Author Topic: Kindling 101  (Read 8868 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Old Philosopher

  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 15597
  • "I have an opinion about that...."
Kindling 101
« on: August 26, 2012, 09:57:41 AM »
It's getting time to think about getting firewood ready for winter. I thought I'd posted this video, but can't find it now, so I'm putting it in this section since it has more to do with processing firewood than it does with "bushcraft skills".



For those who favor the hatchet, I'm including this video also in the same thread.

« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 10:03:07 AM by Old Philosopher »
The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.

Offline Highlife

  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 1257
  • Sometimes more is more.
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2012, 06:44:02 AM »
Thanks for sharing your technique. I definitely agree that splitting with a heavier headed axe is easier than a lighter one! Let gravity do the work.

I do like the lay-down and strike method for smaller pieces with a hatchet, where you lay the handle parallel to the piece and strike them both down together. Works well for small pieces, not big ones.

For many climates, if you plan to keep your fire burning fairly long and fairly large, you only need kindling to get it started, then can feed whole logs one later (I know, it doesn't work well for fireplaces or wood-burning stoves). If you plan to do this, do yourself a favor and like OP says, pick a pretty, knot-less piece for the kindling and save a lot of time and effort!

What's that smell?

Offline OutdoorEnvy

  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 3790
  • Outdoor Junky Approved
    • OutdoorEnvy
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2012, 07:33:25 AM »
Nice vids.  The second one made me really want winter to get here already.  :)
Proverbs 27:17    "As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend"
http://outdoorenvy.blogspot.com/

Offline MATT CHAOS

  • Friction Fire Fellowship
  • Friction Fire Fellowship
  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 3856
  • M.E.S.H. Knives
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2012, 05:42:43 PM »
I will be doing the same soon, too.  Getting ready for winter.  ;)
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 06:18:41 PM by MATT CHAOS »
Jontok Bushy Approved    Member#28   
1st Aid/CPR/AED Wilderness 1st Aid Instructor

Offline wolfy

  • Supporting Member
  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 17395
  • "You want a toe? I can get you a toe." -Sobchak
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2012, 05:54:08 PM »
I think I'll wait just a bit.....105 degrees here today >:(
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
Augustus McCrea.....Texas Ranger      Lonesome Dove, TX

Offline Old Philosopher

  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 15597
  • "I have an opinion about that...."
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2012, 09:19:25 PM »
I think I'll wait just a bit.....105 degrees here today >:(
This time of year drives me nuts! 97 in the daytime, 36 at night!
The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.

Offline Bearhunter

  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 4642
Kindling 101
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2012, 09:40:17 PM »
I think I'll wait just a bit.....105 degrees here today >:(
This time of year drives me nuts! 97 in the daytime, 36 at night!
I here ya there OP, but at least the heat doesn't last as long now!
Don't wait until it's too late to live your dream!

Offline Old Philosopher

  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 15597
  • "I have an opinion about that...."
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 09:56:17 PM »
I think I'll wait just a bit.....105 degrees here today >:(
This time of year drives me nuts! 97 in the daytime, 36 at night!
I here ya there OP, but at least the heat doesn't last as long now!
A week ago it was still 81o at 9 pm! Three days later we had a frost scare in the garden.
The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.

Offline River_Womyn

  • Mill File+
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2012, 04:01:04 PM »
Very nice video!  My problem is I can't seem to find a solid, level stump for splitting..Looking again this year, til then I am using a splitter..I don't enjoy using electricity for this task >:(

Found this link when I viewed video.  Thought this was pretty good if you were planning to stay on a site for a while.

« Last Edit: September 02, 2012, 04:08:56 PM by River_Womyn »

Offline Old Philosopher

  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 15597
  • "I have an opinion about that...."
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2012, 04:12:10 PM »
My splitting blocks ('stumps')  are rounds of Larch. I get one about 16"-18" in diameter, and it get whittled away over a few years. Just replaced them this summer.
One thing about a splitting block: the shorter you are, the shorter you want the block. When the wood to be split is too far off the ground, you loose a lot of power from your swing. About the time you get a good arc going, you're already at the wood. Ideally, IMO, a splitting block ought to be only about 12" high, and I'm 6 foot.
The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.

Offline River_Womyn

  • Mill File+
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2012, 04:45:31 PM »
My splitting blocks ('stumps')  are rounds of Larch. I get one about 16"-18" in diameter, and it get whittled away over a few years. Just replaced them this summer.
One thing about a splitting block: the shorter you are, the shorter you want the block. When the wood to be split is too far off the ground, you loose a lot of power from your swing. About the time you get a good arc going, you're already at the wood. Ideally, IMO, a splitting block ought to be only about 12" high, and I'm 6 foot.

Good to know.  Thanks OP!

Offline Bearhunter

  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 4642
Kindling 101
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2012, 09:55:21 PM »
My splitting blocks ('stumps')  are rounds of Larch. I get one about 16"-18" in diameter, and it get whittled away over a few years. Just replaced them this summer.
One thing about a splitting block: the shorter you are, the shorter you want the block. When the wood to be split is too far off the ground, you loose a lot of power from your swing. About the time you get a good arc going, you're already at the wood. Ideally, IMO, a splitting block ought to be only about 12" high, and I'm 6 foot.
You sound like a fellow that's split a few rounds...
I agree 110% ;)
Don't wait until it's too late to live your dream!

Offline Old Philosopher

  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 15597
  • "I have an opinion about that...."
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2012, 10:20:12 PM »

You sound like a fellow that's split a few rounds...
I agree 110% ;)
9-10 cord a year, for the past 12 years. And that doesn't count before I got to Montana.  :P
I know guys who split that much a month, but I ain't one of them!
 
The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.

Offline Old Philosopher

  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 15597
  • "I have an opinion about that...."
Bump!
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2013, 12:18:05 PM »
I'm bumping this for new members, and because it was on my mind after my morning's chore.
While searching for where his thread was buried, I came across a thread I missed back in August. Don't know how!
The interesting thing about the "barefoot girl" is that she's also using a DB axe. In my very humble opinion, and only based upon experience, I count the DB as THE superior wood splitter (power equipment aside.  ;) ).  You can see that I'm more interested in utility, than looks. This is the 3rd winter of using that axe with a taped handle. Haven't seen a need to rehaft it yet.

Anyway...from selecting some 1/4-1/2 rounds from the wood pile, this whole operation took just under 20 minutes.



If you want to watch another DB in action, check out Bearhunter's thread, and the video.

 http://bladesandbushcraft.com/index.php/topic,2843.msg47672.html#msg47672

There were comments about how easy poplar is to split. Well, maybe so, but the there are two secrets to making it look easy: 1) the wood is straight grained, and 2) she knows what she's doing!
Like I said in my video, wood selection is key to saving frustration. You might buck out a 20 foot log, and only have 1, or 2 16" rounds that are suitable for good kindling.



The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.

Offline Old Philosopher

  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 15597
  • "I have an opinion about that...."
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2013, 02:17:57 PM »
*BUMP* Just 'cause it's that time of the year again.  ;)
The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.

Offline MnSportsman

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 6309
  • Just call me, JB, it is easier to type. ;)
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2013, 06:56:43 PM »

Hope WoodTrekker doesn't see this pic... He may have a conniption seeing the handle wrap on the axe...
;)


Just a joke. WT.. Don't get all riled up on me.
:)


Get your wood piled high folks.. I'm thinking it is gonna be a hard/cold Winter for many folks.. The heck with GW-ing... They don;t know crap...
;)
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline Old Philosopher

  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 15597
  • "I have an opinion about that...."
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2013, 07:03:51 PM »
LOL!  Just like a perfectly clean desk, a pristine axe is the sign of a warped mind.  :lol:
The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.

Offline dancan

  • Whetstone +
  • **
  • Posts: 330
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2014, 03:18:42 AM »
That time on the year again bump .


Offline xj35s

  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 1722
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2014, 07:59:12 AM »
Okay, I get the whole splitting kindling thing. Doesn't anyone use the tops? I keep and cut up all of the branches from trees I fell. From the small stuff to 2" diameter. This is my starter. I always prime the chimney with a couple big gobs of newspaper then light the kindling.

My first year with a wood stove so Please be nice.

I have used my Fiskars X-7 for splitting down the short end logs. I split everything by hand with a Fiskars X=27 I think it is. Their splitting maul blows the chunks apart.

We have almost 7 face cord IN THE HOUSE. People say we are crazy because of bugs. Haven't seen any. couple spiders is all. By the entrance way is 8' x8. There are 3 rows on the wall near the stove. I have another 1 and a half afce in the other corner but no picture. Middle picture is our tinder tote with cut branches and bark.

pessimist complain about the wind. optimist expect the wind to change. realist adjusts the sails.

Offline MnSportsman

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 6309
  • Just call me, JB, it is easier to type. ;)
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2014, 08:42:45 AM »
  Xj35s, It is your house. do as ya like.
 ;)


  You are not the only one to store wood in their homes, but I don't recall that much wood ( 7 f.cords) inside their home proper.


   I have also seen where folks have set their wood in stacks along their back or side door for easy access to get at it in the Winter. I have actually helped a buddy of mine who is a tree trimmer to deliver & stack wood in such a manner. The stacks are usually covered with tarps to help prevent rain/freezing rain & snow from freezing the wood together. The stacks run alongside the walkways & usually to where they store the rest of their wood in a leanto/shed. They kind of act as a "snow fence" also to prevent drifting. It would also help if one was in a snowstorm or blizzard to easy access any needed firewood. I also know of rural folks ( many old timers in particular) who tie ropes from their home to outbuilding like barns & sheds to be able to know how to get to their animals, or other storage areas in a snowstorm/blizzard & back again. Particularly those with dairy cattle that need to go back & forth at least 2x a day to milk & other chores.
Really. True stuff.


As a side note for other things folks do to prep for the cold months other than kindling & firewood. My neighbor for example, among others I have seen, take straw or hay bales & stack them up against their house along the foundation & cover them for insulation purposes. Then remove in the Spring. They also cover their windows on the outside with plastic & lathe. And even put insulation on windows they don't need on the inside then cover to help with insulating. One last thing & I do this myself, is place a snow scoop shovel by every exterior door, on a hook so it is not liable to fall over & be hard to find, and to be able to have the shovel handy on snowy days. hard to open the outer storm door sometimes when the snow piles up.
 ;)


  Anyway, If ya need to have the wood, do what it takes to make it handy & stored well.


  BTW, for those who might not know.. I have found that it is easier to split wood outside, that was stored outside, when it is cold out. The cold helps because the moisture in the wood is frozen. Just something to think on if you live in a climate where you have some split & some blocked, but not yet split. Besides, it usually warms ya up to split wood, & no better time to get warmed up while than when it is very cold out & ya need the wood anyway. Better than when it is hot out & you are sweating... LOL


Anyway... enough of a ramble...
 ;)


  Do what ya need to do, & the heck with everyone else. You aren't harming anyone doing your thing there. That's cool. Go for it.
 :) 


Edit: I missed a mispelled "kindling" one place. ok? LOL
« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 08:50:46 AM by MnSportsman »
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline xj35s

  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 1722
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2014, 12:23:22 PM »
Thank you. Part of the reason was a lot of it I cut from downed trees. Some is green cut from standing and needs to dry. Most of it is seasoned though. The rest of what we get will go outside.


So what about the branches? There is a guy pulling timber from the woods down the road. I would like to ask if I can cut and remove the left behind tops. They always make a mess of the woods. I bet the and owner would be happy. Is it worth the effort?
pessimist complain about the wind. optimist expect the wind to change. realist adjusts the sails.

Offline xune

  • Whetstone +
  • **
  • Posts: 320
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2014, 12:34:04 PM »
Tops are always useful, even if only for kindling. When cutting I usually take everything that I can from a tree unless it is smaller than my thumb. If its smaller than that I'll usually leave them there to eventually biodegrade and let the soil use some of those nutrients. Maybe just me, but the smallest of the tops usually aren't worth the effort.
I'll tell you what hermits realizes. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you'll come to understand that you're connected with everything.

Offline Old Philosopher

  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 15597
  • "I have an opinion about that...."
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2014, 11:01:03 PM »
We have small wood racks inside each house.  They hold about 4-5 good arm loads.  One porch has a 4' rack we stack about 5' high. The rest of the wood is under 3 wood lean-tos. One holds 2.5 cord, and the the other 2 hold 1 cord each.  There is about 5 more cords under tarps to season.  I got real tired of fighting snow covered tarps during the winter, hence all the woodsheds.

As for tops and branches, if it produces BTUs, it's worth hoarding and using, if you want to mess with it.  Coniferous bark burns as hot as coal...just watch the creosote in the chimneys. One March I ran low of wood, and spent 3 weeks heating with just the bark scraps from the splitting operation.

The technique of 'priming' the stovepipe with newspaper is an old one, and can be useful.  A pre-heated pipe draws better when the fire is first struggling. Both my stoves are 'air tight' designs, so you can't even access the chimney from inside the stove.

Nice pile o' sticks, Dancan!  Thanks for bumping this thread.
The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.

Offline dancan

  • Whetstone +
  • **
  • Posts: 330
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2014, 06:02:27 PM »
Thanks OP , I was thinking of your video when I was making them trying out the db to see what you were talking about and like you , I found the db to be the tool to make kindlin  :)
10" blocks of straight grain wood is fast and fun .
When I'm out doing firewood I take the tops all the way down to about 2" , when doing cleanups around the house and have loppers in my hand I'll go down to 1/4" and that goes in the kindlin pile .
You don't need a big truck or trailer to get your firewood either , my van will haul 1/4 to 1/3 of a cord at a time .



And it'll even haul it out for me .



I'll usually split the bigger rounds so I can stack the wood in nice and tight .




Offline xj35s

  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 1722
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2014, 10:33:29 AM »
That's awesome. People laugh at my trailer hitch on the Cavalier and I laugh back because it has a 2,000 lb towing capacity. Not bad for a four cylinder!

Nice work on that load job.
pessimist complain about the wind. optimist expect the wind to change. realist adjusts the sails.

Offline Old Philosopher

  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 15597
  • "I have an opinion about that...."
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2016, 07:08:31 PM »
*BUMP*  For new members, if there are any.
It's that time of year again.  If you're having trouble finding good fire starters for you wood stoves, or just lazy like I'm becoming, here is a really good deal for you:


http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/38687?feat=Fatwood-SR0&page=fatwood-box
The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.

Online madmax

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 8704
  • The Phoenix
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2016, 02:25:09 PM »
Fatwood is good.  And it smells good when you're processing it.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
Hunter S, Thompson

Offline Old Philosopher

  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 15597
  • "I have an opinion about that...."
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2016, 03:41:40 PM »
This will be our 3rd year getting one of these boxes. We kindle 2 wood stoves almost daily for four months, and a box lasts us one season. 2 sticks per fire is all you need.
The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.

Online madmax

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 8704
  • The Phoenix
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2016, 05:42:23 PM »
Fatwood is not hard to find in my neck of the woods.  I have several stumps I harvest from in the forest.  And plenty more I noted going by.  On cool evenings, processing the stuff I have brought home is great.

A few years ago a well meaning friend, knowing how much we like the fireplace and campfires, gave us bought box.  She was so proud of herself that she had found the perfect present.  LOL. 
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
Hunter S, Thompson

Offline Old Philosopher

  • Belt Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 15597
  • "I have an opinion about that...."
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2016, 06:01:46 PM »
Fatwood is not hard to find in my neck of the woods.  I have several stumps I harvest from in the forest.  And plenty more I noted going by.  On cool evenings, processing the stuff I have brought home is great.

A few years ago a well meaning friend, knowing how much we like the fireplace and campfires, gave us bought box.  She was so proud of herself that she had found the perfect present.  LOL.
Well....it would have been a great present for US! LOL!  I have so many irons in the fire, and diminished energy these days, that going out just to find and bust up stumps is way down my list.  I've posted several things about my fatwood scores, and continue to harvest as it becomes available.  But my field time is limited, and winters in Montana are loooooong! ;)


I've made a variety of fire starters, from paraffin/sawdust/egg carton types, to little napalm balls of cotton.  Did I ever tell you about my FWIF (pronounced like it's spelled)?  Cleaning it up*, it's my *Fool-With-It-Factor.  At some point in every endeavor, it becomes more economical to pay someone else to do the work than it is to *fool with it yourself.  ;)


The more I understand, the less I know. Pretty soon I'll understand everything, and know nothing.

Online madmax

  • Diamond Stone
  • ****
  • Posts: 8704
  • The Phoenix
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2016, 06:16:27 PM »
I hear ya.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
Hunter S, Thompson

Offline Orbean

  • Whetstone +
  • **
  • Posts: 925
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2016, 06:20:16 PM »
My property is mainly pi?on and juniper, pi?on are our families Christmass trees. I cut four or five a year.I wait a couple of years, pull the stumps, voil? tons of pitch wood. This year pi?on is everywhere, the last time we had a good pi?on was seven or so years ago.  :banana:
Nice matters

Offline xj35s

  • Water Stone
  • ***
  • Posts: 1722
Re: Kindling 101
« Reply #32 on: September 05, 2016, 08:53:17 AM »
We picked up a box of fatwood for $10 from running's. It lasted the entire winter. Our stove is only shut down for ash clean out maybe once a week.

pessimist complain about the wind. optimist expect the wind to change. realist adjusts the sails.