Discussion in 'Building' started by Ambergreen45, 15 Jun 2013. Good stuff, thanks again to Tim for putting it in the mainstream! Having lit well over 3,000 saunas in my day, and probably that many more fires in fireplaces and fire pits and other pyrotechnics best left forgotten, I had been using a method to start a fire that was good enough, but now I use the “upside down fire” method and it feels like returning to Finland after 3 decades: bummed it’s taken me so long, but grateful to be doing it. An upsidedown fire generates lots of coals. Or you can click on the Share Bar on the left hand of the screen, there is a button there that looks like an envelope, click on it and it will open up your mail program with a new mail that contains a link to the article. I have — as most boys and men do — fancied myself quite a fire-maker. I’ll try some other candles next time – the wax just acts as another fuel in the early stages of the fire. But it seems to me that having put the presentation together for us it shouldn’t be to hard to save it as a pdf. Thanks There were a couple of guys who had been in the boy scouts when they were young and they new the “right” way. No waste at all as every fiber is converted into heat. It makes me wonder though… I haven’t read through all of the comments… but has anyone thought about the chemicals in those fire starter logs? This makes the upside down fire especially good for wood stoves. Not only that, but it’s inspired me. This is simplicity itself! If there’s a particular way you like to build a fire, by all means do it. 2. i have a rather small firebox in my fireplace so i can only get enough wood in for it to burn about 1 1/2 hours. I wonder if this will work in a fireplace in my basement that smoked my house up when I last tried to burn wood. Awesome, Son of Liberty! Don’t let fire tending turn into another full-time job. Combine this with the supposed 90% efficiency of a “Russian Fireplace” and you might have a killer combination. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. (Btw,I’m still new to this ‘prepper lifestyle’-but I am wishing I had been exposed to it,years ago…but now’s as good as any to start learnin’ right? 1) Put the largest logs at the bottom, ensuring there is no space at all between them. A fireplace fire operates differently than your typical campfire, so it makes sense that building one should require a few tweaks to your standard procedure. Seriously, though, thanks for posting this – very useful. Lots if good tips for living frugally and richly. But I think our hugely irregularly shaped logpile might be a challenge, to creating any kind of layers… as well as a tiny little grate. After a lot of argument, I gave up when one of the experts (husband of a friend and former boy scout), seemed like he wanted to fight with me. The small kindling or starter material burns very quickly. You can see it on the first page, it’s the four pictures at the lower line. The great thing about this post is that it not only flies in the face of conventional wisdom, and what every good boy scout is taught, but that the answer (better solution) was right there in front of our faces for so very long. No smoke or minimal smoke – this is related to the thermodynamics of the flue air being heated faster, based on explanations I’ve read. Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Each layer should be laid down crosswise (perpendicular) on top of the layer below, similar to the method used when building a log cabin. It worked quite well, however what do you do when it’s down to the bottom logs and you’re wanting to keep the fire going when you go to bed? WOW-neat info. (Prove this for yourself: Take a stick of incense or cigarette, and hold a lighter up to the smoke. That’s great, Tim… but as Mr. LOL, and you’ll go the distance with a minimum of waste. I learned about this method recently in another blog. That’s how I made campfires all my life. Let a bit of the colder, ground level air sneak in around the bottom of the fireplace, and then light your fire… The air at the top of the chimney outside that is causeing that downdraft is going to be warmer than the air at window level… and the heat from the fire will have no trouble heading up the chimney like it is supposed to. This means use the largest logs you intend to burn and lay them down parallel to each other. Evidence of ancient, man-made fires is present on all five inhabited continents. Pine cones work very well for firestarters. It is then lit off from the top and bums downward. Obviously, they’re waterproof as well. No paper at all. I’ve read that their chemicals and the process of producing them can be environmentally taxing. There’s not much room in the firebox for a large stack of wood as you have shown. I only had to mess with it at the very end to bring the final 2 logs together. Because of this extra burning, the smoke disappears.). Try to lean any flat sides towards the middle of the pile – light it and let it heat up as Tim has shown. April 21, 2016. Add some more logs alternating two at a time moving up a level. This fireplace thing, this is another example of the same logic. Maybe there is strong potential to ‘out man’ the other guys at the fireplace with this obviously superior method, which has its own level of enjoyment for the man-boy…. Did you give our step-by-step instructions a try? 2) This is important: ensure that the paper strips are bent or otherwise prop the fire-starting squares/sticks a bit off of the shingles or layer below. I’d heard about the upside-down fire, but the method you describe is a pure, Platonic form I hadn’t heard described before. It seems to me that when the big logs at the bottom are rolling, you could then add large logs to it, to keep the fire going. Build a Fire Upside Down I just have to write a quick article on building a fire in the smoker as I have always subscribed to the boy scout version.. you know the small stuff on the bottom in a tee pee … https://feels-like-heaven.com/right-way-make-fire-upside-down-fire All the flue does is provide a tube through which air is drawn upwards. Napoleon on News and Information Management (Plus: Video on Outsourcing E-mail and More), https://rss.art19.com/episodes/c62bd9af-f4f6-4bb9-8022-754a79ef46df.mp3, All transcripts from The Tim Ferriss Show, http://www.senorfuego.com/techniques/le-volcan/, http://youtube.com/watch?v=bRZvAAqzXIw&feature=related, How to Build an Upside-Down Fire: The Only Fireplace Method You’ll Ever Need. Thanks Tim, good stuff! One tip for a smoke free start is to light the end of a rolled up newspaper hold it up the chimney for 10 or 15 seconds before lighting the fire to get the airflow moving and avoid any back draft. This is amazing. One of the characters has their lips sewn shut and is then hung upside down in the fireplace and accidentally slow-roasted by the rest of the cast. Tried it last evening – produced a great fireplace fire. Lol). Your email address will not be published. The top down fire or self feeding fire is a fire building technique that's much different than building a conventional fire. It works perfectly but it is important to have dry wood. Upside Down or Top Down Method of Lighting a Fire. My first try, yasterday, was a great success: I have a closed type fireplace (with a glass door). Tim, I found a link to the brochure I mentioned. These melted into the first layer of sticks and helped get the thing hot enough to work beautifully. The upside-down fire produces and projects much more heat than a standard tipi fire. I have to admit, footnote 14 on page 45 is my favorite part of 4-Hour Chef. That is good for the environment. That every fiber is converted into heat might be deceptive with upside down fires I think, I agree that this type of fire would make it burn more of it, but that this ash might as well be carried of and up with the hot air. I had a buddy show me a variation of the upside down fire. This is a might bit old, but soak those chips of cardboard in some melted wax. With indoor fires, it’s especially important to start with well-seasoned wood that won’t smoke you out of your living room. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! The stove sits in the lower level on one side of a 26×50 square house (2 story). Take the thing and flip it over. Awesome, awesome, awesome is all i can say! This entry was posted in Expert Tips , Fireplace … haha! It looks like that you want to see and then this. I use the technique for all fires, whether in our heating stove at home or a camp fire in the bush. share. Hardly a new Goncept. Thanks! It’s was great to see that side of you. Physics. Beautiful, in fact. If there’s a particular way you like to build a fire, by all means do it. Wood shavings can substitute for the paper in this fire lay. Looks like it makes sense. So many great memories formed around fires large and small. The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 500 million downloads. GOt to be tried though I think! We layered the big pieces of wood in a criss cross fashion as kind of a platform and then on the very top, we built a tiny little teepee fire. So then you also have to think about soot or creosote that could settle in your chimney and be a cause for chimney fires. Here are some suggestions for kindling that have worked well for me in the past: Shelter your match and tinder from any wind (If you are lighting your fire with an EverStryke Match, you don’t need to worry about this) and get that fire started. They required babying, rebuilding, etc., and they burned fast. As punishment we were put on fire duty. A sustainable, easy and eco-friendly method to light a fireplace. As for being new to the prepper lifestyle, it is never too late to learn to be prepared so welcome! While my wood stove is large enough to keep a fire going most of the night, it does nearly go out by time to get up in the early morning, leaving only coals and a chilly house. Since 99% of the fires used in Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are for individual cooking fires (Teepee for a quick boil or Log Cabin for frying), yes, they teach ways that burn out quick and are easy to extinguish. Love this idea for heating in a wood stove, and can see why/how people who heat with wood would love this method for building a fire for overnight heat. But I do like camping or sitting around a good campfire just about any time of year. ideas that can help people around the world live a higher quality life; it is very important to find ways to get back to the basics and get their mind to slow down. It’s in german but it has plenty of pictures. Hold the Chimella by the handle, point it up your open chimney with your thumb over the open/close button. I also find myself having to visit the folks and the rest of my family who have all seemed to either stay or move back to Michigan. Lay these logs side by side and as close together as you can get them. Here’s the one other problem: How do you add more wood to this sort of fire? -organizing an office space (to compliment your chair of course), -How to lead &/or motivate team-mates / coworkers, -Quickly studying & retaining large amounts of info (language vocab, math equations, random facts or history). Woodstoves can be a very green and economical way to heat, whereas fireplaces tend to be pretty and pretty wasteful. The charcoal keeps the next layer heated up so *it* produces wood gas and slowly turns to charcoal, and on and on. My guess is that it will work but the fire won’t last as long. Who’s the boss now! Especially for an overnighter. it works. (obviously, dry wood is best with any technique…). I have been looking into publishing an Ebook that encompasses many of the subjects I have written on including the survival skills you mention. May I present to you the Upside Down Fire: The Upside Down Fire Method. Awesome info as always Tim! This is how I make a campfire fire now. It’s been 1 hour and 10 minutes of continuous burn and I haven’t done anything but light the match. Then, after you build up some coals/embers in the middle of the pile, spread apart the logs on just one side. I’m amazed it cuts down on smoke, whilst still being more energy efficient, which is key. As a boy scouts, I sometime made large fire making a small ‘tipi’ on top of a large “upside-down’ fire… then there is even no need for fire-starter other then some newspapers. Thanks, Tim. But having experienced the frustration of continuously tending a fire (I have two wood burning fireplaces), I was soon hooked by your post. (An agricultural experiment station did that research. It was my job to tend that thing. The next 2 logs sit on top of the first 2. The irony is, we have a small-ish wood stove at the cabin and my husband has been reluctant to try this method. You really can’t. By the time you get to the top layer the wood should be of the smallest thickness you have, no bigger than a twig. Because you light the fire at the top of the firebox, the kindling warms the flue and gets the chimney pulling air upwards. I put the bottom logs perpendicular to the opening right on the floor of the fireplace, it worked very well, no burning logs rolling out and I ended up with a bed of coals that I could toss anything on and it would burn. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Then, as the wood doesn’t have any of the gas materials left in it, the charcoal ignites. We recently learned what we’ve concluded is the absolute best way to build a fire in a wood-burning stove. Build the fire upside-down. Will definitely do this on my next backpacking trip. We joked with, Sven, the camp counselor that we had come up with a better way to build a fire and he told us it was a fluke and that we should stick to the tried and true method in the future. Just put it to the test in the mountains of Vermont. This is great! It works but I’ve found out a couple of things while experimenting (I’m an engineer and pyromaniac I can’t help it). Ambergreen45. There you place a fire-starter (the red ring in the second picture). I find that when I get back to mother nature like, a fire, or by water, or out in the woods, under the stars, I become more, In a day an age when most people are telling themselves that they do, not have enough time to work-out, let alone come up with million $$$. Another cool thing to heat homes: Aluminum Can Solar http://youtube.com/watch?v=bRZvAAqzXIw&feature=related, Just a heads up, your “fire starter oil sticks” are actually just pieces of fatwood. 1. We, being smart aleck kids, decided to make a joke out of it. It breeds trust. (Even though it might be very cold outside, this will ultimately heat the house up faster.) It’s a cleaner burn with far less smoke and better combustion, gives off more heat, needs less tending and uses the embodied energy in wood more efficiently than the tipi-esque fire … I think I may try this on my next date. Smoke comes from incomplete combustion, which is what you’ll get when you have a flame struggling under a heavy pile of wood. This causes heat to rise quickly and to warm the flue. In a campfire you put the tinder and everything to get the fire going on the bottom, but in a fireplace the tinder goes on the top. Having had numerous problems lighting our stove in the past, I’m proud to say that this method worked extremely well for me. One of the highlights of this was testing out an alternative fire building method in our back patio firepit. 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