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Author Topic: Make-Shift Quasi-Kiln Advice  (Read 418 times)

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Offline jakeginsburg36

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Make-Shift Quasi-Kiln Advice
« on: October 10, 2018, 11:12:35 AM »
I recently got into Alaskan chainsaw milling and now have a number of slabs I am drying.  I have some ash, osage, cedar and cherry boards that have been air drying for 9 months to a year.

I don't have the money for a full-blown kiln.  I am just a hobbyist, and have spent a lot on chainsaw and shop equipment. I made some outdoor furniture with some of the wood that air-dried.  I want to make some indoor furniture too, and understand that airdrying is insufficient for indoor furniture.  I set up a quasi-kiln in my carriage house, with a space heater, a fan and a small dehumidifier.  The problem is that the space heater turns off once the room is 75 Fahrenheit.   The dehumidifier is bringing in a lot of water, but I realize that might just be moisture from the air.  I realize this set up probably won't get the wood down to 8-10% moisture, but so long as the final product could survive the seasons indoors without cracking/splitting, I'd be happy.  Is my set-up going to get the job done?  Should I get a space heater that doesn't shut off at 75 degrees?

Any guidance would be appreciated.  Thanks!

Offline barbender

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Re: Make-Shift Quasi-Kiln Advice
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 11:53:56 AM »
I would think if you can seal it up tight, then whatever water is removed by the dehumidifier would be coming from the wood eventually.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Make-Shift Quasi-Kiln Advice
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2018, 01:55:28 PM »
What about a propane bottle shanty heater?  No thermostat.  Propane tends to be cheaper than electric in these parts. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Make-Shift Quasi-Kiln Advice
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2018, 02:13:37 PM »
propane puts out a lot of moisture when burned. I think you would lose dehumidifier efficiency
I knew what I thought I meant.

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Make-Shift Quasi-Kiln Advice
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2018, 05:03:07 PM »
I suggest a different electric heater but do get one with high temperature cutoff. Also install a smoke alarm. 

Actually, 75 F is not too bad if you have the time. A household DH at 75 will dry the wood especially if you have the room sealed with plastic, like polyethylene 6 mil.  The key is to run the room at 30% RH plus a small fan to stir the air. Note that heat from the DH will be all you need in an insulated building, once you reach 75.  Overall, this is called heated room drying. 

Get an inexpensive RH digital gauge. Also get a moisture meter for $200. 
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Make-Shift Quasi-Kiln Advice
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2018, 11:13:28 PM »
If you want safe great use several 500 watt halogen work lights.  They are sealed, put out a lot of heat, and are $20 bucks at Lowes. 
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