Fireplace Fire (1 Viewer)

LAhotsauce

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This isn't really outdoors but kinda is. How does one build a good fireplace fire without setting the house on fire?

Looked on YT and the net. That managed to get mine going a whopping 25 minutes. A new record. Was pleasant while it lasted.

Looks like it'll be at least February before get to try again, but how does one get this thing to burn a good 2 hours at least? I tried the upside down thing with balled up newspaper and kindling on top. Also using Easy Fire bricks mixed in. Wood came from Winn-Dixie on the way home.
 

TheMike62987

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The trick to a long lasting fire in the fireplace is adding more wood as the fire burns. It's literally that simple.
 

SharonT

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Check your damper. You don't want too much or too little air flowing, all your heat going up, or all your smoke being blown in. Check with someone who's used that fireplace before. Sometimes they have their own quirks. You did check the chimney for squirrels, etc, first, right? :hihi: Seriously, if it's new to you, have it inspected first. :9:
 

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I hunt west of San Antonio a couple hours and the house we stay in is a +100yr old ranch house with zero heating other than the leaky gas stove and the large fireplace.

When the temps were down to upper teens and didn't go above 32degF for a couple of days, you better believe we burned through an impressive amount of wood. It's a fairly large fireplace and we were putting in logs several times a day. Big ones, up to 50lb.. When we go there, the fire was already burning, we were there six days and the fire never stopped.

Certainly gives a bit more appreciation for the folk back 100yrs ago and what they had to endure.
 
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LAhotsauce

LAhotsauce

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The air flow seems fine. When I do have it going I'm getting good, tall flames.

I thought maybe there was a certain brand or type of wood that can be store bought.

Next time I'll just keep adding wood even if the wood already there isn't quite burning fully.

If adding more wood doesn't work, then maybe get the damper professionally checked.
 

rajncajn

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The air flow seems fine. When I do have it going I'm getting good, tall flames.

I thought maybe there was a certain brand or type of wood that can be store bought.

Next time I'll just keep adding wood even if the wood already there isn't quite burning fully.

If adding more wood doesn't work, then maybe get the damper professionally checked.
Your wood may not be seasoned well enough. A lot of times the wood you buy in stores is kiln dried, but not very well which means it's still wet at it's core. I'd see if I could find somebody local that sells firewood and make sure what he's giving you is not fresh cut. Oak IMO is the best wood for a fireplace around here. It's dense enough so that it burns slowly, but it lights fairly well if it's been dried out well enough and it burns very clean. Never, ever use any sort of pine as a log. Fatwood is great for starting fires in small amounts, but too much pine will build up tar in your chimney and create a fire hazard. If you don't already know what fatwood is it's the core of a pine that has died. All the sap gets drawn into the center of the pine and it solidifies into a resin. It's basically turpentine in a stick form and will light whether it's wet or dry. You can buy the stuff if you want, but it's very easily found anywhere where there are pine trees. Just find a dead one that has rotted away already.

It also matters how you stack your wood. If you don't stack it in a manner to which it can get a decent amount of airflow around it then it's going to smother itself out. I've always used sort of a box method, like you're building a log cabin. Something like this:



What you want to do is build yourself a bundle of shredded up paper, then on top of that some slivers of fatwood and/or twigs or slivers of your firewood. Then build your "cabin" around that. Place two logs close to your bundle on either side and one across those behind the bundle. Light the bundle and then place another log across the first two kinda in front of the bundle, but close enough so that the flames are hitting it. As the fire burns just keep stacking logs in the same manner, alternating direction like you're building the walls. I do this the same way if I'm building a campfire and it's always worked perfectly for me.
 

Sundevil

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Your wood may not be seasoned well enough. A lot of times the wood you buy in stores is kiln dried, but not very well which means it's still wet at it's core. I'd see if I could find somebody local that sells firewood and make sure what he's giving you is not fresh cut. Oak IMO is the best wood for a fireplace around here. It's dense enough so that it burns slowly, but it lights fairly well if it's been dried out well enough and it burns very clean. Never, ever use any sort of pine as a log. Fatwood is great for starting fires in small amounts, but too much pine will build up tar in your chimney and create a fire hazard. If you don't already know what fatwood is it's the core of a pine that has died. All the sap gets drawn into the center of the pine and it solidifies into a resin. It's basically turpentine in a stick form and will light whether it's wet or dry. You can buy the stuff if you want, but it's very easily found anywhere where there are pine trees. Just find a dead one that has rotted away already.

It also matters how you stack your wood. If you don't stack it in a manner to which it can get a decent amount of airflow around it then it's going to smother itself out. I've always used sort of a box method, like you're building a log cabin. Something like this:



What you want to do is build yourself a bundle of shredded up paper, then on top of that some slivers of fatwood and/or twigs or slivers of your firewood. Then build your "cabin" around that. Place two logs close to your bundle on either side and one across those behind the bundle. Light the bundle and then place another log across the first two kinda in front of the bundle, but close enough so that the flames are hitting it. As the fire burns just keep stacking logs in the same manner, alternating direction like you're building the walls. I do this the same way if I'm building a campfire and it's always worked perfectly for me.
This sums it up. Properly seasoned wood is a must. A lot of people that sell fire wood claim it's seasoned, so be careful because you do pay more for seasoned wood.

As far as wood, I use Oak and sometimes cherry. Cherry is a bit more expensive but I find it burns a little longer. Never use pine, and always get your chimney checked before you start your fire burning season, a lot can change in a year.
 

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