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Posted By Ducky,
Oct 30, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Sheet of newspaper topped with a pine cone and a couple small pieces of kindling.
I get mine from TSC in Clio, I think I pay around $14 or $15 a box ( they do go on sale too) , cant remember I bought them at the start of last heating season and will finally have to go get more this weekend.
I use either fatwood or super cedar lighters. Right now I have a big box of Georgia fatwood and a few super cedars. I like to split wood into small pieces and then use a peice of bark on the top of my stove load under the small pieces then use a lighter in between them. It takes about 5 minutes and the top is raging and the tubes get going shortly there after. Top down fires are great for reducing the creosote build up in your chimney because the fire is so close to your tubes that it heats them very quickly. The coals will drop down and light the rest of the box in short order. I have become a big fan of this method ! Last year I could tell there was much less creosote build up because I started doing this.
Grundys ace hardware
I use a firestarter lke a Supercedar or one I bought locally. Why do I buy something to start fires when I could make my own or use newspaper? Because it is easier to pay a few cents for a firestarter and start really quickly than to mess around with paper and kindling. Like most other things I buy I am paying for convenience.
I always start the stove with a full load of wood in it. Others have posted that they light the stove with only a pile of kindling, then after the kindling is burning the open the stove and add more wood. I load the stove as full as I want it with regular size splits, then add some kindling on top or along one side, then wedge a piece of fire starter in a good spot. I light the firestarter and leave the door cracked at first. When the fire is strongly burning I will close the door. This approach means I never have to open the door after lighting which prevents me from letting smoke out into the house.
Sometimes when I run out of Super Cedars I sometimes use Kerosene but I dont think you guys with cat stoves are supposed to use Kerosene.
But here is the best way to use Kerosene. No drip, no splash and safer.
I have found that Target Paper towels are the most asorbant and thickest. I keep a roll around just for this purpose as backup fire starter.
Take about 2 sheets and roll it up and you can basically make a roll the thickness and size of a corn cob. I use a little masking tape to keep it from un-rolling.
A quick dip in a jar of Kerosene and it soaks some up and does not drip, no mess , no fuss , toss it in the stove and light it and it burns for quite a long while.
Corn Cobs just like the old timers but made of modern day materials
I crumble up newspaper.
I put split, dry kindling on top of that.
I lay slightly larger rounds, supported by the front lip just inside the stove.
I put slightly larger splits supported on top of the supported rounds (at a 90 degree angle to the rounds).
Sprinkle it all with a bit of kerosene and I keep my ash door slightly ajar.
Light it and monitor carefully for as long as it takes til I close the ash door (usually about 10 minutes).
Since trying them, I have become a big fan of the top down fire.
When done splitting wood there is an abundance of "tailings" from the splits which are frayed well for an easy light. I would use a couple large garbage cans filled with the small pieces and use them to start a fire.When there is an abundance, these pieces get stored in boxes. For additional kindling there is an abundance of twigs and small branches that usually get burnt during the year as rubbish however these dry twigs start fire very well. With all this comes either newspaper or cardboard. No need to spend any money and the yard looks great.
Buy a box of fire starters or get your free SuperCedar samples and give them a try. I just load my stove full with regular splits, place the fire starter under a couple of splits on the bottom, light the fire starter with a propane torch, and shut the door. About a half hour later I close the bypass and start adjusting the air control a short time later. I used to use kindling and crack the door and all that stuff. That seemed to make so much smoke at start up. Fire starters are so much easier and I think they would burn longer the kersosine as well.
I have never had a hard time starting the stove with good dry kindling. Using an accelerant to start a fire in the stove is just plain dangerous and unnecessary. It's also more expensive. Go to some local cabinetry or woodworking shops and ask if they have any scraps you can collect. Keep a couple garbage cans full in a dry place and you'll be set for winter. Or just collect carpentry scraps and split off a bunch of kindling with a hatchet. It takes all of 10 minutes to fill a box.
Oh yeah . . . almost forgot . . . I also have my home-made fire starters which are sawdust and candle wax molded into the shape of Backwoods Savage splitting wood vertically . . . they kind of look like those fancy shaped soaps only with more sawdust.
I've become a big fan of pine cones placed on dryer lint. A fun way to start a fire. Those pine cones can light up!
- a fun aside here, last year I started a fire with what I thought was a pine cone, turns out an active hornets nest. I was able to quickly close the door and burn those suckers fast. Only one escaped to be tracked down later. Amazingly, a hornets nest full of hornets burns real good! Lest you think I was drunk or something when I did this, the story behind this is that my wife collects the pine cones to help out. She uses a grabber and just picks up whatever is around. So this hornet nest was sitting in a bucket on my porch for about a week. I brought the bucket inside, reached in (wearing my gloves luckily) and threw a "pine cone" onto hot coals. I never even looked at it.
If your into making your own fire starters I had one thats very easy to make.
I got some of those safety candles at the dollar store $1 per pack for about 5 or 6 of those big candles per box.
I had a half bag of wood pellets left over.
I took a full sheet of paper towel and folded it into 1/4 its size square. Then laid it out and put a small pile wood pellets in the middle.
Then took my scissors and started snipping small thin pieces off the end of those safety candles which are big around as a nickle.
I put several pieces of the wax onto the pile of wood pellets.
Then you take all 4 corners of paper towel and pull them up to one single point to form a tear drop shape then tape it so it doesnt come apart.
Easy, fast and no messy melting of wax on the stove.
Just light the paper towel and let it melt the wax onto the wood pellets and watch it burn.
Be prepared to hide when the wife wants to know where the paper towels went.
I also use the 'dog's breakfast" of kindling. There's not shortage around my place and it's a great way to clean things up a bit.
A friend with a chainsaw mill is also a bonus. He makes cedar deck boards, and I get the trimmings peeled off the sides.
There are much more seasoned veterans here than me, but I have to admit when I see folks using kerosene it kinda makes me do a double take. I know it's a heating fuel, etc. and people deal with it all the time in heating appliances, etc. but with my luck I'd probably end up with the first Osburn 2200 in outer space. Maybe that's an exaggeration, or ignorance on my part - not "dissing" anyone, just saying it would make me (a bit of a klutz) pretty nervous.
Gel fire starter & crumpled news paper.
Well David, just think about those poor souls that have to buy their wood! Or think about those who have to drive away from home and haul it home. No matter how you go, there are always costs. In the case of Super Cedars the cost is minimal and in my case, if it allows my wife to get a fire started when I am not here, then it is money well spent. Now if you figure how much is spent per fire, wow, it is really minimal.
I also don't understand why people will buy gas without thought of the price. I've seen folks pay $.70 per gallon more than they needed and thought nothing of it. And this in a motor home and also buying extra gas for atvs. You see, you can come up with examples without looking far. Each to his own.
Kenny, it is good to see you posting again.
You might check (I should know off hand but would have to double check) to see but I think Woodstock advises against using fatwood because of the catalyst.
SuperCedar and a couple pages of the NY Times (I get "The Weekender"... Friday, Saturday & Sunday...). Started it today, like most days, with one click of the Bic
So are you guys saying you can start a fire with a Super Cedar, with out using small stuff ???
Me too they really like dry wood!
Yeah, A Super Cedar is the size of a hockey puck, you only need a quarter of one to get things going. When I use a SC I grab a couple small splits (not kindling) for the bottom of the fire with bigger splits on top of that, I have the SC on the firebox floor in the middle of the pile of wood and with a simple click of the lighter your off and running.
Well I will try them out when I get them.
I sent them my address for the free samples a couple days ago.
Looks like the Super Cedars cost a little more than ,the Rutland squares
I've traditionally used newspaper and kindling, but I recently got a "Cape Cod Firestarter" (the brick ball that soaks in a kerosene pot between fires; my Dad had one when I was a kid) and it makes it a lot less hassle.
I collected a bunch of oak chips when doing some adze work last month... a guy I know says he used to soak them in kerosene and use them as firestarters. I'm keeping the chips to start the coal stove in the bedroom. I may try soaking a couple of them to see how it works.