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Pressed wood/logs

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by pharmsaler, Sep 16, 2011.

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  1. pharmsaler

    pharmsaler Member

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    I really want to burn the pressed logs or bricks this year. There are so many and so many variations of them. Does anybody have any experience with them? Obviously getting heat out of them is not an issue but burn times may be a big issue. If I am only getting 3-4 hours of burn time out of 4-5 bricks...it may not be worth it.


    Please share your experience, how many you would put in your fireplace and how long of a burn time did you get?

    eco-brick, envi-brick, eco-log, biobrick

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  2. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    I bought some different brands last year just to experiment and bought about 12 packs of eco-bricks just to have on standby to throw in with some suspect wood I had. They worked pretty good when mixed with wood, 1-3 bricks for a full load of wood. I still have about 8 packs. They are also good during the shoulder season when you just want a quick burn to take the chill of. Just throw in 4 or 5 and a quarter of a super cedar. Like this, I could probably get 2-3 hrs. of useable heat. I would go buy a few packs to test before going balls out and buying a pallet. Tractor supply runs sales on the ecobricks for 2.99 a bundle. Regular prices is 3.99. I've been told that you can haggle with the managers and get the sale price if your buying a pallet. They aren't without they're mess either. They are made of sawdust, so expect to have that laying around.
  3. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    I use an 8 pound energy log made in Idaho. Probably not practical for your area but I bet you'll find a similar product in your area. The claim is the pallet of around 300 logs has the same BTU's as 1 1/2 cords. I do like them for mixing with regular wood.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I ran some tests a few years ago an reported the results in the wiki linked articles posted below. The main thing I came up with was that the highly compressed products like the Norther Idaho logs, Homefire's Prest-Logs and BioBricks were vastly superior to the lower density fire logs. However, I tested them in a stove, not a fireplace.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/wiki/Category:Fuels/
  5. fredarm

    fredarm Minister of Fire

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    I think I've burned most of the bricks available on the East Coast--BioBricks, Geo Bricks, Wood Brick Fuel, Liberty Bricks and Eco Bricks. I burn a ton of bricks and a cord of wood each winter. I just got a ton of Eco Bricks from Tractor Supply. They are a little bigger than the Bio/Geo/Wood Bricks. They also come in 25 pound packages rather than the 40 pound packages the others come in. My back is happier with the smaller packages. I've had good luck with all of the bricks except the Wood Brick Fuel and the Libery Bricks. The Wood Bricks did not seem as tightly compressed as the others and collapsed into a glowing pile of sawdust. The Liberty Bricks contained non-wood objects and burned with a kind of plastcky smell. The Bio and Geo Bricks burn about the same time, 3 to 4 hours. The Eco Bricks burn maybe an hour longer because they are bigger. I burn 4 Bio/Geo Bricks and 2 to 3 splits at a time. My stove has a small firebox. I will burn 3 Eco Bricks at a time because they are bigger, also with a couple of splits. In a fireplace you will be able to burn more. Just pack them together and they will burn longer. The best thing is to get a few packages of each type that is available in your area and see what you like.
  6. pharmsaler

    pharmsaler Member

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    So how long will 3 eco bricks last when dampened down, can you get an all night out of them
  7. pen

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

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    Gamma ray on here has burned a bunch of the biobricks. One of these days I'll take her advice and pick up some just to say I tried them.

    pen
  8. GAMMA RAY

    GAMMA RAY Minister of Fire

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    Envi bricks, pen! I burned them in the 13 towards the end of last season. I got a bunch for free so I thought why not?
    I threw about 2 or 3 of the larger ones in n/s with some splits e/w on top. I liked the combo. Then during shoulder season I was the one starting fires when I came home from work. (Who woulda thunk it a year ago? I was afraid of the damn stove then) They were super easy to start a fire for a newbie like me. I used the smaller bricks in a tee pee with a super cedar in the middle.
    We have some left over and I think we will be using them again mixed with wood. I am not sure how well the heat output will be in 0 degree temps as compared to all wood. Nothing can compare to dry oak though, if we had all oak ready to burn, I would probably not even think about the bricks. We have maple, ash and cherry for this year so the bricks will be getting thrown in, I think they increase the burn time with those woods.

    Average burn time from what I remember (mixed with wood) 6-7 hours (maybe a bit longer). I have a small stove, so that's pretty good I think.
  9. hockeypuck

    hockeypuck Feeling the Heat

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    I burnt a ton of BioBricks last year.. got to the end of the season and 2 chords did not cut it. I was satisfied with those. I also did a couple of EnviBlocks.. the large ones. Liked those as well. Tried the Canwick blocks and those seemed a little less dense, not as hot but ok.

    My plan this year is to do a chord of wood (cut from my property) and 2 ton of BioBricks. I have two chord stacked for the following year, but will supplement those as well with bricks. Use the wood at night and let my wife use the blocks during the day. You cannot beat the convenience of the packaged blocks... no stacking of wood or trudging through the snow to the wood pile. Have the company deliver right into the garage.
  10. olddawgsrule

    olddawgsrule Member

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    I have to ask: Where did you get your EnviBlocks?
    I can't find a local supplier in South NH
  11. olddawgsrule

    olddawgsrule Member

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    I'm a bit lite on cord wood this year.. only 1.5 cord in the shed.. Need 2.5 cord there.

    I'm heading back towards using some bricks or blocks this season to supplement.

    I've always found them as 'glower's' vs 'flamer's.
    And very fast burning when mixed in.

    Past experience showed them as great 'shoulder' fuel.
    Now I see more of the Blocks available around here.

    Picked up 2 packages of CanWick blocks yesterday to try out.
    Found them hard to light, but once going burned nicely.
    Probably 45 degrees when I started and went to mid-50's for a gray day.
    The house was a comfortable 70 degrees with the stove set about half-way.

    I'm still trying to find a local supplier for EnviBlock in South NH.
    Tractor Supply was out of stock on the BioBlock (pleased to see Bio also had a block).

    Above posts seem to lean towards Bio over CanWick, but I'm uncertian if anyone has tried Bio's Block.
    Curious if they make the block as dense as the brick (one would assume so).

    Would love to hear some updates from anyone using these blocks!
    Blocks over bricks?
    Heat produced?
  12. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    We used ecobricks last year, got consistant day long (@12 hr) burns when packed well and mixed with splits. Gotta pack them right. I'd say grab a few packs and experiment. We also found wood brick fuel disapointing, it was barely compressed and just fell apart. Hard to keep burning. Smelled like pine.
  13. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    Here is a review showing some Home Fire Prest Logs burning in a fireplace.


  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That a good demo of what I found. It's even more dramatic in good woodstove that efficiently captures that heat. If you want a good long burn, get the premium, highly densified pressed logs.
  15. Rich L

    Rich L Minister of Fire

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    I like the envi-8 blocks better than the bio-bricks which I like better than the eco-bricks.
  16. olddawgsrule

    olddawgsrule Member

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    Thank you folks for updating this thread!
    So far I've only tried the CanWick bricks and hope to try some Bio-Blocks soon.

    My first impression is: The bricks are harder to get going, but once going burn nicely.
    Does burn more like a coal fire, but giving of nice heat.
    I did find them to break apart sooner than I had hoped for, but saying that, they burned for quite a bit before starting to break.
    Had a good fire for at least 6hrs and dwindled down from there.
    The wifey threw one in before she came up and had coals to start up again in the morning (with a block) with ease.

    I did a short run with a few 'semi-dry' splits and burned well.

    As we all do, I hoped to see better..

    As I 'remember' my bio-bricks, I had much more control, but for shorter periods of time.

    I see great reasons for both Block and Brick right now!
    Block for overnight burn.
    Brick for better control.

    I think I'm going to look pretty silly out there splitting Blocks to have a few bricks... but if I want both and only need a ton...
    I'll have to talk to Tractor Supply and see if they're up to splitting a ton (otherwise I'll do a video so we can all laugh together).
  17. Tallweeds

    Tallweeds New Member

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    I found some leftover 8 packs of Ecobrick at TSC. The 8 packs are 25lb vs the newer packaging of 6 bricks @ 21lbs and slightly bigger bricks. Got both to try. Only other thing available around these parts that I've been able to find is the Gren-heat bricks at Menards. I got some of them to try too. I would love to try the Idaho logs or similar, just don't know how to get them. I guess I could order a pallet and have them trucked in, but that would probably cost a fortune. Good thing we have lots of osage orange around here :)
  18. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    The 30NC is a small stove? Typo or was that your old stove?

    Ray
  19. GAMMA RAY

    GAMMA RAY Minister of Fire

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    I believe I was referring to the 13 in that old post Ray....the 30 is far from a small stove...he is a "Beast"...Lol
    raybonz likes this.
  20. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Gotcha! How you been these days?

    Ray
  21. olddawgsrule

    olddawgsrule Member

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    My mistake, you have it correct, it's Eco not Bio that TS carries.
    I will re-confirm once they get some in.

    Am very interested in your comparison, opinion of each.

    Have you tried a 'Block' yet?
  22. olddawgsrule

    olddawgsrule Member

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    @HP
    I see from you post or should I say read the underlining as; You're preferring bricks over blocks.
    I'm seeing the logic in this so far with my test.

    To all: Has anyone seen or have a link to a site that has 'real' BTU values for these blocks?
    I seem to be having some difficulty finding one... Not even Siri could do it (Iphone humor, sorry)....
  23. agartner

    agartner Feeling the Heat

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    I burned 100% bio-bricks last year. Roughly 3 and a half ton got me through the season here in southern NH. I'd for the most part agree with the claim that a ton is roughly equivalent to a cord of seasoned firewood. Fire goes for the most part 24x7 as someone is always at home. My stove is an older Kent - closest thing to compare to would probably be like a Pacific Energy Summit. I found the best way to burn them in my stove was to start with a "starter load" (about 4 bricks), let those catch nicely, push them to the back, and load in front of that anywhere from six to eight blocks at a time, packed together tightly. I would always have coals and a warm stove in the morning, but not enough to start another fire, always had to reach for a quarter super cedar in the AM. Of course every stove is different. One thing I can say is that they burn really, really clean. Had the sweep just come out last week and the only thing in the liner was pretty much dust. I didn't see how much dust there was, but I got the idea from the report that my wife gave me is that he felt the bricks were "doing their job well".

    Seems the "tighter" the bricks are compressed, the better they do. I had gotten a load of "eco-brix" or something like that a few years back, and like others have pointed out in this thread, these "loose bricks", they just kind of balloon up and fell into a pile of useless black sawdust in the stove. Not a good thing.
  24. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    How much did 3.5 tons set you back for comparison to cord wood? I agree they have virtually no moisture so they should burn very hot and clean..

    Ray
  25. Tallweeds

    Tallweeds New Member

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    I started a fire last night with 3 Gren-heat bricks and a 1/4 super cedar. I made a teepee the best I could using one side of the stove as a brace and put SC in the middle. I ended up adding some kindling to help things along, it was taking a long time to get them started. My stove only got to about 350 and went down from there. Next time I will try to start them another way. I read through past posts and someone figured out a pretty good way to get them going. First impressions are they are hard to get going in a cold stove and I will probably need 6 or more for some decent heat. I wanted to start small and work my way up. Need some more burn time to get a better feel for them.
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