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Starting your fire

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  • Starting your fire

    Torch or match?

    Mel's posting got me thinking. We have a good number of brick oven owners out there, and I am wondering how you start your fire. I have used all of my wax fire-starters, and had to resort to newspaper and a match last weekend. It was terrible.

    Do you use a fire starter and a match, or a more serious torch?

    What is the state of the art?

    Send photos and recommendations.

    Last edited by james; 06-06-2006, 11:23 PM.
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

  • #2
    Starting Up


    I use several methods for fire start up, including the ubiquitous newspaper and match. However, for a fail safe start, I use a propane torch that I bought years ago for plumbing. It has a spreader tip. Part of it, I guess, is using very small split softwood or branches from the yard as a base. Get that going and anything will burn on top of it.

    "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


    • #3
      Propane torch

      Yep. I got a propane torch and it works a lot better than a gas match. Thanks for that.

      Pizza Ovens
      Outdoor Fireplaces


      • #4
        [ATTACH=CONFIG]n265783[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]n265784[/ATTACH] Propane torch

        I'm looking forward to starting the next fire in the oven. ---Mel
        Last edited by admin; 12-18-2015, 11:59 AM.


        • #5
          I am having a difficult time finding a good source for wood.
          I live in the Tousand Oaks area, ventura County Southern California.

          Can anuone in the LA or surrounding area provide name of a good resource. Tired of buying wood from supermarket.


          • #6
            A burning desire for local firewood

            (M) I did a Search on Google for "Firewood for sale Thousand Oaks, California."


            Among other returns I saw: California Firewood Sales - 15 miles NE - 10800 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Chatsworth, 91311 - (818) 886-2776

            I suspect much of what you'll find will be Eucalyptus which is supposed to burn hot but may pop and be less manageable due to oils in the wood.

            Maybe if you change the Search terms from Thousand Oaks to "southern California" you'll get more returns.

            Here are 2 freebies but they may be very old:

            FREE FIREWOOD! You split. Call 805-499-9107. FREE HORSE MANURE and FREE LOCAL DELIVERY! ... 3248 Monte Carlo Dr., THOUSAND OAKS. NEIGHBORHOOD GARAGE SALE! ...

            FREE FREE FIREWOOD. You Haul. Call 805497-2266 between 8AM-11AM or 7PM-9PM. FREE FIREWOOD! ... 1961 Country Club Rd., THOUSAND OAKS. TWO FAMILY GARAGE SALE! ...

            Such wood is often construction discards of broken 2x4s and generally not worth the trouble.

            If you'd like to drive 900 miles N. to Oregon, I'll lend you my chain saw and you can cut up downed Alder and Big Leaf Maple. I charge 89 cents per ton but you need to bring your own wheel barrow and pneumatic splitter.



            "Everything should be made as simple as possible, ...
            but no simpler!" (Albert Einstein)


            • #7
              A Burning Issue


              Or, you and he could add on a few more thousand miles, and drive to Ontario. Bring your chainsaws, and we'll drop a bunch of hard maple and ash in a woodlot I have access to. I'll supply the beer: Molson Canadian, natch.

              "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


              • #8
                my brother gave me a bunch of Eucalyptus. i would recommmend against it for pizza. its like burning tires. very oily - bad taste.
                my site for our pompeii and tandoor ovens


                • #9
                  405 & Rosecrans

                  There is a business on the north side of Rosecrans heading east from the 405. Next time I swing by I will check out the name and number.

                  there is also another place near Playa del Rey. I don't know the name or number and only get over there 1x or 2x per year, "Killer Shrimp" run. Again , if I remember, the next time I go that way I will post it.

                  Humm hard maple and ash - my mouth is watering.

                  My apologies to james as we have started to hijack this thread from starting fires to fuel for fires.


                  • #10
                    i bought a flame thrower ...

                    have posted a short (and poor quality) windows movie (.wmv file) at this location for your viewing pleasure and amusement. i purchased the 100,000 btu "weed dragon". what amazes me is that THIS IS THE SMALL ONE. they also sell a 500,000 btu version. i already set one palm tree on fire requiring 4 buckets of water to extinguish (those little hairs on the trunk burn great). the unit is also outstanding for lighting charcoal. my charcoal chimney is now retired. buy one while they're still legal in california and be a hero to your (male) children. weed dragon website is here.
                    Last edited by Robert Musa; 05-30-2006, 01:16 PM.
                    my site for our pompeii and tandoor ovens


                    • #11

                      When I was a potter in high school, we used something VERY much like that to fire a raku kiln up to orange heat. Them's serious burners.
                      My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


                      • #12
                        You're such a MAN

                        Originally posted by Robert Musa
                        have posted a short (and poor quality) windows movie (.wmv file) at this location for your viewing pleasure and amusement. i purchased the 100,000 btu "weed dragon". what amazes me is that THIS IS THE SMALL ONE.
                        I like the way your wife showed restraint when she said "Holy CRAP!" I was thinking of another 4-letter word.

                        Pretty neat.
                        There is nothing quite so satisfying as drinking a cold beer, while tending a hot fire, in an oven that you built yourself, and making the best pizza that your friends have ever had.


                        • #13

                          Uh, Musa.. I don't think "weed burner" was supposed to be taken literally... Eucalyptus no bueno.. Too much oil... L.A guy, here's what I would do. Go to a sawmill that specialises in hardwoods and talk to the operator about his offcuts. There are piles of them at a sawmill I've ben to on San Fernando Road Just don't take them all, because I'm going to be needing some in about a month or so. Then find the nearest orchard, and talk to the farmer about when he prunes his trees.. Take him a twelver, and return in the fall with a chainsaw and a truck and get all that wonderfully aromatic apple, almond and citrus wood everyone talks about... Fire your oven to heat with the hardwood offcuts, then cook with the fruit tree wood.


                          • #14

                            What is the deal with Eucalyptus? I've never used it, but have heard that the oils are a problem. What does it do in an oven? I've fired with Chestnut, and it shot (with warning from the firewood company) sparks 6'-10' out of the mouth of the oven.

                            As you say, fruit woods are nice in an oven....

                            Can you say more on Eucalyptus?
                            Pizza Ovens
                            Outdoor Fireplaces


                            • #15


                              Thanks for the flamethrower demo. I MUST have one of these things to light fires and incinerate the gators (aka monster mosquitoes) that we have here this time of year. Would also be useful for removing paint from cars. What a fine invention.

                              "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827