Chopping kindling is boring and firelighters are smelly and expensive.
With this easy technique, you can create all you need to light your woodburner, using your woodburner. (Well, barring a couple sheets of newspaper)
-Woodburning stove with good door seals.
-A few sheets of newspaper
-Normal, seasoned logs
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Step 1: Shutting Down the Woodburner
This is the most important step!
You need to shut the woodburner down correctly to create the conditions for easy lighting but also avoid sooting the glass or creosoting the flue.
You need to close all vents tightly on the woodburner when you're finished using it. It needs to be a good seal.
However, you need to do this ONLY once all logs in it have burnt off all their volatiles and are just embers. You're basically making a small amount of charcoal.
Any logs that are still flaming or aren't just embers will soot the glass and, potentially, add creosote to the flue.
The first picture indicates a good shut down point.
The last picture shows what you should be left with the next day.
If you find you're only left with ash, it's likely that the woodburner doesn't seal well enough.
If the glass is unduly sooty, or even tarry, it's likely the last logs put on, needed longer to burn or were damp.
Step 2: Build the Fire.
First, dig a hole through the ash to expose the grate in the middle. Just a circle a few inches across. Leave the rest of the ash as it is.
Move any of the larger bits of charcoal that fall into the hole to either side.
Then, loosely scrunch a couple sheets of newspaper and put them in the hole.
Put some of the charcoal lumps back on top of the newspaper and plonk a log or two on top of that. Don't need to be anything special but should be seasoned. I've shown some pretty big logs there to illustrate the point.
At this point, it's ready to light.
Step 3: Light the Fire
Nothing special here, open all the vents, leave the door ajar if needed and light the newspaper.
It may appear to burn all the newspaper and die, but so long as some of the embers are glowing, wait a while...
The embers should continue to catch one another alight and soon the fire will be going well!
Good luck and I hope this saves you as much effort messing about with kindling as it does me.