I use a wood stove to supplement natural gas heat in the house and have a couple of cords of firewood for that and for emergencies. Also about 150# of propane and several ways to use that. But in searching for alternate fuels that could be burned in the wood stove, I have been experimenting with wood pellets. They are designed to be burned in special pellet stoves, but those require electricity to operate, and I'm trying to avoid large battery banks, running a generator, etc. The pellets have advantages in being relatively dense as packaged, easy to store and relatively clean burning. Per BTU, they seem to be cheaper than I can cut my own firewood in the NF considering truck and saw costs, not to mention my time. I am aware of some gravity feed devices for packable stoves like cylinder stoves, but mine won't readily accommodate one. And I want to be able to switch back to wood easily.
So I have been experimenting with burn baskets in the wood stove. I've constructed several variants of wire and screen and they work fairly well. Drawbacks come from needing relatively frequent attention, often some stirring, and they are a bit tricky to light as a big lump of pellets in the basket. One technique that seems to work fairly well is wrapping a cup or two in newspaper and tossing those bundles in almost like small logs. Another is building a relatively large fire in one corner of the basket, then piling pellets in the other and scraping them together from time to time. Lighting works fairly well with a pile of loosely crumpled newspaper with about a cup of loose pellets sprinkled in. Some folks apparently use commercial fire starters, but I'm trying to avoid that.
So - anybody else messed with this harebrained concept? Any ideas, crazy or otherwise?