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Author Topic: Heat box for sterilization help  (Read 4385 times)

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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Heat box for sterilization help
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2017, 11:09:55 AM »
Heat in a kiln does not change the walnut structure.  You observations reflect differences in moisture content.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline losttheplot

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Re: Heat box for sterilization help
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2017, 06:27:19 PM »

Does the dehumidifier run ok at the higher temps?
[/quote]

Seems to, I've only put around 10 loads through it.
Its mostly Maple and Alder, the water comes out crystal clear and odorless.
I don't know how it would do with something like Oak.

I dont know if it has an over temp cutout.
I was quite surprised when I saw how hot it was getting in the Kiln.

I just set the dehumidifier to 35% relative humidity and let it do its thing.
I bought some temp/humidity meters, with the sensors on 6 ft of wire,  and put them at different places through the stack. 
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Offline caveman

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Re: Heat box for sterilization help
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2017, 10:10:23 PM »
Thank you to all who took the time to contribute to this topic.  As I have said before, this sawmill hobby has become a slippery slope with a learning curve.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Heat box for sterilization help
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2017, 05:02:17 AM »
Have any of you quantified what kind of money youre spending on these kilowatt hours?  Are they as expensive as it sounds? 


Im surprised that with the proliferation of outdoor wood boilers being fed slabwood, that they dont go hand in hand with kiln chambers. 
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Offline E-Tex

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Re: Heat box for sterilization help
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2017, 12:08:01 PM »
I built a 4 ft by 4 ft by 16 ft box out of used 4 ft by 8 ft by 4 inch Styrofoam sheets.
Its wrapped in 6mil Polly and sealed with tuck tape when its full.
With 2 fans and a 70 pint dehumidifier it gets up to 140 +/- degrees.
No auxiliary heat.

Air dried wood takes less than a week to get the remaining water out of it.
I put some spalted maple in it, that was full of white grubs.
The bugs turned to powder.

how does it get this hot without additional heat source?  Does the dehumidifier have a heat source in it?  is it the process of the water leaving the wood? 

And is it staying at the 140+/- constantly?  Thx.
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Offline fishfighter

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Re: Heat box for sterilization help
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2017, 05:46:08 PM »
We need some pictures of that sucker. 8)

Offline losttheplot

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Re: Heat box for sterilization help
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2017, 08:30:27 PM »























I bought the Styrofoam from a neighbour for $10 a sheet.
The sheets are stitched together with old chainsaw files and the inside joints were sprayed with a can of expanding foam.

For the first couple of runs I used borrowed box fans made from plastic. They work fine but I had to give them back so I bought a couple of attic fans from Amazon.

I got some temp/humidity meters from e-bay and placed them through out the stack, as long as I load it "loose" it does fine.

If the plastic vapor barrier is not sealed tight it will never stop putting out water, as it will suck in air/humidity.

It takes a couple of days to warm up and a few days to cool down.

I leave the wood in there untill I need it, keeps it dry.

I got fed up with making stuff for the house with air dried wood, then having it warp and shrink. We heat with a wood stove which makes the house very dry.

I put 6 and 8 inch Douglas-fir flooring in the house, the boards right in front of the stove have shrunk a tiny bit, the rest shows no sign of shrinking.
14 inch red Alder just went in so I will see how it does.
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Offline fishfighter

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Re: Heat box for sterilization help
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2017, 08:18:05 AM »
Outstanding and thanks for the pictures. I will start looking for parts that I will need to build a box like yours. ;D

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Heat box for sterilization help
« Reply #28 on: December 11, 2017, 10:46:31 PM »
I am curious,  have you run it with wood which was pretty green?  Just wondering how long it took to dry it out and what the quality turned out to be.  That is a great set up!!!
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Offline losttheplot

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Re: Heat box for sterilization help
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2017, 07:19:29 PM »
I have never tried it with green wood.

If I was gonna try, I think I would sticker stack it in the kiln then leave it open on the ends and just run the fans for a week or two first.

That is just an assumption and you know what they say about those  :) :) :)


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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Heat box for sterilization help
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2017, 10:42:13 PM »
My gosh that is some awful purdy wood there!!  Really held it's color. 
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Heat box for sterilization help
« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2017, 04:16:57 PM »
For a fast drying wood, like pine and poplar, leaving the kiln open and blowing air through the pile and then having itexit (single pass dryer is the technical name) can be very efficient.  Run the fans when the humidity is under 90% RH only.  Higher humidity will waste electricity and achieve little drying.

For harder to dry woods, if they go into the kiln green, then keep the vents fairly much closed so you control the humidity inside at a high level, which will give you slow drying and high quality.

For white woods like hard maple, aggressive air drying, protected from rain, will get the whitest color.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline fishfighter

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Re: Heat box for sterilization help
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2017, 07:54:08 AM »
So, I been kicking a few ideas around in my head for a sterilization box.

Building it like the OP's box, but adding even more heat by using stove heating elements. Reason is that down here in the south, the humidity runs high about 95% of the year above 70%.  Using the stove Tstat and controls, I think I could get it dialed down to about 150F. With a dehumidifier in the works, that just might speed things up some.

Am I thinking this would help out or am I wrong? Like I said, just kicking this around. ;D

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Heat box for sterilization help
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2017, 10:22:47 PM »
We are concerned about the average relative humidity.  A good source of values, in terms of EMC is
www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base_images/zp/equilibrium_moisture_content.pdf

As an example, in July, Alexandria, LA has 15% EMC which is about 75% RH average for the month.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline fishfighter

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Re: Heat box for sterilization help
« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2017, 06:34:21 AM »
Hey, thanks. ;D


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