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Pellet mill.....anyone here have experience with them?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Spartan, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. checkthisout

    checkthisout Feeling the Heat

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    I have looked into it already. The best I idea I had was using an old truck rear-end as it's my opinion that you need something that beefy in order to get the necessary bearing size and metal stiffness to make one of these things. I have a milling machine that I could use to make the die but it's not worth the time.....yet. Maybe next year if winter gets really bad and I am trapped here at home. :)

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  2. turbotech

    turbotech Feeling the Heat

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    That is exactly what I was thinking too. Pick up a rear with 3.xx to 4.xx ratio and weld the spiders so you don't get the 2x effect. What alloy would you use to make the plate and rollers?
  3. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    As much as I think making pellets from leaves, grass and such would be way cool, I have crunched the numbers, looked at the work involved and all the other fooling about.

    This is why I run nut shells through my stoves.

    8000 pounds of the stuff for $115. It takes me less than two hours to get the shells, run them up the mt to the ranch, upend the truck bed, fill the barrels and wheel them into the basement.

    Done deal.

    Its not perfect by any means, but it sure is cost effective.

    Have to clean the stoves a tad more often, but sooooooooo what.

    Snowy
  4. Spartan

    Spartan Member

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    My insurance agent. He phoned the underwriter and apparently the underwriter fell off his chair! LOL!

    Just for your information, in many states/provinces/cities, it's ILLEGAL to have open flame burners in wood working facilities. That is why I bought a building with a boiler system. When I was renting, I was forced to modify the overhead heaters with an outside air source. The issue is airborne dust at high enough concentration become explosive. Do not confuse fine dust with wood chips. Dust from wide belt sanders have the consistency of sugar icing or baking flour.

    BTW, I'm not "guessing" here. This is my livelihood.
  5. Spartan

    Spartan Member

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    LOL!

    Been thee, done that. I use to burn 5 tons a season before I started business. Wife and I spend at least an hour a night playing with the wood stove. That's besides work in processing the wood.

    If I was to do that, I would install a massive system like the Garn. Unfortunately, that needs a house designed around it.

    There is a brilliant in between solution. There are a few manufacturers in Europe who make combo units where you toss in the the logs and when their finished, the pellet start feeding. I also think they are gasifiers. The best of all worlds.
  6. Spartan

    Spartan Member

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    Welder....and a 54 inch knee mill...and a 48" lathe. Even if I didn't, I can supply drawing and have other bid and make the components. Actually, there are only four components to the mill. Shaft, housing, plate, rollers. Bearing and gearboxes are off the shelf. On the scale of complexity to what I have done before, this is a 1 out of 10. Besides, based on the links and my research, I can find the mills that fit my budget.

    The issue, the ONLY issue is......can I convert what I have and how fast? I was hoping that this thread would help me find someone close by. It appears that very few people make their own pellets.
  7. Spartan

    Spartan Member

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    Duplicate....
  8. littlesmokey

    littlesmokey Minister of Fire

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    Don't mean to disappoint you but I have been working wood for over thirty years. I own my own shop and I heat it with a stove, and it is legal and has never bothered my insurance company. Why???? My stove is in a separate "building" a concrete block structure, Heat is piped into the working area. My insurance carrier WAS comcerned about the dust. but centralized dust collection and air filters take care of that issue. You are in Canada, so things may be different there, but if I had an insurance carrier that was so knicker-twisted, I'd be looking for another carrier. Sure as you are sitting there if you have a problem, they goin'a getcha.

    Oh, and by the way, Underwriter is Insurance-speak for clerk. Same things as in Health insurance down here.
  9. littlesmokey

    littlesmokey Minister of Fire

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    Just a little observation, many lumber mills and paper mills heat with the saw dust they produce and don't do anything but fill the hopper with the material. Several schools in Northern Washington and Montana are heating with chips taken from the forest logging site, so you don't have to repaint the horse for it to run fine.
  10. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Well, YEA! That's why I have contributed to the thread....... I agree on the more costly than a wood stove but MY point was that there's more to a wood stove than throwing a log into it. I didn't add the cost of a truck but it's a real cost to haul wood too. I don't know how you would compare 'efficiencies' between the two if you truly look at all the steps to reduce a tree in the forest to a rack of wood beside your stove.
  11. Spartan

    Spartan Member

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    When I said my insurance had a problem with a saw dust boiler, you said........"never heard that anywhere".

    Now......My insurance carrier WAS comcerned about the dust.

    Neither here or there. Flame, sawdust and insurance companies don't mix where I am.

    Now back to pellet mills.......
  12. Spartan

    Spartan Member

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    I don't know about schools but EVERY mill and veneer plant that i have visited had separate building for their chip/sawdust boilers...and then pumped the heat into their kilns or buildings.

    I'm not sure why this is even a discussion.
  13. littlesmokey

    littlesmokey Minister of Fire

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    Yup, that's the way it's done, even with coal or natural gas or propane, or whatever.... Can't understand why anyone would want to invest in a mill that will not payback for several years, when you don't have to. You have the fuel at hand, just get the right burner and enclose the furnace. Or don't you have the space. Four grand invested is a whole lot of bought pellets, or a good lead on a boiler/furnace.
  14. turbotech

    turbotech Feeling the Heat

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    I think he said he needs to heat the shop and his house. That would be two sawdust burners and two buildings. Pellet burners can be found a lot cheaper.
    At the rate it is costing to have the sawdust trucked out I would think the pellet mill would pay for itself in no time.
  15. B-Mod

    B-Mod Member

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    I got a quote from him on the PTO powered one, about a month ago. Shipping charges was.......over $1000 to Central WI, nuff to stop me from looking..............
  16. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    Holy Cow! It doesn't cost that much to have the same one shipped from China! :lol:
  17. B-Mod

    B-Mod Member

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    I know I had to send him a second email asking him if he typed it correctly, lol............
  18. bugzme

    bugzme New Member

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    I am getting my own pellet mill from http://www.pelletmill.net . Model zlmp 200, also requires a customs broker to bring into the country unless you have an importers licence
    but looking at around $700 for his services seems easier than the customs hassle. i have a steady supply of sawdust from local industrial estate so no problem there.
    I have seen all the utube vids of cheaper chinese models and decided if bringing one into the country i might aswell get one specifically designed for wood. almost double
    the cost of cheap one but worth it. roller/die life of 2000 hours, compared to cheap models 300 hours. I did look into american models but 60hz is not compatable in australia
    I will let ya know how it goes with density of pellet and production.
  19. Spartan

    Spartan Member

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    Can we keep in contact by e-mail? I experimented with a one and made some pellet from mdf and particle board sawdust. It wasn't particularly fast and since then, I learned from someone who has a high volume mill that I need 40 watts per pound for mdf/particle board about 50 watts per pound of production for oak and maple hardwood. In other words a 7.5 kw powered machine will make about 150 pounds an hour. Keep this in mind when calculating the real production rates of your machine....or the bullsh!t some sites spit out.

    $700 fr brokerage? Are you sure it's only the brokerage and not duties/taxes? I pay about $50 for brokerage fees and then whatever import taxes.

    I'm keenly interested in the nodel you bought since I intend to buy the same size. The only differnce is that I have a lot of spare electric motors and I might as well use them.

    This thread can land up buried into the back pages. If you are interested in exchanging info, send me your e-mail by personal mail and then I'll send you my e-mail.

    BTW...did you order extra plates and rollers?
  20. bugzme

    bugzme New Member

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    the customs brokerage fee includes all tariffs, stamp duty's and taxes, unloading and container fees. hence much easier to go through a broker than work out payments myself
  21. bugzme

    bugzme New Member

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    in regards to electricity usage for producing pellets this machine will be run in a factory where my family business runs, so all electricity is tax deductable.
    Yes i did also order spare set of roller and die at a cost of $80 each.
  22. Spartan

    Spartan Member

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    That makes more sense. What made you trust this company over any other? When are you getting your machine?

    BTW, I didn't realize you were online. I edited my previous post.
  23. Spartan

    Spartan Member

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    The reason I wrote that in my post, was not about electricity rates, but rather production volumes. At 150 pounds an hour, it's SLOW. I like 500 pounds per hour but then, the price for the machines rises way up there.
  24. bugzme

    bugzme New Member

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    i liked this company due to email response with sales team (very friendly and patient with questions) also their model's look more industrial
    and specifically designed for wood pellet production where most cheaper chinese models are for food pellet production. i have not ordered as of yet
    still waiting on broker to confirm with customs officials over detail and fee's I"m making sure of total costs before purchase so no surprises.
  25. bugzme

    bugzme New Member

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    i know what you mean with production rates but as I'm running this in a family business i can basically make pellets anytime.
    if it works out ok i could always add the other production line machines in at a later time, which would provide a more streamlined production
    but for now just being able to produce a pellet is satisfactory for my needs.

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