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Glenn-Beaufort Vic Australia

Hi from Down Under! With regard to newspaper vs cardboard... we take all our toilet roll inserts, tear them up and put them in a glass jar. Then you soak them in kero. They absorb this quite readily. When its time to light the fire you add some of these teared off rolls and light them. They will burn for some time and with good kindling you have a great fire in no time!

Joe Godfrey

As a matter of interest, back in the forties and fifties, in the UK my Grandparents were not that wealthy, and the regular custom for the neighbourhood, was to burn out the chimney soot every year.
A rainy cold day was picked, and the norm was to have a ladder up on the roof, with a hose, and a large piece of cardboard ready to block off the fireplace.
Lots (I mean lots) of paper was stuffed into the fireplace and lit, this when fed with more paper would normally set the chimney on fire, burning off the free soot.
The key points were;
1. the chimney must have been unused for three days, so as not to be hot and maintain a proper chimney fire, where the tar deposits are ready to ignite.
2. The chimney must have been either regularly "burnt" from new, or checked and very well swept before it was done, meaning that there was "only one year of soot" up there.
3. Not to be used if there is evidence of what grandad called "running soot" (wet tar) in the chimney.
4. Don't do it if you didn't learnt it from your dad !

The instructions basically go like this
set the soot alight.
wait a couple of minutes, or before if you get nervous.
Put the hardboard over the fireplace opening to block the updraught.
Shout at your son (the one who if brave enough to do it), up on the roof, and turn on the garden hose.
Your son will have a spray nozzle ready set to wide, but not misty.
He will lower the hose down to the bottom of the chimney, and back up, putting the soot out.
The wife will moan that you didn't put enough rags on the floor, or the son put too much water down the chimney.
Carefull remove the hardboard, if your son's eyebrows disapear, then he hasn't done it right ! ensure you shout at him before he gets a chance to shout at you.

My grandfather had a short but not endless supply of sons, both still with us.

Simple really, but obviously not recommended.

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