I receive lots of mail about plunging temperatures and the urgent need for a Texas Fireframe® grate to show up ASAP. I wish I could make the mail go faster, but the Post Office keeps our nationwide shipping rate low. (Thanks Uncle Sam.)
So I thought I’d give our patient customers a to-do list while waiting for their Texas Fireframe grates.
1) Got wood? If not, this is the time to order, gather or cut wood – split or unsplit logs up to 10 inches in diameter can be used on the Texas Fireframe grate. Make sure your wood has seasoned for at least a year, and that you have a place to store it elevated off the ground and protected by a waterproof cover.
2) Plan a party. You can enjoy yourself without being a slave to your fire (it’s that easy to start and maintain), and your guests will gather around and be amazed – and warm.
3) Wood trivia. Know how much is in a cord? A stack of split wood 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet. (Quiz later.) If your grate is a U-25 or a U-33, you may desire logs that are longer than the standard 18”. Don’t be shy about asking wood suppliers for longer lengths – some will comply. Many of our U-33 customers have their own wood supply and can have it cut extra long. As a U-25 user, I ask my log supplier for longer lengths and generally receive 20” – 24”. (But 18” works fine too.) The U-33 can take logs up to 2 ½ feet long.
4) Guess the hottest fire woods.
5) Discover how to combine split logs with an unsplit “back log” that’s yours for the taking. It’s all in our blog post Confessions of a log scavenger.
6) Be safe: Get a metal ash can with a snug-fitting lid. Don’t put ashes anywhere but in that can (unless you have a trapdoor for ashes in your fireplace). IKEA sells lidded metal cans in two sizes and four colors including white. You can also find cans online from many sources. Come spring, the ashes can be used to enrich compose or fertilize a lawn. If your flue is overdue for a cleaning, call a chimney sweep. The flue should be inspected annually, and it’s generally advised that it be cleaned after every cord of wood that’s burned. When you start a fire, remember to open the damper. Don’t close your damper until the fire is completely out.
7) Read the Texas Fireframe story – if you haven’t already.
8) Kindling is a nicety, but not a necessity. I place two sticks of Mississippi fatwood on the front lower log before lighting the knotted newspapers. My Dad, the inventor, uses nothing but newspaper to ignite the logs. Kindling virtually guarantees a Texas Fireframe fire will start with one match. Without kindling, you might need a second match. Either way, starting the fire is a breeze with the Texas Fireframe grate. Fatwood kindling is readily available at most hardware stores.
9) Buy marshmallows.
Before you know it, your Texas Fireframe grate will show up at your front door. Don’t be surprised when it arrives unboxed with no packing materials. That’s how we ship it – to be kinder to the environment. All you add is wood.