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My Oakie Black hills thread

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by oldmountvernon, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. CT Pellet

    CT Pellet Minister of Fire

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    X 2!
    Clear bags are becoming increasingly "en vogue" within the pellet industry and for good reason. The problem with clear bags is that all pellets, and (I MEAN ALL!) have some fines content. Most often, it is so minimal, that you do net really see them, as they get "lost in th pour" if you will. And some brands with thicker bags are one step ahead, as the thicker plastic creates a static that will help retain more of the fines in the bag. And if the bag is solid, you more often than not will never see this. But with the clear bags, you see it! And when you see it, people think, "hmmm...never seen that before." Well I am willing to stipulate that although that is true, (that they have never seen it before) it does not mean that it has not been there! It's just hiding behind a solid bag where you can't see it. Point well made and this is a very routine conversation that I have with customers almost every day.
    Branson4720 likes this.

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  2. skibumm100

    skibumm100 Member

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    I picked up three bags of Black Hills form East Coast Lumber in Hampstead, NH @ $6.35 a bag. They ran out of regular Okies and are now selling BH's. I burned 2 bags back-to-back after burning NEWP's and found they didn't have many loose fines in the bag. I think the fines are still there, just stuck to the bag and the other pellets. Certainly not excessive. They don't slide down the hopper bottom like the other pellets did and the leave a little bit of a sticky residue on my hands after I work them into the corners of the hopper so I can fill it up. They did eventually all feed so it wasn't a problem. Strong pine smell when you open the bag. Ash in the center pan was maybe around half of what I was getting on NEWP's, maybe a little over half but definitely quite a bit less. I was running a little more air through the burnpot so more of the ash ended up in the side pans of my York. Still much less ash overall. I did get a few clinkers after I cleaned out after the second bag. The glass had a black soot on it that wiped off easily. From a heat output standpoint, it wasn't really that noticeable over the NEWP's, believe it or not. There are still issues with getting max heat out of my stove and I've tried numerous combinations of feed setting and draft damper positions. The house was at 64 degrees in the morning after burning BH's all night on setting 4 of 5. I don't have a real good way of measuring stove output temp accurately yet but I am getting fairly accurate relative output temps using a Raytek IR gun just to the right of the output grille. I check the same spot every time. I have a 4-channel Type K handheld meter but I need more TC's to monitor effectively. It doesn't record but I want to hook up all 4 channels to outlet flue, combustion air, stove output and maybe outside air temp. I need to get more TC's first.

    My overall impression was that they were OK but not the easy "fix" for keeping my house warm. I put two bags of Northern by Cubex HW pellets and performance seems to be about the same. The glass is a little cleaner but I won't get a check on the ashpans until tonight.
  3. BradH70

    BradH70 Feeling the Heat

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    South West NH
    Not sure why we have such a hard time finding "good" pellets around our area. Okies and Turmans (need to try more of these) are probably the best local pellets in my opinion, just that they are priced through the roof. I saw 26 tons of Vermont's go through Keene during lunch our a couple of days ago. Why can't we get them around here? I have plugged my zip code into the VT pellet web site and they only seem to be available from VT distributors who will charge top dollar to deliver to Rindge.

    Did you get the Orfords from the Agway in Peterborough? Did you try any of the LG's yet?

    I'm rampin' up the pellet search for next season all ready!
  4. oldmountvernon

    oldmountvernon Minister of Fire

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    just quick before i leave, CT even the bag didnt look bad when empty sure it had fines. also i agree with you on the static as it seems most of the fines are stuck to the pellets, thats new to me personally. I do like the idea of a clear bag, but it is an unfair disadvantage to the companies using them
  5. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    The clear bag may be an advantage. If I see the clear bag and I see pretty pellets with little fines. I may pass on the bag sitting right next to them that I can't see the pellets or the fines. I like seeing what I'm gonna get. My 2 cents is the clear bag is a better sell.
  6. oldmountvernon

    oldmountvernon Minister of Fire

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    With your experience maybe, to the average person i have to disagree. As i stated i think its a good idea. But i think the average person sees that they will take the bag they cant see so i have to say disadvantage
    im gonna post pics soon just no time.
    i should of been gone already but i keep getting emails lol ok im out now!
    Stay safe guys they are calling for up to 3 ft on some maps but the local news dont want to push that total. i hope not 3 feet :(
  7. Mr. Spock

    Mr. Spock Minister of Fire

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    And give away my advantage!!??>> Never! ;lol

    I would like to log exhaust temp, intake air temp, air humidity, wind speed, convection air temp, combustion fan voltage, auger voltage and maybe the temp at the vent exhaust for giggles. I just have this need to KNOW whats going on. Must be the vulcan in me. As for the boss, no footing...she got her XXV, my turn now.:cool:

    I was thinking of reverse engineering the stoves diagnostic port. Most likely an RS232 interface or similar. Will crack open the control box to get a look at the comm chip before next season hits.
    In the mean time http://www.dataq.com/products/hardware/di718B.htm. is in sensor range. Many channels, good sampling rate, various input module options, software and documentation. Could be way over kill. Is this what you had in mind?
  8. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I'm frugal. I was looking at the same site, But the USB line up. But I'm not sure I can merge all the data into one graph. So I would probably have to post multiples. Your definitely geeker than me. I wouldn't have a clue on how to prod into the controller. I would just measure externally. Never though about wind speed, That defininely effects my OAK. I have to remove it and suck inside wir over 30 MPH winds.

    http://www.dataq.com/products/hardware/easylog-data-logger.html

    Cool toy you posted. Might be something I can handle. And might get everything on one gragh chart for easy posting. Now the scary part, I'll have to see what it costs! !!!
  9. P38X2

    P38X2 Minister of Fire

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    JT, GS used to be softwood? WTH!? Why did they change? I know NEWP are blends but last time I snooped around their yard there were HUGE piles of pine sitting there. Not sawdust, entire trunks. 1000's of em.

    100% agree on folks around here looking at softwoods as inferior and I also am tire of explaining myself and trying to get them to convert. They just give you the look like OK buddy. I've since stopped spreading the word for the most part. More for me when they're around. On the other hand, spreading the word is EXACTLY what needs to be done in my parts in order for the dealers to realize the demand. Its a tricky situation.
  10. P38X2

    P38X2 Minister of Fire

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    I'm fairly sure the interstate configuration and NEWP is the reason for the slim pickins around here. I've also checked the VT pellet site using various somewhat local zips. VT and MA were the only areas with dealers :(

    Haven't tried the LG's or any other pellet yet. I was looking forward to trying them and possibly grabbing a couple tons til the dreaded computer crash occurred. Like a complete moron, I never made boot or recovery disks and paid the price. My pellet funds went to a new comp and data recovery. I had priceless pictures of my daughter from age 10 seconds to around 10 months. Fortunately, I was able to get them back. Terrible feeling when it happened and the ultimate relief when I left the repair guys house with them on a new drive. $500 later and I'm good to go...including backed up files on multiple types of media ;)

    A little off topic but....To everyone, TAKE THE TIME TO BACKUP YOUR FILES! You DO NOT want to be in the situation I was in.
  11. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    central ct
    I highly recommend everyone run something like mozy.com that automatically stores the stuff you specify ('my documents') to the cloud, encrypted, for a modest monthly fee. Pictures and docs that you may want. a thumb drive or CD is still a point of failure if your house burns down. Having it off-site ensures that backup is there when you need it, forever. a few bucks is worth that piece of mind to me.

    On topic, I haven't seen these BH for sale anywhere locally yet so i haven't tried them. i just fear they will be 300+ a ton and at that price point, are simply not worth it to me, regardless of how hot they are.
    P38X2 likes this.
  12. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Cj's and CTpellet might have some?
  13. CT Pellet

    CT Pellet Minister of Fire

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    You should see the looks that I get when I try to have this conversation with a potential customer. I am a salesman, therefore what ever I say to them is suspect from the get-go. And then when I try to tell them that some softwood pellets can be great pellets, they look at me like I am Jesse James! And it's not even their fault really, I mean everywhere you turn today, there is a salesman trying to pull a fast one on you. And traditional thinking, especially here in the New England is that Hardwood is the wood to burn...OK....That's why a carry 11 different brands!
  14. Mr. Spock

    Mr. Spock Minister of Fire

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    hard...soft. Boss says hard. As longs as its warm it's all good to me. :p
  15. Branson4720

    Branson4720 Burning Hunk

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    The Okie Black Hills are VERY hot......enough said.:)
  16. Mr. Spock

    Mr. Spock Minister of Fire

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    Cool Jay. Whatever you decide I am sure you will work it out. That usb line up looks like it would work a treat.With the Harman tied to the ESP not sure how I am going to get meaningful temps but I think maxing out the stove temp dial and let the esp tell me the temp might do the trick. Or go the data logger route and put another thermocouple in the exhaust path. Dunno yet, still thinking it out. Hopefully start playing before next season arrives.
    jtakeman likes this.
  17. P38X2

    P38X2 Minister of Fire

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    This area needs a good pellet dealer ;)
  18. Branson4720

    Branson4720 Burning Hunk

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    Douglas Firs getting bagged this spring? Please tell more:)
  19. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Yes, Okies DF will hit the mill around march some time. Estimated price is

    Are you ready?

    Might scare some!

    $330/ton and supplies will be limited. I don't think many dealers will carry it, Might have to ask for special treatment to get some.
  20. Branson4720

    Branson4720 Burning Hunk

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    So.....I assume they are coming in bulk this time, not already bagged like the last shipment? I'll be talking to my Okies dealer cuz I'll want 2-3 tons!;) I absolutely loved how hot and clean they burned.....with super-low ash to boot.
  21. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I hear they are from Oregon. So these might be even better this season. I never asked where they were made last season?

    Do you know what mill is in Oregon? ;)
    Branson4720 likes this.
  22. Branson4720

    Branson4720 Burning Hunk

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    If it's the mill I'm thinking of I am very excited!!!!!:) I have been wanting to try their products forever.
    jtakeman likes this.
  23. Branson4720

    Branson4720 Burning Hunk

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    I'm pretty sure last year's batch was produced at Okie's mill in BC.
  24. P38X2

    P38X2 Minister of Fire

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    What are the "domestic" softies we see in this area made from? Straight pine?
  25. Branson4720

    Branson4720 Burning Hunk

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    What "domestic" softies do you speak of? I'm pretty sure Curran softies and Vermonts are straight White pine. LG's are supposedly a Pine/Spruce mixture. Regular Okies are SPF.....framing lumber stuff.

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