Artificial fire logs

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shocker
Posts: 667
Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:39 pm
Location: cornwall, near england

Re: Artificial fire logs

Post by shocker »

Back when I was logging we tried to make logs and bricks by lots of means. I was making biodiesel at the time too so that added to the potential.

We tried to compress the sawdust but research and failure taught that 18 tonnes of pressure were needed to get the wood to self bond. The oil didn't seem to help much.

Despite much Heath Robinson with hydraulic jacks, presses and an adapted electric screw log splitter, we never came out with anything worth the work involved.
That said, we must remember that I am somewhat of an idiot.
So, it by no means, means that it cannot be done well.

What I do recall was reading a web post of someone who had a good result from soaking newspaper in water with bleach then filliing a length of 5inch plastic pipe with the slurry and compressing, piston style. Many small holes were drilled in the pipe to let out the water.

By that point, I had to move home and didn't have a burner anymore. So I gave up.

On the subject of waste cooking oil, that has become a valuable resource. At least in my area. So it's hard to come by for free or even cheap. As I say, in my area at least. But if you can come by it, it could make a handy binder.

But, again, I am somewhat of an idiot :tinfoil
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jansman
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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:16 pm

Re: Artificial fire logs

Post by jansman »

shocker wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 11:17 am Back when I was logging we tried to make logs and bricks by lots of means. I was making biodiesel at the time too so that added to the potential.

We tried to compress the sawdust but research and failure taught that 18 tonnes of pressure were needed to get the wood to self bond. The oil didn't seem to help much.

Despite much Heath Robinson with hydraulic jacks, presses and an adapted electric screw log splitter, we never came out with anything worth the work involved.
That said, we must remember that I am somewhat of an idiot.
So, it by no means, means that it cannot be done well.

What I do recall was reading a web post of someone who had a good result from soaking newspaper in water with bleach then filliing a length of 5inch plastic pipe with the slurry and compressing, piston style. Many small holes were drilled in the pipe to let out the water.

By that point, I had to move home and didn't have a burner anymore. So I gave up.

On the subject of waste cooking oil, that has become a valuable resource. At least in my area. So it's hard to come by for free or even cheap. As I say, in my area at least. But if you can come by it, it could make a handy binder.

But, again, I am somewhat of an idiot :tinfoil
You shouldn’t call yourself that. Your description of the process obviously took time and thought. It’s a shame nothing came of it. ;)
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grenfell
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Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:55 pm

Re: Artificial fire logs

Post by grenfell »

Interesting post shocker . When I tried the paper log making I used a 2tonne hydraulic jack which is way off the 18 tonnes you found was needed for sawdust. To be honest I was disappointed with how much water that jack would squeeze out and how much drying was still needed and always wondered how poor the hand operated ones must be. The piston idea sounds interesting . I do wonder though how viable , from an economic point of view , how the costs of equipment to make the logs and labour costs if one wants to include that too stack up against the value of the finished product?
ForgeCorvus
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Re: Artificial fire logs

Post by ForgeCorvus »

If pulp 'logs' are anything like burning real wood, you need them to be a dense as possible.

Anyone got a cheese press they can repurpose?
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grenfell
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Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:55 pm

Re: Artificial fire logs

Post by grenfell »

How much pressure does a cheese press exert? Or for that matter just how much pressure is needed ? I used a 2tonne jack working on a mould roughly the size of a housebrick and while it seemed to squeeze a fair bit of water out they still needed a considerable amount of drying. In many respects though I found the worst part of the process was that it's a messy job and takes up quite a bit of space with bins of soaking paper and racks of drying logs.
Nurseandy
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Re: Artificial fire logs

Post by Nurseandy »

I know a guy who lives alone and very off grid who cuts the top off plastic milk bottles, fills them with sawdust and used engine oil and burns them in his Rayburn. Oddly enough he had a chimney fire a wee while ago :twisted:
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shocker
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Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:39 pm
Location: cornwall, near england

Re: Artificial fire logs

Post by shocker »

Forgot to say that it's 18 T psi, applied quickly. I tried a 20 T press but that had no effect.

This may be the reason the compressed pellets are so common and cheaper.
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grenfell
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Re: Artificial fire logs

Post by grenfell »

That sounds like some decent sort of industrial press to do that which for pretty much everyone is an idea that can be forgotten. I have wondered about gluing the sawdust together. Weak pva mix and a bit of pressure , would that work or just be as messy and unrewarding as paper?
grenfell
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Re: Artificial fire logs

Post by grenfell »

Nurseandy wrote: Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:31 am I know a guy who lives alone and very off grid who cuts the top off plastic milk bottles, fills them with sawdust and used engine oil and burns them in his Rayburn. Oddly enough he had a chimney fire a wee while ago :twisted:
Inventive but it's people like that make it hard for those who do burn well dried clean wood.
GillyBee
Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:46 am

Re: Artificial fire logs

Post by GillyBee »

Charcoal briquettes seem to use some sort of starch glue. Wallpaper paste maybe? I do not have a woidstove so can't play myself but have thought about this a bit too