Preparing the wood burner
• Take a fire lighter and place it on the grate.
• Place a good amount of kindling around and on top of the fire lighter.
• Place a medium size log on top of the kindling.
Lighting the wood burner
• When lighting your wood burner, open both air vents fully. On initially lighting, it can be an advantage to crack the door open slightly for a few minutes to provide additional air flow through the firebox.
If you do this, do not leave the fire unattended !!!!
• Once the fire is established, close the door and then close down the bottom air vent gradually. If the fire dies right down at this point, open the bottom vent slightly for a bit longer until the fire is better established.
Tip: A log brought in from the cold will take a long time to reach a combustible temperature, absorbing a lot of the
accumulated heat within the firebox of the stove. The wood burner will then take some time to get back up to temperature. It is best to bring an evenings supply of logs in from the cold, keep these by the wood burner to warm up and then feed the fire from these.
Keeping the fire going
•Once the fuel in the wood burner is burning properly, the temperature of the stove can be controlled using the top air vent. This can be quite an art to get this setting right.
•If the top vent is open fully, the fire may look good and as if it is burning fiercely, however, you will get through a lot of wood fuel and a lot of the heat will disappear up the flue.
•The idea is to throttle the top vent down until the wood is burning with a nice steady flame without dying down or burning to fiercely. This reduces the flue temperature and gets the firebox as hot as possible, which then radiates heat into your room.
Tip: A common mistake is feeding the fire too often, or keeping the door open for too long when feeding the fire. Every time the door of the stove is opened, accumulated heat is lost from the firebox that has to be built up again to get the wood burner up to its proper and most efficient running temperature. Try to minimise the amount of times that the stove door is opened. Refuel the fire and let the logs burn right down to hot embers before refuelling.
When refuelling your wood burner, avoid the temptation to pack it full of logs, one or two logs should be sufficient and allows for plenty of air movement within the firebox.
Primary and Secondary air vents
Our wood burners have a bottom air vent and a top air vent. Wood burns best with a good bed of ash laid down in the bottom of the firebox and an air supply from the top. The primary or bottom air vent helps establish the fire. The secondary or top air vent help controls the temperature.
Why not try building a self feeding fire?
Although the top down fire seems completely backwards at first, once you try one it will quickly become your favourite choice. It works great in fireplaces, wood stoves and especially campfires. The setup process takes a little longer than the conventional fire, but it will burn longer without constantly adding more logs to it. You can pretty much light the fire and just let it burn. The fire will also burn hotter and cleaner right from the start. When you try this method watch how much smoke the fire produces. You’ll be surprised how little smoke you see and just how clean this fire burns!
The most important part of this whole process is to use dry, seasoned firewood. The fire works by having the coals and embers from the top layer fall into the layer of wood below it. If the wood is wet it won’t catch on fire and you’ll become frustrated.
Start by placing a row of large logs along the bottom of your fireplace, wood stove or fire pit. These will be the largest logs you use. Next, place another row of slightly smaller logs criss crossing in the other direction. Follow this by placing a third row of even smaller wood. This row should consist of kindling which is about and inch wide. Finally, place a fire lighter on top and light.
Written by Ian Butterworth