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# 175849 13-Jul-2015 22:02
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So we have a big sack of roundwood, and it seems to be pretty hopeless to get going in our masport fireplace.

Any tips on how to stack it so it gets a decent blaze going?  The problem I have is that my usual matchstick house stacking method doesn't work because the stupid things roll around everywhere, so I can't seem to get a decent stack/chimney going.

I'm thinking I really need to split them but was kind of hoping someone has some good advice to save me the hassle ...

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  # 1342656 13-Jul-2015 22:52
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Having each different layer at 90 degrees will sort out your stacking problem, ie bottom layer running east-west, next layer running north-south. However, this will only work properly if the lengths of wood for each consecutive layer span two widths of the one below.

As for getting it going, how long ago was the wood cut down? Being fully round it will be a bit slower than split wood to dry so there is a possibility it is a little too wet to get a decent fire going on it's own. If you can build up a decent bed of really hot embers, perhaps by getting some dry split wood from somewhere you'll possibly be able to use the round wood, but if it's still wet (sap) you'll build up a decent layer of creosote in your chimney which can increase the chances of a chimney fire.

If it's just hard to get going because it's round, again, get some split wood. Or split some of the round wood down into smaller pieces.

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  # 1342658 13-Jul-2015 22:57
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Yes split them, so you can get some sharp edges to burn. Otherwise the flames are just bouncing off the flat surfaces. Otherwise use kindling or twigs first to get some hot embers and flames going.

 
 
 
 




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  # 1342665 13-Jul-2015 23:23
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It's definitely dry, and perfectly round - it's the manufactured stuff - that's the problem, i can't seem to stack it b/c it just rolls around :(

I guess splitting it is the best answer, or using split wood to start and chucking it in later for a slow burn.

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  # 1342668 13-Jul-2015 23:51
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Is it a woodburner or a normal fire. I find fires in wood burners far harder to start. Apparently some types you reverse stack them now so you put the newspaper and kindling at the top and the logs underneath.



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  # 1342669 13-Jul-2015 23:59
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mattwnz: Is it a woodburner or a normal fire. I find fires in wood burners far harder to start. Apparently some types you reverse stack them now so you put the newspaper and kindling at the top and the logs underneath.


It's a woodburner but it's not that new or anything.  I've been using firestarters, far easier than mucking about with newspaper.  I still use kindling.

I think I got a decent fire going this time (it's cold tonight and the last one had burnt out) by building a good kindling stack in the middle and logs either side, then two on top, as the logs were flat on the base of the woodburner they seemed to stay put.  Getting a lot of heat into these things seems to be the trick...

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  # 1342691 14-Jul-2015 06:56
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I suspect you're talking about the stuff made of compressed sawdust. For that you really need a fire going first. They're pretty crap though.
From memory, I don't think you're supposed to burn them whole either. You hit them in a solid corner (hearth, concrete step, etc.) and they break. You can "split" the whole thing into biscuits, they burn a LOT better than a whole one.




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  # 1342695 14-Jul-2015 07:17
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if you know how to build a decent fire, then build a decent fire, then add the roundwood.

if you don't know how to build a decent fire, then learn to build a decent fire :) - just ask




Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


 
 
 
 




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  # 1342715 14-Jul-2015 08:23
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andrewNZ: I suspect you're talking about the stuff made of compressed sawdust. For that you really need a fire going first. They're pretty crap though.
From memory, I don't think you're supposed to burn them whole either. You hit them in a solid corner (hearth, concrete step, etc.) and they break. You can "split" the whole thing into biscuits, they burn a LOT better than a whole one.


nah it's not the biscuity stuff, it's just wood

anyway my strategy last night worked, build a decent fire out of kindling, stack the roundwood about it. It's all gone this morning and the house is warm so it must have worked OK :)  I guess the roundwood is good for slow burning after you have things cranking.  Thanks all.

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  # 1342835 14-Jul-2015 10:34
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do people let their fires go all night? i remember once sleeping in the lounge it was too cold in the room, let the fire burn and woke up to a house full of smoke! something malfunctioned!




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  # 1342891 14-Jul-2015 11:14
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joker97: do people let their fires go all night? i remember once sleeping in the lounge it was too cold in the room, let the fire burn and woke up to a house full of smoke! something malfunctioned!


Assuming a wood burner, flue is well maintained, no combustibles nearby, can't really think what could happen.  Maybe something block the flue and smoke pushed into the house, then smoke alarms go and you douse it.

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  # 1342924 14-Jul-2015 11:41
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joker97: do people let their fires go all night? i remember once sleeping in the lounge it was too cold in the room, let the fire burn and woke up to a house full of smoke! something malfunctioned!

When I was a kid and we had a wood burner, we'd always let it burn all night and usually the next day just throw a few new bits and pieces on and away it went again! Chain smoking!

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  # 1342951 14-Jul-2015 12:22
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My fire has gone out once in the last couple of months, and that's cause we went away.




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  # 1342988 14-Jul-2015 13:28
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i keep mine going all the time where possible, and if it does die there is usually enough heat to get it going again with a bit of kindling


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  # 1346635 18-Jul-2015 09:52
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Build it like an Indian tent, with some newspaper and kindling and fire starter in the middle.  Ask any South African, but don't be surprised if he does not tell you all his family secrets on the way he makes a fire - it is sacred (and secret).




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