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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. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    warren did your sister notice if it's cheaper to burn compressed logs vs hardwood?
    can you tell us anymore of her experience?

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  2. roac

    roac New Member

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    MSG,

    You got carried away with your zeros, it should be 16,800,000 btu per pallet of pellet logs.
  3. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    I told you i cant do math.. thanks! So thats approximatly 34k/cord. that makes alot more sense. If my money estimates are correct, then pellet logs make no sense what so ever.
  4. roac

    roac New Member

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    Nope, not at that price. You would think they would be comparable to pellets if not somewhat price competitive with wood itself. I'll stick with the real McCoy. ;-)
  5. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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    Hello guys

    I will be happy to send MO some samples of our 8lb 68,000 btu energy log. I believe I can ship 16 of them in 2 boxes. They will cost me a bit but as long as he uses my Super Cedar Firestarters to start them as I instruct I would be thrilled. I also would like to say it was great to meet those of you that stopped by Craigs booth. He is really connected and respected by the hearth group.

    Thomas
  6. minesmoria

    minesmoria New Member

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    Any body know if these are available in bc canada?
  7. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Do you wholesale this product by the ton? It was nice meeting you as well at the show, thanks for the free firestarters. They work well!
  8. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    fbelec, apparently, Mo's station in life is improving. :) Thanks for the golden kudos.

    The West Oregon Wood (WOW) logs were 5 lbs each. About 4 inches in diameter. About 12 inches long. Three to a pack for the WOW samples Jonas sent me. I actually paid the shipping, which was more than the logs would have cost. About $28 if I remember correctly, from Oregon to St. Louis. Quite a haul. Via UPS. Jonas would have sent more, but the transport fee was prohibitive. I was to get another six of Lignetics' logs to compare, but as I said, either ACE or Lignetics flaked out on me.

    When I compared the price of ACE's shrink wrapped, loose log, pallet price, it was about twice what people were paying for pellets at the time (1 yr ago). This price however, was significantly higher than many others closer to compressed log producers, so my area seems to have uniquely high prices for these things.

    I called every pellet manufacturer I could find in all adjacent states, but only one, Lignetics, also made the logs. Too bad. Even though they were more expensive than cordwood at the time, cordwood prices have gone up a lot since last year. And, I've never received a full cord of wood when I paid for one. They are always short, and usually wet, there's always a hassle, then the make-up delivery, etc., etc. I have gotten really tired of dealing with Wood Men. The species are usually mixed and there is stuff in there I can't identify, not to mention radically varying moisture content for what is called seasoned hardwood. I can tell a lot of it has been stored on the ground by the mold on it.

    I was thinking that the compressed logs would make a nice supplement, IF I could find them for a somewhat reasonable price as other forum members were reporting in their areas. Unfortunately, I could not. I think a certain amount of premium is warranted due to the consistent quality and weight, as well as the convenience of standardized sizes, worry free indoor storage, potential delivery to my door (never figured out if this was a real possibility), etc. Lot easier than scrounging wood if you live in Bud-burbia like me.

    Ya know what? I can put in two pieces of oak about four or five inches on a side (triangular shaped), and they will burn over 2 hours in my cat stove, even with air full open. I could probably get them to burn 3 hours if I dampered down, but I don't because they put out just the right amount of heat burning full tilt in there all by their lonesome selves, and the glass stays a lot cleaner this way. 2+ hour burns for two or three splits in my stove are the norm. The cat jumps up to between 1400*F - 1700*F when they initially get going, gradually falling down to between 1000*F - 800*F before I throw two or occasionally three more in. Usually just two if I'm sitting in front of the thing like I usually am. Three if I want to keep the (big) room (full of windows) temp up a degree or two higher, or the coal bed starts getting too small.

    The two pressed logs would probably burn 50% to twice as long as 2 oak splits, be twice as heavy, and put out a whole lot more heat throughout the burning/heating curve, too. Like MSG, I'd be reluctant to put more than two or three in there at one time. And I'd want to sit close the first time I did it, to get a read on required air settings to keep things from getting too hot. It might take some experimenting.

    One thing about a BTU comparison of cordwood and pressed logs is the pressed logs are CONSISTENTLY around 5 - 7% moisture IIRC. Most cordwood will easily be twice that moisture content, or even three times. Some of the wood I've bought (as seasoned) around here might be five or six times that high. A corresponding amount of heat to vaporize this extra moisture would be unrealized for heating purposes. This heat loss would need to be deducted from the usable BTU values of cordwood for a head to head comparison.

    As I said before, getting compressed logs at the right price is a paramount consideration. This seems to be difficult in many locations. But even paying a moderate premium over cordwood, there are some benefits that might tip the scales for those without their own wood lot, easy access to wood, unreliable Wood Men, etc. Your milage may vary.
  9. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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    Iam just a dealer. $225.00 per pallet.

    240 logs per pallet
    16.5 million btu per pallet, 68,000 per log.

    These will burn 10 hours, open the doors and throw 2 more on after 10 hours and leave the air open and they will restart within 5 minutes. This is only true with this type of energy log.
    The process is screw compression which reaches 20,000 psi.

    A extruded method on say a dell or presto brand log will only burn 2-5 hours, they tend to open up as they burn.
    99% less emissions than firewood.
    Thomas
  10. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Try these guys:

    Home page: http://www.homefirelogs.com/

    They were IN BC last time I checked. But NWFuels confirms what I've heard. That the screw process creates a better log than the extruded (or ram?) process. I'd settle for either.
  11. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    NW Fuels,

    I would also be thrilled to try them! :)

    But you may want to check shipping rates first. They may be OUTRAGEOUS by now! I'm in a very westerly suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. I assume you are in the NW (North West?). Probably near Jonas in Oregon.
  12. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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    MO, If the board wants to know about the best energy log on the market then I will be happy to pay for this review(shipping and logs). But we need to talk about the procedure using the Super Cedar Firestarter that will be included with these logs that are very difficult to start without the Super Cedar. It comes to I pay the cost (50.00-60.00 dollars for shipping and I get the review on how well the Super Cedar performs.
    Provide physical shipping address and they are on the way.

    Thomas
    forstarts@aol.com
  13. roac

    roac New Member

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    If I remember correctly this is the manufacturer of those logs right?

    http://www.northidahoenergylogs.com/
  14. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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    Yes, These are the best. We distribute these in the greater Seattle area. I have been watching my wood customers switch to these for the past 5 years. I might know of two machines that are available if someone has the raw material. These machines were built in 1929 and are 2 of the original 7 that were available. I can get 12-14 hours of heating with these in my wood stove.
    Thomas
  15. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    How would these work in a cat stove? If they burn so clean they wouldn't be feeding the catalyst.

    Hey Mo, Are you still burning down in MO? Maybe Thomas should send them to someone where it is still cold?
  16. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

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    How much are those machines? What is the required raw material? What is the process? What sort of production rate can be expected with two machines running?
  17. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    She can't really make that comparison, since she lives very near Seattle (instead of here in the middle of Oak/Ash/Elm/Maple/Apple country) Most of what she has available is pine. Also, her alternative is electirc heat, so paying for compressed logs over electric is a no brainer. She owns a horse farm, so the idea of gathering/splitting wood is not in the cards. When she was here visiting in Dec, she commented on what a different world it was here in NY and gathering/splitting wood vs the ease of the compressed logs. She also commented on how different the fire looked with real wood...much more lively and colorful. I've been unable to find the compressed logs and would love to try them out. (hint hint)
  18. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    225 a pallet. if that pallet is equal to a cord of wood then it's the same price but then you have shipping. shipping from the west coast to east coast (mass) would be the straw that broke the camels back. if i look at it for me i burn between mid oct to mid march. i burn 3 cord give or take 1/2 cord. round numbers, 150 days x 4 logs a day = 600 logs. divided by 240 logs per pallet = 2.5 pallets. so i buy 3 pallets x 225 = 675 then there is shipping?????????? i by green at 125 a cord
    i think he said he's going up to 150 a cord that's 450.

    that wouldn't work for me. but it would be alot easier on the back. especially for a future 2nd floor stove
  19. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Todd, Yeah. Still burning here. My downstairs setup lends itself to an earlier start and a later finish to burning. Lots of glass, but I have a deck shading most of it, so I don't get the passive solar like upstairs. It's cold down here. Plus St. Louis has big swings in temps. It got into the 20's last night. Things will probably be slowing down soon, but I think there's still enough time to burn 16 logs. That's probably only about 4 fires, or less, depending on how they burn. But if Thomas would prefer to send them elsewhere, where the cold hits harsher, or there is more likelihood of a follow-up sale, or whatever his reason, Mo completely understands.

    But, I'd LOVE to try the DENSER, BIGGER, Idaho logs myself!

    As far as the cat. Remember, there is still the gasification stage of burning that produces lots of smoke until the volatiles are all driven out of the wood. That's still about half the energy, just like cordwood. The big difference in creosote is not the smoke, but the moisture that causes the smoke to be cooler and moister so it doesn't heat things up as well and tends to condense more on everything.

    Warren, does your sister burn the North Idaho logs, like Thomas handles? If so, what kind of burns does she get? Or does she use some other brand?
  20. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Thomas,

    I just sent you my home address via your AOL email.
  21. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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  22. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Everyone keeps making the assumption that folks who burns wood are doing so to save money - this is like making the same assumption that everyone who rides in a car is going to work so they can make money or doing something else which saves them money......neither is correct.

    People burn wood for many reasons. Some areas in the Pacific Northwest have electricity for .05 cents a KWH and natural gas for a little over a buck a therm - that's cheap! Yet wood and pellets stoves have always sold big in this area.

    I suspect the truth is a bit more complex. People love fire - they love a center of warmth. The Pacific Northwest is an area of great natural beauty where people tend to have an environmental outlook - therefore the renewable fuel angle also applies. Also, the climate in much of the Northwest is moderate....and, unlike Northern NY and NH, it does not take much wood or pellet fuel to do the job...

    Thomas mentioned that premium firewood (maple, etc.) can sell for over $350 a cord delivered in the metro area where he lives. At that price, the firelogs are in the ball park...in fact, they are a home run.

    I think people have the basics right. Many, including myself, have analyzed the idea of pressed fuel but the facts come down to this: Transportation is a major aspect of these fuels. You must live near both the source of the sawdust and/or the source of production in order to get any kind of decent price.

    There is probably one exception to this rule. It is possible that BULK ocean shipment may someday be able to provide pressed biofuels at reasonable prices.

    Keep these basics in mind - the cost of a full tractor-trailer load across the US is approx 4,000 - assuming 22 tons or so, this means almost $200 for each ton!

    In the grand scheme of things, thinking of wood as being like concrete may be telling.....both need regional production in order to be priced at the right level.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I think that is a pretty good summation Craig. Seattle has low cost electricity because it is almost all hydro from its own dams, at about .05/kw. Outside of Seattle we're paying for the mistakes of too much nuclear that never happened. Our elec. is about .09/kw. I think most of the Pac NW is paying this rate. Natural gas a buck a therm, gotta find some of that! We don't have natural gas available :( and propane is real expensive, so pellets make economic sense at 130-180/ton, especially if you like the clean convenience. But wood still warms like nothing else and has a long heritage here. Summary in PNW - urban is going mostly gas and some pellet; suburban and rural mostly wood and pellet.
  24. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    I did my own math recently and it costs me .50 to run my pellet stove. For NG it would cost me .52. Not a tremendous savings. Over LP & Electricity it still makes some sense though, and since I don't have NG piped into the house I think I'll stick with the pellet stove a while longer.
  25. NWfuel

    NWfuel Minister of Fire

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    Mo, We sent the logs today along with Super Cedar Firestarters. We also included info and test results from fire forensics labs. Thank you for your time on this subject.
    Thomas
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