Best way to light a log burner?

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  • Best way to light a log burner?
  • Seeing as you’re all log burner experts on here, is there a definitive lighting method that never fails? Also is it best to leave some ash in the bottom or start with a clean slate?

    nbt
    Member

    if you’re burning wood then a bed of ash is best

    Personally I start with 4 pieces of newspaper scrunched up, then add a pile of kindling on top. I use about 8 pieces stacked alternately in 4 layers -like jenga with the middle bits removed. This means that when I light the paper, the airflow gets between the kindling and gets it going. Add a few smaller pieces of wood – maybe take a log and chop it into several bits – to get the fire going nice and hot. Shut the bottom vent fairly soo, then when it’s up to temperature (400 or so), close the top vent *most* of the way

    timber
    Member

    Diesel soaked wood chip from the generator house floor seemed to light anything.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
    Subscriber

    A single piece of paper scrunched up. Kindling piled like a teepee around the paper. Once the paper is lit, give enough air for wood to take, then add ever so slightly increasing bits of wood until you have proper log pieces.

    Never fails. One match.

    I da man.

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    Bed of ash. Fire lighter. Dry kindling. Dry logs.

    Rich_s
    Member

    Some Vaseline on the newspaper works a treat to keep it going in the beginning.

    grum
    Member

    What nbt said. As long as the kindling is properly dry it should be easy.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    newspaper, kindling, logs and fire lighters. Life is to short to be pissing around with arty methods.

    grum
    Member

    Life is too short to be messing about with horrible paraffin-soaked firefighters.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Why do people see the need for fire lighters, must be doing something wrong!

    All stoves work slightly differently

    Ours, bit of ash, bed of scrunched newspaper, chuck kindling on top, place log on top, light, leave door open about 1cm. Bingo!

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqhUvtZpKN0[/video]

    Little bit of petrol is all you need.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    FunkyDunc – Member
    Why do people see the need for fire lighters, must be doing something wrong!

    Nope doing it all right, just some days no everything is properly dry or things are going will etc. having lived with fires all my life I can do it without but I had a box of firelighters there just to make sure.

    sharkbait
    Member

    Can’t be bothered typing it all again, but search for upside down method – using this allows you to light it and walk away without having to keep adding bits if wood.
    Works every time.

    johndoh
    Member

    Depends entirely on the stove and the installation.

    WillH
    Member

    This

    A single piece of paper scrunched up. Kindling piled like a teepee around the paper. Once the paper is lit, give enough air for wood to take, then add ever so slightly increasing bits of wood until you have proper log pieces.

    and this

    Ours, bit of ash, bed of scrunched newspaper, chuck kindling on top, place log on top, light, leave door open about 1cm. Bingo!

    both work for me. The key difference is that with the first you have to keep tending it, adding bigger bits of kindling, then bits of wood, then logs. With the second you spend maybe 30 seconds building it, light it and walk away. Around fifteen minutes later (time will vary according to your stove, wood type etc. etc.) the log will be roaring away merrily, well on the way to becoming a bed of embers and you can just chuck more logs on top.

    If I have the time I much prefer the first method, as I like playing with fire 😈 but if I’ve just got in from work and need the fire on asap and also need to get tea on or something, the ‘top down’ method, as it is known, wins every time.

    Firelighter, jenga tower of kindling, smallish log on top, one match to get the firelighter going, walk away, add larger logs after 10 mins.

    OTOH, our kitchen range usually involves fannying about with burning newspaper to warm the chimney up first, that is if we want to avoid a smoke filled kitchen, as it has a habit of working in reverse. And its a sod until really well going it will need a bit of tending.

    Sometimes if it’s been cold and not been lit for a while . Put a scrunched up double page ontop of the kindling stack to get a draw going.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Im a big fan of not using firelighters and they really are not needed. For most of the time( almost all) how ever if the winds blowing an easterly my fires a pig to start. Mrs t-r has to resort to fire lighters- i just chuck in a couple more sheets of paper.

    core
    Member

    Multi fuel stove – just got a clearview to replace the old villager, it’s a doodle, the draw is unreal, makes a huge difference having the vent from below, fire is much cleaner buring, kicks more heat out & more efficient!

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Why do people see the need for fire lighters, must be doing something wrong!

    We don’t get a newspaper – fire lighters are cheap and work.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Ours lights so easily it’s unreal!
    Paper, chuck some sticks on top, 2-3 logs. One match, leave the door open 1/2inch and WOOOOOOOSH!!! It goes like the afterburner on a jet fighter!

    Premier Icon Harry_the_Spider
    Subscriber

    3 or 4 balls of scrunched up paper.
    Wig Wam of kindling (I’ve got a stash of old skirting board broken into 1” x 6” strips).
    Air vents fully open.
    Ash drawer slightly open for exra boost.
    Smaller bits of log on standby for when it is going.

    This works for me. I have found that having the ash drawer open and shutting the door ASAP gets the fire roaring very quickly and minimises the smoke ingress into the house.

    Light paper.
    Shut door.
    Close ash drawer once the kindling takes hold.
    Add small bits of log.
    Part close side vents once small bits of log are going.
    Sit back and bask in the glow of your inner manliness.

    natrix
    Member

    burning newspaper to warm the chimney

    Depending on the stove, IME this is often required.

    richc
    Member

    white spirits

    Premier Icon maxray
    Subscriber

    We don’t buy a newspaper either but it was added justification for me buying Motorcycle News each week 😉

    Premier Icon Drac
    Subscriber

    The Peterpoddy method works for me too.

    smiffy
    Member

    I can’t bring myself to buy firelighters, but old candle stubs work well, as does newspaper soaked in an kind of oil or fat (cooking waste). If I want to light really quickly I just play a plumbers blowlamp onto a heap of scrap wood and it’s off in seconds. Leave the door closed but all low vents open until the flue is warm to avoid any blowback.

    Strips of birch bark, wet or dry, work well as firelighters. They may smoke a bit, and you should always gather responsibly – curly pieces of peeling bark – but it works, and is a fact worth knowing.

    sharkbait
    Member

    For those that use the ‘standard’ [peterpoddy] method, PLEEEEEASE try putting two logs in the bottom first (with a very slight gap inbetween) and then carry on as normal.
    You’ll find that the burning paper/kindling will start the bottom logs burning as well so you don’t run the risk of the fire going out or need to hang around adding wood when the kindling is burnt.

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