Sunday, August 3, 2014

Fiddling with Kindling

Our wood sheds may be full, but our kindling bin is not.


At least it's not totally empty . . . but I won't feel comfortable until it's filled up to the tippy-top before the start of the fall heating season.


Yesterday Papa Pea and I hauled the wood cutting cradle over by our stack of slabwood that I use for kindling.  This wood is sitting out in the open and with all the rain we've had this summer, it is W-E-T!


We knew we had to get some bundles made and put under cover so they would dry out in order for me to split them into the right sized pieces for kindling.


We fill the cradle, cut the wood, tie it into bundles with baling twine, and then take them to a sunny, covered spot that's protected from the rain.  I'll leave them there for about a month.  Then they'll be ready to be split into kindling and tossed into the kindling bin.

I'm curious to know . . . those of you who have a wood burning stove, how do you handle your kindling situation?  Do you need it for starting fires?  If not, how do you get your fires started?  If you use kindling, do you store a ready supply (and where) or do you make it as you need it?  What kind of wood do you use for your kindling?  Inquiring minds (or at least mine does) want to know.

11 comments:

  1. I gather pine cones and use them for kindling. I start gathering when they start falling and use empty dog food bags to store them in. I also have a friend that makes "fire starter" - old stove ashes mixed with diesel. It works wonderful, especially if you get pieces of wet wood. Be SURE to keep the fire starter covered - I keep mine on the front porch after getting the fire going. You will also be able to smell it, but on the porch it's fine. I keep mine in plastic coffee cans. It only takes a tablespoon or two to get the fire going. The fire starter is mixed until it looks like not real wet soil. Maybe that was too much info, but that's my way of doing it.

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  2. I chop up deadfall branches from my black walnut trees and keep it in a bin in the garage. The 'bin' is just one of those cylindrical leaf containers and easily lasts all winter. Of course, we rarely let the fire go all the way out.

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  3. We pick up the debris after the many splitting sessions and use all of that for kindling. We store it in big rubbermaid bins and cardboard boxes that are around and we store them in the barn. We also gather up all the corn cobs that have been thrown to the chickens after we process it. They dry and we use that for "adjusting" our wood cookstove temps. They give a burst of heat when you need a few extra degrees before putting the pie, bread, or cake in the oven :-) They too make great fire starters.

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  4. We have a wood-burning fireplace that we use to supplement our electric heat-pump and we go the easy way and buy the small fire-starters in bulk at Wal-Mart. We don't need a fire, every day in the winter, just some days during daylight hours, so this works well for us down here in the (usually) mild Southern winter weather. I really enjoyed this post Mama Pea. It was interesting to see the 'cradle' and how you process your wood.

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  5. I'll admit, we are nearly as organized as you two. We simply gather any twigs and branches that fall from the trees over summer, put them in bins in the wood barn. and bring them in as needed.

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  6. We have a small wood burning stove that supplements the furnace. I walk our path in the wood and break up the fallen branches, pack them into 5 gallon buckets and stack them in the old unused chicken coop. It's easy to pull out a bucket full at a time to use to start our fires.

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  7. You two are a great team! I bet you'll have that filled up in no time. Do you ever have snakes in all that wood? I get the heebie jeebies just walking by our wood piles.

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  8. That is a great contraption, that wood cradle! There is nothing that says security like a full woodshed, a full kindling shed, and a barn full of hay! I am more of a hunter-gatherer, when it comes to kindling.

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  9. Well, here at our place, we use a few pine cones if I can get them, but more likely our kindling is leftover 2x4's or some such thing. We split them, put them in an old garbage can or blue plastic barrel and put them on the patio. My all time favorite thing to put under the kindling is pitch wood. David splits it teeny tiny, and we just put the little torch-lighter to a piece of it, and away it goes. Haven't used paper for years. One hunk of a piece will last for a good winter for us here. The stuff is amazing and awesome. I just love it!!

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  10. I make fire starters. I take the lint from the dryer and put it in empty egg cartons then pour a little wax over them. They work great. It makes it so easy for me to start a fire.

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  11. That is a brilliant system Mama Pea! Going to remember that for when I get my wood stove down the road.

    http://caffeinatedhomestead.weebly.com/blog

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