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To burn or not to burn?

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To burn or not to burn?

Old 26th Oct 2007, 09:01
  #1 (permalink)  
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To burn or not to burn?

Tis the time of year when one's thoughts turn to stockpiling of various burnables to chuck on the fire.

I have a dilemma, I live in North London, Hendon specifically and as such am in a smoke free zone. Over the years my neighbours have become accustomed to my fragrant abuse of said law but this year I lit my fire for the first time the other night and had a complaint that the locality smelt of cherries I was burning ch...... well you get my drift.

Should I back down and shove fake flowers in the fireplace or stick to my guns and crack on with my, very much loved, fires?

For the record if burning coal I use smokeless and I do buy good quality wood of many varieties to vary the odour a little.

I have to say that Xmas morning would not be the same without a roaring fire, roasting chestnuts on a shovel whilst drinking champers!
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 09:12
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DON'T PUT FAKE FLOWERS IN THE FIREPLACE!!

Use pine cones instead. They look nice I was all for a real fire when I moved in, but my neighbour with whom I share the chimbly breast, talked me out of it - he's a retired fireman & went to a hundred or so chimney fires in his time.


I was prevaricating gover the idea, but when I went to renovate the fireplace itself, I found that the 'professional' developers who'd bodged the place up before me had installed a fireback made from... a piece of cardboard.
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 09:23
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Ask the neighbours what odours they would like then source the requisite wood. Ask them round for Champers and chestnuts one cold evening to get them on your good side. You never know, they might enjoy it and be more tolerant of your pyromania!

As an aside, we don't live in a smokeless zone and about 2.5 years ago, I was doing some paperwork on a Sunday evening before returning to work next morning (expenses claims, very important). I went upstairs to get some receipts and noticed a smoky smell which became stronger in Noisy jnr's room (airing cupboard in there with a hole in ceiling of it to accomodate heating pipes). Smoke coming from airing cupboard so I checked the electrics in it, then the attic, full of smoke and shouted at 'er indoors to get out with dog and child and call 999. When I went out into the front garden, I noticed neighbour's chimney with flames shooting out of it. They had a chimney fire and the Senior Fire Officer subsequently told me that they admitted to never having the chimney swept! They'd been in the house 6 feckin years and were regular 'burners'.
Took a week or two to get rid of the smell.

Sorry, bit off topic there.
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 09:36
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If you live in North London, perhaps you could stick the entire Tottenham Hotspur board on the fire for me !!!

Sorry. Bit of an off topic rant about Martin Jol's sacking
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 09:37
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Have had chimney swept, that was an event for the locals as we all stood outside and watched the brush poke through for good luck, and checked for soundness. The local sweep issued us with a "fireworthiness" certificate and that's good enough for me!

Quite how the local sweep manages to stay in business in a smoke free zone is another matter!
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 09:50
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Can you not buy smokeless coal????? I burn turf and logs in the winter....just love the smell
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 09:56
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The troublw with open fires is they draw in draughts to replace the oxygen. Brrr! Can I add my voice to Burn Levy? Thanks.
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 11:10
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Candoo

Easy. Burn!

Do your bit for Global warming (as I do).

Burn loads of plastic, coal, wood anything that might help heat the place up a bit!

I'm looking forward to getting back in this evening, and the fire will be ablaze.

One of lifes simple pleasures.

To your neighbours: Knickers!
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 13:35
  #9 (permalink)  
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They have fireplaces here in the houses in Texas. It's really the stupidest thing. Granted, they look nice and smell nice, but they mess up the paintwork in the house and then you end up with your face roasting and your ass freezing (or is it just my poor firemaking skills?). The stupidest thing of all though is thet they start getting lit when it gets cold - like down to around fifty maybe


I'm going to cap off our chimbley because it's basically a gigtantic hole in the roof and in Winter, you can feel slugs of cold air cascading down it. It short, my opinion is that (for me) it's more trouble than it's worth. I hope you enjoy yours htough.
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 14:07
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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh, oh dear! I'm not spelling police by any means but these made it hard to read.

thet

chimbley

gigtantic

htough.

I know what you mean - yee hah!

One has decided to light fire shortly by traditional methods: screwed up newspaper balls, bit of kindling, loads of smoky coal, and let me see, ah apple wood.

I can feel the shoulders dropping as we speak, total relaxation zone and only a few hours til the sun drops below the yardarm - it'll be a tad quicker after tomorrow.
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 14:30
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I got hold of some eucalyptus for the fireplace a while back and it made the house smell great, plus the added bonus of not much smoke once it got going.

Smoked like a buggger until it got going though
Black wattle is really good for the BBQ as it makes great coals once it burns down.

Both varietals from Dunnunda and declared as noxious weeds in Saffrica.
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 14:51
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They have fireplaces here in the houses in Texas. It's really the stupidest thing. Granted, they look nice and smell nice, but they mess up the paintwork in the house and then you end up with your face roasting and your ass freezing (or is it just my poor firemaking skills?). The stupidest thing of all though is thet they start getting lit when it gets cold - like down to around fifty maybe
I'm going to cap off our chimbley because it's basically a gigtantic hole in the roof and in Winter, you can feel slugs of cold air cascading down it. It short, my opinion is that (for me) it's more trouble than it's worth. I hope you enjoy yours htough.
I live in Texas and last night it was 39.6C. I haven't lit the fire yet, but it's getting dangerously close. Nothing quite like having a howling northerly coming down the chimney and blowing ash all over the place. Keeps the wife amused.
Besides if you have slugs of cold air coming down, then light the fire and presto, no more cold air.
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 15:08
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I was brought up with a coal-fired household (dad worked in the local pit). First job for whoever was up first was light the fire (from age 7 in my case).

One thing we didn't have any problem with was getting rid of unwanted paper stuff - it just went on the fire. No need for shredders then. (Works a treat for getting rid of snotty tissues as well).
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 18:57
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"I live in North London "..........You have a whole city to choose from for combustable material......and do the world a favour at the same time.....and you post on here asking for advice ........for goodness sake man, use your bloody initiative !
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 19:39
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There are a couple of decent suggestions of what to set fire to in this thread.
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 20:21
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I loved my fire. I miss it like mad.

It was made to go into lean burn with a mixture of wood and coal. The core of the fire was so white that it was too bright to look at. I usually had to replace the grate every year, but the heat made the smoke rise, and what there was didn't have much blackness to it, if you know what I mean.

This is the point I guess. Burn it as hot as hell, and it doesn't affect the neighbors. Allegedly.

I used to sweep my own, cos there was a heck of a kink in the brickwork. Had to do it from the room, then go on the roof and do it downwards. When finally I got fed up with this I called our local Fluologist. (that's what was on the side of his van.) He came in with a dust sheet that was 80 years old. It had so many patches it was almost all new bits. He was a character, worth the money just to listen to him reminisce. Then there was the Squirrel.

Ooooooh ****! We came in to find soot 6 feet across the room. 6 inches deep. There were strange foot marks on...well, everything really. On the windowsill there was a black object. It blinked. Big white eyes in the blackness. From then on when I wanted the chimney cleaned, I shoved squirrels up and put a screen over the gap.


Edit....Talking of Texas, I just found a pic of my 30th wedding anniversary. We are standing in front of our Austin office fireplace. I suggested that we had a real fire on the coldest days, just to impress the locals. I looked up the 'chimney'. There was nothing but 2 X 4s and sheet rock. (plasterboard) the building would have been ashes in a few minuets.

Last edited by Loose rivets; 26th Oct 2007 at 20:31.
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 22:20
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Now have black smelly fingers that Mrs Candoo would not go near with the biggest barge pole ever!

Have deduced that fresh wood is the best wood for burning.

I love my fire - sorry to you S Californian's though, it must be hell.
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Old 26th Oct 2007, 23:01
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Burning wood is OK and I understand the 'homely' feel it gives, especially around christmas time. If you burn fresh wood, you'll clog your chimney up with soot and produce loads of dark smoke - not good in a smoke free zone! You should burn 2 parts seasoned wood to 1 part new wood as a good mix. Not too much smoke, and a really nice fire.
Personally, I prefer to turn seasoned wood on my lathe!
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Old 28th Oct 2007, 18:50
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Candoo. I share your pain by being in a smokeless zone and owning a lovely open fireplace (and nice rug, too). Some of the bigger local supermarkets do
'firelogs' which is a large brown firelighter in a packet, which burns for 2 hours. I've even bought the one that crackles. There's not much heat that comes out but they look (and sound) the part.

Either that, or I usually wait until it gets dark - which at this time of the year is well before I get home from work!
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Old 29th Oct 2007, 01:49
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Ah the manliness of chopping logs. Four inches in diameter, six inches long, still smelling of sap. You're poised with your hatchet and take a mighty swing to split it.
You make a small dent.
Change of plan. Make a coal fire,wait.. chuck whole logs on. Cosy log fire.
However, although I don't live in a smoke free zone, if the wind blows the wrong direction, the smoke comes back down over the hot fire billows out and turns my living room into a smoking room for kippers. So you have to open specific windows.

Result, you're freezing cold, you can't see, in front of a cosy open log fire.
Bloody builder.
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