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Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: Dakota
Date: December 14, 2006 07:23PM
Here we are with a cord of firewood in our garage and try as we might just can't get them going. I have bruned more fire staters than firewood. They seem to be pretty dry and we are in a new construction so I don't know what the problem is?
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: billb
Date: December 14, 2006 07:38PM
If it's hard wood, you often need to get a small fire going before they will start. Too dense.
White oak often needs coals from a previous burn to ignite. Newspaper and fatwood won't do it.
Scrap wood or very dry pine like softwood to get a base down under it.
Then throw the hardwood on top before the first fire has gone out.
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: michaelb
Date: December 14, 2006 07:40PM
Did you just buy the wood? I would guess it is not that dry, or was just split. If you split a piece with an axe, how well does it split? Are you using kindling? I find that wood dries quite a bit in the first month or so after you order it, and burns better after that.

You don't tell what you are making the fire in. It is possible that the damper is closed the chimmney blocked, or just bad wind creating a back draft tonight, etc.
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: December 14, 2006 07:43PM
Nothing a gallon of gasoline can't fix...











Kidding... please don't use a whole gallon! A quarter cup of diesel is more than enough...



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: billb
Date: December 14, 2006 07:45PM
Oak takes a long long time to dry.
Two years (or longer) if it's not split.
Maybe a year, split and protected from the rain but allowed for wind to blow through the stack.
You can tell if oak is dry , any sap or moisture will boil out of the ends as it is heating up to boiling temp.
Moisture will tend to cool the flame, not what you want, especially for a clean environmentally responsible burn. (and for getting and keeping a fire going)

Also if you have no ashes and clunkers base, it can be extremely difficult to get a fire going. That ash and clunkers is like an insulating blanket.

Get a scrap wood fire going first, before you add the hardwood.


woodstove forum:
[hearth.com]

Add edit:
If your stove flue doesn't have one and it is possible to put one, get a flue thermometer.
Great safety device. You'll KNOW when/if you get to 700 degrees. Helps you learn how your stove burns, too.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/2006 08:02PM by billb.
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: Racer X
Date: December 14, 2006 07:46PM
Quote
Paul F.
Nothing a gallon of gasoline can't fix...











Kidding... please don't use a whole gallon! A quarter cup of diesel is more than enough...

trust me on this, diesel will put out a lit match.
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: billb
Date: December 14, 2006 07:55PM
Dakota won't have a problem with diesel , unless the fire is all ready started. :-)
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: December 14, 2006 08:04PM
I agree with the wet wood diagnosis. It may look dry, but perhaps it's not dry enough.

We burn plenty of firewood here in northern MI. Once you have a good bed of coals, you shouldn't have any more trouble. Use kindling, for sure. Build small, then increase the size of the fire.



Mr. Lahey: A lot of people, don’t know how to drink. They drink against the grain of the liquor. And when you drink against the grain of the liquor? You lose.

Randy: What the @#$%& are you talking about?
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: December 14, 2006 08:04PM
Quote
Racer X
Quote
Paul F.
Nothing a gallon of gasoline can't fix...

Kidding... please don't use a whole gallon! A quarter cup of diesel is more than enough...

trust me on this, diesel will put out a lit match.

Kerosene should also as long as it is under 90 F, but you can get a pretty spectacular flame if you spray it out of a Wagner Power Painter.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: Dakota
Date: December 14, 2006 08:17PM
Well, I am not sure what kind of wood it is. The guy was just splitting them and said they are "bone" dry. I do hear some hissing coming out of it. What is this "bed of coal" some talk about? You mean ashes from previous burns? As for staring a smaller fire, I have used all sorts of kindling and starter sticks. Anything bigger and we are looking at firewoods themselves.
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: December 14, 2006 08:26PM
you could start with softer wood, if you have any. otherwise, you'll need to get it started with something heftier than sticks and starter sticks
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: billb
Date: December 14, 2006 08:28PM
I have started a fire with hardwood when it was all I had, but the pieces had to very slim. 1 or 2 inches diameter tops. No outer bark. Took a couple tries.
Much easier to start a fire with softwood / scrapwood first, then add the hardwood. Especially in a cold clean stove.
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: December 14, 2006 08:34PM
On a more helpful note, you should be able to get it started if you just increment your kindling. I start with pages of newspaper twisted and then a handfull of chopstick size twigs or wood split to that size, then layers doubling the diameter.

The Firelog starters get really expensive if you use them every day.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 14, 2006 08:37PM
have you kissed the Gypsy girl?

In my home country, we have this saying: you can't start a fire if you've never kissed a Gypsy girl.
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: LaserKun
Date: December 14, 2006 09:18PM
I have burned about every kind of wood, fresh cut oak, etc., in my fireplace - here's the key:

START WITH SMALL STUFF!

That's all. Split some wood into thin pieces, use a lot of small pieces, thin is better, until you get a good fire going, then gradually add larger pieces as needed.

IT WILL burn, believe me, I have been doing this many years.
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: JoeH
Date: December 14, 2006 09:23PM
If you are hearing hissing, then the wood is not bone dry. Other than that, you have received a bunch of good advice on how to get the wood going. You may have to split down the wood to pieces about twice as thick as your thumb to be the intermediate size needed to get larger logs going.



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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 14, 2006 09:26PM
it's been 2 hours since you posted, are you warm now???
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: Dakota
Date: December 14, 2006 09:39PM
In desparation I poured some charcoal fluid on the wood. As I expected, the fluid burned off in about a mintue and I was back where I started from. The suggestion for starting with small stuff make sense but I don't have the tools, or the desire, to cut up the logs. It did not escape me that may be they should build homes with these logs.
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 14, 2006 09:53PM
Quote
Dakota
It did not escape me that may be they should build homes with these logs.

These log will burn like hell in about one year or so when they're dry. I think they treat the wood in log homes with some sort of chemical substances to make them flame resistant.
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: December 14, 2006 10:01PM
Are the logs split?
Sounds like you are trying to burn a whole log.
Even a flame-thrower won't start a whole hardwood log.

BGnR



"Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: December 14, 2006 10:20PM
Quote
space-time
I think they treat the wood in log homes with some sort of chemical substances to make them flame resistant.

Nope.
Just keep it off the ground so bugs don't make a home. Varnish, or a nice wood wax looks good, some folks like the natural look.
More chance of a shake roof stick built home bursting into flames then a log home.

BGnR



"Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: billb
Date: December 14, 2006 10:30PM
Your comment about building log homes sounds like you've got whole logs, too.

If you are gonna burn wood, you absolutely, possitively need an axe (to make kindling) and a splitting maul. A wedge and a wedge mallet come in handy, too.
If you bought a cord of wood unsplit, that should have been all split months ago. Get cracking. :-)

Cord wood here is usually a mix of oak, maple and pine.
Pine splits easier dry. Oak and maple splits easier green.
It's a bit of work. Good exercise.
Log splitters come in handy, especially this late.
An electric one you could use right in the garage.

If you know any carpenters, they may hook you up with lots of cut offs which can be good for fire starting. DO NOT burn pressure treated or deck wood. The glue in cardboard is supposedly bad, too.

If that wood is not ready for burning, see if you can find bio-bricks in your area.
You can struggle trying to burn green wood, but you shouldn't. You want a clean creosote free fire.
[www.biopellet.net]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/2006 10:32PM by billb.
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: BigGuynRusty
Date: December 14, 2006 10:39PM
No MDF, no Particle Board either!
That stuff will gas you when burned!

BGnR



"Good heavens, Miss Sakamoto! You're beautiful!"
"If we dig precious things from the land, we will invite disaster."
"Near the day of Purification, there will be cobwebs spun back and forth in the sky."
"A container of ashes might one day be thrown from the sky, which could burn the land and boil the oceans."
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: ajakeski
Date: December 14, 2006 10:57PM
Duraflame. For when all else fails.




I'm not a bad guy! I work hard, and I love my kids. So why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to Hell? -Homer.
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: billb
Date: December 14, 2006 11:14PM
Quote
ajakeski
Duraflame. For when all else fails.

LOL
Duraflame and wine in a box.
Instant atmosphere !
:-) :-) :-)

Done that, too.
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: Racer X
Date: December 15, 2006 02:45AM
Quote
mrbigstuff
you could start with softer wood, if you have any. otherwise, you'll need to get it started with something heftier than sticks and starter sticks

if you have a soft wood issue, see a urologist......
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: Frank Pardue
Date: December 15, 2006 09:01AM
If you must burn green wood in a fireplace, then I have had good luck using charcoal briquettes in place of kindling. Put the charcoal on the grate, douse it with a liberal amount of charcoal lighter fluid, then place the green logs on top. Light the charcoal and let it do it's thing, the heat from the charcoal should be enough to get the green wood burning, but the wood may go out after the charcoal is burned up, depending on how green it is.
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Re: Can't get freaking firewood started
Posted by: jesse
Date: December 15, 2006 09:13AM
Up until this year we have used wood to heat our home during the winter. There have been a few times when we were told the wood was seasoned when it wasn't. Duraflame logs work great to get a fire going if you don't have kindling, you can break up a log into four pieces and use one piece to start the fire, makes the logs last a lot longer, Albertsons sometimes has some pretty good deals on Duraflame. We also try to buy a mix of pine or cedar with some hardwoods. Rolled up brown paper bags work better than newspapers.

jesse



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/2006 09:14AM by jesse.
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