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After 30 years I discovered top down fire lighting

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by PA. Woodsman, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. PA. Woodsman

    PA. Woodsman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Well I guess people are right when they say I'm "slow on the draw" lol but I have a situation where I have to do a lot of cold start ups and I always put crumbled newspaper in and then twigs and some thin kindling and a quarter split, light it and sometimes it would ignite nicely and sometimes it wouldn't, and when it didn't it could get quite smoky especially with me having to try to open the door and start it up again. Last week I tried to light one up, and it got somewhat smoky and the wife and I both have had this upper respiratory "plague" that seems to be running through Pennsylvania and the smoke irritated her lungs, not mine but she has always been like that when she gets it in her chest. But out of bad came good, it made me rethink things, I know that since uncolored newspaper is hard to find I was cheating a bit and trying to use a bit less of it plus I also was trying to light some bigger pieces first, but I also remembered the "top down" lighting idea, watched a few Youtube videos and after some trial and error have found that it is much cleaner and works much better, so I guess even after 30 years of doing something if there is a better way to do it I CAN recognize it! HA!!!! The pipe heats up quickly which draws the smoke out, and the glass stays much cleaner, so out of bad came good, very good!!
     
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  2. babybart

    babybart ArboristSite Guru

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    I have had to do more starts this year than usual do to warm weather. I started using the top down method also, much better IMO. I always have some noodles and they take off quick.
     
  3. moresnow

    moresnow ArboristSite Operative

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    Consider looking into buying a box of Super Cedars fire starters. They look like a hockey puck. 1/4 of a puck starts the fire. Easy peasy. No muss no fuss. Never pizz with paper, twigs and kindling again. Just a thought! Glad to hear the top down is working for you.
     
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  4. babybart

    babybart ArboristSite Guru

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    My newspaper comes from my dad who gets 2 periodicals a day, my kindling is just splitter scraps and the noodles from well, noodling. Pretty much free to me.
     
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  5. PA. Woodsman

    PA. Woodsman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I use twigs from the neighborhood trees that I gather year round and thin splits of kindling so that is easy to get, but I had read many times that it is not recommended to use newspaper with color print on it, but that is getting to be all that they make anymore, very hard to find paper with just black print on it anymore!
     
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  6. U&A

    U&A Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Top down is all i use. Even with camp fires/bonfires outside. I love doing it in the Company of people that think it won’t work




    Sent while firmly grasping my redline lubed RAM
     
  7. U&A

    U&A Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If there is a fab shop around that uses stainless sheet metal A lot of the times when people order it they get the sheets separated with a brown paper. That paper burns pretty dang good. I’ve been using it with my top down method and it works well. Doesn’t burn quite as hot as newspaper but burns longer.




    Sent while firmly grasping my redline lubed RAM
     
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  8. PA. Woodsman

    PA. Woodsman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I also tried some untreated copy paper with just some black print on it from work, that seems to work just fine and I have an unlimited supply of it as it just would get recycled.
     
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  9. babybart

    babybart ArboristSite Guru

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    I like doing that kind of stuff as well. My favorite is burning pine in my house, freaks people out! Your gonna burn your house down! :lol:
     
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  10. sawset

    sawset ArboristSite Lurker

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    Get it up and around the re-burn tubes with some fire starter and a few sticks of kindling. Tubes give it a blow torch effect, secondaries light off right away. No need to get 50lb of cold wood all started at once.
     
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  11. Natster

    Natster ArboristSite Operative

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    I accidentally discovered that method. Done right, the hot stack makes it draw, so it's like someone pumping a bellows, or a hair dryer blowing on it. Now, I want to look it up on YouTube!
    Thanks.
    Nate
     
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  12. Del_

    Del_ Get outside.

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    I've been using the top down method of starting our stove since the early nineties.

    Works good. I use the small pieces of waste wood created by the log splitter. Bark isn't the best as it is somewhat flame retardant.
     
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  13. grizz55chev

    grizz55chev Tree Freak

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    Mine doesn’t need relit unless we’re gone for a few days, but I have a stash of dry bits and pieces that are left over from the splitting process. I use madrone primarily so there’s always a large amount of perfect size kindling wood as a by product, it gets picked up and put in large dog food bags for use in both indoor and outdoor fire.
     
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  14. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I've been using the top down starts in my Pacific Energy and am impressed. Been doing it this way for several yrs.....ever since reading about it.

    Sent from my SM-G930VL using Tapatalk
     
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  15. Be Stihl

    Be Stihl ArboristSite Operative

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    I am also a firm believer in the top down method. Even though it goes against everything I have ever done, it works excellent. Sometimes we don’t always learn the best method first.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  16. lead farmer

    lead farmer ArboristSite Operative

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    Never heard of such a thing, enlighten me please.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
     
  17. homemade

    homemade Certified Chainsaw Tester

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    I just watched a few YouTube videos. Looks cool. I’ll have to try it.
     
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  18. vonb

    vonb ArboristSite Lurker

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    I never knew!!! You learned something new every day. I noticed that on some evenings, I'd start a fire and there would be a lot smoke. I'm going to try this.
     
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  19. sunfish

    sunfish Fish Head

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    I'm new to the top down thing, but it sure does work.
     
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  20. PA. Woodsman

    PA. Woodsman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Go to Youtube and just punch in "top down firewood starting" or something like that and you'll see it, instead of having the newspaper and kindling on the bottom it is upside down, you put the paper on top of the kindling which is on top of a few bigger pieces, the paper lights up and heats up the flue quickly and it just starts burning from there "top down".
     
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