Please help me with fire lighting

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  • Please help me with fire lighting
  • bearGrease

    +1 for the upside down method.


    As nedrapier said, upside down works for us.

    Any fire is a mixture of fuel and air.
    One log on top of the kindling is just a solid lump of fuel with air round the sides. You need several pieces of wood with air gaps between.

    18% may be a bit damp too.
    I’ve only recently bought a cheap moisture meter as a bit of a novelty.
    The stuff on my log pile I consider as best quality is ~12%. Anything over ~20% feels wet and is definitely harder to light.


    This is how i build my fire for lighting:

    Logs of about 1 to 1 1/2 diameter
    Balls of newspaper

    This is how i layer it at the start. I always put the 1″ logs and coal on at the start as the newspaper and kindling burns upwards through the coal and gets it going. Never had any problems and can get my open fire to 450 degrees!


    Firelighters are for girls.

    Hope this helps.


    balls of newspaper
    jenga tower of kindling
    topped with a split log

    once that were all going, I used to pop on a couple of full sized logs

    worked nicely in our old (very) small stove, it had excellent draw and would be going within a couple of minutes of lighting


    Not read all of this but top vent open, bottom one closed.

    Never have bottom vent open when burning wood.

    If it starts to struggle, put some scrunched up newspaper on the top of the logs and it will help draw up the flames again.

    BigJohn – Do you know of a good place around Derby to get wood from?
    I’m based in Derby, bought a big pallet of kiln dried wood a month back and the stuff is simply terrible! Doesn’t light/burn very well and low heat derived from it too. Top tips of where to get wood from would be very appreciated

    >Firelighters are for girls.<


    You need to learn how to roll your balls………of newspaper.

    Once you get that sorted things will become a lot easier. This does of course mean you need to source a steady supply of Telegraphs (or the Herald if you are in Scotland 😉

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    Do you know of a good place around Derby to get wood from?

    No. It was a hugely bad taste topical question.





    Upside down method:

    Two dry logs on the bottom
    Firelighter/paper in
    Largish heap of kindling on top of firelighter/paper
    Small log on top of everything
    [add a couple of lumps of coal if you feel like it]
    Vent open, door ajar a tiny bit, cue fierce burning of kindling
    Allow kindling to burn and watch with amazement as the bottom logs start burning, then plonk on another log when there’s room
    Close door, leave vent fully open

    See above for best method 🙂


    I think using split logs can be important at the start. The heartwood may be drier and more calorific than the sapwood, and the bark may slow down the heat getting through.

    Premier Icon franksinatra

    It worked! Used twice as much kindling as before, then small split logs. Got it nice and hot before adding large logs. Now burning nicely bang in the middle of ideal temp range on the thermometer


    Will try the upside down method tomorrow.


    Will try the upside down method tomorrow.

    Let us know what you think

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