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Free BTU's

Postby Bob Perry » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:02 pm

Made a little video of me and Kevin processing pallet wood. I've been doing this for many years. Good way to get the stove going hot, fast. And I work in Boston so no problem finding them. Best part is the price.

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Re: Free BTU's

Postby beaconlight » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:51 pm

That oak of most pallets is hard on blades I have found. I have burnt many a pallet and agree the are quick hot heat, Only trouble I had was with old patched ones with a lot of nails trying to miss all the nails when cutting
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Re: Free BTU's

Postby ScottyD'sdad » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:39 pm

beaconlight wrote:That oak of most pallets is hard on blades I have found. I have burnt many a pallet and agree the are quick hot heat, Only trouble I had was with old patched ones with a lot of nails trying to miss all the nails when cutting

It impossible to miss the nails. I've been trying, for years! Ed
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Re: Free BTU's

Postby Rudi » Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:08 pm

Bob:

Well them BTU's aren't exactly free but they are probably the 2nd cheapest source of energy to heat the house/barn/shop etc.. Again it is a good video on the number of steps/handling wood from source of supply to end use in the stove :D I really like the idea of recycling/re-purposing material. I never liked our throwaway society.

Nicely done, it is nice to see Dad and son working together. Great fun :big smile:

I use a lot of pallets, but once I am done with them, they are not suitable for the furnace - just suitable to go up the road and into my biomass pile :D Ray gets lots of pallets so I have told my nephew Frank that he should be using those to supplement his heating needs. A little work and poof - decent heat.
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Re: Free BTU's

Postby beaconlight » Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:12 pm

Ed when you can use up to 30 inch pieces it makes it worth your while to look for and avoid nails.
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Re: Free BTU's

Postby Bob Perry » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:21 pm

You guys are confusing me. I was cutting the thin pieces with the Skil-saw, Kevin was cutting the bigger pieces with the cut-off saw. Both carbide blades. I know I never hit a nail, and I can't see any reason why Kevin would either.

If a finish carpenter "leaves the line", why can't you "leave the nail"?

One advantage is these pallets are in new condition, very clean, used just once.
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Re: Free BTU's

Postby Bob Perry » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:24 pm

Rudi wrote:I use a lot of pallets, but once I am done with them, they are not suitable for the furnace - just suitable to go up the road and into my biomass pile


Rudi I was curious why they can't be burned?
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Re: Free BTU's

Postby Eugene » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:51 pm

I get pallets and pallet tops from a neighbor. Neighbor has a contract to remove and dispose of used pallets. I get a couple of small dump truck loads of pallets and pallet tops deposited on the cement pad behind one of my acreage buildings. If I feel ambitious I will cut the pallets up. If not the pallets go into the burn pit - to much effort to cut into burn sized pieces.

Cutting the pallet tops into burnable pieces is fast and easy on a table saw, leaving only the nailed corners to throw in the my burn pit.
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Re: Free BTU's

Postby Rudi » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:19 pm

Bob Perry wrote:Rudi I was curious why they can't be burned?


Cause, by the time I am done with them - usually after 2 or 3 years sitting on the ground keeping my wood pile dry - they are basically rotted :lol:

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One thing I forgot. Don't forget to get your heavy duty magnet out and pull the nails and other metal out of the ashes. Those can go in your recycle bin (ching ching) and the ashes make a real good soil amendment. Just need something to spread em with. Ohhh yeah :roll: you got a manure spreader don't ya :?: :?:
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Re: Free BTU's

Postby Rob in NH » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:47 pm

now that is a lot of work. i burn about 2 cord a winter, the rest is oil.
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Re: Free BTU's

Postby Bob Perry » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:03 pm

Rudi wrote:One thing I forgot. Don't forget to get your heavy duty magnet out and pull the nails and other metal out of the ashes. Those can go in your recycle bin (ching ching) and the ashes make a real good soil amendment. Just need something to spread em with. Ohhh yeah you got a manure spreader don't ya


Yup I have the big magnet, bought it from a roofing supplier. Great minds think alike.

How about this: I once had a big wood-burning stove, and I had a steel can (1-2 gallons?) and it was connected by a steel tubing, and we would set it to drip oil onto the fire, making the fire hotter (and getting rid of the oil). It used to be somewhat common.
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Re: Free BTU's

Postby Barnyard » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:31 pm

Rudi wrote:the ashes make a real good soil amendment.

I used to put my ashes from the wood stove and the fire pit on the garden, then I read where that is not good for all plants so I quit. Maybe our resident extension agent, Mr. Hudson, can fill us in.
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Re: Free BTU's

Postby Bill Hudson » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:20 pm

OK. You asked, so here's the skinny. Hardwood ashes contain more plant nutrients than softwood ashes. Composition of the ashes depend upon many factors, a few of which are species burned, combustion temperature, moisture content, and other factors. Wood ashes are a better liming material than a fertilizing material, as such, do not put wood ashes on acid loving plants or alkaline soils.

Yes, you can put wood ashes anywhere you want to, however, be prepared to pay a price if you put it where you shouldn't. A price that may not make you happy. To avoid this TEST YOUR SOIL, then apply nutrients according to the soil test results and nutrient needs of the crop(s) being grown.

This reference covers the basics of using wood ashes for soil application:
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/wood-ash-can-be-useful-yard-if-used-caution

Hope this helps.

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Re: Free BTU's

Postby Barnyard » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:23 pm

So if it is a variety of woods it is best left to the land fill?
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Re: Free BTU's

Postby Bill Hudson » Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:36 pm

Barnyard wrote:So if it is a variety of woods it is best left to the land fill?


When I had a wood burning fireplace that is where my ashes went. Nutrient content is too variable and unpredictable. Buy your plant nutrients in a bag with a guaranteed analysis, an analysis that is subject to regular verification by state agencies.

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