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Author Topic: Cleaner Firewood?  (Read 11172 times)

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Offline MDLogging

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Cleaner Firewood?
« on: November 29, 2009, 08:06:03 pm »
I was wondering if I could get some input or ideas on how I could sell cleaner firewood.  I use a firewood processor to cut and split my wood,  and it is elevated onto a 50'X100' concrete pad.  As it sits and seasons, as we all know, the bark breaks down and comes off.  The problem I have is when I scoop the firewood up with a loader off the concrete, I get all that bark too.  With every cord I sell I bet theres close to a yard of just bark in the load.  Now all of us on the forum know thats just the nature of the beast when dealing with firewood but I cant seem to make alot of my customers in the high rent district to realize that.  My question is, have any of you guys run into this type of problem?  Is there any ideas to how I could clean the wood up?  Keep in mind that I'm moving 500 cord a year along with working with my fathers logging business, so time is limited when the woods moving in the winter(if you had loading the wood by hand in mind).  Ive been thinking of adding a debarker to the operation but I dont know alot about the costs of running that machine.  I could raise the price of the wood a little if I was offering a better product and there seems to be a decent market for the bark but I'm still not sure if I could justify it.  Thanks for your input.

Offline Tom

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2009, 08:12:38 pm »
Just a note from an outsider.  Debarking would solve most of your problem and possibly give you another product to sell. (mulch/bark)
I've seen firewood run on a conveyer and dumped into a truck. The loose bark would fall off if the conveyer had openings, wouldn't it?  Maybe roll the already split wood in a tilted barrel, with holes in it, to separate the bark, etc. from the wood.

Probably not much help to you experts, but I just had to spend 2¢.   :D
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2009, 08:16:23 pm »
MDLogging
Have you noticed that some of the firewood processors have a tumbling cage that "cleans" the wood of bark and dirt. It is like a heavy wire or steel rod cylinder that tumbles the wood. Hard to justify with a small operation, but yours seems larger than most.
Some others have an elevator with some openings, but seems they might not remove bark chunks. Certainly can see a need for cleaning it up before delivery, for a better product.
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Offline MDLogging

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2009, 08:49:48 pm »
Yea that does look like a good idea, but I normally split the logs when they're green.  So its pretty clean at that point so I dont think the tumbler would make a big differance, even though every little bit helps.  I could just let the logs dry more so they would release the bark better when I split but it never seems to work that way.  Because firewood plays second fiddle to the logging we split whenever we get the chance.

Offline mahonda

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2009, 08:52:03 pm »
I've thought about that for awhile with my operation. I posted a pic on my album that should help ya. Its a trommel for firewood. I think it would be better to do right before you load it into a trailer to get the most bark off. and much cheaper than a debarker but you can still salvage the bark. Good luck
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Offline Tom

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2009, 09:07:19 pm »
 



Do you mean this, Mahonda?

Actually, I was thinking of everything but the debarking as happening at the time of sale and delivery, not at the time of splitting, too.
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Offline DGK

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2009, 09:20:05 pm »
MD Logging

Here is how I do it.
 


Doug
Yukon, Canada

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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2009, 09:22:44 pm »
For a larger operation like yours, the best way will most likely be a debarker. There are probably plenty of good used debarkers around with all the sawmills shutdown. Though I've not run one, I've see a number of them in sawmills and they do not seem to take much time or effort. I have seen one firewood processor that debarked all his logs and he had a very good looking product.

Another way is like what I do for what little (20-30 cords) firewood I sell. Because of circumstances, I have a large supply of logs aging for at least a year and then much of the bark falls off during processing. Then I store under cover and out of the sun which makes for a very clean looking product. Plus I get many compliments because there is little ash as the firewood is very clean and dry. But you must carry more inventory.
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Offline mahonda

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2009, 09:24:53 pm »
Yeah! Don't know What I'm doing wrong couldn't get that up here. But my thought was if he cuts it green, and lets it sit to dry, when he gets ready to deliver just run it through the trommel then right into the trailer. I was going to do that because i deliver out of my stock pile that's sitting in a field.  Hard to get it loaded clean when your digging up some dirt too. :( But should work well with bark too. i use a cat 272c with a grapple very similiar. I figured i would build a hopper to dump the wood in prior to the trommel then conveyor to the trailer. I'm sure we could sell bark mulch for more than the wood probably! I only sell a couple hundred cords a year after logging but i think a debarker is expensive unless you can sell the hog fuel. just my two cents.
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Offline stonebroke

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2009, 10:57:02 pm »
How would a debarker handle some of the more crooked firewood logs?

Stonebroke

Offline ohsoloco

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2009, 10:59:48 pm »
mahonda, you're pretty much there if you have the photo in your gallery already  :)  When you're composing your post, click on "forum extras" and click the "photo gallery".  Go to "my gallery" and find the picture you want to post.  Scroll down to the file information and you will see "click here to copy this photo code directly to your Forestry Forum post window."  Put your cursor on that sentence and click it, and the code will automatically be copied to your post  :)

Offline Gary_C

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2009, 11:10:23 pm »
How would a debarker handle some of the more crooked firewood logs?

Stonebroke

I don't do crooked logs and don't think firewood processors work well with them either. Most of what I work with for firewood is low grade red oak logs that have no other use. All are forest grown so relatively straight and limb free. They just have sweep or defects that make them worthless right now, except for firewood.

Some of those debarkers are pretty agressive so if they can be turned they will be smoothed.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2009, 05:29:12 am »
I'm not sure that the trommel method would work very well after the wood is split.  Oaks and maples bark will often come off in whole pieces.  I don't think those large pieces will fall through the holes, and could jam up the openings.  You'll still end up with bark on the load.

I think a debarker would work the best.  You will be able to use the bark as mulch.  Without the debarker, you'll have to have some sort of hog or hammermill to reduce those chunks left back in your yard.  We get nearly as much for the mulch as we do for the firewood.  But, you'll increase the amount of time it takes to cut a load of wood.  You'll also need more wood to make a load.  If you can justify the cost and increase your price, you should have a higher quality of product. 

Another option may be to use your knuckleboom loaders to load the firewood.  We've used them to load self unloading trailers with split wood.  You'll still get some bark in your load, but not nearly as much as if you're loading with a bucket loader. 
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Offline mike_van

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2009, 05:44:27 am »
MD, most debarkers have big three phase motors on them, you'd need to be near a power supply or have a big gen-set follow you around. How about  some kind of vibrating conveyor like the gravel mines use ?    It would have to have just the right pitch on it & the right size holes in the screen. You'd get most of the bark with it, some even run on small gas or diesel engines.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2009, 06:04:08 am »
We run our debarker with a 4 cyl. Deutz diesel.  Its all hydraulic, and runs the conveyors.  We put about 3-5 trailerloads of sawlogs through it each day.  It doesn't run all the time.  But, firewood will take more time due to the smaller logs.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2009, 06:07:05 am »
Other than a debarker, keeping the wood under shelter would allow the wood to retain the bark better. I'm finding that out with wood I put directly into the shed after delivery. You still get 3 or 4 wheel barrels of wood shims from a cord and a half load. Myself, I like the shims as kindling as long as they aren't too fine, then I wheel them off. The bark, I like it to come off to start the fire with in the fall when it's too warm to burn a fire all day in the furnace. Can't please everyone. ;D

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline bull

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2009, 07:45:39 am »
friend of mine uses a screening plant,does an amazing job

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2009, 09:54:37 am »
Most mill debarkers would have trouble with firewood unless you are running a majority of bigger stuff and splitting. If you are running a bunch of 8" and smaller stuff, the debarkers I have ran would not be the answer as they simply are not designed for it.
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Offline MDLogging

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2009, 06:36:33 pm »
Does anyone know where I can see some more pictures of that trommel or who makes it.  Because I've run out of room on my concrete pad, Ive started piling it elsewhere in my yard on dirt.  I'm going to use a excavator with a brush grapple to pick it back up with.  So I wonder how portable that trommel would be?  Could I move it easily?  It wouldnt be a big problem to set it up near the concrete because I'm loading with a wheel loader.  But when I load off the dirt with the excavator I would have to keep moving it down the pile as I'm going through it to keep from traveling so much. 
MD, most debarkers have big three phase motors on them, you'd need to be near a power supply or have a big gen-set follow you around.
  I'm almost possitive we have easy access to three phase but I'd have to check with dad.  There was a power company using our yard a few years back for a whole summer and they set us up with three phase in return.

Offline mahonda

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2009, 09:15:52 pm »
that picture is of a palax firewood cleaner. Hakmet sells them I'm sure there is a dealer near you. and i think you could put wheels on one end and then pick the other up to move it. Its not that big or heavy that is with equipment around.  :D
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2009, 05:15:45 am »
If you're thinking of the debarker route, you might want to check out post peelers.  They handle small logs quite well.  As for 3 phase, we have it running right past our mill and found it was cheaper to run a gen set. 
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Offline Meadows Miller

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2009, 06:27:07 am »
Gday

The debarker should work fine do you  blokes smaller chain flail debarkers for mills overthere  as there is a bloke building them for mills and post n plantation pulp operations here you can runn dang near anything through em  ;) eg 35' long 3" head and a 16" butt and about 5' of sweep in it  ;) this was there smaler pto model (bout 70hp) in an infield opp with a 215 cat excavator with crab grab feeding it  ;) 

The other way to go which is cheaper and more effective is just make an open bottom bucket like doug's its how all the producers with a loader or 20 to 35 ton excavator do it here out of stockpile thats for operations form 2000 upto the 20000 coards pa mate all the smaller blokes generaly just store the wood in 4' to 8' lengths then knock the bark of as they are benching it onto the truck for del  ;) ive lumped ,benced & handloaded  more semiloads than id care to remember since i was a kid   :) ??? ::) ;) :D :D ;D

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Offline MDLogging

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2009, 07:05:56 pm »
Thanks for all the good information.  I'm going to think about it some more and try to take the best route and I'll keep everybody posted on how it works.

Offline mrnero

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2009, 07:11:16 pm »
I guess you can try all of the above techniques, but the best proven fact to eliminate all bark debris and all other debris in firewood, is to hand pick/hand load the firewood into a bucket loader or delivery truck. You will also notice a huge improvement in cleaner firewood if you store your processed firewood in a shed so its out of the weather while its being cured/seasoned.

Offline Engineer

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2009, 01:32:55 pm »
I've not used those trommel screens but I've seen them run, and I would say that loading the dry firewood onto a conveyor and through that trommel will eliminate most if not all of the loose bark.  They are incredibly efficient.  The waste product can be run through a tub grinder for mulch.

Offline neslrite

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2009, 05:01:55 pm »
Carl Neutzel is a PALAX dealer, I am sure he would be happy to help you.

Kevin
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Offline Wudman

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Re: Cleaner Firewood?
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2009, 09:30:56 pm »
I'll throw out two more ideas.....For your picky customers stack and dry it under a shed.  Much of the bark will remain tight.  For your really picky customers, look at kiln drying.  The wood will come out clean and light colored.  Charge them accordingly.

Wudman