Step 1. Lay the kindling out in the criss-cross log cabin pattern like I showed you.  It doesn't take a huge stack of kindling to make this work, but make sure that the air coming in has enough places to pass through the wood on its way up the chimney.




Step 2. Well, the fire isn't going to spontaneous combust, so chances are you're going to have to touch a match or a lighter to the newspaper.  I think that newspaper you have is a little funky and probably not the best tool for lighting a fire.  Either try fresh paper, or switch to a store bought fire-starter.  Since I know money is tight, you'll have to stick with the newspaper right now and hopefully I can connect with Michael again from NW Fuels and get those Super-Cedar fire-starters for you.




Step 3.  Wait.  Be patient, it might take a few minutes for the draft to start taking off and really ripping the air through the criss-cross.  If you have to help things along with a few blows (that's why my head is in the picture), its ok.  Also, at this point don't worry about the air controls, just the doors wide open, and then as things progress you can close them most of the way, like I did.  You should really hear the air being pulled through the crack between the doors when you do that, just like we were yesterday.  If the fire isn't pulling the air hard through the doors, leave them wide open for a few more minutes and let everything catch nicely.  Also, if things are moving slow or smoldering, throw an extra piece or two of crumbled newspaper on top of the smouldering heap.  Chances are it will ignite and get the ball rolling again.




Step 4.  You'll see at this point that I've added another criss-cross split, although this one is a bit bigger.  Remember not to block the air flow coming through the door by places pieces in its way.  Give it an easy path to flow through to the wood at this stage of the game.




Step 5.  Things should be progressing quite nicely at this point, and you should be ready to lay on a nice sized split or two, and close the doors with both air controls wide open, like last night.  This will help get the stove body up to temperature and it should also burn most of the creosote that was created last night during your burn.  If you think the creosote on the doors is excessive, then consider burning the stove a little hotter tonight and see if the results are better.  Chances are good that what's on the door is nothing to worry about, just the result of cool room temperature air causing creosote condensation on the doors.  The higher stove temps will help make sure none of that creosote ends up in the chimney.  If you burned consistently at 350 last night, try keeping it closer to 375 tonight.  Keep experimenting and find that sweet spot.




Step 6. At this point, everything should be up to temperature and you are ready to set the spin dampers to the settings you think you need for the right amount of heat.  Remember last night I think we had them both open 2.5 turns each and that maintained 350 degrees.  Try have them both open 3 tonight and see what you end up with.  If you notice after setting the draft controls that the stove temperature dips too low, open them both wide again and let the whole thing come back up to temperature.  This time, when you adjust them for your long burn, make sure they're open a bit more to keep that stove temperature up!


I wish I could show you air controls, but I only have a fireplace here that I can demonstrate fires in.  Hopefully that helped.  Let me know if you have more questions, or if I wasn't clear about anything.