How to Make Your Own Wood Pellets for Home Heating

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Sawdust from a wood chipper can be used to make wood pellets.
Sawdust from a wood chipper can be used to make wood pellets. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Wood pellets are a densely packed fuel with a low moisture content, meaning they burn well by comparison with other solid fuels. By learning how to make your own wood pellets for home heating, you can sharply increase the amount of heat you can produce for your home for a given cost. This in turn means you can better use your home fuel budget and save money in the long run. Say goodbye to rising fuel prices and hello to a nice, warm home.

Things You'll Need

  • Scrap wood
  • Hand ax
  • Large bucket
  • Wood chipper
  • Wood dryer
  • Hammer mill
  • Pellet press
  • Bench

Chop scrap wood into small, easy-to-handle pieces using a hand ax. This ensures you can feed the wood into a wood chipper more easily. Place a large bucket under the dispenser on the wood chipper. Turn on the chipper and feed in the scrap wood. Stop feeding in the wood once the bucket is full or you run out of wood.

Sort the wood chips into piles of different sizes. Put the pile of largest chippings into a wood dryer and turn it to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the chips from the wood dryer once the drying process is complete. Place the dried chippings in a hammer mill to reduce them to wood pulp. Repeat the drying and milling process until all the piles of wood chips have been turned to pulp.

Collect the wood pulp from the hammer mill in a large bin. Pour the wood pulp into a pellet press. Turn on the pellet press. Collect the pellets in the large bin, or another bin if the large bin still has some wood pulp in it. Lay out the pellets on a bench or other flat surface to cool and dry out. Once dry, the pellets are ready to use.

Tips & Warnings

  • When sweeping up the sawdust after you have finished using the wood chipper, do not throw the sawdust away. Instead, pour it into the bucket you collected the wood chippings in. Add the sawdust to the wood pulp to create more wood pellets, which makes your scrap wood go a lot further.
  • When working with wood in any capacity it is important to wear hand and eye protection. Chopping wood and using a wood chipper are both potentially dangerous activities that could lead to cuts and splinters to the hands and eye damage from pieces of wood breaking off. Always wear gloves and goggles to ensure you are protected.

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