, and used outside of the sphere they are intended for, will often cause unintended consequences.
  14. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    The point has been well made.

    Summary: Sure it will work but there are wiser ways of getting the job done.

    pen
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