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Are all compressed logs created equal?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by dolores57, Mar 12, 2006.

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  1. dolores57

    dolores57 New Member

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    I dont know anything about those fake logs but have heard some folks cut them up to small chunks to start fires. This sounds good to me as kindling gathering is the worst aspect of heating with wood. My wood stove installer says not to use them as they create alot of creosote. Whats everyones opinion on this? Since I live in an area where there is only soft wood ,I was also thinking that one of those logs would be good for overnight burns. Do some of them last longer than others? Then there are the ones that say they actually clean your chimney! That sounds pretty bogus to me. d

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    There is a pressed log like the presto or heat log, then there is wax based logs that are junk. Search google for "presto log" Made by lingetics. Its bassicly a big ole pellet.
  3. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    You know, 5 months ago this board was all abuzz with talk of these compressed logs... basically giant pellets for your stove. Then the heating season kicked in and I haven't heard a peep from these people. Hey, folks, if you used any of those compressed wood logs this season (Duraflame users, just find another forum and go away), please post your results, opinions, diatribes, whatever.

    -- Mike
  4. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Mike,

    I was one of the interested parties. I ordered some of those logs back in August from Ace Hardware. They had to order them from their 'catalog': "Mr. Heat, you're logs will arrive on Sept. 28th." On September 28th I went to pick them up... "They'll be in November 28th". Nov. 28th. "They'll be in Dec. 28th". Dec. 28th. "They won't be coming in, Mr. Heat". Jeez!

    These were from Lignetics of West Virginia, I think. Definitely Lignetics, but I'm not sure if the issue was with Ace or Lignetics.

    Remember Robert C.? Hey Robert! Where are you? I think Robert ordered two tons (or pallets) and was going to report back around Dec. 28th...

    Remember Jonas? Hey Jonas! Where are you? Jonas was kind enough to ship me six of his company's logs (West Oregon Wood Products) for only the price of shipping so I could do a heads up comparison with the Lignetics logs.

    I burned the WOW logs and was quite impressed. My first two logs I put side by side in my wide firebox on a bed of hot wood coals (they are a bit difficult to start as they are incredibly dense--they'll actually sink in water). First mistake. They grew like those old Fourth of July "Snakes" that were usually some of the first fireworks your dad let you experiment with that were black and smoked. The logs did not smoke, though. In fact, they burned impressively. Except they distorted their shape into a cresent and kind of scared me, due to having no room to expand when put side by side.

    The next two I put front to back on a bed of existing wood coals. They burned nicely for several hours. Actually started cleaning the inside of my stove. Like negative creosote. Nice, gentle, even flames. Lots of heat. Very enjoyable.

    The next two logs were the same as the second two. I waited for the b-n-law so he could see them burn.

    If I could find these logs locally at a descent price, I'd burn them. Too bad I can't. I could tell the Wood Man to take a hike, store my two or three pallets of logs in the basement, and stop having to vacuum up all the debris. My back would thank me, too. I figure I could two-wheel them in pretty easy. Even if I was still finding and splitting some wood, I'd keep some of these guys on hand just as a suppliment.

    I liked 'em.
  5. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Hey Mo,
    Do they burn longer and hotter than cordwood?
  6. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    hey mo when you were burning those comp. logs did you give it all the air it wanted(wide open) or did you try to slow it down in any way?
    how long did they last?
    and how did your cat converter like them?
  7. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Mo to actually compare them you would need similar un-split dry logs. We all know un-split logs burn longer than split ones.
    I guess what I am saying it is un fair to compare split logs burning characteristics to un- split ones As posted earlier today,
    I noted the best logs for longer burning were un- split oak logs.

    I suspect these became short supply when demand for pellets out stripped the supply. both used the same ingredients
  8. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Hotter? Yes. Longer? Well, it's hard to say exactly, but generally I'd say, "Yes, they burned significantly hotter and a bit longer when compared to two similarly sized splits. Not sure about similarly sized logs since I seldom burn those, but likely a bit longer still. It took them a bit longer to get going too. There is a lot more wood compressed into those 'big pellets' than occurs naturally in wood. That's why they sink in water. Dense. Real dense. What was definitely superior was the steady, even, predictable burn rate, and the very even, and significant heat for several hours (mmm, 2.5 - 3.5 hr IIRC).

    Yeah. I left it wide open, just like I usually do for wood splits. I'd have needed a lot more of these pressed logs to do any more serious investigating and to draw any more serious conclusions, but I can tell you that I liked 'em and wouldn't hesitate to get more if I could find them reasonably priced. That is a big problem with these things. They tend to get more and more expensive, and less and less available, as you move farther from the manufacturer.

    Again, around a 3 hour burn IIRC.

    The cat loved them. The probe thermometer hovered around 1600*F, so I could have throttled the air back and likely got a bit longer burn out of them. Maybe a lot longer. Not sure. But I wanted to see what they would do when 'unleashed' since I only had six of them to test. :)

    I sure wish Robert C. would check back in with a review of his experiences with them so far. He is probably an expert by now.

    elkimmeg, I agree.
  9. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    My sister uses them exclusively, and after NO creosote build up in 3 years, they quit looking in the chimney. Now, last year they did a little work on the stove (10 year old Lopi) and still no build up.
  10. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    hey mo
    think about the size of those logs. what were they 5 inch around? if you put in two 5 inch around pieces of oak i don't think they would burn 3 hours.

    if they are as dense as you say they are i think the way to compare would be by weight.
    and that would be equal for any type of wood not just oak

    maybe if the company that gave them to you is reading they could give you a few more for testing. after all you are the moderator here and lots of forum readers here take your word almost as gold:)

    HELLO COMPRESSED LOG COMPANY
    can you hear me now? good.
  11. martel

    martel Member

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    unfamiliar with these things- what is the main difference between the logs you are talking about and the ones they sell in department/grocery stores that my dad burns in his module home (i.e. trailer- sorry dad) fireplace?
  12. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    We used to sell the Eureka brand pellet logs, and i wish i remember the weight, i think they were 5 lbs apiece. Here is a link to a chart to compare them to other fuel. This is lignetics data. They claim 42,500 btu's per log.
    http://www.lignetics.com/prestologs.html
  13. martel

    martel Member

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    how much do they run MSG?
  14. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    They were about 2 bucks apiece in the 2 log format, the tons were about $200. A ton was 400 logs so about .50 apiece unbundled or packaged. Im shure there more now, its been 2 years since i handled them. They were not very good sellers for us, i did burn lots of them in display stoves and they rocked. They were to expensive to buy individualy, and we didnt have the customer base to order 24 tons unpackaged.
  15. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    hey msg
    did you run them in the stove full bore?
    how many did you run at once?

    what i'm thinking is how many can you put in the stove at one time?
    those fireplace logs tell you to not burn multiple logs.

    they burn clean at full air but if you cut the air down to slow down the burn will it start smoking and not be as clean as they say it is.
  16. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    If i burned more then two in the stove i would get a little nervous. They burn very hot. I used all sorts of air setting when i was using them with no problem. They key is to have a established fire.
  17. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    so in your opinion, is there any way to get a overnite burn out of these logs?
  18. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Yea, 2 of those babies would burn a long time. If you had a good coalbed to begin with i dont think you would have a problem getting a 6-8 hour burn time. That is from the time you put the logs in untill the box was cold. Since those logs are so dense they burn pretty slow. I think brand has something to do with that. Some brands are probably pressed harder then others. I only have experece with the eureka brand. And that brand was one of the best.
  19. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    thanks msg

    just thinking outloud here
    thinking that if i only burn 2 at a time that could save wood.
    my stove has a large fire box and that's why i asked about how many at a time.
    also would be nice not to have to worry about the chimney. i have a old 28 year old defiant that makes creosote. i've done the best i can with this stove burning small hot fires but the setup is not that good being a outdoor short chimney. once it gets going there is not to much if any smoke but when it does it just cakes it on.
  20. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Well, not to get off subject, if your thinking of buying these heatlogs, you wont get the efficiency out of them as you would with a EPA stove. I would look at a new or used epa stove and you will cutt your wood usage substantially. Im shure you know that, you have been here a long time. But that aside. I think you would save wood by burning these heat logs. How i would use them would be to bank the box with wood and leave a little extra space for 2 of these heat logs, then shut it down. I think you would get good results with this method.
  21. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    let me get this straight. cause i can be about as dense as those logs sometimes. especially before coffee.

    you would load the fire box with the compressed logs on top, or burn a load down to coals then put in the compressed logs in.
  22. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Lets say the first firebox load would be just wood. Then you get ready to load your second firebox befire you go to bed. I would load the box full with firewood and put to heat logs on top, then shut your air down a bit and go to sleep. Now if in the morning you had a good enough coal bed to repeat the second step that would be great. In other words i think that you would mabe burn a ratio of 60/40. 60 percent firewood 40% heat log. But only burning the heat logs when you have a established coal bed. You see, the heatlogs are not easy to start. So it helps to have that good bed of coals. Since you cant fill the box up with heat logs, why waste the space by only burning two heat logs. Thats why i recommend using all that other space in there for your firewood. Can you get the heat logs still in your area? i would think the pellet manufactures are cranking on pellets?
  23. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    got it now.

    there is a place about 45 mins from here that deals these logs but i think it's a different company than the ones you burnt. not sure if they have any left.

    question.
    not to sound flip
    if i'm replacing two logs for two splits do you think it would save me wood?
    i can get a overnite burn out of the stove now. so i don't know if it will add time to the burn.
    i was figuring if the logs took the place of splits just a few less logs than splits it could save me wood. and money depending on the cost of the logs. we had a thread it the end of fall that went on about the logs and the company that is close to me (in leominster ma) was selling these logs at about $399.00 a ton (pallet)
  24. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    i calculate those logs to be 8400 btu/lb.
    which puts a pallet at 400 logs at 42,000 btu's apiece, or 2000 pounds times 8400.
    That = 168,000,000 btus for a pallet, which is the volume of a half a cord of hardwood.
    A cord of hardwood has about 25,000,000 btus total.
    So the same volume of pellet logs would be 336,000,000 vs 25,000,00 for cord wood. Am i calculating this correctly? if i am im going to be buying a pallet of those logs!
  25. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Lets look at money
    $800 for a cord of pellet logs
    $150 for wood.
    Can someone else do the math?
    I get about $23/million btus for pellet logs
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