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About Chalgravesteve

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  1. Chalgravesteve

    Biomass in a low-carbon economy

    Some interesting stuff in there. Hard going at times, and I haven't read it in full yet........
  2. Chalgravesteve

    Mixed hardwood near Dunstable

    messaged you
  3. Chalgravesteve

    Being able to supply your demand

    No you don't have to give a base price for clearing the tree/s. That's one job. Price it accordingly. You remove the cut down tree and dispose of it in that price. Cutting it up into firewood, storing/seasoning it and delivering the end product to a customer is a completely different job. Ask yourself this. If the tree is so valuable as profit/firewood, why don't all the people who have trees being removed all just keep the trees themselves and sell it and make all that lovely profit themselves? You are undervaluing yourself and doing 2 jobs for one income.
  4. What it says really!! renovating a 1920 3 bed semi with fireplaces and chimney. Rooms are smallish at around 10’x12’ what would you recommend as a good small stove? I’ve heard the Morso squirrel is a good small one? Cheers
  5. Chalgravesteve

    Quote for a job

    Hi All I have a customer with a specific request. I don't have the materials or the time to do it. I need 8" diameter logs cut the approx 2ft length and split into quarters along the whole length. I need 300 in total, so 75 logs at 8" diameter and 24" length split into quarters. So allow for margin for error and lets say 100 logs. They don't need to be dry, and there is no specific species required. the "cheese wedge quarter" will be approx 100mm x 100mm x 600mm long. I need them early next week, delivered to Toddington, Beds. Anyone fancy the job? I need a price asap please if you want it. Cheers Steve
  6. Chalgravesteve

    Bulk Mobile Chipping

    That's what I was after. Cheers
  7. Chalgravesteve

    Bulk Mobile Chipping

    Hi All I'm told that there are companies who have substantial sized mobile chippers which take all sorts of sized chunks of arb waste and chip it down. I'm interested in seeing what the cost for this is, does anyone have any contacts or knowledge of anyone doing this? Cheers Steve
  8. Chalgravesteve

    Haulage Required

    Depends what the wood is? Is it cord, arb waste, chip or random branches?
  9. Chalgravesteve

    Are air dried logs to be made illegal?

    My customers rarely buy 2m3 at a time. They buy it in 2 bags (0.5m) 3 bags (0.75) or 4 Bags (1.0m3). Probably less than 5% of my customers want 2m3 at a time. Usually, that customer wants to buy in bulk to pay substantially less for the volume. I'd rather sell it in lower volumes at a sensible price. Its kiln dried and between 17-20% MC. They don't need to store it, they buy enough to use for the time being and then buy more as they require it. If dry wood does reabsorb moisture, then its a bloody slow process and my customers will have used their fresh stock up long before they start to see 22% or more. The issue of course will be, if the demand that I get, owing to everybody wanting/having to have dry wood, will exceed my capacity to produce it. I'm not leaving it in the kiln for 2 weeks instead of 1 to get it to 15%, that halves my production output! Still, if demand increases beyond the capacity for supply, then the price will increase as well, so I will sell the same output for more money!
  10. Chalgravesteve

    Considering increasing our Firewood prices

    My business model is different to most, in that firewood is a secondary business for me. My main business is a golf club, so I have 5 greenkeepers who are already employed anyway, but they have substantially less to do in the winter than they do in the summer. Well, they did. Now they are bloody busy all year! So, my initial set up was always based upon the fact that I don't have any staff overhead as they were already being paid anyway. I also owned most of the equipment, I've got 2 processors now though so I've spent a bit there. I also have an RHI kiln and we process arb waste, selling it in barrow bags not loose bulk. However, I do consider the real cost of producing the bags, and whilst we have incoming arb waste free, the wages costs are higher because its much slower to process and needs more manual handling, to process it, get the bulk wood into the kiln, get it out again, pack into barrow bags and deliver it. Our kiln dried product is a stovemix and will be absolutely anything, but we always make sure that every bag contains hardwood. We do process some really big chunks though, which could mean that an entire bulk drying cage can be filled with the same tree which might be a softwood - so we keep a stock of pure hardwood to mix in if need be. I dont sell pure hardwood except in nets which I buy in and sell to people who want to collect and they can't collect a barrow bag because of the size. My barrow bags are 50x50x100 so 4 = 1m3 and because we are essentially handpacking, as I don't want them to sag and fall over on the truck, I know that three of my bags is roughly 1m3 loose. I sell 1 bag delivered at £49.50, 2 at £47, 3 at £44 and 4+ at £39.50. I know 4 bags are a proper 1m3 and I sell that then for £158 - £198.00. My market is not the loose load 2m3 customer. Mine is the customer who doesn't have that much space to store it, wants it delivered in a nice clean back, to the log store on a sack barrow and left in the bag so the customer doesn't have to get their hands dirty. They don't want to pay the £7.99/£9.99 for crap seasoned logs from a garage forecourt though. I've got an 85% returning customer rate. They buy and they keep coming back and buying more, plus we keep getting more new customers. I'm fortunate that I have a very good head of population in my area, and excellent road access, so deliveries are easy within a 15-20 mile radius. I've got 6 bags on the truck to deliver now, its a 24 mile round trip to 2 destinations and I expect to be back in about 45mins to 1 hr. I am looking at the prices though, and what I will probably do, is leave the 1 bag price as it is and increase the multiples slightly and the 4 bag+ price to around £41/42 if things start getting to tight in my view.
  11. Chalgravesteve

    Carbon Dioxide Meter in a kiln?

    Like everyone else, I hadn't really given it any thought. Clearly, with pellets, there is a substantial surface area exposed, whereas with logs, its tiny by comparison. The build up of CO also requires an airtight room, where the kiln is venting air all the time. There appear to be absolutely no instances reported where logs are involved, its entirely based around pellets and their storage and the heat that they are stored at. Just for my own peace of mind, I'll be putting a sensor in there, just to see if it kicks off or not.
  12. Chalgravesteve

    Carbon Dioxide Meter in a kiln?

    OK, in the course of a visit from the local water authority, checking on our mains connections and backflow valves to the boiler, the commercial plumber I'm dealing with has suggested that drying wood using hot air through a kiln will warm the wood and it will release Carbon Dioxide in the same way that it would when its burnt in a stove. This seems a reasonable hypothesis. He suggested that we have a warning sensor in the kiln to show the levels, as the doors are closed most of the time. I am of the opinion that any levels that might exist will quickly dissipate when we open the main doors to move stuff about, so the risk is almost non existent. I'm quite happy to put a sensor in there anyway, so that's not an issue, I just wondered if anyone else had considered this before or had any issues with Carbon Dioxide emissions in a kiln?
  13. Chalgravesteve

    Ready to Burn from HETAS

    Yup there is nothing stopping anyone from doing that. Tree surgeon cuts a tree down today, puts salt and pepper on it and calls it seasoned..... still not lying. Wet wood at 40%, split and stacked for a day. Well its been seasoned for a day and there is nothing to stop anyone saying its seasoned. We have an entirely unregulated industry, so the only effective regulation is ourselves. I sell my stuff as stovemix, a random mix of hard and softwood of all species. There is one consistency. Its all dry. 85% of my customers buy from me again. The other 15% might try someone else but over time, about 50% of the 15% will come back to me as well. I don't need HETAS/Ready to Burn to help/hinder me.
  14. Chalgravesteve

    Ready to Burn from HETAS

    Yup!! And they are only policing the people who PAY them to be policed......
  15. Chalgravesteve

    Ready to Burn from HETAS

    That's taking my comment out of context. I agree with Woodworks in his calculations as to what can be achieved in MC for seasoned wood. If a benchmark of sub 20% is established, I can't see how any seasoned wood supplier can guarantee to be under that ALL OF THE TIME because the humidity levels change through the year and simply don't make it possible unless you can introduce another factor into drying it (such as polytunnels which increase the heat for example). Kiln drying does not defy logic in itself. We have plenty of "scrap" wood which is either surplus or really difficult to split and process, so we save ourselves a heap of time and chuck it in the boiler and burn it. The easy stuff, we process into firewood and dry it in the kiln. So we maximise the use of the wood that we have to create the best return for the business. Kiln drying means I don't need vast amounts of storage space to store stock for sale in 2 years time in barn A, stock for sale in 1 years time in Barn B and stock I'm currently splitting in Barn C. I don't have stuff that has lichen and creepy crawlies on it from 2 years outside. I just have the processors out, split the stuff, put it into the kiln, dry it in 7/10 days and store it for a short period (6 month max - but usually closer to 1 month in the season) before selling it, clean and dry and clean smart bags. You do not have a successful business because you have loads of stock. Stock is money tied up doing nothing. The faster you can turn over your stock and replace it with new and sell that, the more you will make. Yes, I would still do this if I didn't get RHI income from my boiler. I accept that that's just a nice bonus really and I'm not embarrassed to say that I saw an opportunity to expand my business and took the chance and had a go. I had to come up with £50,000 worth of investment first before I got the RHI but ultimately, the business would stand on its own two feet without it anyway. If burning wood to dry wood defies logic, from a self sufficiency or environmental perspective, then presumably there are no diesel lorries/transits delivering wood to customers, its all done with a pony and trap. RHI is always going to polarise opinions and I think the HETAS/Ready to Burn stuff does the seasoned log suppliers absolutely no favours at all. Somebody, in humour, mentioned it earlier. We can establish our own standard. I already use "ready to burn" as a phrase in promoting my wood in our local social media advertising and our website and will continue to do so. I've got no worries, I know I will have plenty of customers who want clean and dry wood at a sensible price.


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