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  1. offingmoot

    offingmoot New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    171
    Loc:
    Central/South Jersey
    to reiterate what steamguy said.....i consider the need to reduce fines to be a great preventative measure if deemed necessary or not. For the small amount of cash it gives me piece of mind
    but the screening solution takes care of several objectives at once
    my fiancee is very alleregic to dust
    1.screen the fuel to eliminate fines/dust for the girl and stove
    2.move the pellets from basement to main floor w/o lifting a single pellet by hand
    3.provide a small container w/in feet of the stove with pellet fuel clean and dry and ready to burn....good for the girl to fill up as well as me

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  2. TacoBello

    TacoBello New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    south shore, cape, ma
    This looks like a fun project. I thought I was all set with my contraption until I saw this. I paid $7 for the 4" round vent pipe and used scrap wood from the shop. Curious though, How long does it take to fill the 5 gal bucket of clean pellets ?
    Also, how does the user operate it ?
    Fill hopper, turn on vac, turn off vac, wait for cleaned pellets to drop then feed hopper again and repeat
    Or
    Fill hopper, turn on vac, wait for cleaned pellets to drop then feed hopper again and repeat
    Or
    Turn on vac, feed hopper continuously until pellet source empties, then turn off vac?

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  3. steamguy

    steamguy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    111
    Loc:
    In the windy Columbia Gorge, WA
    Mine takes me I think about three minutes per bag to clean. Imagine pouring a "stream" of pellets about the size of two-three fingers continuously out of the bag and into the feed chute - that's how long it takes. Just long enough for my arm to tire out.

    The last.

    What usually happens with me:
    - Vac on, pierce end of bag with small hole while vac is winding up
    - Start pouring at about the right rate - pour about 2/3 of the bag at that rate
    - Arm gets a little tired, so I get impatient and pour faster - momentarily clog the feed
    - Set bag down and wait about 5 seconds while feed clears
    - Pour the rest of the bag at the right rate.

    Takes about a bag and a half as I recall to fill a 5-gallon bucket. If you build yours with an adjustable height, you can lower it down if you're using a washtub for instance and that in turn lowers the height of the feed. You want the output tube as low as possible so the pellets don't go all over when exiting. To feed it, I put the bag across my elbow in imitation of the way the old hillbillies used to do when drinking moonshine from a crock and control the speed of the feed with my free hand.

    If I was truly lazy, I'd have some kind of shelf that I'd set the pellet bag on and then just slash the bottom... or maybe an Archimedes screw with a feed hopper... Hey, a new project for this winter...! :lol:

    Hope that explains it.
  4. offingmoot

    offingmoot New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    171
    Loc:
    Central/South Jersey
    i bought the schedule 40 1 1/4" pvc and 90 degree elbow
    ordered the cornvac
    have an 18 gallon tote to practice with then moving to 45 gallon garbage can for main storage
    going to convert the 220 to a double 110 outlet to power the insert and the shopvac on dedicated breaker
    i also decided to run the pcv thru a return in the floor, i bought a few threaded two piece connectors
    a few c-clamps and steel strapping so i can have a 3 foot piece of pipe permanently attached and supported in the duct and i can unscrew the top in the off season and put the grate back
    and i can unscrew the bottom to switch bins, clear clogs, and get out of the way in off season etc
  5. Tristan

    Tristan New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Messages:
    74
    Loc:
    Central MA
    I did that for the first half of the season last year. Took too long, too much work. The pellet duster I built is AMAZING EFFORTLESS WITH NO MESS.
  6. Tristan

    Tristan New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Messages:
    74
    Loc:
    Central MA
    You are missing the point. Any pellet stove with a bottom feeding auger will absolutely have fines built-up in the auger. These fines will eventually jam the auger system. Pellet stoves with top fed auger, where pellets and fines are "dropped" via gravity have less of a chance for obvius reason. Salesman will never tell you this. And until they start selling pellets in clear bags, and you buy a ton at a time, you will always get bags that are crappy.
  7. TacoBello

    TacoBello New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    south shore, cape, ma
    I disagree. I believe fines will most likely jam the auger within a top feeder than a bottom feeder. Within a top feeder system the aurger has to push up the fines and dust with the whole pellets. The dust will find its way down between the auger shaft and auger chamber hall. Over time, the dust would accumilate at the bottom of the auger feed, eventually causing the jam.
    With bottom feeders, the auger shaft is horizontally feed into the fire pot. Fines are eventually pushed towards the fire pot taking pellets with it. This is why we do not here of Harmons having auger jams. There bottom feeders.
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