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  • #16
    Originally posted by lark42 View Post
    I start my fires using a 'top-down' method, except I use birch bark instead of the newspaper knots. The f400 is a smaller stove, so this technique works best.

    Lark
    Cool. Never heard of top down. I will try it next time I fire the stove up

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    • #17
      The top down is a great way to start the stove, but it requires a lot of material.....even in the video and in any like it, there are usually 5-6 newspaper sheets used, several fist-fulls of kindling, and then 3-4 1/8 wood pieces. For me, all 3 of those are in limited supply, so I only use a top down if I need a big fire, immediately, and to hell with how much material I use.

      I use a tinderbox method, where I can take 2 pieces of newspaper, a paraffin chip, then surround it with bark pieces (in unlimited supply). It takes a lot of tending in the first 10-15 minutes, but it works and saves material. Then I use a hatchet to wedge shards on top of the burning box and up she goes.

      As for stoves, I am an Avalon stove fan. Jotul stoves are pretty amazing from several fiends that own them, but I can get used Avalon's for half the price. On some of those I feel like I am paying for the name rather than rote performance.
      "The soul that does not attempt flight; does not notice its chains."

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      • #18
        We have a lousy fireplace insert. It never really gets the house that warm. When we first moved in it had a fan and that helped somewhat but it broke a couple of years ago. I wish we could afford to buy a really good insert but I don't see that in the near future, they are so expensive. Hubby thinks if he rigs up some sort of fan it might help.
        Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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        • #19
          I have a Morso - love it. Puts out heat like you wouldn't believe. Very easy to start a fire. I burn maple and oak mostly. I am almost unbelievably lucky in that my landlord provides me with free wood. He gathers it on his property and also pulls it out of his cove (I live on the coast of Maine). Apparently wood that has been submerged in water for awhile and then dries out is really good for burning. Also the local boaters and fishermen are very happy to have these large obstacles removed. And he goes around when the power company is trimming and cutting trees to free the lines. He got three large oaks this fall! They will keep me warm next winter.

          I keep a nice bed of ashes on the bottom, place two logs parallel and then one crosswise on top of them. A couple pieces of newspaper or any kind of paper that I might throw away otherwise and boom! I have fire.
          My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread53052.html

          "Freedom from fear" could be said to sum up the whole philosophy of human rights. - Dag Hammarskjold

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          • #20
            I finally have a house that has a wood stove! The house is currently in MAJOR DEconstruction mode right now but hopefully soon I'll start putting it back together. Anyhow, by next winter I should get to use the stove! This is an awesome thread BTW!!!

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            • #21
              I went out yesterday morning and split wood for about an hour. I had some nice logs from a few trees we took down 2 years ago that we had cut too long (they were 20-21" or so) and wouldn't fit in my old hearthstone. well, with the jotul coming in any day now, I knew they would be perfect. that old hearthstone would only take 16" logs. what a huge pain in the ass...

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              • #22
                I guess we sorta cheat.................. we are the "Processed food" of the woodstove world! We have a Quadra-fire pellet stove. Quadra-fire is the top of the market pellet stove. We live in the center of Willamette Valley in Oregon, and we burn wood pellets. The best on the market is Golden Fire brand! We get them at a discount through a friend who works for a company who sells them. Cost....... about $750 a winter, October - April. We heat the house - 2500 sq ft - with just the pellet stove and a few strategically placed fans. At the coldest of the winter months we will burn 2 bags a day - and the residue totals about 2 cups of "grit" over a months time. There is nothing better than a pellet stove! Unless of course - you have an unlimited supply of FREE wood that magically cuts, splits and stacks itself for you! And a stove that purges out all the ASH on a daily basis! Wood heat is the most wonderful heat in the world............ and a pellet stove makes everything easier!
                Last edited by tomi; 12-27-2013, 03:31 AM.
                1. Love ME no matter what noises are screaming at me, or who is trying to tear me down.
                2. Eat to heal
                3. Move to live
                4. Embrace today
                5. Live with intention
                6. Respect my body
                7. Cultivate joy
                8. Find my passion
                9. Meditate on peace in my soul

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by tomi View Post
                  I guess we sorta cheat.................. we are the "Processed food" of the woodstove world! We have a Quadra-fire pellet stove. Quadra-fire is the top of the market pellet stove. We live in the center of Willamette Valley in Oregon, and we burn wood pellets. The best on the market is Golden Fire brand! We get them at a discount through a friend who works for a company who sells them. Cost....... about $750 a winter, October - April. We heat the house - 2500 sq ft - with just the pellet stove and a few strategically placed fans. At the coldest of the winter months we will burn 2 bags a day - and the residue totals about 2 cups of "grit" over a months time. There is nothing better than a pellet stove! Unless of course - you have an unlimited supply of FREE wood that magically cuts, splits and stacks itself for you! And a stove that purges out all the ASH on a daily basis! Wood heat is the most wonderful heat in the world............ and a pellet stove makes everything easier!
                  a lot of people love pellet stoves, and from my research, I think quadrafire makes some of the best, if not the best, pellet stoves. I just don't like the idea of needing electricity for my heat source. we lose power several times per year where I live, and I live in a rural area that is always last on the list to be restored. (ex: I had no power for 12 days after hurricane sandy)although I have a house generator, i'd rather not have to depend on anything but my firewood to keep me warm.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by yodiewan View Post
                    My family has a cabin that has a Vogelzang Performer. I tried to use it once and failed. I am going back there again next week. Teach me the ways of lighting a good fire in a woodstove!! I read the manual and thought I was following the instructions. Except maybe the wood I was using was not properly dried. I will bring some good quality/kiln dried wood next week. Or something.

                    @notontherug: How does a woodstove crap out? I thought they were more or less indestructible. Like cast iron pans.
                    I'm a chimney sweep,
                    The number one way I've seen fire boxes crap out is: to keep building the fire on yesterday's ash bed. This causes the fire to be built too close to the baffle and secondary chamber, the baffle then warps and cracks. Also it reduces the air volume of the fire box wich causes a problem because the manufacturer of the stove had a particular volume of air in mind when engineering the all the air journals.
                    A little primal gem - My Success Story
                    Weight lost in 4 months - 29kg (64 lbs)

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                    • #25
                      My grandmother has two wood stoves in her house in Maine (near Bath, in the middle of the woods). They installed baseboard electric heating when the house was built, but didn't use it much initially. Now she has some kind of heating unit in the living room (it's a pretty small house) that heats the whole place, but when the power goes out, she still uses the stoves. The one in the basement keeps the pipes from freezing. The other is in the living room/dining room.
                      Depression Lies

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