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Bio/Envi blocks to the rescue

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Rich L, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Rich L

    Rich L Minister of Fire

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    Forgot to tie down my woodpile covering and the wind blew it up.The snow came and I have wood caked with snow.I filled the stove with the wet wood added a bio brick and one envi block got those lite and they produced a enough heat to set the whole show ablaze.These bricks/blocks are great for a situation as this.

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Seen a lot of folks use them to get by in circumstances where the wood wasn't up to par.

    The sad thing for my area is that they are basically only available for a one month period of time. If folks around here find out they need them now, they are out of luck.

    pen
  3. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    People looking for them might want to find a source of pallets.

    Matt
  4. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    I'm hoping a few days inside will dry off the stuff that has snow blown all over it.
    I had meant to bring more onto my porch where I can wrap it tightly with a tarp, and I had no idea we were going to have so much wind and blowing snow today.
  5. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Yeah i have that problem every time it snows and is windy makes for damp wood.
  6. Valhalla

    Valhalla Minister of Fire

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    Keeping some emergency "storm wood" is always a good plan.
    Hide it in the shed, barn, garage, cellar, under porch, dog house, etc.
    I also keep some boxes of clean cherry and maple splits for kindling a damp start.
  7. colin.p

    colin.p Burning Hunk

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    I am fortunate, in that my son does hardwood flooring. So I have several big boxes of small pieces of oak parquet flooring and hardwood cut-offs. It burns fast and hot. I'm quite sure that with that stuff, I could burn snowballs.
    lopiliberty, NortheastAl and Joful like this.
  8. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    Yours are better than mine......they just became smoldering blocks, good thing I wasn't in desperate need and was giving them a test run. Got 6 blocks left that I'm gonna throw in a really hot firepit in the spring
  9. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    This year I did something I really like to avoid mid season wet wood. I loaded up an old shed 8x8 completely full. I figure it holds about 3 cords. Wood stays perfectly dry in any snow storm. Going to keep an eye on CL and get another. That way I can completely use the one up before I reload it. It's located right next to the outdoor stack for easy up loading in the fall.
    I don't know why some are having trouble with those blocks. I found them to burn extremely well. Nice hot fire that lasts a long time.
    Rich L likes this.
  10. Valhalla

    Valhalla Minister of Fire

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    Aren't the discussed blocks just a really big pellet?
    So that moisture absorbtion is very likely and the expected performance may be unreliable.
  11. Rich L

    Rich L Minister of Fire

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    You have to keep them inside.That way no moisture problem.I never saw a smoldering brick/block just a hot burning one.If they absorb moisture they will not burn well and yes they are a really big pellet.
    Valhalla likes this.
  12. HaTaX

    HaTaX New Member

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    Minnesota
    I've been using the Gren-Heat bricks that look exactly like the BioBricks, Bio isn't available in my area but the Gren bricks I can pick up at Menards for $5 / 38 lbs (20 bricks). I've been using them as the primary fuel lately as they make so little ash and light off quite easily if the stove is above ~250F.

    For the cost and convenience they're great, horrible to start a fire from scratch with for me but with a few smaller splits in there they take right off. I keep them inside stacked in their wrap until I need them, I could see them picking up moisture very quickly... Not sure when they stop stocking them on the shelf here, but I guess I'll find out in the next few months.
  13. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Or just don't tell the wife that your Plan B firewood supply is the dining room table and chair set. ;) :)
    gyrfalcon, NortheastAl and Scols like this.
  14. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    I bought several packs of those earlier this year. I really liked them and thought they made great fire starters. At 210.00/ton they are the best full price bargain in this area.
  15. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I have emergency "storm" or "personal injury"/"illness: wood too. A hoop of ironwood in the house that is now a good three years old - logs mostly about 6 - 8 inch diameter, so lots of heat and long burn times. A nice 8' ironwood log in the bottom of my copper washbasin as a real emergency log...it's about 7 years old. And about a face cord of my 35 plus year old maple remaining in the basement. I'm going to have to start replenishing that with some really nice clean clear ironwood logs. I've burned about two face cords of it in 8+ years. So, if I start replenishing now, I can have a cord of three or four year old wood to start with when this wood is gone.

    I tried a pack of the bricks. Give me wood every day.
  16. Nick Mystic

    Nick Mystic Minister of Fire

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    I keep all my wood under shed roof storage areas, but when driving rain or snow comes from the south it can wet things down in some piles. As a safeguard, I built a wood storage bin for the screened room attached to the back of our house. It is about three feet tall by 30" x 30" and situated in a spot near the rear sliding doors against a wall out of the way. It holds enough wood to get me through several days of burning if necessary. I have a system where I move wood from my outdoor stack to this holding bin and from there inside to a niche built into my fireplace/chimney area.

    IMG_0198_1.JPG
  17. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    So the local hardware store I had planned on purchasing the blocks from is out of stock for the winter and I didn't get any.

    Today however our regular Con Way delivery driver had been to a wood mill in the next town over and called me that the place had made TONS of these large compressed pellets and that they were giving them away!

    He brought me two 30 lb bags of them to try out. I put about 20 of these things in the stove (They're not very big, between the size of a baseball and a softball) and from a cold start got the stove up to about 400 degrees in 40 minutes or so and they have maintained that for the past 1 1/2 hours...

    Not too shabby for FREE!!

    I'm going to fill my van as many times as the guy lets me and fill up my shed with these things, hell, I can even think of some places at work I can stash a few dozen bags! If I can get my stove to 400 degrees for any amount of time in the spring and fall that would be enough to heat the house for a day and if I can use these to get the real wood going for overnight burns I'll be golden!
    Woody Stover likes this.
  18. Fins59

    Fins59 Member

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    I have a Johnson Energy Wood Stove (furnace) and it has two 8" heat pipes coming out of the top. I can divert one of those pipes to aim at my wood rack on wheels and if wet from rain or snow, it will dry the top pieces in minutes and the whole rack overnight. So I can wheel in a load of snow/rain wet wood, park it next to the stove and dry it easily. Got to keep some dry stuff on hand though to dry the wet stuff.
    Reminds me of my grandma's farm. She had a water hand pump outside and kept a pail of water on hand in case if she had to prime the pump.

    Cross Cut - Bath, Maine?? I was stationed on the coast (Rockland) for several years and it never got that cold up there. All the beer we drank must have kept us warm :)
    gyrfalcon likes this.
  19. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    It's not too bad here, it's not freezing cold, it's just cold for a VERY long time.
    I grew up in Colorado and you regularly get days in the 50's or even 60's almost 12 months a year to break those cold snaps, and if it's not in the 50's you get lots and lots of sunshine so a few well placed South facing windows make a huge difference.

    I'm ready for spring, don't tell anyone here but I'm also ready to not have to load wood in this stove for a few months!
  20. TriMom

    TriMom New Member

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    What is your thought on using BioBricks or something like that as main source of fuel for wood burning stove? Dealers I've talked to have various thoughts on the idea.
  21. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    I think they're good for getting the stove nice and warm for a short while but if you're looking for lots of sustained heat you'd need to go with wood.

    It's been just over 2 hours now and they've pretty much burned down to nothing, the stove is still over 300::F though. That's great for my soapstone stove that will radiate that heat for hours, but not so great for others that will lose that heat rather quickly.


    These will work well to get my less than perfect wood going too.
  22. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Woodstock has shown some concern that the artificial blocks may produce more fly ash and in some instances contribute to clogging of the cats....
  23. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    Are they concerned it will clog them to the point that my vacuum can't suck out the ash or just that it will require them to be cleaned more often?
  24. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Oh, I'm sure just that you'll be plagued with having to vacuum it more often. That's the worst I've seen happen to anyone....
  25. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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