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Author Topic: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening  (Read 2754 times)

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Offline PA_Walnut

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Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« on: April 23, 2018, 06:42:14 AM »
Progressing along on my kiln chamber build. Super-insulated slab is down, epoxy on concrete cured. So, let the framing begin!

My chamber is 22' long and I intend to load it from the side (not end). Thus, I need two 10' doors.

Would appreciate some wisdom from those who've gone before me:

1. Other than Nyle's plans for construction/insulation, and tips on hinges and gaskets...that last?

2. Since I need a 21' clear span on loading side, and tips for what to use to frame/span that far? I have some oak that I could saw into some silly-sized beams, perhaps an LVL, or man-up for a steel I beam. Again, I know all will work at some degree, but looking for some words of wisdom from those who've walked the path ahead of me!  :D

Thanks. Will post some pix along the way.
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Offline Don P

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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2018, 07:29:07 AM »
Parallel chord trusses are another option. Is the header supporting anything (are the doors swinging on the side posts), just supporting the doors (track), or is it supporting some section of roof and doors? Need more info, like a sketch, or you need to determine load and allowable deflection.
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Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2018, 08:29:04 AM »
Just a 10x22 box (shed) with the two 10' doors along the front, attached to the corners. Design is per Nyle's instructions, but they do not mention the clear-span details. I'll make a sketch if it helps.
Thx
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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2018, 08:55:44 AM »
With a box kiln itís all about the stability of the doors to maintain the door seals,  assuming as Don mentions that the door header isnít load bearing which I built mine so it wasnít.  Ready made trusses would be fast for framing.
If I was going to build what you are doing, I would go out of the box a little and build the opening for the doors as well as the door frames out of welded steel or aluminum and use the weld on security gate hinges with grease fittings. Iíd make it a premade structure welded flat on the ground, corner braced and then attach it to the wooden building as a big door unit.  It would be difficult but would never sag or degrade with some proper paint.  Iíve got the setup on our security gate and itís been working for years with an 18 foot swing gate. With big doors the issue is door jamb strength, hinge strength, and door stability, holding the doors out in space through all the thermal cycles.  The other key whether built from wood or steel is to build the doors as light as possible with wood or light and stiff with steel.  The less they weigh the less they will sag.
It will be easy to build something that will work for a short term me, much more problematic to build one that will last for a decade.  
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Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2018, 06:15:20 PM »
On the clear span you could always put a temporary adjustable post in the middle and take it out when loading and uloading.
When in place it could help seal the doors in the center
Just my 2 cents
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2018, 09:21:34 PM »
I think I would build a flitch beam if you can get a piece of steel that long.  Say a piece 12Ē wide by 1/2Ē thick and sandwich it between two 2x12s.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2018, 10:39:47 PM »
I built parallel chord trusses for my 20 foot openings.  Thus far (2 years) itís worked well.

The chord was around 4í tall.  
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Offline Don P

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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2018, 10:49:18 PM »
I'm guessing about a foot of overhang on the roof so 6' of roof x 21' bearing on the header 126sf x whatever your snow+ material load is, probably in the neighborhood of a couple of tons up top. The trouble I see is that 6" end post trying to restrain racking from the 10' door hanging from it. That calls for a welded moment resisting frame, a steel post welded to a steel header or a large steel L bracket firmly connecting that joint. If it were a flitch plate header you could make the post the same way and weld the connection between the post and header plates. Flitch plates are not the most efficient use of steel though, the same weight in an I shape is stronger and stiffer. Steel parallel chord and steel post might be worth exploring. Steel fabricating plays into that efficiency cost equation too though.
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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2018, 07:52:26 AM »
Might could use door mounted castor wheels mounted to the free ends of the doors to roll on the concrete apron when they are opened, and to support them when they are closed.

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Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2018, 08:33:14 AM »
What kinda monster have I created!?  :o ;D

I like Yellow's idea of steel frame, but I don't have any idea what size it would take for a 20' span.

What if I were to do a "flitch beam" with a LAM and steel for the long span, then do as Yellow suggests and build a welded steel frame to insert into the opening, much like a commercial metal door.

There's a metal fab shop about 1 mile from me that does custom work. I could get them to build whatever I want (and can afford) I suppose.

Anyone have any pix/plans/sketches as food for thought?

Thx

ps. Would a 3.5 x 1.5 x 1/4" inch steel box tubing frame works a frame, ok to span? Since I'm planning 2x4 construction, per Nyle's plans, it would be mighty convenient. Steel costs looks like about $500. Could do the doors in aluminum to save weight, at a cost of about $1200-1300 materials.
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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2018, 05:58:42 PM »
I like the idea of Scott's truss. A steel truss with steel posts, might be able to simply span it with pan deck from that header to the back wall without further framing... the steel shop should be able to design and quote any or all of that.
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Offline Josef

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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2018, 06:51:53 PM »
Not sure if you have a metal building contractor nearby, but you might look at a pair of "C" or "Z" purlins sandwiched to make a beam. I used two 12 ga 8 inch "Z" purlins boxed with 2x8's between to form a box beam for my solar kiln to frame the doorway. Pics are in my gallery. The steel purlins were left over from a steel frame building that was engineered for NW PA, 10 lb dead load and 50 lb live load over a 25 ft span on 5 ft spacing, so spanning a 20 foot opening was easy. It was a few years ago that I bought them, but I think they were about a dollar a foot surplus.

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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2018, 11:35:36 PM »
If the peak of the kiln roof is centered over the door then the door header won't be load bearing, and a simple gable truss can be used to support the roof over the front door opening.  Simple wooden 2x4 trusses can free span 32 feet with no problem.

The door frame and supports would be independent of the trusses.      

The main load on the door frame will be the verticals where the hinges attach, which need to be stabilized to prevent the door from sagging.  

Also, since the door seals by Nyle are face seals, the door jambs need to be wider than the doors so that the seals can be attached to impact the inside door skin.  For example, if the doors were 2x4 thick, the door frame would need to be made from 2x6 stock. 
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Offline Southside

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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2018, 11:43:28 PM »
Just curious - why did you give up on the container kiln plan?
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Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2018, 06:22:53 AM »
Just curious - why did you give up on the container kiln plan?


Two primary reasons were space and aesthetic. I need to load from the long side, plus since we want to make our buildings all look pretty (part of the overall design), decided to do traditional. PLUS, when I grow weary, it will make a MIGHTY nice man-cave building! :D
I own my own small piece of the world on an 8 acre plot on the side of a mountain with walnut, hickory, ash and spruce.
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2018, 07:05:44 AM »
Perhaps a visit to several local farms with barns, especially old barns, will give you some useful ideas.  They do make hinges for large doors.

For gaskets, you could use old fire hose that looks like fabric.  Very effective.  The local fire department will appreciate the new hose that you bought for them to replace their old hose.

One issue, with using metal frames and doors with large spans in a kiln, is that when the kiln heats up, the metal expands, while the rest of the wall, if masonry or wood, does not.  This creates cracks, as something has to give when the door frame expands.
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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2018, 07:17:34 AM »
You could also make your door frames out of heavy gauge metal framing.
3 5/8" it can be welded together and made very strong and can be purchased very reasonable. 
I have seen some things made with it.
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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2018, 11:47:30 PM »
Yea - the big metal box is ugly, but I am going to wrap it with some board and batten and frame in a couple of old windows that I have so from 20' away it will look like a building.  
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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2018, 12:57:38 AM »
 smiley_thumbsup
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Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Kiln Doors and Large Span OPening
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2018, 11:18:54 AM »
Great stuff! Yellow, do you have a pic of your building you could share?
I'd like to see your front, non-load-bearing wall!
Thanks.
I own my own small piece of the world on an 8 acre plot on the side of a mountain with walnut, hickory, ash and spruce.
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