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We've recently got a wood burning stove for the house and have been burning a mix of soft and hard woods. Got a delivery last week of birch and it's great- I peel loose bits of bark off it and use that as firelighters/tinder, and it's been working really well. Birch isn't as long lasting a burn as oak or ash but it lights fairly quickly and burns for a reasonable amount of time, loads longer than softwood.

I had been building the fire with tinder, kindling and then logs (from bottom to top) but this video had another way to do it, and it works really well :

He makes little fire starters for the first couple of minutes, as I said though I've been using the bark from the birch logs for that, the "upside down" fire building starts at 2 mins 20.

Another tip I read was on cleaning the stove glass, and most people will already know this but using wet but if paper with wood ash on it cleans it quickly and without risking scratching the glass. 

If anyone else has any hints and tips maybe they could add them below, as I say I'm new to this woodburning thing. 

Edited by Carl Fimble
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12 minutes ago, Carl Fimble said:

 

Another tip I read was on cleaning the stove glass, and most people will already know this but using wet but if paper with wood ash on it cleans it quickly and without risking scratching the glass. 

 

You can do that on the inside of your oven door too.
 

 

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21 minutes ago, Carl Fimble said:

We've recently got a wood burning stove for the house and have been burning a mix of soft and hard woods. Got a delivery last week of birch and it's great- I peel loose bits of bark off it and use that as firelighters/tinder, and it's been working really well. Birch isn't as long lasting a burn as oak or ash but it lights fairly quickly and burns for a reasonable amount of time, loads longer than softwood.

I had been building the fire with tinder, kindling and then logs (from bottom to top) but this video had another way to do it, and it works really well :

He makes little fire starters for the first couple of minutes, as I said though I've been using the bark from the birch logs for that, the "upside down" fire building starts at 2 mins 20.

Another tip I read was on cleaning the stove glass, and most people will already know this but using wet but if paper with wood ash on it cleans it quickly and without risking scratching the glass. 

If anyone else has any hints and tips maybe they could add them below, as I say I'm new to this woodburning thing. 

 

Yep, that is a better way to start a camp fire also if you are able to use big pieces of wood / logs.

He uses candle wax on what appears to be stuff from a dyson to make a fire starter I assume. (I just scrolled quickly through.) Vaseline would be easier and cheaper IMPO - have a look at some of the videos below:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=fire+starter+vaseline

 

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Kiln dried hard wood is getting pricey round here. It has doubled in the last five years. I've stopped buying regular logs after my mate suggested heatlogs. They are way better. I used 'Hotties' heatlogs for a few years and they are good. But this year I got some Pini Kay ones and they are even better. Only need five of them for an evening, much hotter, burn for ages and hardly any ash.

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1 minute ago, Bandit Banzai said:

Kiln dried hard wood is getting pricey round here. It has doubled in the last five years. I've stopped buying regular logs after my mate suggested heatlogs. They are way better. I used 'Hotties' heatlogs for a few years and they are good. But this year I got some Pini Kay ones and they are even better. Only need five of them for an evening, much hotter, burn for ages and hardly any ash.

cost?

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10 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

 

Yep, that is a better way to start a camp fire also if you are able to use big pieces of wood / logs.

He uses candle wax on what appears to be stuff from a dyson to make a fire starter I assume. (I just scrolled quickly through.) Vaseline would be easier and cheaper IMPO - have a look at some of the videos below:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=fire+starter+vaseline

 

I think he's using little bits of wax from used candles though, cheap (fake) Vaseline was available in Poundland, back when we were allowed to go to shops.

Using the bark of these birch logs I have had worked really well though, all I need now is birch logs and I chop them into kindling and peel of lose bark for firelighters/tinder. 

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1 minute ago, sarahbell said:

cost?

At this time of year - not much cheaper than kiln dried logs. Plus my supplier reckons with all the working from home going on the demand has gone through the roof. I always buy them in the middle of summer. The nice thing is they are supplied on a pallet so the delivery guy just wheels them straight into the garage.

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12 minutes ago, Bandit Banzai said:

I never have to clean the glass on mine. It's got an airwash vent. Once it's going I close the two lower vents fully and control the burn with the top vent which sets the air flow across the glass. It keeps it clean.

I might try that, I only really ever use the lower vents, aside from opening the top one for the secondary burn. 

I think mine is supposed to have that air wash thing but it doesn't work, though maybe it will if I try your technique. 

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43 minutes ago, Carl Fimble said:

We've recently got a wood burning stove for the house and have been burning a mix of soft and hard woods. Got a delivery last week of birch and it's great- I peel loose bits of bark off it and use that as firelighters/tinder, and it's been working really well. Birch isn't as long lasting a burn as oak or ash but it lights fairly quickly and burns for a reasonable amount of time, loads longer than softwood.

I had been building the fire with tinder, kindling and then logs (from bottom to top) but this video had another way to do it, and it works really well :

He makes little fire starters for the first couple of minutes, as I said though I've been using the bark from the birch logs for that, the "upside down" fire building starts at 2 mins 20.

Another tip I read was on cleaning the stove glass, and most people will already know this but using wet but if paper with wood ash on it cleans it quickly and without risking scratching the glass. 

If anyone else has any hints and tips maybe they could add them below, as I say I'm new to this woodburning thing. 

Birch is top wood stove fuel. 

Best mix is get it going with birch so its nice and hot and then add a slower birch dense fuel if available - Ash and Oak the best. 

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1 hour ago, Carl Fimble said:

We've recently got a wood burning stove for the house and have been burning a mix of soft and hard woods. Got a delivery last week of birch and it's great- I peel loose bits of bark off it and use that as firelighters/tinder, and it's been working really well. Birch isn't as long lasting a burn as oak or ash but it lights fairly quickly and burns for a reasonable amount of time, loads longer than softwood.

I had been building the fire with tinder, kindling and then logs (from bottom to top) but this video had another way to do it, and it works really well :

He makes little fire starters for the first couple of minutes, as I said though I've been using the bark from the birch logs for that, the "upside down" fire building starts at 2 mins 20.

Another tip I read was on cleaning the stove glass, and most people will already know this but using wet but if paper with wood ash on it cleans it quickly and without risking scratching the glass. 

If anyone else has any hints and tips maybe they could add them below, as I say I'm new to this woodburning thing. 

It's taken me years to perfect my method.

My fire starter is an empty bog roll (one end pushed in to provide an opening where fire can be introduced) loosely packed with tinder/twigs of varying sizes. I wouldn't want to burn clothes lint or candle wax, though in the quantities he's using there's probably no harm.

He's got the right idea about big logs toward the bottom.

Build a kind of log frame with two large logs (a little less wide than the bog roll is long so it reaches the smaller kindling) on either side - a bog roll's width apart -- then two pieces of smaller split kindling crossed on top etc. It's good if you can find a flat piece for a floor, and something that will make a back -- the more sides the cabin has, the hotter/faster it will burn. The idea is to build a wooden  crucible. The fire will be contained inside, burning as hot as possible as the surfaces support one another's combustion. More efficient, less unburnt (still flammable) crap going up your chimney to condense.

The bog roll sits snugly in the cavity, opening at the bottom to be lit with a long taper. It will provide a short-lived mini-chimney as well as the initial kindling.

My stove is larger than I need except when it's bitterly cold, so I make the fire at one side (the left side is more convenient for me). Then I feed from the centre of the stove, replacing that side of the crucible (keeping the fire contained to the left, in my case) as the old log burns away.

You want to get hot, blue-tinged flames as soon as possible.

 

Edited by Lightly Toasted
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In harder times when my only heating was a stove, zip lighter block with kindling was the fastest method to get it going. Must be 20 years ago now and I can still remember chopping kindling in the dark and rain, freezing cold and soaked through from being out in it all day at work and having one of those 'got to make some changes happen' moments in life. 

Get a magnetic thermometer and operate  at the manufacturer's allotted temperature and be in the habit of regularly clearing out the soot and creosote that gathers on top of the baffle plate. (and lord have mercy upon you if the stove is one of the china land ones with 2 or 3 vermiculite board baffles  xD)

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1 hour ago, Carl Fimble said:

I think mine is supposed to have that air wash thing but it doesn't work

Same here. A small 5kw stove, so not a very big internal area. The glass often gets sooty when smoke from the kindling and newspaper funnels forwards in the early part of the burn before it is up to temp. Alternatively it often blackens with creosote later on if the vents are too far closed and the combustion is stifled (need to keep them a bit open, especially for wood like oak that is very dense). Annoying really, but the ash on damp paper gets it clean with some elbow grease.

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Another thing, some might remember parents or grandparents holding a sheet of newspaper over an open fireplace in order to get a new fire to draw, the doors of a woodstove do the same thing. In general clean the glass before lighting the fire, then you're not faffing around with the doors wide open when they'd be better mostly closed.

Sufficiently hot (efficient) burning = last nasty crud being produced = easy to clean glass.

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2 hours ago, Bandit Banzai said:

Kiln dried hard wood is getting pricey round here. It has doubled in the last five years. I've stopped buying regular logs after my mate suggested heatlogs. They are way better. I used 'Hotties' heatlogs for a few years and they are good. But this year I got some Pini Kay ones and they are even better. Only need five of them for an evening, much hotter, burn for ages and hardly any ash.

I use the same, my general method is one of the accelerant ones (i.e. in parrafin soaked bag) and then 3 of the others on top. It's gets properly hot that way, the wrapped one is just because I'm lazy, but it gets it up and running quickly

https://www.homefire.co.uk/heat-logs.html

So one of the homefire ones from that page (although the ones I use are about £1 each) then 3 of the Verdo ones (again different brand, but same thing).

I find it hard to get the fire hot enough with normal wood, but these burn a treat. They are basically just compressed sawdust. If I want to keep it going then I'll throw on a few peat logs.

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1 hour ago, Caravan Monster said:

In harder times when my only heating was a stove, zip lighter block with kindling was the fastest method to get it going. Must be 20 years ago nowand I can still remember chopping kindling in the dark and rain, freezing cold and soaked through from being out in it all day at work and having one of those 'got to make some changes happen' moments in life. 

Get a magnetic thermometer and operate  at the manufacturer's allotted temperature and be in the habit of regularly clearing out the soot and creosote that gathers on top of the baffle plate. (and lord have mercy upon you if the stove is one of the china land ones with 2 or 3 vermiculite board baffles  xD)

 

 

47 minutes ago, Lightly Toasted said:

Another thing, some might remember parents or grandparents holding a sheet of newspaper over an open fireplace in order to get a new fire to draw, the doors of a woodstove do the same thing. In general clean the glass before lighting the fire, then you're not faffing around with the doors wide open when they'd be better mostly closed.

Sufficiently hot (efficient) burning = last nasty crud being produced = easy to clean glass.

Yes.

The problem was the paper could catch fire burning down the house.

It was a lot easier to start coal fires with a gas poker which is what we eventually used.

Edited by Virgil Caine
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2 hours ago, Bandit Banzai said:

Kiln dried hard wood is getting pricey round here. It has doubled in the last five years. I've stopped buying regular logs after my mate suggested heatlogs. They are way better. I used 'Hotties' heatlogs for a few years and they are good. But this year I got some Pini Kay ones and they are even better. Only need five of them for an evening, much hotter, burn for ages and hardly any ash.

There's a place near us that does kiln dried hardwoods (doesn't specify what species) :

£180 for 2 metres cubed.

£300 for 4 metres cubed. 

That's significantly cheaper than the metres cubed we got when we got the birch recently, though it was in nets rather than dumped in a pile on our drive. 

 

Would be interesting to hear what sort of money people are paying for their kiln dried logs. 

I'm tempted to take by bow saw up into the woods, and fill out log store so there's stuff to burn in a couple of years time, there's quite a lot of work in it though- felling, cutting and chopping, plus all the stacking....

Might just send my boys up into the woods with a rucksack each and get them to fill them with sticks and branches!

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I use thin willow branches and 2 halves of a fire lighter to get it going, 2 smallish pieces of oak either side <30cm.....then big bastard oak when it gets going....willow burns fast and strong to begin with

then when I get stoned I dance naked around the fire xD

oh yeah I leave the door slightly ajar with just the 'handle inner' on the latch for the first 5 mins or so, drags more air in and gets rid of the initial smoke build up cos I don't always use willow, it can be bits of apple tree, cherry, pear, whatever...

I live in the woods behind enemy lines and I get all my wood for free off neighbours the last few years..

Edited by 5min OCD speculator
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12 minutes ago, Carl Fimble said:

£180 for 2 metres cubed.

 

Round here that will be £210. It's twice the price of five years ago.

They are on a pallet with a basic wood frame knocked together to hold them in place and they will wheel them straight into a shed/garage. Some suppliers locally will just dump it all on your drive and it's up to you to stack it. I'm not doing that.

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12 minutes ago, Bandit Banzai said:

Round here that will be £210. It's twice the price of five years ago.

They are on a pallet with a basic wood frame knocked together to hold them in place and they will wheel them straight into a shed/garage. Some suppliers locally will just dump it all on your drive and it's up to you to stack it. I'm not doing that.

Cheers.

Literally twice the price it was five years ago though?

We have a multifuel burner/grate or whatever it's called, so have been using some smokeless coal too, I'm not a fan of coal burning but it does produce a sorta ember like glowing mass so less need to go back and fill it with new logs all the time. Logs are so much nicer I reckon- they give an actual flame and look nicer in the stove and sitting next to it.

 

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that geezer in your first vid, I just quickly scrolled through but he's using shitloads of wood to get it going methinks...

I could never understand all this kindling and itty bitty chopping your wood up into strips.....I buy a box of firelighters from action for about half a yuro and that lasts a month!

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I live out in the sticks but often work in cities where folk don't have wood fires (smokeless zones) - I''ve had huge amounts of free timber by advertising on gumtree etc "firewood wanted - free collection - broken furniture / tree cuttings etc." Just yesterday I took down a large wooden room divider for somebody, they were very happy when I offer to take away the "rubbish" for free so I now have a car load of kindling timber :)

Make sure your chimney is swept at least once a year - the fire breathes better and no risk of chimney fires.

If you have space, stockpile new timber to age, use the oldest stuff first as it's drier and burns cleaner.

If the rope seals around your stove doors are old or missing, best replace with new so the air vents actually work the way they're supposed to.

Aways keep a stock of beer in, beer in front of an open fire is one of lifes simple pleasures. Enjoy :Beer: 

Edited by Andersen
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