fireplace question??

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by gapeachy, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. gapeachy

    gapeachy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we have only had the fireplace for a month it is an open fireplace not woodstove or insert....I would rather have a woodstove or insert but anyway everymorning it takes us like 2 hours to get a fire going .....and it dont burn all night.....we have put all extra paper we have in the house including splenda papers and extra wrapping paper from christmas.....is there an easier way???
     
  2. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    I apologize, but I'm not sure what your question is.

    Are you wanting to know what the best way to light your fireplace is, or how to keep it going at night?

    Personally, if it's an open fireplace, I would never go to bed with it still burning. I think it's a dangerous risk (but that's just my opinion...certainly do what you like in your own home).

    Fires need fuel and oxygen to keep going. You need to build the fire up the right way and use the right kind of fuel. You also need to ensure that there is proper ventilation. Some fireplaces have a fan; a chimney should help with this, too.

    Usually, you start a fire with the paper at the bottom as a sort of wick, with kindling and smaller branches layered on top of that. You need to be careful withe burning paper; too much and chunks of it will fly (on fire) out of the chimney or away from the fire and can set other things on fire (like your roof).

    Then you need some good, large, dry slow-burning logs. Dry is essential; wet logs might seem dry on the outside but will still be sappy in the center and will stop burning. That might be one reason why your fire is going out. Another reason might be the type of wood you're burning. If you're burning pine, for example, that stuff lights up and disappears quickly. Solid oak and other hardwood logs will burn all night. Look at the fire to tell what the problem is -- if there are only ashes in the morning, there's not enough fuel to go all night. If there are half-burned logs, your fuel is too wet.

    I hope these tips are what you're looking for.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  3. gapeachy

    gapeachy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thank you....my question was getting a fire started more quickly because it takes us so long to get it started.....our wood has just been chopped so it is probably green and wet.....
     
  4. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:That's probably why. Keep it off the ground in a warm, dry place (like your garage) and put a tarp over it, and it will dry out faster. You can also cut it into smaller pieces (lengthwise) to assist it in drying.
     
  5. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    the key is getting a good bed of coals going. it does take a bit of work. there are many commercial 'starters'.

    once you get a few pieces of wood burned down to coals, the fire will 'feed' itself as you add wood.

    we run ours 24/7 and it has reduced our heating bills tremendously.
     
  6. gapeachy

    gapeachy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:is yours an open fireplace also or does it has an insert?
     
  7. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    We buy those fire starter blocks by the case. They are wood shavings and paraffin bars in a paper wrapper. You place one underneath your wood and light the wrapper.
     
  8. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Hmmmm, hard to say without seeing how you build it. I also have a really old, 108+ year old, fireplace. With no damper, which is bad but expensive to install.

    I have a big iron rack for the burn material the sit on, so it gets good air flow from underneath. I put 2-3 crumpled full newspaper sheets under the rack, then I put 3 rolled and twisted newspaper "logs" on top of the grate. Just 1 full sheet per log.
    On top of that, some kindling, going front to back, then some larger kindling going from side to side at a slant. Then the top layer is small, dry logs, preferably pecan or hickory, since they are faster to catch, laid on top in such a way that they are supported and will still have plenty of air flow through the stack.
    Then I light the crumpled papers under the grate, and it pretty much takes off upward, layer by layer. Once the top logs are going well, I start putting in larger oak logs. Say, 15-20 minutes later.

    Air flow is key and so are good kindling and dry, seasoned wood. The guy I get wood from always has some cedar around and I split that for kindling. But only as small pieces of kindling, never as a log! Pops and throws too many sparks.

    As far as paper, I will only use newspaper- it has vegetable based inks, and only as much paper as needed. Anything other than that is going to cause some pretty serious creosote buildup, which is a huge danger.

    I think I'm channeling Smokey the Bear here- don't try to keep an actual fire going while you sleep! Let it burn down to coals, then use them to fire it up again in the morning.
    Make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, in working condition, everywhere!
    Unless you are directly working on the fire, keep the screen in front of it!

    Sorry for sounding like a lecture! Stay warm and toasty! [​IMG]
     
  9. nailjack

    nailjack Out Of The Brooder

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    There's the problem. Burning unseasoned wood is very diff. When I say seasoned I mean like it has been cut and stacked 6 mths. to a year before I burn them. I am always a year ahead, cutting now for next year. Though with an open fire place, you should never leave it burn un attended. The "green" wood pops sending sparks to your carpet or other flameables.
    An insert is the way to go. More efficient and safer.
     
  10. gapeachy

    gapeachy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I dont understand about carbon monoxzide detectors does firewood give of carbon monoxzide? I am sorry I dont mean to sound stupid....we are just new to this
     

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