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Author Topic: The log boiler tl-400  (Read 1312 times)

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Offline Busysawyer

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The log boiler tl-400
« on: September 19, 2018, 09:08:43 AM »
Does anyone here run one of these wood boilers.  We are looking at setting one of these up to heat our kiln,barn,showroom and house.  Just curious if anyone here has any experience with this company or thoughts on this boiler.
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Offline ButchC

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2018, 10:31:50 AM »
Dont own one,never heard of them until now but spent a half hour with Google, LOL.

Interesting concept, looks simple and effective. Two questions, a search of that model also brought up Natures Comfort 400 TL, looks identical?  Assuming its the same unit who builds it? Also, if you dont mind have you received a price quote?
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Offline Busysawyer

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2018, 11:05:35 AM »
Butchc,
The boiler was designed and used to be built be a local guy here. He couldn't keep up with demand so he is having natures comfort build them. It is the same boiler. Price quote was about 13k.
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Offline Busysawyer

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2018, 09:43:02 PM »
Well I went ahead and ordered one of these boilers. Should see it here in a couple weeks.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2018, 06:44:23 AM »
I saw them somewheres in an ad a few months back.
I would put a slab in for the boiler. Than put a seperate one in for the driveway of where the door is. Or at the very least make the driveway higher than what is around by a foot with gravel. Going to have to feed that thing a couple times a day. Maybe more,depends on how big your wood is. Meaning slabs. That way water will drain away better.Mine OWB will put out 200,000. I was planning on a garage for myself. But the ground work and cement got in the way.
Can't do youtube on my dinosaur,might have to use the wife's. But as I say,they can make anything look good with a camera. ;D
I know this season will be hard on the dry wood part. I have the old style,but I do know dry wood works better. Meaning,I burn alot and I mean alot less wood when it is dry. Some on here stay one whole season ahead. Good idea,if you can. But I know it's hard to do 2 things at once.Trying to run a mill and cut wood could be hard. Yes,it will burn your slabs,but will take more if they are not dry. I burned green wood in mine. Some seasoned for a summer,some right off the stump. I noticed the diffeance. I burn less standing dead wood than when it was green off the stump. When it's not dry,the wood has to dry itself out to get the BTUs. The only way it can get the BTUs is to burn the wood to dry it out. But we all have to do what we have to do.
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Offline Busysawyer

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2018, 09:16:31 AM »
Thecfarm,  I have used wood to heat my other house and agree with the wood quality being important. I have about 12 cords of dry , split wood at the moment, Red oak , hickory, hard maple and beech. I also have about 20 cords of slab wood and edging scraps. Most of that is walnut though. I plan on loading this boiler with my bobcat and grapple, that's why I wanted a top loading model. One of my customers told me about the tl400, he uses one to heat a large greenhouse. He said with good wood he is loading once a day when it's really cold and every 2-3 days in warmer weather.  The boiler will hold a face cord of wood. The specs look good to me. The weight seems on the heavy side compared to other boilers of comparable side. To me that says it's well built. I do plan on setting it on a cement slab. What model of heatmoor do you have? How much space are you heating?
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Offline Busysawyer

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2018, 09:17:27 AM »
 

 
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2018, 09:47:31 AM »
I have the old style,400. A little off on the BTU. Should of been 400,000.
I am heating a house,basement and living quarters,30 feet by 50 feet. Does it easy,which it should. This one will take a 54 inch stick. Don't load much that long accept for small wood. Meaning 6 inches and smaller. A 8 inch piece even 4 feet long is hard to put through a 20 inch opening. With a firebox that size and not needing the size of the Heatmor I bought,I can burn some odd shape wood and if there is a limb sticking out,it does not matter.
Does that OWB have blowers? I have 2 in mine. When the blowers are not on there is no natural draft. Looks like the fire is out when I feed it. This allows me to burn dead cedar in it. The fire is smothered out.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2018, 01:09:02 PM »
Are these top loaders strong enough where slabs and relatively heavy pieces, stumps and such, can be just dropped in from a loader or forks?  Or will it dent the sides of the fire box, open seams etc?  
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Offline Busysawyer

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2018, 07:43:42 PM »
Yh, I've been told by the designer and one of the owners that it is plenty strong enough to drop whatever fits through the door into it with a loader.
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Offline ButchC

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2018, 10:54:07 AM »
Well I went ahead and ordered one of these boilers. Should see it here in a couple weeks.
Well great! Just remember this, it didn't happen without pics, LOL
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Offline hedgerow

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2018, 08:26:33 PM »
Busysawer
Keep us posted when you get the boiler running. Looks like a heavy duty unit. I would pour a good size concrete slab so the skid loader isn't running on rock loading it. It would cut ruts were the wheel tracks keep running. 

Offline Busysawyer

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2018, 10:14:21 PM »
I cleared the area for the cement pad today and put down about 16in of sand. Concrete company should be here next week to pour my barn, sidewalk and boiler pad.  My skidsteer is a tracked machine a treads lightly so no worries of ruts. It sure does tear things up if you spin in tight circles though.
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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2018, 09:02:03 PM »
The boiler was delivered today at noon and had her up and running this afternoon.  This thing is huge. I threw in a little wood and got it going quickly with a rosebud torch. I was told to run it at 120f for 24 hours with the etching solution additive. After 24 hours fill and flush well then refill and add the treatment. I loaded a couple big oak logs with the skidsteer before I came in for the night. Curious to see how long it burns. It's in the low 40s and windy here but I expect it should stay going for 24 hours or more. 

 

 

 
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Offline ButchC

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2018, 08:09:59 AM »
Given the capacity of that unit if you have troubles going 24hrs in this weather your going to need a full time operator to feed it when it gets below zero, :D LOL.  Never heard of etching the steel before the additive, guess they want rid of the mill scale so it doesn't rust between it and the steel?   I like the concept for people (like you n me) who own equipment to feed it. I will be curious about about wood usage over the course of the winter, my Woodmaster is starting its13th season and Id guess on borrowed time.
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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2018, 09:22:16 AM »
Butchc, I'm curious as to wood consumption as well. I assume with all the space im going to be heating im going to go through a lot of wood. I only loaded it to maybe a third of its capacity yesterday. I checked this morning , roughly 12 hours after loading and it barely ate any of the wood. Little to no smoke as well. So far very impressed with this boiler. 

 

 
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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2018, 09:47:22 AM »
That is a monster.
Wow face cord capacity.
wonder how long a loading of that size will last in average cold weather if there is such a thing.
Are the grates steel or cast iron?
Im thinking the weak link will be the grates after dropping heavy wood on them consistently.
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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2018, 10:20:52 AM »
Peter, I talked to a guy that has been running one to heat a 10k sqft greenhouse in northern Michigan.  He said most of the winter he loads every 2-3 days and once daily when it's really cold, like below zero. The grates were a heavy duty steel but they are switching over to cast iron. They didnt get the cast grates in yet so they gave me a used set of steel for the time being. He said the steel grates actually bow upward over time. I think once the boiler gets running for a few days and the bed of coals gets built up they would act as sort of a cushion when reloading.  My only gripe so far is that this thing is hard to open. The door is extremely heavy. I'm 6ft 200 pounds and in decent shape and it takes near everything I have to open the door. It has a counterweight handle to use but I haven't installed it yet.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2018, 10:22:53 AM »
Yes,the ashes should help out on the loading part.
That does look good.  ;D
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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2018, 03:51:03 PM »
I installed the provided counterweight handle and experimented with different amounts of weights. There is 70 pounds on in the pictures but I took twenty off. 50 pounds seems to be the sweet spot. It now opens and closes relatively easy. Still not a whole lot of burning going on. It was down to 27f last night so a little chilly but not that cold. About a 1/3 of a load going on 16 hours now. The dealer has one at his place converted to coal and heating two small kilns.  Said he was going on three weeks with that.

 

 

 
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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2018, 10:03:03 PM »
A little update on this boiler. So far I'm loving this thing. Get a good 24 hours of burn time loading it with walnut edging and 5-7 days with big chunks of beech. I dont think it is a very efficient design but for some one like me with basically endless supply of fuel and a machine to load its perfect A couple pics of loading and it loaded. It's going to be so nice to just have to cut most logs into 4ft sections. This beech was too fat to fit through the door so I had to cut into rounds. No more splitting and stacking firewood. 

 

 

 
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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2018, 06:00:19 AM »
You are getting some good burn times from that beech. :o
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Offline 4x4American

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2018, 07:56:33 AM »
I wish they were legal in NYS I would have bought one.  I talked with my the town code enforcement guy and he said that I can get a permit to use for my business..but not sure how true that is.  
Boy, back in my day..

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2018, 08:06:28 AM »
What is the final approximate installation cost, including the indoor heaters and stuff? 
Ive thought about these for years, Ive gone a bon fire burning slab waste right now and it 45F outside.  The building will be cold and its a 12 hour day today, well at least until the Bama LSU game.
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Offline Busysawyer

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2018, 09:30:24 AM »
Thecfarm,  I'm only heating the house at this point and it's not very cold out yet. I anticipate I'll get about 2 days with big load of beach logs once I put some demand on it. These logs are fairly green. I cut the trees down last spring and bucked them right before putting in the boiler. 
Loading it with logs and big rounds it doesnt smoke very much at all but loading it with mostly dry walnut edging scraps it blows an unbelievable amount of smoke. Fairly black smoke, it looks like I'm burning trash or plastic.
4x4, darn rules and regulations making life difficult for ya again.
Yh,  
Total cost has been just under 18k. That includes concrete slab, 250ft 1in PVC conduit, wiring, 350ft insulated pex, 2 additional pumps, heat exchanger for home furnace plenum, 200k  btu hanging forced air exchanger for the barn, plate exchanger for dom. Hot water, ball valves,  pex fittings and other miscellaneous fittings. Setup to heat barn, house, hot water and kiln.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2018, 12:51:35 PM »
2 days will still be good.
I know we do what we have to do. Not saying you are doing it wrong.
I experimented one winter with green wood. One winter with soft and the next with hard wood.Cut it,burn it,dry time was sometimes only an hour.  :o  I was warm,both inside the house and the time spent working the wood up. I went through some wood.  :o   I have better burn time with dead standing wood pine. But I wanted these areas cleaned up. Should of cut the wood up and let it dry for at least a year. By dry I mean outside in a big pile that is piled up with my loader on my tractor. I had to try it and now I know what to expect.
Not a bad price for that unit and all that you did.
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Offline Busysawyer

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2018, 03:16:40 PM »
I think it is comparable to what I would have spent setting up a large boiler from other manufacturers . I have a lot of split, seasoned hardwood stacked that I planned on using but it's so much easier to spend a few minutes with the chainsaw and cut a few bigger sections from my firewood log pile and use the bobcat to load it. I know from past experience that I would get more btu from the dried split wood but it's more work and a lot more time. I am thinking about selling a lot of my split and seasoned wood and just keeping some for the fireplace and campfires with the kids.
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Offline hedgerow

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2018, 11:08:24 AM »
Busysawyer.
Folks find out in a hurry this [Free wood heat] isn't so free. 10 years ago I ended up with around $30,000 in my Garn by the time I got it running and I did all the work my self other than the spray foam. Back then there were some energy tax credits and I use it to heat my farm shop so I could take off part of it on my taxes. It works good and I run it year around to do my domestic water. Its like all wood burning equipment it likes dry wood the best I pretty much only feed it locust and hedge. As time goes on it getting harder every year to get the 15 cords I am going to burn ready. When we started talking about doing this I thought about building a boiler with a big door to load with the skid loader but I have one farm that has so much hedge on it to be clean up and a lot of that wood isn't big chucks like the locust is. We just cut, split and stack on dump trailers. Trailers are store in sheds and then unloaded into the Garn. 

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Re: The log boiler tl-400
« Reply #28 on: November 04, 2018, 07:08:31 PM »
Hedgerow, where I'm at I'm limited on sqft of outbuilding by the township so no indoor storage for wood for me. I heated my old house for about 10 years with an indoor wood burner that was ducted into my lp furnace plenum. Took about 5-7 cords a year that I cut, split and stacked by hand with no equipment besides a chainsaw and a maul.  A couple years i ran short on wood and had to buy a couple cords from some local. It was supposed to be seasoned but never was. I went through a lot more wood burning that semi-seasoned junk. 
Just for kicks I loaded the boiler tonight with a face cord of seasoned hardwood, mostly red oak, maple and hickory. I was trying to figure out how much time I have into processing that face cord. I figured maybe 5-10 minutes bucking the logs into 16" rounds. 30 minutes or so running it through the splitter. 20 minutes stacking. I've never paid attention to how long it takes me to process a cord so those times are just rough estimates. It took me maybe 15 to 20 minutes to load that face cord in the boiler. I guess by the time that wood hits the fire I have a minimum of an hour of time getting it there. Loading logs I have to make 3-4 cuts and 5 minutes in the bobcat if that. So figure ten minutes tops . The way I see it for it to be worth cutting , splitting and drying I'd need to get at least 2 to 3 times more burn time. I dont care about how much wood it takes I care about how much time I have to spend messing with wood and how many days I can go without thinking about it. 
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