Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lighting the Woodstove

Righto... we don't quite live in the boondocks but, we do have a wood-burning stove in the living room. It provides heat for the main floor... we could use the electric baseboards but the fire is more... fun! And it involves quite a process to get it lighted.
Sandy is going to help today. He's been watching Mama and thinks he has it down pat. First you open the door and make sure the previous fire is out...
 Then you get into the wood basket and trot out to the wood pile.
Which is tightly covered under a plastic tarp to keep it moderately dry. The rock in front of Sandy is for keeping the tarp from blowing away!
 Alright... first we need to get some kindling. There are a bunch of old cedar shakes here, which split up and break up into nice pieces of kindling.
Then we need a couple of smallish pieces of wood - about one to two inches on a side...
Then there are the big pieces of wood (which Sandy couldn't lift)! And now we go back inside.
 Lighting the wood stove takes a lot of patience. But if you take the time now, it ends up being a much better fire! First you need to make a bunch of crumpled newspaper sheets... Sandy was good at that!
 You make a nice bed of newspaper balls in the bottom of the wood stove.
 Now you lay several pieces of kindling in a criss-cross pattern on the newspaper.
 Then you add two of the smaller pieces of wood on top of everything.
 Stand back and light it! Yay!!
Then... you close the door most of the way, but not all the way - and don't latch it. You wait until everything is going really good and then you latch the door. That will dampen it down a bit (and there is a flue lever as well to move around). Once it is going very well with the door shut and things are nice and hot, you put in a big piece of wood, batten down the door, turn the lever to low and the whole thing will simmer away for hours! If you don't turn the lever down and leave it on high (lots of oxygen)... then the whole thing burns to ash in 30 minutes and you end up wasting wood! Sandy thinks he has this down now!


  1. You're a great helper Sandy, but don't get too close to the fire, you don't want to singe your fur! Is your Mom going to let you make smores? Those are yummy.

  2. You guys are so right! Wet fur is an easy fix but singed fur... that would not be good!! Mama says smores are bad for the complexions of little bears... is that true?

  3. Good on you, Sandy! That looks nice and cosy :)

  4. It's beary important to stay warm! The damp coastal air is... brrrr!!!