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james 04-06-2008 01:47 PM

How do you start your fire?
2 Attachment(s)
I'm going to try the Top Down fire next time, and I have high hopes that it will work well. But for now, I am burning concrete sacks and damp pine, so any fire will be a good fire.

Which has thinking about a poll.

How do you start your fire? Newspaper, fire starters, flame throwers, etc? I'm going back to my earlier practice of using a plumber's torch. Photos attached.

What do you use?

Acoma 04-06-2008 02:24 PM

Re: How do you start your fire?
James, that is so anti fun, unless your a pyro. I do the newspaper with a tepe style of small pieces to burn, adding bigger pieces as it goes. Who knows, maybe the pyro clan will prevail. George's style of burn down sounds good, but I have yet to apply that method. I need to learn to set it up for that.

dmun 04-06-2008 04:55 PM

Re: How do you start your fire?
I place two pretty good sized logs in a vee, with the open side facing out to the oven mouth. I pile some small kindling and scrap wood bridging the two logs, and then i shove a lighted newspaper ball in the opening between the logs. I keep stuffing crumpled newspaper into the opening until i have a good crackling fire. Then more wood on top.

The two base logs are usually the last thing to be reduced to coals.

Xabia Jim 04-06-2008 11:08 PM

Re: How do you start your fire?
I'm similar to David.

For my WFO I use crumpled paper, kindling bits of pine, some bigger pieces/branches and a couple of larger ones to make sure it keeps burining. both dampers fully open.

I use a similar rig for Paella with three big pieces around the outside. By the time I'm ready to cook, those three pieces are what supports the coals and the constant feed of smaller wood to keep the fire cooking at different temperatures.

I resort to the Propane torch sometimes, but it's not usually needed. That torch worked great for the fireworks though....:D

And I'm definately going to try the top down method too. It's similar....I've just always felt that flame and heat rises so lighting the paper on the bottom has been tradition. I see the top down method as building a smaller fire on a pile of wood.

Xabia Jim 04-06-2008 11:11 PM

Re: How do you start your fire?
One other comment....if you have a chimney like on my woodstove, I will loosley crumple a piece of paper and light it over the fire stack to get an initial boost to the draft up the chimney.....helps avoid the cold chimney downdraft sindrome

carioca 04-07-2008 01:57 AM

Re: How do you start your fire?
Hi there!

Being the lazy type, I just collect a few 'scrolls' of shed eucalypt bark 20-30 m from our forno and feed them into the oven mouth, doubling them up and/or breaking them if they're too long.

Then I collect one or two little heaps of twigs my patient wife has labouriously gathered from the lawns and push them down on top of the 'scrolls'.

I then chop up a little bit of kindling and it goes on top of the pile.

Finally, somewhat larger short pieces of dried split timber are arranged in a teepee fashion around the other stuff and over the top of the pile.

Then it's a few jabs with one or two of the 20 cm long Redhead matches and ' she's off, mate!'

Works every time...



Chris 04-07-2008 07:32 AM

Re: How do you start your fire?
I used to use a weed-burner torch to light the oven, but that turned out to be more trouble than it was worth. It would use up all of the oxygen in the oven, and char the wood on the outside without catching it on fire.

I voted for non-toxic fire starters, but I make my own. I take a few sheets of newspaper, and pour about 2 to 4 ounces of used frying oil on the middle. Then, crumple it up, trying to keep the oil from spilling out.

I make about 6 of these, and put them in the center of the oven. Then, some kindling. I use the splitting maul to break up short scrap pieces of framing lumber, and throw in any dry sticks I find in the yard. Then, on top of that, about four small branches or pieces of split logs.

Light the paper all around. The paper acts as a wick, burning up the oil, and lasting a lot longer than paper alone. So far, it's worked like a charm, and the fire is going strong enough to start adding more wood in a few minutes.


Xabia Jim 04-07-2008 09:35 AM

Re: How do you start your fire?
I forgot about collecting mature pine cones to use as a natural starter....non toxic?

James, maybe FB should bag the things and sell as organic fire starters:D

krosskraft 04-07-2008 01:36 PM

Re: How do you start your fire?
I use one firestarter on the bottom of the pile. Put small sticks on top (I use the FB firerack). Someone suggested dryer works great to get the firestarter lit- I stick a wad down by the firestarter. To me, the most important ingredient is PATIENCE. I have messed up more fires putting my big logs on too soon.

Frances 04-08-2008 07:12 AM

Re: How do you start your fire?
Hmm, the top down fire... tried that, but it didn't work. The paper burnt, one or two twigs and then it went out again :(

Maybe I'll give it another go once (if) Summer gets here - higher ambient temps could make it easier.

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