Small Drying Kiln - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-07-2009, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Small Drying Kiln

I've been thinking about making a "SMALL" kiln.I'm talking about 100bf or less.Are there any plans for a small kiln out there?,Or can someone tell me what I need?The boards I want to dry are about 4ft long or less.

Donny
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-08-2009, 11:15 AM
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I seem to remember Daren (I think) having homemade kiln plans out there somewhere.
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-08-2009, 12:07 PM
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Yah, it's Daren, you can send him a PM.

Assumption is the mother of all foul -ups
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-08-2009, 02:01 PM
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The book Selecting and Drying Wood from Fine Woodworking has a dehumidifier kiln that holds 250 bdft, and if you are a little handy here is a small vacuum kiln for around $500(but no exact plans): http://www.svwoodturners.org/Newslet...06/10-2006.pdf

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post #5 of 17 Old 03-08-2009, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreythree View Post
The book Selecting and Drying Wood from Fine Woodworking has a dehumidifier kiln that holds 250 bdft,
That is the second time I have heard about this book/kiln. Has anyone read the book ? How much does the kiln cost to build/operate ? I looked the book up on Amazon and see it is only $12 and change, but am too cheap to buy it because I already know how to select and dry wood .
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-08-2009, 04:14 PM
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I have just started building

a solar powered lumber drying kiln taken from plans developed by a group at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg Virginia. All it requires is a southern exposure and enough electricity to power 2 or 3 window fans. In theory, it has a lot of advantages over standard kiln designs in that the lumber is stressed relieved each night. Here's hoping that it lives up to their hype and my expectations. The plans can be accessed on line for free.

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post #7 of 17 Old 03-08-2009, 04:43 PM
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edp, I built a smaller version of the virginia tech solar kiln last fall(5'x10'). It works very well. I just recently had a charge of elm that dried down to 7% over the winter here in the midwest. The lumber has very minimal checking in it due to the fact that it dries slowly.

Here is a pic of it before I added the baffle and attic fan.
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-08-2009, 04:46 PM
 
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edp, do you have a link? It seems like solar would be perfect around here since temps of 110+ and humidity around 6 or 7% is common here in the summer. I've been gathering mesquite to mill and dry for my own use. I gather it's not feasible to do it for resale but there are tons of mesquite available to anyone who is willing and able to cut it.
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-08-2009, 04:58 PM
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[quote=Sawduster;70460]edp, do you have a link?[/quote
Sorry, no. Just google "Solar Powered Kiln"

Ed
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-08-2009, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian the woodnut View Post
edp, I built a smaller version of the virginia tech solar kiln last fall(5'x10').
I'm using a form of your design. I am planning on a lift up roof (probably in 2 sections) with a lift out north wall. My floor is 8' x 18' and the south wall will be 10' at the peak.

Ed
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post #11 of 17 Old 03-08-2009, 05:16 PM
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Free solar kiln plans
http://owic.oregonstate.edu/solarkiln/plans.htm
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects.../wood_kiln.htm
http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/forestry/...0/420-030.html

Although I would probably never use one myself...d/h is gentler and can dry all year at the same rate. (if the sun doesn't shine a solar kiln doesn't work, period). Same cost to build/operate, if not less than solar. And easier to build and operate than solar. Personal preference on my part.

Last edited by Daren; 03-08-2009 at 07:58 PM.
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-08-2009, 05:42 PM
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Daren, I just purchased a bundle book deal from Amazon, the Selecting and Drying wood book, Harvesting Urban Timber, and The Conversion and Seasoning of Wood. I have not read any of them cover to cover, but Selecting and Drying Wood seems to be the best book I have seen on lumber itself. The chapters include picking wood, laying out your cuts, working with figured wood, drying methods(dehumidifier, solar, air), lights affects on wood, and many others. It goes in depth about a lot of stuff including case hardening and proper drying. The kiln in the book has a complete parts list, but out of date part #'s, and the complete wiring diagram for the kiln control and all of the kiln components. The cool part is it has a humidifier to condition the wood to prevent case hardening. It looks like the dehumidifier kiln would be about $500 plus the cost of the lumber for the box and other general items like wire and conduit. The book also has general outlines on how to build a solar kiln.

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post #13 of 17 Old 03-08-2009, 06:50 PM
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Another thing too Donny since you are talking small pieces if you can access your attic that is a good place to "kiln" dry wood. Especially down south where you live, it gets hot up there. I experimented with it up north here and it worked well...just kinda sucked since my house is 2 story with a narrow staircase getting it up and down (I dragged some larger pieces than you are talking up there). They have been doing just that for centuries, shove it in the attic. I don't now how big of a hurry you are, but a month (?) in the summer 4/4 will be dry. And it's free.
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post #14 of 17 Old 03-08-2009, 09:18 PM
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Hit the jackpot with this thread. Been collecting green oak lumber with an alaskan mill. Would like for it to be ready by fall. The solor kiln is going to solve my problem. Mendocino cty CA, it gets hot here in the summer. Is there any reason to put a fan in it, would that speed things up getting the moisture out of there quicker. Haven't seen it mentioned in this thread, but I've been led to believe it good to paint the ends of the boards to slow moisture lose to limit checking. I build this solor kiln neighbors are going to think I am growing pot like everyone else around here. Dean No. CA.

Last edited by Dean Miller; 03-08-2009 at 09:30 PM.
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-08-2009, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreythree View Post
The book Selecting and Drying Wood from Fine Woodworking has a dehumidifier kiln that holds 250 bdft, and if you are a little handy here is a small vacuum kiln for around $500(but no exact plans): http://www.svwoodturners.org/Newslet...06/10-2006.pdf
Vacuum kilns can kill wood if they are not used/built right. This is why peeps do not build them for hobby use. Dehumid kilns are best as you can hold it steady for more stable lumber.

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post #16 of 17 Old 01-22-2016, 07:12 PM
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Corrected link

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreythree View Post
The book Selecting and Drying Wood from Fine Woodworking has a dehumidifier kiln that holds 250 bdft, and if you are a little handy here is a small vacuum kiln for around $500(but no exact plans): http://www.svwoodturners.org/Newslet...06/10-2006.pdf
The Website got restructured. Here is the corrected link
http://www.svwoodturners.org/uploads/4/1/8/6/41863689/10-2006.pdf
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post #17 of 17 Old 01-23-2016, 09:45 AM
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Any type of drying can damage wood if not done properly. In my opinion there 2 reasons few hobbyist use vacuum kilns.
1. The difficulty of building/finding an airtight box that will stand up to the pressure and hold a reasonable amount of wood.
2. A vacuum source that will pull vacuum in a large chamber.
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