Saturday, March 19, 2011

Talking Wood Stoves

I bought  an Adirondack Drolet wood stove almost exactly a year ago. I am happy with wood stove overall.  When I have seasoned dry oak, I can have the house warm in an hour or two. Sometimes it isn't available.  fThere are always things that are different than just setting the super expensive thermostat for the propane furnace.  It can be somewhat inconvenient.  If you have wood that isn't quite dry, and where we live what is,  you sometimes have a hard time getting  a good bed of coals.
I always use a small propane torch to get things started.  Sometimes the wood just won't light.  Kindling is the first solution but sometimes that just isn't available.   I have found a couple of solutions for that. One is a compressed log sold locally at Resale Lumber. These are $1.20 ea. and three make a nice hot fire.  One will get wet wood going and burn for up to 12 hours.  If you can't get these super compressed logs from Resale Lumber ( the three pack version sold in stores offer nowhere near the heat or length of heat) there is another simple solution that I have discovered. 
Place the best and driest wood you have over 4 or 5 Bridgeford charcoals. the same ones you use in the summer for burgers and tofu. 
Put the coals under the wood and set the torch to the coals.  The coals will light and create enough heat to light most wood.  This works better and is much cheaper than fire starters sold to do the same thing for about 2 bucks a piece.  If you need more heat, ad a few more briquettes from the bag.  Fire starters and chemical logs have a terrible smell when they come out of the chimney and they aren't good for your stove.  Charcoal smells more like a bbq before you put the food on it. 
Save money and keep warm.  If anyone knows why this a bad idea, please straighten me out.


  1. Just a thought;
    maybe you should have got a pellet woodstove. I understand that they work very efficiently and are cheaper than having to buy wood and wood starters.

    You might even be able to convert the one you have into a pellet stove. It's worth looking into.

  2. Pellets are more convenient but you are subject to the price of manufactured pellets. Wood is more competitive as it just grows on trees. If I had to heat a wife and kids, I would use pellets just to avoid the hassle.

  3. You have to learn how to cut kindling - nice thin strips for starters, then put a little paper, make a little teepee with the kindling, get that started and add the wood. You didn't learn all this growing up?

    Keeping a steady supply of wood is vital, you should be buying it all year long and you should have it in a dry storage area if you're serious about it. Oldtimers know this, too many people today don't even know which end of the hatchet to use.

    If you have to use lighter fluid, a torch, or those fake logs from Safeway you haven't earned your stripes yet. LOL

    (And, PS: they advise NEVER to use charcoal briquets for an indoor fire, but... you know, what do they know?

  4. The fake logs at Safeway suck.
    Charcoal is only a problem if the flu doesn't work as far as I can tell. It leaves no residue like duraflame logs etc.

    My wife used to build all the fires when we went backpacking. I learned from her the way to get kindling and build up from there. We seldom backpacked in the rain though. All my kindling is wet. I picked up some more of the super compressed saw dust logs at Resale Lumber this morning. These last longer than regular wood in my stove. Wood lasts about 3 hours at most and these large pellets last up to 12 hours.

  5. It's 39 degrees outside and 68 inside. Life is good for the moment. It will be 75 before I go to bed and still warm when I get up.


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