1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

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

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,067
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    :lol: :ahhh:

    The pellet mills I have seen for sale are priced WAY to high compared to what I could have bought one for directly from the source, China. These people think that just because they got screwed, they should screw me!!!! The real key to getting some output is the binder. You definitely have to devote time and hopefully have a bunch of kids to 'volunteer' or fellow burners. Otherwise, you need to be retired and have absolutely nothing else to do.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Hoval

    Hoval Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Ok so is anybody still here? I have purchased a pellet mill from China and I am waiting for delivery. I will continue to post about my plans and exp[erience if anyone is still there.
  3. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,067
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    Heck yea, keep us posted! If you need a source for the binder, > http://www.mataminc.com/woodfuel.php

    Did you hire a broker to get it through customs and delivered to you?

    Did you order several spare die plates?

    I hope you also got the hammermill and extra screens as well.

    20 HP diesel version?

    My quote for both and 3 sets of each spares plus broker fee and drop gate delivery was right at $4000 two years ago. How did you do?
  4. Hoval

    Hoval Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Yes I am using a broker to get it through customs; all the fees come to like $375.00. I ordered two sets of 8 MM dies and one 6 MM set plus two rollers. I plan on making mostly 8 MM pellets but I got the 6 MM just for a change. I am getting a 15 HP Brush Master chipper/shredder/hammer mill from Home Depot. At $999 delivered I think that it will work for me. I will need to fabricate a smaller screen as this is quoted to make 1/4 " pieces, but one of the reviews said that it would produce dime size pieces. For my process I will need 1/4" or smaller. I ordered the SKJ300T PTO Tractor drive pellet mill. I have an old Case tractor with a 52HP pto and I thought why spend the money on a power plant when I could spend it on a larger pellet mill. I am spending $2150 on the mill delivered to customs in New Jersey, plus the broker with delivery to upstate New York. Every situation is different, what works for me may not work for you. I am taking a different route to make my pellets.

    My source of material comes in what I call ripper strips (waste material from a local hardwood dealer that cuts hardwood to your dimensions. The by product is strips of lumber up to 20 feet long, usually 5/4†thick and anywhere from 1/8†to 4†wide. This is all without bark, kiln dried, and furniture quality clear hardwood. The man will deliver to me three bundles at a time for $30. Each bundle is about 6’ in diameter and weights between 2 to 4 tons.

    I plan on a one person production line. The mill claims to produce 800# plus per hour. That means that I will need to put 13.3# of material into the chipper per minute. I will transport the output through a 4†PVC pipe (lengths will vary from 10’ to over 50’) into a 2HP dust collector (Harbor Freight) that I have to vacuum the output. This unit (my VacJector) is a pass through that will inject the output into the cyclone separator over the pellet mill. I will need to send a photo of how I transformed the dust collector into a cyclone using a large flower pot and tin.

    The pellets will fall into a metal wardrobe (you know the type found in old farm houses that had no closets.) This is about 6’ tall 30†wide and 22â€high. I have installed a 6†squirrel fan to inject outside air to cool the pellets. I will call this my horizontal cooling tower. I plan on opening the two front door of the tower and put a panel between the doors to provide about 44†of height for storage. This will allow about 800# of pellets to be made at one time so I don’t need to turn on an off the pellet mill but I can continue to operate until full so I don’t lose the heat in the die. I am still thinking that this will take a couple of hours but I don’t know for sure until I try.

    I have completed a 2â€PVC line from where I plan on making the pellets through my cellar into a 400# horizontal transfer station. This will be powered by a Home Depot vacuum that will suck the pellets about 100’ from the production to near my storage area. I will be able to store 6 Tons in my storage bin and 1 ton in my hopper. I will also be able to move my pellets from one bin to another by a vacuum and a Portable Corn Vac. Google this as it is the greatest thing since sliced bread for moving pellets from one spot to another.

    Hope this is of interest.
  5. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,067
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    Definitely interesting! Heck yea, with the old tractor sitting there, why not use it! Sounds like you also have a great source for raw material with no bark and very little ash. It IS kiln dried so you'll have to add moisture somewhere along the way as well as binder, and then have a good grain moisture meter to measure it.
    So you're pellets will be larger in diameter than normal ones. Not sure if it really makes any difference, actually.
    In your research, did you see that you may also have to do some reaming/polishing of the holes in the dies? They evidently are pretty rough coming from China and the pellets will hang up in them otherwise.
    So they claim 800# an hour but that is probably feed stock for animals. Actually, that's why the duty is so low on the pellet mills. They are classified for farm use. From the pellet machine forum that I belonged to, you can probably cut that in 1/2 or less. Still, it should satisfy your needs quite well.
    I worked in the plastics processing industry all my life so I can appreciate your conveying system. Actually, there are a multitude of auctions going on of defunct plastics processing plants and the conveying systems go for peanuts. Went to one a few months ago and it was amazing to see how cheaply equipment was sold for. I purchased a lot of new equipment and know the costs. You might want to google for auctions.
    Keep us posted!
  6. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    13,502
    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    Pulled up a chair. Grabbed a drink and some popcorn! Definetly interested, I hope you do a good show and tell for us! ;-)
  7. Hoval

    Hoval Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Thanks for the reply. I purchased a wood moisture meter a year ago that seems to work very well. I have plans to introduce water into the bottom of my cyclone by small pressure spray heads. I think I will have a selection from one of the local farm stores that I can change as needed to provide the proper moisture. The standard for pellets in most boilers and stoves with adjustable start and burn amounts is between 6 & 8 MM. We have become accustomed to the 6 MM as it is the only produce that I can find in the stores. My burner is adjustable in several ways so I think that the burn will work out well. I have chosen the 8 MM as my standard because I will be chipping my raw product and it will be larger than sawdust. However the chips of wood that have been crosscut and beaten by the Hammer Mill should be relaxed fibers that will compress very nicely.

    I found a great site for prepping the rollers and die. You use a mixture of soybean and sand blasting sand to clean and polish the unit. I my opinion the process of making pellets is a function of creating a smooth surface that will allow the pellets to fall into an auger to feed the burner. This is more important that the compression. Sawdust will burn, wood will burn, wood chips will burn but none will slide into an auger without additional assistance. I realize that the pellets must hold together and be of proper length as well as being from a clean source with minimal fines.

    I misquoted the output of the mill that I ordered. Alaska Pellet Mills claimed this unit to have an output of between 660# and 880#. (I did not order this through them) However it is still between 11 and 16 pounds per minute of input. I am still thinking of the lower output but I may be wrong if I use the 8 MM die and get the proper compression. I will be happy to get 400# per hour or 6.6 # per minute of good quality pellets.

    As previously stated what works for my may not work for you. My plan is to keep it simple but workable for one person to operate. I think that conveyers and other product movers could be very helpful but I wanted to try this on a small budget that would keep one person busy and provide a reasonable output.

    I showed my conversion in previous post on this board. I think that I may have been the first to do a full conversion of my boiler to pellets. I am now going “ALL IN†in an effort to drop my heating and hot water cost to under $100. Per ton including raw material, labor, fuel and a reasonable time to amortize the cost of the equipment. You may look up previous post if interested.
  8. Hoval

    Hoval Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Beautiful day in upstate New York right around 50 F and sunny. Please look above on the forum to see the photo of BUGZME tower and holding tank. I attached some photo's of my cyclone tower and the two HP motor that is from Harbor Freight (made in China) I replaced the plastic collector bag on the bottom with a 19" flower pot. I then cut a hole in the bottom of the flower pot and attached tin metal sheets to form a funnel. I used a old inter tube from my son's bike as the divider and seal between the upper portion and the flower pot. My hope is that as I blow wood particles into the top unit that the cyclone effect will separate the wood from the air pressure and allow the wood to drop into my pellet mill. I did try the unit when I had it set up and I was getting some air out the bottom but with little pressure.

    Attached Files:

  9. Hoval

    Hoval Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    I built a table top for the scaffolding that I have with a plan to set the cyclone and collector motor on it. I am not sure that this will get me enough height as this is about 53" to the bottom of my table top and the top of the pellet mill is also 53" high. I will need to get the pellet mill to find out how high the output is on the mill as I am trying to get it as high as possible so that I can let it fall into my horizontal cooling tower. I do have several inches between the bottom of my cyclone and the bottom of the rack that holds the cyclone. I may make room to allow the funnel up through this rack and raise the pellet mill. As this is a work in progress only time will tell. My mill is East of Hawaii and West of Mexico heading for the Panama Canal.

    Attached Files:

  10. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,067
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    You've definitely done your homework and have come up with a good scheme to keep the process flowing, which can be a drawback if not really thought through. I can see your tendency to use the 8mm size given the raw material and your furnace's ability to use whatever you throw at it. With the 8mm, it should keep your lbs/hr higher. I wonder about the ability to compress them as well as the 6mm, but again, it probably doesn't matter with your stove as long as the roll and convey.

    Can't wait to see it running. A YouTube video is definitely in order! :)
  11. B-Mod

    B-Mod Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Messages:
    172
    Loc:
    Central WI
    Keep the info and details coming, I am watching this thread closely. Thanks for the info.......
    PS, I want to see that tractor powering that mill, that is the setup I would use also, as I have a few tractors around, lol.......
  12. Hoval

    Hoval Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Thought I would sent some photo's of the horizontal transfer box. It is 48" X 24" X 24" attached to the wall and ceiling. It is a vacuum box that will be driven by a Home Depot Rigid vacuum. The plan is to suck pellets thorough a 2" PVC pipe into one end of the box (see the intake in the upper section of the shot of the open box.) Once the box is full I will shut off the intake line with a twist valve and open one of my distribution ends of the 4 way drain at the bottom of the box (see photo) The box will now become a pressure box by moving the hose in the vacuum to the output blower. I should be able to empty the pellets into my 6 ton storage bin or my 1 ton daily hopper or let the pellets drop into a bucket.

    Attached Files:

    • 012.jpg
      012.jpg
      File size:
      231.3 KB
      Views:
      396
    • 016.jpg
      016.jpg
      File size:
      226.4 KB
      Views:
      377
    • 008.jpg
      008.jpg
      File size:
      193.4 KB
      Views:
      370
    • 007.jpg
      007.jpg
      File size:
      171 KB
      Views:
      370
  13. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,067
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    Looking at your 3 Way Valve, I thing you have it upside down to get a smooth flow of pellets down and over to your bins. :) Also, if you plan on blowing pellets by pressurizing the box, I seriously doubt that will work, sorry to say. I hope it does but I'd bet against it. NOW if you blew into the opposite 'T' end, it might suck the pellets out of the box and blow them down the pipe. It will take some playing around to see how it works, that's for sure.
    Still interesting as all get-out!

    Never did hear if you are using binder.
  14. Benski

    Benski Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    60
    Loc:
    Montreal, QC.
    I know I'm late, but I submit this thread as a reference: http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/19619/

    There is a canadian distributor for the French machine and they are called Granulart in Neuville, QC (the guy speaks English by the way). I have visited his work shop and I think his machines get the job done.
  15. Hoval

    Hoval Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    I put the three way in like that so I could blow the pellets from one side to the other. I did not want to have a fast flow but controled with pressure. I don't know if this will work but as I said this is a work in process. I do not have plans to use a binder at this time but I will need to see how things work when I get the Mill.
  16. Hoval

    Hoval Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Thought you might like to see my daily hopper for pellets. The one is liooking into a empty bin and the other is with 2000# of new pellets in it. This will last me between 2-3 weeks depending on the weather.

    Attached Files:

  17. Hoval

    Hoval Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    What an amazing world we live in. I have been tracking the ship that my pellet mill is on from the time it left China. I have watched it move on course as it spent the last 14 days in the Pacific Ocean. Today at 1:10 PM I watched as it went through then it pulled out of the Gatun Lock on the Eastern side of the Panama Canal. We think that to make a pellet of wood out of small pieces of wood is a hard thing to do.
  18. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,067
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    You can also get binder from www.makeyourownpellets.com. They used to have a forum but the owner told me that he took it down from lack of interest. It's basically starch but from everything I've read over the years, it makes pellet production a LOT easier. The mills just don't get hot enough to get the lignin to bond.
  19. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,067
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    Out of curiosity, how did you do that?
  20. Hoval

    Hoval Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    This site is a site that locates all ships at sea. I was able to reduce it to my one cargo ship that is some of the time recording it position automatically. This also works for many cruise ships and many other ships.

    http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?centerx=120.3575&centery=36.093&zoom=12

    I also went to the following site that is real time but refreshed at 30 and 60 seconds of ships entering the different locks in the Panama Canal. I was there 5 or 6 years ago and it is incredible. The ships drop or rise 40 to 50 feet at each of the three locks in Gatun. You can see the two sets of locks side by side as some times a ship is going up while other times a ship is going down. I have only been to Gatun but their are two other locks that you need to go through to get to the Pacific Ocean.

    http://www.pancanal.com/eng/photo/camera-java.html

    Hope this works for you.
  21. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,067
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    That is absolutely amazing!
  22. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    13,502
    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    Wonder if the somalian pirites use that too?
  23. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,067
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    I wouldn't doubt it and they probably are using the excess smart phones we send them for IED'S.
  24. Hoval

    Hoval Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    If you think that those sites are the greatest that the Internet has to offer, well I have a site that will tell you the score of todays football game before it even starts.
  25. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,067
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    OTB??? :) I guess we all knew about Tebow's fate before it happened! I think he played the game without an offensive line last night. The other game was probably the best game I've ever seen.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page