Starting a fire:
1st before trying to start a fire, open the stove, and notice if you feel cold air coming down in the stove. If so, try to equal the pressure - (open a door or window if close)
2nd We use paper towels to absorb the fat when frying bacon, makes a great fire starter, and smell good, will burn for 4-5 minutes.
3rd And most important: get yourself a thermometer for your stove pipe..a great safety tool!!!! When burning, the goal is to keep the temp. between 250-500 degrees.
It is the most efficient, and safe way to control your fire.
after a season of burning my Fisher "Mama Bear" when I clean I can hold all material from a 12-foot chimney in my two hands.
I have used this way for about the last 12 years, and it works!!