Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
Does anyone know how to make handmade pellets? Not exactly like what a pellet machine can do, but something similar that I don't have to use a machine? I have tons of leaves and no money to buy a pellet machine at the cost of over $4,000. Any homemade suggestions would be greatly appreciated. It doesn't have to be perfect, just has to work. Please advise.
Grass and leaves can be pressed with a simple lever and plunger setup with a pipe or bucket to form.They will need to dry after pressed because some moisture is needed to make the briquettes stay together.Used cooking oil makes a good binder but with enough heat [generated by pressure] the plant material releases a natural binder. These materials produce more ash than hardwood but the ash is potash and can be added to compost pile for fertilizer.
I am building a wood gasifier now to produce electricity for house and greenhouse and will use the heat bi-product to heat greenhouse and home. The 'smoke' generated by burning the biomass in low oxygen is mainly h and co which is used as fuel for the generator engine, the exhaust from the engine being mainly co2 can be fed into greenhouse or back into pyrolysis zone where it is stripped of one o molecule and turned into co, then fed back into gas stream to run engine. It is all really much easier than it sounds.
Is there a cheap way of grinding up old boards so they will fit in a pellet stove to burn?
Tracy from ME
Would a wood chipper work?
Not something I would even consider doing as your pellet burning stove is created and designed to burn commercially prepared pellets and the money you think you are saving on pellets will mean nothing if you have a house fire or wreck your stove.
It wouldn't be worth the trouble--I think pellets are smoother and denser, and the board bits would probably burn up too quickly to be very efficient besides jamming the auger. Pea coal doesn't work either, totally rusts out pellet/corn stoves.
How much does a wood pellet mill cost?
You can find the information you need online. There are many types of pellet mills and the cost varies. One site had prices for a small mill starting over $1800.
What is the psi required to compress dry sawdust into pellets for my stove? Also, to what temperature should the sawdust be heated?
Rufas from Saskatchewan, Canada
Don't know info requested but don't use wood that has been treated with the sealant etc.
I am looking at picking up a small pellet mill and have access to free softwood dry sawdust, eastern white pine. I have several questions. Has anyone done this? Other then the sawdust, what else do I need? I keep reading other people's posts about using a binder.
I have one pelpro that works really well, and I'm thinking of adding a second one in an addition I am putting on. Thanks.
How do you make pellets out of shredded paper for a pellet stove? We have a new Englander pellet stove and just purchased a Stak pellet mill and are trying to make pellets from shredded paper. When we put paper into the hopper it shreds the paper to dust. Please help. We are not sure what we're doing wrong.
Here's a link to a site that has instructions for making pellets out of paper. One of the things it says is to not use an office paper shredder because the paper pieces will not be small enough. Maybe a cross-cut shredder will work. http://www.ehow l-out-paper.html
I want to know if there is a way to make wood pellets out of scrap wood from my wood shop.
I bought a small pellet machine and I am having trouble getting good hard wood pellets. Soft wood pellets and also newspaper pellets come out fine. Can anybody tell me how to get good hard wood pellets please?
By Bob from Canada
Are pellets made from sawdust (cherry, oak, walnut) and newspaper safe for use in a BBQ grill?
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
I was wondering if anyone knew if you could make homemade pellets out of newspaper that you could use in a wood pellet stove. We just purchased one, and we always have a lot of newspapers around because my boys do a route. I didn't know if you could possibly burn them somehow in the pellet stove. Any info would be appreciated.
Lynn from Cohocton, N.Y.
Being as you just purchased your pellet stove, I wouldn't burn anything else in it than what is meant to be burned or your warranty could be void. I have a pellet stove and would never think of burning anything but pellets in it as I am not sure how much damage one could do. I would be very careful when trying something like this. (10/14/2005)
By Linda W.
Call a store that sells pellet stoves and find one
who really knows about them and get advice there too. I would try that calling or going to a store for
info as it could be that you could and save some money, but find out before you try it. Good luck
and let us know what you find out. (10/14/2005)
Pellets made from hardwood saw dust is best. Utilizing other forms of materials causes increased pollution concerns for example; creosote build up in the flue, excessive greenhouse gasses etc. Sell the excess news paper and use the money to buy recylcled products for better insulation for your home. (11/25/2005)
By Randy L.
Although there are some companies experimenting with pellets made out of recycled cardboard, the bottom line is that it requires a special and rather expensive pelletizing machine to make any type of burnable pellet. Hardwood dust left from manufacturing furniture is probably the most common material used. Some kind of binder (glue) is added to it and the pelletizing machine extrudes it under high pressure.
There are other ways to use old newspapers such as for bedding for animals and as mulch for the garden. But, putting it in a recycle bin is easier. (12/21/2005)
By Robert M.
Greenshop online : Household : Log Makers
The info below can be found on Greenshop (or google paper fire log maker) Also found some for sale on e bay - these clever beasties turn soaked paper etc into logs / bricks to burn - can use sawdust, coffee grounds etc. Not cheap @ £29 (UK)
but will pay for itself - Ive got one on my wish list !!
Try joining your local "freecycle" site and asking other members if they have one they no longer want (site worth joining anyway)
Meanwhile if anyone can advise how to squeeze soggy paper into "logs" a cheaper way I would also love to hear it - hope the info below is useful;
The Famous Log Maker -
Our famous original log maker recycles your newspapers and turns them into 'bricks' to burn on the fire! Soak the paper in water, squidge into the logmaker and squeeze down the handles. Remove brick and leave to dry out. Bricks will burn for up to an hour. Made in the U.K.
Size: 30 x 12 x 16cm Bricks: 22 x 8 x 6cm Price: £29.95
Regarding making pellets at home, there is a very cute little machine (it's about 3 foot by 3 foot square), runs on mains electricity, and will pellet any biomass with granules less than 5mm, and moisture content max. 15%. Ideal moisture content is about 12%, so you may need to make your newspaper a bit damp first before feeding it into the pelleter. The machine is made in China, where they can be bought for about USD 1,500 (GBP 750).
I have seen them being sold for 8 times that amount in the USA, and apparently they sell well (you can see them on www.PelletPros.com). If anyone is interested to team together to import a container load for home use, please let me know. I should declare an interest as the person who runs www.PelletBase.com, but I have been trying to think up ways to get the gadgets into the UK at a decent price :-) (06/26/2007)
By David S.
There will always be resources available for wood pellets, hence renewable resources! As long as we keep planting trees of course, which I think we all will, since that is what makes oxygen. I am looking forward to the installation of my pellet stove, I can't wait for winter to come! (08/29/2007)
Go ahead and pelletize your junk mail and your newspapers. Burn them in your pellet stove and feel good about the paper that would cost twice as much to haul to the landfills, sit there for years and waste space as garbage. What's better than free heat? At least you won't be subsidizing some grease ball terrorist regime for your home heating fuel. (10/29/2007)
By Bob B.
I just went to the web site http://www.pelletpros.com and found that I can make my own pellets cheaper than buying them. What pellet shortage are you guys talking about? The local walmart can get you 1 ton at $239.00 and is always in stock with up to 18 tons in stock. It's decent quality pellets and they load it with a forklift.
I would rather make my own and save the money and get a chipper to run the chips in pelletpros model pp220 that makes 200lbs of pellets in an hour so in 15 hours I could have 3 tons of pellets just enough pellets to go a full year heating my house, I don't know of anyone who can cut, split, and stack a whole years worth of fire wood in 15 hours and if they did they would be in a hospital getting back surgery.
I guess that a pellet stove that gets nearly 15 to 25% better efficiency than comparable wood stoves. I'm jumping aboard the pellet stove wagon. (11/14/2007)
By L Oliver
Has anyone considered a machine designed
to make multiple wood plugs in each pass
using hard wood logs cut into wafer size pieces?
These pieces should be seasoned prior to the
actual plug making process.
This eliminates the compression factor of producing
pellets and assures that the pellets/plugs going into
your pellet stove are hardwood.
Someone may ask, why bother when you can directly
burn this wood in a wood burning stove, but I am
only thinking of the convenience of not having
to feed a pellet stove as often as a wood burning
stove through out a long winter!
These wafer size pieces can be produced using
a cord wood circular saw. The only drawback is the
waste that is involved and also labor so you have to
weigh these factors also.
In other words, is it worth the effort just for the sake
If anyone truly has good info on making stove pellets out of newspaper, I want to know. Heat bills are killer so I purchased 2 corn stoves. No corn is sky high. My stoves will burn anything I tell them to. I know homemade newspaper pellets are a real thing but just can't seem to get the info on the whole deal. I'm ready to learn. any help appreciated. Thanks. (01/20/2008)
By Earl R.
"I wouldn't burn anything else in it than what is meant to be burned or your warranty could be void. I have a pellet stove and would never think of burning anything but pellets in it as I am not sure how much damage one could do. I would be very careful when trying something like this."
I have a country hearth corn/pellet stove which is very versatile. I burn corn in mine and it works just great. The corn prices has tripled, I paid $1.89 three seasons ago and it is now $5.46 a bushel, therefore, if the fuel does not bind up the auger, and burn up the auger motor, or clogs up the fire pot and makes large clinkers then I would not not worry about what type of bio fuel I burned as long as the high or low heat sensors kick in and supply the proper air to fuel mixture.
Some have even tested inexpensive dry dog food, but I haven't seen any of the sort.
I purchased a corn/pellet stove in December since I have a farm I have access to corn, but I was also interested in making pellets out of other materials I did have some luck buy trying our large meat grinder using paper from our shredder add some moisture had to feed slowly I also added some wheat, barley, oats in one batch both worked but hard on the machine and both batches burned fine after they dried no problem feeding or burning I have an idea on how to build a pelletizer just getting the time to do it the next thing will be easier to buy one. From pelletpros looks like a good machine.Matt D. Lansing, NY (03/08/2008)
By Matt D.
I have seen paper/coal pellets before but not on a large scale. Cornell University has done research on switch grass pellets with good results.
I am currently putting up a wood pellet mill. I got all of my equipment used from Freedom Equipment by a guy named Robert. He knows a lot about how to make all kinds of pellets and has good deals on equipment. You can pelletize and burn almost anything but the problem is clinkers. Have a good one and good luck.
By Dustin L.
Hi, I invented the Logmaker which creates fireside 'Logs' out of any burnable waste as I had piles of sawdust and wanted to use it to heat my home, it took me a number of years to perfect, then I felt others could benefit and save fuel costs, we now supply a large Eco market and I am very pleased at the Eco savings (landfill). If you visit my site www.logmaker.co.uk you can get all the info, we are starting to establish an agent in the US (any offers?) but will ship from the UK at the moment.
If you do order the Logmaker email me and I will give a 10% discount on list price to Thrifty Fun members.
Note: This is not the wet brickete version Great site hope I can hep.
p.s. It is better to burn then landfill which creates Methane which is 21 times more harmful to the atmosphere.
I would appreciate any info at all on a pellet stove. We just bought one and know nothing really about them. (06/20/2008)
Try www.makeyourownpellets.com You can get information on Pellet Mills and Hammer Mills. Located in New England. (08/22/2008)
I just purchased my pellet stove and I love it even though the pellet prices are high its still cheaper than oil. On the subject of making your own pellets there are a lot of high priced machines out there but has anyone thought of using an old fashion hamburger press to make pellets? I just thought of this. (09/23/2008)
By Jason R
I would love to get a mill and make my own pellets from local waste such as grass clippings, leaves saw dust from the local wood mill and manure. I would bag it and sell it for $4.00 a bag beating the $6.00-10.00 a bag monopoly. I would make a killing! (10/23/2008)
I see a lot of people trying to burn anything and everything in these stoves. I've have one of my stoves for 15 years now and have stripped and rigged it to work since Horizon has been long gone for years. They are pretty simple in all but they have safety features (sensors) that can get picky. Not to mention they kind of run on a timing.
Your paper pellets are gonna go poof and the combustion fan is going to blow it all around. Your leaves are gonna crackle and pop, hence forth putting out your fire the same way they use dynamite to put out oil well fires. You also have the factor of burning clean and not gunking up your sensors which will happen if you use pine for pellets since it's so sappy and turns to creosote when burned which promotes chimney fires.
I'm far from a pro, but I feel I gave some solid reasons as to not burn more than corn or hardwood in your stove. Hope this helps and saves people some wasted time and effort. (11/04/2008)
I have had a pellet stove for a year now and love it, i own a 15 acre woodlot, is there such a machine that will cut up seasoned logs and turn them into pellets, I would be extremely interested in buying one? (11/26/2008)
By Dustin L.
I have purchased one of these personal size pellet machines and have had success in making pellets from several things. Switchgrass, sawdust, leaves/grass clippings, cardboard etc... I've burned the pellets in a corn stove but am planning on trying to burn them in my regular wood burning fireplace with a box similar to the one here:
I've had so much interest in the community I've ordered several for re-sale. I am not a big business, just a normal guy that wanted to bypass the middle man and maybe make a few bucks at the same time while helping what I consider to be a good cause in helping others and the environment.
If you are interested in purchasing one, contact me at email@example.com. I will have several machines in stock at about the first of the year but they go fast. Thanks. (11/28/2008)
Soft wood pellets have more btu than hard wood so it won't gunk up your stove go to pellet fuel instead to check it out. (12/03/2008)
I've just installed (2) Corn/Pellet Furnas's in both of my homes. They do a wonderful job of heating. I use a mixture of pellets and corn in both of them. 60% corn and about 40% pellets. The stoves can run up to 3 days before you have to shut them down for cleaning them. You could probably clean them while there running but you really can't inspect them to closely while there on. It only takes a few minutes after they cool down with a wet vac.
The Furnace is made by USSC company. America Harvest 6220. My wife and kids enjoy the warmth. They also hold about 250 lbs. of corn/pellets in the hopper. I had a problem with the control panel on the one stove, I called the company about the problem. After a few brief questions what the display did with certain key-strokes they said they would send a replacement board. They did and I installed with no issue's and it's be working fine since. Very pleased Customer. (12/26/2008)
By J.R. Crowder
Be careful trying to make wood pellets with those little flat die pellet mills or any of those Chinese machines for that matter. It may or may not hold up in paper or other soft products but wood pellets are a severe duty application and it virtually guaranteed to fail. CPM www.cpmroskamp.com is the largest mfg of pellet mills in the world and they say 100hp is the bare minimum, Sprout is the 2nd largest and they say 150hp is the minimum, and they recommend continuous greasing of the rolls! Bliss is also a good mfg and they are made in the USA. If you are serious about making wood pellets then I would buy on of those 3 brands. If you cant afford a new one or just want to save money then contact Freedom Equipment www.freedomequipment.com they have more pellet mills than anyone else and they can rebuild it and set it up for you. (02/05/2009)
It is possible to make pellets from a wide range of materials including wood pellets from both flat and ring die pellet mills. Pellet production though is a skilled process and changes in material density and moisture content affect pellet quality and pellet mill productivity.
It is possible to produce wood pellets on small-scale pellet mills as there are many European pellet mill manufactures producing small-scale set-ups. For more information on how it all works visit:
You can use homemade pellet press to make your own wood pellets. (03/19/2010)
I see a lot of information that may come in handy. I am looking for any information regarding how to make wood pellets for a BBQ grill. I have a Traeger grill and am shocked at how much they get per bag. $22/20LB bag. There is one competitor that sells the same size bag for $14 but that is still outrageous. In reading your posts I know that there has to be a simple solution to making them myself. I'm sure that the process is similar but being it is used to cook food. Any info would be greatly appreciated. (10/19/2010)