Lighting a Woodburner.

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  • Lighting a Woodburner.
  • damo2576
    Member

    How do you do it? Not quite figured it out yet, either seems to burn out too quick or not get going! I’ve been doing the balls of news paper, kindling, then logs. Not sure how long to leave kindling before chucking a log on? Or how its meant to behave then?
    Help me get warm.

    qwerty
    Member

    [devil] You need about a litre of petrol. [/devil]

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    open both vents
    light firelighter,
    chuck some kindling on,
    chuck some logs on
    close bottom vent once its going.

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    Balls of paper, morning sticks (1cm sqr sticks), three small logs.

    Lay two small logs parallel about 3 inches appart.

    Put newspaper balls in between.

    Lay sticks over the top, 10 or so should do it.

    Put another smaller log on top.

    Light.

    Or if in a rush and no small sticks, use a nice big lump of firelighter and 3 or 4 small logs.

    sharkbait
    Member

    Upside down method:
    open both vents
    Couple of logs on the bottom
    then firelighter on top of logs
    then kindling
    (optional) then a small log
    light firelighter
    close bottom vent once its going

    Ive used this method for years and it’s fab.

    trail_rat
    Member

    firelighters – is your kindling wet ?

    some newspaper some kindling – let it take

    then log.

    most folk pile on too much wood too soon.

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    you want a good flame bed being sucked up through your dry logs.

    Draw is important.

    Clear a patch of ash in the middle so that there is a clear air flow hole up through the fire seat.

    I usually put a short log at each end of the firebox like bookends.
    3 loosely scrunched balls of paper, 3 or 4 kindling sticks (c.1″ diameter) then one dry thinnish log over the top.

    The flames should lick and light fast through dry paper (beware the lilly-livered liberal wetness that is the Guardian – rubbish for fire starting. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and with a good draw pull past the kindling and take the log too in less than 2mins. Once the fire has taken the top log you may want to make sure it is knocked down on to the fire be and then add some more.

    Leave vents fully open for at least 15 minutes if not longer to get the stove properly hot (150+ deg C, although anywhere between 120-300deg is OK during the burn) and ember/coals to start forming. Shut down some of the air until you get a hot laminar flame.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    My flue is all external and I have found when it is really cold I need to use a firelighter to quickly get heat up the flue, otherwise the coldness seems to ‘block’ the smoke and it just pours out of the vents.

    I leave the door ajar for 5 mins or so until I have a good inferno going using quite a lot of kindling then chuck a log on before closing the door.

    rondo101
    Member

    – don’t bother with newspaper
    – build a rectangular jenga tower (4 high) out of (dry) kindling around a firelighter
    – light & leave door open slightly to get it going, then close door & ensure top vent fully open
    – Once it’s roaring, add (dry) logs.

    You basically want a nice bed of embers from the kindling on which to put the logs ime. Seems to work for me.

    McHamish
    Member

    [devil] You need about a litre of petrol. [/devil]

    Yup…you need to soak everything in petrol. Also empty a can of lighter gas into the stove…once the can is empty just bung it into the stove.

    sharkbait
    Member

    My flue is all external and I have found when it is really cold I need to use a firelighter to quickly get heat up the flue, otherwise the coldness seems to ‘block’ the smoke and it just pours out of the vent

    Hairdrier/hot air gun into the top of the stove for a few mins will help that.
    Stoner – you’re nearly there, just put your ‘bookends’ right under the paper, works lovely.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Firelighters and dry kindling… . It should be a fairly simple affair after that.

    trail_rat
    Member

    equally valid – dont bother with the smelly firelighters.

    5thElefant
    Member

    Open both vents.

    Fireligher.

    Jenga tower of kinding filling the log burner.

    Paper ball on top.

    When it’s burnt down to a bed of embers add a couple of small logs. Close bottom vent.

    Repeat with bigger log(s). Adjust top vent.

    cbmotorsport
    Member

    It’s no different to lighting any fire, just make sure your vents are allowing enough draw to get your kindling blazing then feed in a small log or two and gradually feed it up, reducing the air supply until you ge the desired burn rate/heat output.

    konagirl
    Member

    The upside down method works quick well for us, if we’re having trouble. Worth investing in a flue thermometer if you are not sure how well its burning. We struggle a bit in high winds because it draws too quick and doesn’t allow the fire to get hot, we can tell on the flue thermometer and close down the lower vents in that case. Though as everyone has said, ideally you want to leave all of the vents open for a good while to get a good fire going. Also having dry wood and a bed of ash in the grate will help.

    mogrim
    Member

    Firelighter at the bottom, kindling on top, light, add logs. Close door.

    Close bottom vent when it’s going properly.

    If you’re feeling the need to be manly you can use dried grass, a flint and a bit of steel. But I’d stick to firelighters and a match.

    uwe-r
    Member

    Draw / air flow and the size of the kindling is the key.

    Paper at the bottom then arrange the kindling so air can flow in through the lower vents and burn up through the kindling. Too much will kill the air flow!

    Tiny kindling just burns and retains no heat, larger logs take a while to get going, you need the right mix of stuff in the middle ground, plenty of small sticks of 1cm diameter and less that will catch off the paper but also burn long enough to light the larger logs. Anything damp will kill it.

    Premier Icon mucker
    Subscriber

    All of the above, BUT, do not empty the ashes out of the firebox, wood burns best sitting on a nice bed of ashes.
    You should only be emptying the ashes from the ashpan when its absolutely full.
    Also the best way to clean the glass is with a dampened piece of kitchen towel dipped in the soft ashes, scour over the glass then buff with a clean piece, job done.

    trail_rat
    Member

    cleaning glass – thats reserved for those not burning hot isnt it.

    trail_rat
    Member

    also RE ashes – with a multifuel grate in theres an optimim ammount of ashes – too much ash and it fire struggles to get up to temperature.

    too few and it burns through the wood like its going out of fashion.

    Legoman
    Member

    Top tip from our stove installer – burn a couple of newspaper balls before you start with the kindling. Warms the stove and flue slightly to get the airflow started.

    soobalias
    Member

    firelighters are kindling soaked in parafin

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Subscriber

    – don’t bother with newspaper
    – build a rectangular jenga tower (4 high) out of (dry) kindling around a firelighter
    – light & leave door open slightly to get it going, then close door & ensure top vent fully open
    – Once it’s roaring, add (dry) logs.

    You basically want a nice bed of embers from the kindling on which to put the logs ime. Seems to work for me.

    POSTED 1 HOUR AGO # REPORT-POST

    Old newspapers are free, firelighters ain’t. I’ll stick wi newspaper. I discovered this year that the phone book, yellow pages and Thomson local are very good alternatives to newspaper, and otherwise useless anyway!.

    no_eyed_deer
    Member

    [environmentalterrorist] In theory, old bits of plastic waste would really make the thing go off like a rocket, not that I would recommend doing such a thing [/environmentalterrorist]

    Premier Icon bedmaker
    Subscriber

    – use properly dry wood
    – use properly dry wood
    – use properly dry wood

    Then any of the methods above, they’ll all work. I chuck in a log, firelighter on top, jenga of half a dozen chunky (think 2×2) kindlings.

    oliverd1981
    Member

    +1 for leaving the door slightly ajar until a decent flame is established, although with drier logs and the proper vent configuration this isn’t as necessary.

    jonah tonto
    Member

    you may not have enough ash. ash acts as a catalyst to fire, stop cleaning your fire out. if you have half decent firewood you should only clean it out once a month
    (environmentalterrorist) if your really struggling, dont use plastic or petrol, it just flashes and goes out, use strips of old inner tubes

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    Depends to some extent what stove you have.

    Ours – scrunched newspaper, kindling on top, 1 small ish log on top.

    Light, leave door open, but closed ie slight draw through the door. Leave for 5 mins until roaring fire, bung another log on.

    Trick on ours is not to overfill the burner with wood at first.

    spooky_b329
    Member

    I struggled at first, newspaper was slow to catch and would go out, my kindling was too big so took ages, and couldn’t get the stove thermometer in the right range.

    We only get one free paper so then I tried shredded paper, all the bank docs etc that the recycling don’t really like. One page of scrunched newspaper with a big handful of sheddings, two big bits of kindling either side with small bits bridged over.

    Chuck in the match (reliably down to one match now, compared to about 20 previously) and if it goes out, the paper smoulders until it starts suffocating, then crack open the door momentarily for air and woomph, up it goes. Once the kindling is going well I knock it down with a stick or the toddler to fill the gap left by the paper and start adding logs.

    Using this method I can have the flue up to temp within 15-20 minutes, once it’s burnt a half decent log it will take whatever unsplittable hunk of log I can jiggle in through the door ๐Ÿ™‚

    Edit: I don’t have a toddler before anyone calls the police, before auto-correct it said riddler ๐Ÿ™‚

    russ295
    Member

    I fold a square of whatever paper, lay it on ashes with a couple of fire lighters, stops them from sinking into the ashes.
    Light then add about 8 bits of kindling, vents open and door slightly ajar.
    Couple of mins, add a few bits of softwood, still leaving everything open for a few minutes.
    Add logs.

    Premier Icon househusband
    Subscriber

    Great at getting the stove going; use them in conjunction with some scrap wood from the workshop at school – I am lucky to have a reasonable supply of pine and canary white wood!

    ski
    Member

    I must get round to making that video on how I start mine ๐Ÿ˜‰

    sharkbait
    Member

    There’s a lot of over-complicated methods going on here and it sounds like a light faf. Maybe I will make a video, ‘cos the upside down method is simply the best (as recommended by Morso)

    jimification
    Member

    Upside down method works well but doesn’t require fettling and the fettling is one of the joys of a proper fire to me. For that reason I use boy-scout method (kindling pyramid, then logs on top once it’s going).

    Personally I can’t stand the stink of firelighters and it seems a waste to consume them when you could use a waste product like newspaper instead. I find just lightly scrunching the newspaper works best – compress it too much and it can be a bit reluctant.

    Vents fully open and door very slightly ajar helps to give a nice draft through the burner to get it started.

    grum
    Member

    Firelighters? How embarrassing for you all to have to resort to such uncouth methods. ๐Ÿ™‚

    firelighters – is your kindling wet ?

    some newspaper some kindling – let it take

    then log.

    most folk pile on too much wood too soon.

    +1

    damo2576
    Member

    How do you tell when flue is up to temp?

    trail_rat
    Member

    by referring to the flue pipe thermometer

    mrchrispy
    Member

    This is how we roll in chrispy towers

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    Bloody hell this is getting complicated.

    Open both vents.
    Twist some sheets of newspaper.
    Place some kindling on top – some small, some a bit thicker.
    Match and light the paper.
    Once the wood is well aflame, add some small logs.
    Once those go up, add bigger logs.
    Once those are going well, knock back the vents.
    Enjoy.

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