any one burn grass in their studios?

Have a question or want to show off your project? Post it! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View

Hi. I am in the process of building a pellet fired furnace. As
prototype developing goes, Using recyled found equipment before buying
specialty parts that are the right thing  ie; barbie rottiserie motor
till I get a real gearmotor. Designing around readily available
preferebly inhouse packratted jewelry. Looking to co fire with gas to
run it up. Air supply for the pellet combustion... right through the
burner (nozzlemix) Will be dumping bags into a chute and testfiring
into a quanset hut frax lehr. Burner will roll around as a seperate
device. If I can get it working then I will kick down for or build the
small silo, a second auger and dependeble dc gear motors. because of
our locale the plan is on wood pellets out in the midwest you look
into corn or grass pellets which may be available in your area, and
price it against your fuel.

Imagine burning grass for your glass.
Our new home came with a brand new 17 year old pellet stove. The
occupants before the previous occupants lit it once, and because the
install was a royal "faux pas" it started the inside of a wall
slightly on fire.

No instruction manual, out of buisiness mfg, so I have been looking up
a lot about pellet stoves at around the same time I'm getting ready to
design the next glass furnace. The "light" came on. I started to
thinking about pellets or dried corn for glass. What makes these two
fuels attractive is their size and shape compared to sawdust or
woodchips. I’ve run various wood kilns with sawdust blowers and wood
chip augers and used related apparatus on farms. There can be a lot ot

So now fairly I'm involved with research and determining which auger
variety and sizes, non-dc servo motors, variable blower configuration,
chute angles, pit size shape and departure angle, a firepit cleaner/
removal system I hopefully won’t need, and sizing this whole deal.
Most commercial is shooting into a wet boiler and although BTU’s are
high temp isn’t and here’s where my wishful thinking is hoping the
flyash is nill with the higher temp. Checking out the smaller 12 foot
x 4 foot galvinized grain silos.

Pellet stoves haven’t changed much cept the home models got a lot of
fancier electronics (to go wrong) … This is no more rocket science
then the  "3rd world Rocket Furnace"  (google that )
Wondering what sort of burner and flue placement is best.

Do I have a fly ash worry.. Do I have to keep burn and exhaust below
the crucible (what if the burn passes through a tube of frax) sidefire
near the top exaust at the bottom ect.. this on the side …on the
back…on two sides? Like designing any furnace a lot of questions. Test
firing this pellet burner a few times will help illuminate furnace

The tube of frax (from above) density diameter length thickness?

Will the pot need a lip to keep the combustion (fly ash if any) below?

This lip would make a furnace oh so comfortable to gather out of.

Ramable Narcospar for the firebox?

I have questions I am working out.. Will I need to have a silicon
carbide heat exchanger instead of inconel because will fly ash if
there is any eat on the steel harder? ?

Current drawings envision a nozzle or regular head burner providing
the air for the pellet burn (or heat to start or back up failsafe, or
till all is comfortably dependable.

I have a small Quonset hut folded frax lehr … bring that “furnace” to
the burner with this 6 cubic foot testing chamber. Once the burner is
in a decent stage of development design a new arch tailored for this
next campaign and door wall and exhaust recuperation details.

What’s cool about these home pellet stoves consumers own is that here
there are two knobs. Air and pellet speed. You adjust them just like
you do for a glass furnace!. All these people that have these furnaces
get a feel for adjusting them just like the feel for the fire just
like we get!

Here’s a useful link to calculate energy / fuel cost with

It doesn’t mention but (here in VT) there are grass pellets coming
(supposedly) at around a 100 a ton also that don’t have quite as much
BTU’s as wood pellets which run around 200 a ton.{ Rumor of the big
Jaffey outfit opening up one up this way. Smart pellet dude toured
Europe saw the light. Call all this story a stock tip if his public
offering day arises.}

Didn’t see any euro pellato stovo après hot glass in my research. It
will be Scandinavian when it happens I bet!

Then there and woodchips. The reason I’m not into chips is consistency
variables. Its hard to get enough of friable product. Seems there are
always strands and crap getting bound up. For a power plant this is
absolutely no obstacle but when your only firing less then 300,000
BTU’s the scale of the auger and motor are not up for it. Maybe
another feed style, but right now,

I wish so because chips are vastly less expensive then pellets. …a
snip….”Put another way, the cost per million Btu for fuel oil is
$23.47; for electricity, $39.73; for wood pellets $17.86 and for grass
pellets provided by a producers' co-op to farmers who grow the grass,
at $10.20.” from a grass pellet article. Chips aren’t on the fuel cost
page. I’m wishy-washy on chip. Open to hearing any potter, kiln, or
glass wood chip stories involving feed aspects.

Guilt reduction alone for lessoning the dependence on petrochemical
industry worth its weight in gold. Similar in value to saying a lot of
hail Marys. Having always been a tree hugger (with a Stihl) promoted
energy efficient shelter, organic agriculture and all that , I got a
strong notion that there is some truly deserving feel good in this
technology. I mention this to warn you ahead of time, because as you
start researching this area of study, you will note there is a great
deal of tree hugging going on. Tree Hug Central.

This is a survey for folks interested to help me ascertain with
greater certainty some basic facts, to help me size stuff right and
for use in discussions with my advisory personnel
How much propane to run a 100 pound pot a month in gallons two melts a

How much more to run a 100 pound pot a month then a 60 same 2 melts a
week ?

What size propane BTU burners would you folks recommend for a 100 and
for a 60 pound setups free standing crucible all this stuff. ?

What are the latest kilowatt hour usage figures for a” mid-life”
electric furnace of similar sizes? (No not which is the best element..
;-) )

I am absolutely positive this technology is going to help the glass
community and would like to thank anyone who helps posting with the
survey, offers me help or suggestions links advice of any sort.
Volunteer number crunchers and those with doses of reality encouraged
to apply.

I’ll get a few sketches into an URL pretty soon.

Here in VT you can only legaly burn used motor oil if you actually
generate it   (jiffy lube/oil n' go) or go around to all the McDonalds
and collect fat. I'm leary of wood chips because with pottery kilns I
have seen stringy chip material (poor QC) which could jam a small
scale unattended auger

Are their any other boards other than shutes to inquire as to
technical assistance perhaps with numbers advice?  Plaese be so kind
as to let me know.

Thanks a lot for any help or advice or various/partial answers to the
above survey.

Kraig Richard
Shelburne VT

from shute-board

Thanks Ed.

Great site. I couldnt find the pellet system exactly yet, but have
found a lot of other great stuff, especially the flox burner, as I

The flox is Very interesting burner technology and worth a thread.

I learned an interesting method for keeping the fuel gas cool in a
preheated air system.

Most importantly is this organisations goals and strivings. What GAS
almost had a smidgen of for a brief period in the 70's. This group is
striving to help technology in studios. How nice !

Glass Research Institute of Sweden  has accomplished a great
deal.anyone who dosent buy redibuilt should check this place out. If
any one knows Swedish, for certain appropriate pages on their site,
not also in English, to be translated w/be great.

Thanks again

Kraig Richard

: You can find a pdf at this site that gives a brief rundown of a pellet fired
: system.
: The system is thought out and complete. An alternative, but not a cheap
: alternative.

Re: any one burn grass in their studios?
Wow.  With all that heavy-duty equipment,   I was wondering if you had a wet
belt sander?  We have it on good authority that nobody can do any hot or
warm glass work without a wet belt sander at the ready.  Please don't start
melting any glass until you are properly equipped.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: any one burn grass in their studios?
  Ignore moonraker, only 1 in 10 of his posts is worth anything

Mike Firth
   Furnace Glassblowing Website
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: any one burn grass in their studios?
Quoted text here. Click to load it

I don't know if that is true, but I can vouch for the fact that at least 9
in 10 of Moonraker's comments CRACK ME UP!!!

As a newbie, I would like to go off subject momentarily (really, I have to
go off subject...I can't even tell if this person is from the midwest or
Vermont and we already know my ignorance of mine, btw)
concerning what appears to be a pressing need of some folks here to correct
the behavior of resident glass artisans.

Personally, I can hardly bear a pun...but some find them more than amusing -
go figure!  I find Moonraker's and Javahut's sassiness hysterical - go
figure!  And to each there own, ay?  As far as folks being
intimidated...puhleeeeeze!  Mr. Brady, who appears to be one of their
favorite cause celebre, certainly seems more than capable of holding his own
(also hysterically at times!) and if a couple of rowdy sasspots keeps you
from asking the advice you need...well, I suppose you can go find a book
that won't offend.  But, frankly, I think your skin probably shouldn't be as
thin as the glass you are playing with.

So my vote is...SASS ON!

Now back to your local channel with Mr. Wizard!

Re: any one burn grass in their studios?

Quoted text here. Click to load it
amusing -
Quoted text here. Click to load it
 Thank  you there, Flameinwind, at least one person, well, three people,
have figured out that what is written here makes not one "twit" of
importance in the real world, but if you miss some of it, you might miss
some information that may or may not help.

And we, using that collectively and I am assuming alot saying so, don't
typically bother with Mike Firth, who likes to apologize for others and
assumes to put himself "above" those that actually earn a living doing what
he plays with.  If this were my hobby I'd have time to make a nifty
reference web page,( which is so dry and boring to read, I only got to the
first page 3 years ago and haven't been back, hope its gotten better)

and to keep it on topic with the original poster, we have, in the long ago
past, burned grass in our studio, but everybody got so goofy they couldn't ,
or wouldn't stand up and kept cutting themselves.  My insurance company
wanted to know how come we had so many accidents on Friday evening!!

Re: any one burn grass in their studios?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

As Javahut said...this forum isn't a life and death matter.  It is a

Serious requests and reccomendations get met with serious answers...usually.
That is, until some egomanical nimrod begins advocating the acquistion of a
wet belt sander by someone who barely knows how to turn a kiln on,  muchless
make anything saleable.

"Discussing" matters with Brady reminds me of hunting prairie dogs in
Western Kansas.   They pop their head up out of a hole, and immediately take
a round right between the eyes.

Come to think of it.... there's not much difference between the intelligence
levels of a prairie dog and good old Dennis either.

Re: any one burn grass in their studios?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

See?  humor everywhere you look!!

Re: any one burn grass in their studios?

Quoted text here. Click to load it
That would put me at least 100% ahead of anything you have to offer,

Go blow something...or somebody.

Site Timeline