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Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Art Of House Building

In the day and age of a thermostat on the wall, doing something as basic as building a fire is a dieing art. As a kid, we had a cabin on our farm that was used as a recreation spot for family gatherings and such. This small cabin had a massive limestone fireplace that my grandfather built in the 1950's. As a kid it was great fun to build a fire in that old fireplace and cook simple meal.
So what will you need to build a fireplace fire? If you are a purist you will not use any paper, although that is the easiest thing to touch a match to. Then you will also need some dry wood splinters that are split of of a dry log. I would use a good pocketknife to split some splinters of no larger than a pencil thickness at the fat end. Of course they are thinner at the other end and that is just what you want. You will also want to have twigs and sticks that gradually get larger in diameter, and then some logs. Split logs will light easier and faster that rounds.
What you are going to want to do is crumple up just a little bit of newspaper, probably just one sheet. Always remember that fire not only needs fuel but also, and even more important is air. In a crisscross fashion or eve as a teepee shape put your smallest splinter on the paper, using care to allow enough room for air, them on top of those put your smallest twigs, than gradually put larger twigs in place. You are going to want each progressively larger pieces of wood to ignite and burn long enough fort he next larger ones to catch and start burning.
At this point you can place some of you logs around the twigs and sticks and then bridging two of the logs put one or two split logs over the twigs and sticks. You can see how the fire will then progress from one size fuel up to the next size till your logs are burning nicely.
No carefully strike a match and light the paper in a couple of places, and if you performed these task carefully and with precision you will have a brightly burning fireplace fire in a few minutes.



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