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How Do You Guys Light A Fire?


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#1 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2012 - 02:39 PM

Heres a picture of our wood fireplace insert loaded and ready to light. I always used to start a fire by putting the kindling on the bottom and then gradually adding more fuel. I probably learned that in boy scouts. The trouble with that method is it ends up producing a lot of smoke as you open the door multiple times to get a good fire established. A few years back I learned this method which is just the opposite and I was sceptical but it really works well, at least in this type of firebox. I light it, and gradually damp it down as it builds. I can then forget about it for several hours and the house is good and warm after the wood is burned and the coals remain. On most days that is all that's required to keep the house warm all day. No opening the door and no smoke. It works well for me. Just wondering if anyone else uses this method or has some other technique that works well for them.

 

 Fireplace ready to light.jpg

Loaded and ready to light up!

 



#2 1978murray OFFLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2012 - 02:43 PM

i have a gas starter. so i just load in a ton of wood and light the gas and let it burn. if im outside it is.  put a bunch of wood down throw a ton of gas on, light a newspaper, throw on and run like hell


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#3 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2012 - 02:53 PM

In the old house we use to have a free standing wood stove that had a canopy over it that was connected to an air handler which pumped warm air through out the house.  I use to start a fire the first way you described but then I started to get lazy and we moved to our current house that just has a fire place. Now what I do is put a fire starter log on the bottom and then put wood on top and light the fire starter.  Works quite well for me.



#4 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2012 - 02:58 PM

I find the method above starts well and slowly builds. The smoke used to be a real problem as my wife has asthma and one year I got a respiratory infection that just wouldn't go away. It turned out the wood smoke was a big contributing factor for both of us. 



#5 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2012 - 03:02 PM

i have a gas starter. so i just load in a ton of wood and light the gas and let it burn. if im outside it is.  put a bunch of wood down throw a ton of gas on, light a newspaper, throw on and run like hell

One time when I was a kid we were skating at the local pond and someone wanted to re start the fire. One of the guys had a glass bottle full of gas, opened the top and tossed some on the fire. The fire came right back up the liquid gas to the bottle and he wasn't long dropping it. That little episode taught me to have a lot of respect for gas!



#6 robert_p43 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2012 - 03:08 PM

I have a small jotul 602 so I put in some paper, them a few pieces of kindling and light.  A few minutes later, it is burning hot and I add some larger pieces.  This time of year, we don't need to light it much.  In the morning, we empty the ashes in the front, then pulll the coals to the front and put the wood on and it catches fine.  That's about the same thing I do whenever I need to add wood too.

If it were smoking like you say, then light a crumpled up piece of newspaper and toss it right on top.  That will burn quickly sending heat up the flue and cause draft to pull smoke up.



#7 Amigatec OFFLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2012 - 03:12 PM

i have a gas starter. so i just load in a ton of wood and light the gas and let it burn. if im outside it is.  put a bunch of wood down throw a ton of gas on, light a newspaper, throw on and run like hell


I have gas as well, but I try not to get to close to an open flame.
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#8 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2012 - 03:14 PM

One time when I was a kid we were skating at the local pond and someone wanted to re start the fire. One of the guys had a glass bottle full of gas, opened the top and tossed some on the fire. The fire came right back up the liquid gas to the bottle and he wasn't long dropping it. That little episode taught me to have a lot of respect for gas!

 

I've seen this happen all to often.  When I was stationed in Rota Spain our coffee mess use to sponsor a pig roast every year.  We would buy a pig have the vet inspect it then have it slaughter and dressed out.  The night before we would go out to one of the picnic areas (there would be about 8-10 of us) start a fire and build up the hot coal's.  Since we were going to be out there basically all night we had to have some refreshment and we usually had quite a few cases of beer and other adult beverages.  Some of the guys would get a head start on the rest of us so you can imagine what would happen.  I think the worse one was when one guy through a small coffee can of gas on the fire and he got some on his shoe and it caught fire.  We got it out with out any harm but it scared the heck out us.



#9 oldtimer OFFLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2012 - 03:14 PM

I have a small jotul 602 so I put in some paper, them a few pieces of kindling and light.  A few minutes later, it is burning hot and I add some larger pieces.  This time of year, we don't need to light it much.  In the morning, we empty the ashes in the front, then pulll the coals to the front and put the wood on and it catches fine.  That's about the same thing I do whenever I need to add wood too.

If it were smoking like you say, then light a crumpled up piece of newspaper and toss it right on top.  That will burn quickly sending heat up the flue and cause draft to pull smoke up.

 

 

Yup.  I always burned paper and small kindling for a while to get the flue heated enough to cause an updraft. 



#10 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2012 - 04:59 PM

I use a match or my lighter myself. That usually starts a fire. :bigrofl:



#11 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2012 - 05:08 PM

I have never seen that method Brian.  I'm glad it works for you, especially since your wife has trouble.

 

We have an insert at camp.  I use the traditional method.  I put a 3x3 or so piece of birch bark down, kindling and such on top and light.  Usually I add larger pieces after ten minutes and then about 20 minutes later, the size I want to burn.  It does produce smoke in the house.  My fiance comments sometimes, but I try to keep the wood for the next step near the insert door and little smoke gets out.  I try to just use one match too.  It's a boy scout thing.


Edited by daytime dave, December 26, 2012 - 05:08 PM.

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#12 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2012 - 05:22 PM

I have a coal stove and that can be a pain to start. I use a bought fire starter that helps alot. For my outside fires, two cycle gas works wonders. The oil mix gets rid of the flash point and burns hot.



#13 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2012 - 05:24 PM

Try this sometime Dave. It is great if you need a long burn and don't want to keep tending the fire. You want to keep the fiance happy!



#14 KC9KAS OFFLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2012 - 05:31 PM

Years ago, we took all the broken crayons around here and melted them down, poured the liquid into a paper cup-cake cup with a wick and presto, we had fire starters! These were used for campfires, not wood burner fires.

 

I too have used the gasoline method, but outside only.....I guess that is the "firefighter" in me! :bigrofl:

Hey, you have to know how to start 'em as well as put 'em out! :dancingbanana:



#15 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted December 26, 2012 - 05:47 PM

We used to use a wood stove daily when I was growing up.  We started that with dried corn cobs, (from the farm) and some diesel, then put smaller wood, but not kindling, on top of that.  The corncobs did a great job of soaking up the diesel, and actually produced coals to keep the heat going.  That was enough to start the larger pieces of wood.

When I'm camping, I'll lay two larger pieces of wood down, put paper in the middle, then build a "roof" with kindling over the paper.  After there are a few flames, I'll start putting larger split wood on, then start building up levels crosswise.






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