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Kindling & starting fires...  RSS feed

 
Tim Malacarne
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Location: South central Illinois, USA
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We have been heating with solid fuels for around 40 years, and I thought I had a pretty good handle on the whole situation..... Especially starting fires. I put the big logs into the stove first, then build a fire on top of them. Works very well. Recently, I discovered a really great way to repurpose what would otherwise be waste, AND do a better job getting the morning fire blazing. We are lucky enough to have a clothes dryer. The lint from the dryer screen is TOP NOTCH fire starter! Who'd a thunk it? The dryer lint from just one or two loads of clothes is enough. It burns clean and hot. Just put your regular kindling on top of the lint, then light the lint. Give it a try sometime! Peace, TM
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
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Location: northern California
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This lint is also wonderful practice tinder material for learning friction and spark-lit fire making...
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I've heard about the drier lint, but the best tip in your post is the top down fire lighting. Biggest on the bottom grading to smallest on the top - so easy to setup and works every time. It also gets going quicker and with less smoke.
 
John McLean
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I find that dried orange peel is an excellent fire lighter. I dry them off in the bottom warming drawer of the oven and then use then on top of the kindling . I use a few small sticks( offcuts from woodworking jobs ) with a log each side and at the back to male a small fire in the middle first .
I wonder what people think about the small fire air circulators, they cost about £80.00 so not cheap. The idea is that the fan works from the heat of the fire and pushes the warm air forward and into the room.
 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Welcome to permies John.

I wonder what people think about the small fire air circulators, they cost about £80.00 so not cheap. The idea is that the fan works from the heat of the fire and pushes the warm air forward and into the room.


I have seen those heat generated fans,and like them.
But, I too find their price a bit high (about $300 here in the U.S.)

A cheap DIY alternative is a piece of bent pipe (such as an automobile exhaust pipe).
A flat section lays on top of the wood stove, while the curved section takes the other end near to the ground.
Since heat rises, the heated air in the part laying on the stove will escape out the front hole.
This creates a vacuum in the pipe, which causes the lower end near the ground to suck in cooler air from below.
This causes a flow of cool air up & over the stove top.
After a few minutes, this system will begin 'pumping' warm air across the room.

 
Dean Thompson
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Location: Galicia, Spain
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Found that pine cones make a good fire starter as well.
 
Bob Knows
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I use a "barrel" stove for heat, and it goes out at night. That leaves me having to start a fire every day so easy and convenient are my big criteria. For some years I used tinder, shaved wood, paper, etc., to start the fire, but that was smoky and labor intensive. For a couple of years I used a small propane torch that I had for soldering pipes. That worked but I tended to set it and forget it. Not a good thing to do. So I built a propane fire starter.

I took 3 feet of 3/4 inch black iron pipe from the hardware store and drilled 6 holes about an inch apart in 1 end. I capped that end. The other end got an elbow and gas valve. I had a small propane tank (from the BBQ). I had a propane pressure regulator I had salvaged from an old travel trailer (but you can get one in many places). Then I used some hose (maybe 8 feet) from a propane weed burner to connect from the pressure regulator to the gas valve on my pipe. Now I put the business end of my starter into the stove and light it with one of those click start lighters they sell everywhere. Not the short "bic" lighter but a long snout lighter to keep your hand away. Adjust the flame and even large logs are burning with little muss or fuss. Come back and turn it off when the wood fire is going.

A small propane tank (5 gallons) lasts most of the winter.
 
Tim Malacarne
Posts: 226
Location: South central Illinois, USA
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There's more than one way to de-fur the proverbial feline, isn't there?
 
Iorweth Caradog
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I dont have a tumble dryer actually im not sad, with a wood burner why would you need one? top tip, build a clothes hanger on a pulley system, 5 lengths of 8 foot dowelling makes for a very compact 40 line in above the stove, save the planet use less electricity.... ha ha ha lets get ranting.... seriously, thanks for the tip
God idea on the gas lighter Bob, i might make one of these, itd be a good way of getting the last of the gas out of the bottles before converting them to wood burners.

Im using wood shavings, either ready made from the local panel manufacturer (got your own bag?) or from my own whittelings.

Im going to have to try the top down fire....
 
Tim Malacarne
Posts: 226
Location: South central Illinois, USA
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We dry clothes with heat from the stove too. Mostly my overalls hung on the stairway. Not so decorative, but I figure we can use the humidity...

The top down fire is the real deal, been doing it for years, seasoned wood works better....
 
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