George VanOstrand on sat 19 apr 97
For the first 4-5 hours I use mostly hardwood with enough soft wood
to keep the flame a bit lively. This Keeps the rise in temperature on the
slow side for the beginning of the firing. This first stoking is done under
the grates to build up a hot coal bed. I close up this opening and start
firing on the grates after this period (about red heat if the kiln is dry).
From this point I use mostly soft woods (pallets, 2x4 ends from roof rafter
places, etc.) The fire is much hotter and livelier with soft wood. I
agitate the burning wood to get as much ash into the kiln as I can. The ash
deposit from the first 4 hours is said to be significant but I don't know
how to verify this.