Kiln dimensions - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-27-2020, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Kiln dimensions

I am getting closer to building my long desired wood kiln...now I need to lock down on dimensions, etc. I plan on drying lumber primarily for my own use and also my son's...nothing on a large scale. Roughly...I am thinking about a space about 12' long, 4' deep and 4' or 5' tall. Is that sufficient or should I plan on something larger?

This kiln will be located inside a shop expansion that I am working on now...so I could go a little bigger, but I don't want to use up valuable floor space unnecessarily. TIA for and advice/insight.
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-27-2020, 03:09 PM
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extend the eaves, put the kiln outside.


for drying wood, there's no such thing as too big.
drying takes time. for a hobbyist where harvesting a log from the back 1.5 and taking three-four years to age/dry it, has sentimental value/appreciation.


for anyone involved in higher volume production, small kilns are just not gonna' get it.


looking for a local source of rough sawn lumber, recently drove through a kiln yard that had 10-15 huge buildings and train side spurs to load their product by the mega-tons..... not a spot for the hobbyist looking for a couple 8/4 planks.... they had a building with a sign "Sales Office" - I did not go in, as I don't own a railroad....
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-28-2020, 09:10 AM
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Do you run a mill, if so what kind, if its a band mill then I would build a kiln that would fit whatever the max dimension my mill would handle. If you're just buying green lumber then you probably know what dimensions you stick to. Otherwise I would build it slightly larger than what you can physically handle (ex. moving 18' long slabs by hand is a job in itself). Also something worth considering is - whats the largest project you dream of tackling - and see if you can fit that. That said 12' is big for inside, but if you already know 99% of what you use regularly will fit then I think that would work.

Nathan
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-28-2020, 10:25 AM
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Dimensions seem fine that will hold a lot of lumber.

Solar kiln or do you plan to use a heater? dehumidifier? fans?

Robert
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-28-2020, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys! I am not planning on making it a solar kiln at this time, but I wouldn't rule out a conversion sometime in the future possibly. For now, I am going to use a conventional dehumidifier, fan(s) and heat lamps or such. I think I am liking the 12' length...as I will most likely have most boards prepped in the 10'-11' range, so that would leave me a little wiggle room(air flow) on the ends too.

I don't have a mill now...but that is why I am preparing to make a kiln...I plan on buying a mill in the next 6 months or so. Although I don't live on it, I own a farm with enough timber that I will be able to harvest more than enough of my own timber to supply myself and my sons with our own wood. Along those lines, I have never really done much furniture making with walnut, but I intend to harvest a walnut or two on my place and dry those boards and use them eventually, along with both red and white oak.

Also, while I have a couple of longer trailers at my shop I could use, I envision using my "regular" trailer to bring wood back to the house from the farm and it is 12' long...so it seems like that would be max length for my boards.

FWIW, I was going to store fresh cut lumber outside the shop addition to air dry and then bring it in to finish it in the kiln.
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