ckf wrote:I just fired my new Channing III for the first time today. I bought some Match Lite charcoal and broke it up with a hammer(about 7 or 8 pieces). I covered the grate area (where the holes are) with the charcoal and lit it. I waited for 10 or 15 minutes until the charcoal was a bright red, added a little rice coal to the top. Waited another 5 or 1o minutes and plugged the stove in. Stove has been running ever since.
Patience is key. I tried to rush it the first time I tried and it went out
Breaking up the MatchLight bricks to create a good, hot charcoal fire is step one. (I put some whole briquets on top once it gets going.) Then I jack it up with the blower, try to be patient in adding the coal and relax as coalkirk recommends and, in about 45 minutes, I'm able to clutch in the auto-feed and turn out the light.
BTW, I've also found that MatchLight does degrade. It must be kept tightly sealed and, when it's lost some of its starting potency, a little coaxing with a propane torch at the very beginning (when the fire's still "cold") can help get it going. I also keep a supply of "old bricks" aside for adding to the MatchLight fire before starting to add coal.