How to Light a Coal Fire Without Wood?

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Joined: Sun. Oct. 15, 2006 5:43 am
Location: UK

Post Sun. Oct. 15, 2006 5:48 am

Hi, my name's Sim, I'm new here. Apologies if this question has already been done.

I live in the UK, in a smokeless zone, which means that I'm not allowed to burn wood or regular coal in my fireplace, only smokeless fuel - I'm not actually sure what it's made of but it comes in bricquettes and looks and smells like coal. Is it possible to light it without using a bed of burning wood to get it going? Any help most gratefully appreciated.


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Post Sun. Oct. 15, 2006 9:01 am

I'm not sure what your fuel is, but there are a few ways to start a coal fire without wood.

The favorite way is to use a hand-held propane torch. I'm not sure if these are available in the UK or not. We use them for soldering/brazing water pipes. It is a small propane or butane cylinder with a burner attachment screwed onto it.

If using a propane torch, first crumble several pieces of your 'smokeless' coal and make a row or pile of the crumbles, and put the other coal around the pile or row of 'crumbles' Use the propane torch to light the 'crumbles'.

We have a product in the states called a 'coal mouse' it is a small box with a 'tail' coming out of it, you bury the box in the coal, and you light the 'tail' and the box burns hot to get the coal burning. I don't think they can be shipped due to the fire hazard.

If you use very small thin very dry sticks of wood, they won't smoke at all, you could use them without being 'caught' burning 'smokey fuel'

Hope this helps. Greg L
Burning Pea/Buckwheat through an antique stoker [semi retired SSboiler],
Running an Axeman-Anderson 260M boiler burning Pea, About 150-250#per day
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Post Mon. Oct. 16, 2006 5:45 pm

Charcoal and lighter fluid!
Never interrupt your enemy when they are making a mistake!

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Post Mon. Oct. 16, 2006 7:51 pm

The people at Alaska suggested self lighting charcoal. The mouse will be a little smelly but very effective. I've yet to try a torch but have one.

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