How to build a storage bin for pellets

Written by keith allen
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Pellet stoves often burn 40 or more pounds of wood pellets each day. In many areas the pellets are only available in 40 pound bags. Fifty of these bags are stacked on a pallet providing one ton of fuel. In some areas bulk delivery of wood pellets is available. Without bags and the costs associated with handling and shipping bagged products the bulk materials may be more cost effective. To take advantage of these savings a storage bin is necessary.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 2-by-4-inch lumber
  • 1/2 inch plywood
  • 16d box nails
  • 8d penny nails

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  1. 1

    Determine the size of the storage bin desired. A ton of wood pellets takes up a space about 4 feet square piled 4 feet high. If the wood pellet stove burns 18.1 Kilogram per day a ton lasts about 50 days. Chose a size that provides enough storage to limit the need to refill the bin excessively. A bin with a storage area 8 feet long, 4 feet wide and 4 feet high would hold about two tons wood pellets.

  2. 2

    Build a frame for the bin using the 2-by-4s. Build two walls individually with 5-foot studs placed every 16 inches between an 8-foot long 2-by-4-inch top and bottom plate using 16d box nails. Build two walls of 5-foot studs between 4-foot long top and bottom plates for the ends. Connect the four sides to create a cube also using the 16d box nails.

  3. 3

    Build a floor frame work 1 foot above the bottom of the wall segments. The floor joists will connect the studs on opposite sides of the bin. Nail the joists to the studs one foot above floor level with 16d box nails.

  4. 4

    Sheath the inside of the storage bin with 1/2 inch plywood. Include the floor and the sides, nailing the plywood in place with 8d penny nails. Fasten a segment of plywood between two of the studs with hinges to create an access point to the bin. Select a location for the access panel that is convenient for entering the bin from the hall or other open area.

  5. 5

    Cut a hole in the bottom of the bin sized to accommodate the electric auger used to move the wood pellets from the bin to the wood stove. The augers vary in design and size so follow manufacturer's instructions in installation.

  6. 6

    Cut a fill hole near the top of the bin. The bulk delivery trucks commonly use a flexible hose to blow the wood pellets into the bin. Place the access to the bin near a window where the delivery driver can feed the hose into the bin. If the top of the open bin is below the level of the basement window the fill hole is not necessary.

Tips and warnings

  • Commercially available bins often have sloped bottoms allowing a more efficient use of the wood pellets in the bin. Advanced builders may attempt to replicate that in the homemade storage bin.
  • Storage bins are commonly built in basements to serve wood pellet furnaces in the basement. Storage areas for bagged wood pellets are often in closets or garages near the pellet burning stove.

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