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Come and talk to me about your WOOD BURNING STOVE... how do you light a lasting fire etc

(41 Posts)
JamButties Sun 20-Sep-09 21:17:38

...mine arrives this week (am ridiculously excited!) So what do I need to get ready? I have a load of seasoned logs being delivered sometime next week. Do I need kindling, coal, poker, log basket this sort or this sort?
Oh and of course HOW do you light a good fire not one with paper that flares and then dies!

Is it wrong to be hoping for cold weather this week? grin

Morosky Sun 20-Sep-09 21:21:48

I am watching with interest, as a woodburner virgin

preggersplayspop Sun 20-Sep-09 21:22:27

I use newspaper scrunched into balls or twistie things, then kindling on top of that to start the fire. Once the kindling gets going I put a log on then keep feeding it. I don't have a log basket (not found one I really want) so just store the logs in the bag they came in. Have a bucket for kindling which is quite nice though.

I should have a poker but don't and just use a metal thingy that came with the fire to give it a poke now and then.

I think my chimney sweep said it was quite good to get coal fires done now and then to keep the chimney running clear.

I was tempted to start mine up this week but them the darned weather turned warm again!

preggersplayspop Sun 20-Sep-09 21:24:01

I'm no expert btw, had my fair share of fires that have just fizzled out. Its all part of the fun though!

AMumInScotland Sun 20-Sep-09 21:24:40

I don't know anything about coal - we have a woodburner which would theoretically also do coal, but all I know is that it's "different" from setting one for wood.

You need some old newspaper - not glossy magazines - take each sheet or half sheet and scrunch it up into a loose ball with your hands. Make a layer of this all over the bottom. Then add a thin layer of kindling - chunks of bark, twigs, pine cones. Then a couple of logs.

You'll need to look at your instructions about air vents - normally you want the air vents open while it's getting going, then you gradually close them.

Apply match, close door - watch!

By the time the paper has burnt up, the kindling will have caught light. By the time the kindling has burnt up, the logs will have caught light.

Morosky Sun 20-Sep-09 21:25:37

We lit ours last week and were amazed at the heat it through out. We used the same method as preggers. I love our wood basket

JamButties Sun 20-Sep-09 21:26:54

Love the name preggers. Aah I'd forgotten about twisty newpaper things, it's years since dh and I have had an open fire. Don't think you are entering into the spirit of awe and wonder with your 'keeping logs in the bag they came in'...in a minute you'll be saying you don't huddle round it as a family warbling carols on Christmas eve FGS! wink

AMumInScotland Sun 20-Sep-09 21:27:17

I don't have a poker, but a sort of metal prodder which came with it. I also have serious leather stove gloves, which make it easy to add logs once it's hot.

We've got a lovely cast iron log box which matches the stove, but anything practical to keep the logs in one place is fine.

JamButties Sun 20-Sep-09 21:28:29

Morosky - link to wood basket please, it's like stove related porn to me at the moment grin

Where do you all get your kindling?

Restrainedrabbit Sun 20-Sep-09 21:29:53

Ok, we are verterans grin

You need to make sure you burn your fire hot for at least twenty minutes - so all vents open. Only use smokeless coal as the chimney is narrow and will soot up quickly which could cause a fire - smokeless nuggets for burners burn clean and much hotter. Likewise don't burn anything that has paint/varnish etc residues on it as it will leave a deposit on your chimney.

To light a good fire you need air and dry wood so balls of newspaper with a pyramid (IYSWIM) of kindling i.e. twigs, pine cones etc and then a small log on top. Light the paper in different places and watch it go!

AMumInScotland Sun 20-Sep-09 21:29:58

Most of my kindling is chunks of bark which have dropped off the logs while they're "aging", but it depends if you're going to be buying nice neat precut logs, or just end up with a garden full of chunks of dead tree.

preggersplayspop Sun 20-Sep-09 21:36:33

OK, well to tell you the truth I did find a log basket I really wanted this one, but I think my DH was unhappy with the idea of buying it for me for Christmas last year (and I really did want it!) so he procrastinated so long it was sold out by the time he came to order it!!

Remember to get your chimney swept every year, just had my sweep round this weekend and he told me any insurance would be invalid if you don't have it done annually.

Don't do what I did and shove bits of magazine in the fire and then wonder why it doesn't smell lovely and smokey but plasticky and acrid and the magazine pages are glowing green.

JamButties Sun 20-Sep-09 21:37:36

Logs are coming from local bloke who has seasoned them after coppicing last year so not expecting beautiful equal sized logs, more like knobbly with a few bonus spiders ones.

So bits of bark for kindling then? We don't have any twigs (that aren't going to be soaking) or pine cones knocking around here.

RR - where do you get these smokeless nuggets?

Morosky Sun 20-Sep-09 21:38:05

Our wood basket was in the house when we arrived, have a matching one in the TV room where we have an open fire.

We live on an estate so get kindling and logs from there. Could also get lots from the garde or whe walking.

I do the kindling pyramid which amuses dp no end

JamButties Sun 20-Sep-09 21:38:46

OoOOh, that is nice preggers smile

JamButties Sun 20-Sep-09 21:39:44

We live in the country and have woods next door to us but I thought twigs from there would be too damp - not dried out enough?

preggersplayspop Sun 20-Sep-09 21:45:03

I know, gorgeous isn't it? I think I better order it early this year having now posted that link grin

I buy kindling from the petrol station, its not pretty and probably not cheap but its always dry. Nothing worse than trying to light your fire with logs that are hissing.

JamButties Sun 20-Sep-09 21:51:42

I've just mentioned buying a log basket to dh. He said 'why don't we just use the basket that's not being used in the garage (which is a retangular seagrass basket with no handles)' - he's just not getting into the spirit of this, curse his thrifty sensible naturegrin

Restrainedrabbit Sun 20-Sep-09 21:55:00

Can get them from coal merchants or some petrol stations.

GrendelsMum Mon 21-Sep-09 09:49:43

A good rule to remember when lighting your fire is the metaphor of the arm - you start with twigs the width of your little finger, and then then you move on to twigs the width of your thumb, and then to little logs the width of your wrist, and then to big logs the width of your upper arm.

And don't feel bad if it takes you a few weeks to learn how to light a fire that lasts - once you've got the knack, it will be easy.

frostyfingers Mon 21-Sep-09 16:23:36

Log basket looks nice, but can you really carry it like that when it's full. I need two hands to carry ours. Experiment with the vents - open all at once to get it going, then gradually reduce them to keep a steady fire.

if you can get hold of lots of newspaper cheaply - get one of these

they will burn for hours and hours

Aniyan Mon 21-Sep-09 16:32:46

I got some of this magic kindling once and it was fantastic - but a bit of a luxury and I'm not too sure how sustainable it is. Now I use newspaper and kindling or, if it's been a long day and I just want a fire that WORKS - I use....... firelighters blush

TheMightyToosh Mon 21-Sep-09 16:34:50

Firelighters on the bottom.

Little teepee shape of kindling.

Let that get going then put bigger wood on the top - but be careful not to smother it.

If you can use coal in it, a layer of coal is good before you put the big logs on as this carries on smouldering even when the logs have burnt out, so you can put another log on and it will re-light itself, IYSWIM.

Aniyan Mon 21-Sep-09 16:41:04

OnlyWantsOneDoesntLikeDM - we've just bought one of those and have a vat of shredded paper from the office soaking outside at the moment!

Can I ask - how long do you leave the bricks to dry before you use them?

Sorry for hijack.

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