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Author Topic: Help me with a Kiln  (Read 625 times)

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Offline GC88

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Help me with a Kiln
« on: December 25, 2018, 03:04:28 PM »
I live in North Florida and have cut a bit of Pecan in to 8/4 slabs that are about 13 feet long and now I need to dry them. 

I have been looking to build a solar kiln. My father in law said he has a 2000 gallon steel tank that maybe we could cut the top off and make it work a solar kiln. Itís 8 feet wide by 20 ft.

I basically need help with the process of making one. For my understanding I would need to cut a hole in the top and replace it with transparent plastic and paint the inside black. Stack the wood inside and seal to the top with a barrier with fans that runs during the day to push the hot air through the stack. If thatís correct it seems kinda simple in theory. 

Where would I get a timer that turned the fans on when the suns up? Or what do yíall use? 

Iím basically looking for advice of what would be the most simple and achievable way to dry my wood in the Florida climate, we have plenty of sun. 

Offline Escavader

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Re: Help me with a Kiln
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2018, 06:12:13 PM »
Could you use a thermostat to a furnace to tell your fans when to work?
I like the tank idea
Alan Bickford
Hammond lumber company/Yates American A20 planer with dbl profilers Newman feed table multiple saw trimmer destacker automatic stacking machine Baker resaw MS log corner machine  4 large capacity Nyles dehumidification kilns JCB 8000 lb forklifts

Offline GC88

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Re: Help me with a Kiln
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2018, 10:01:07 PM »
I just donít get what people use to turn the fan on, are people using the thermostats or light percentage like automated car lights sensors. What turns the fans on day in and day out?

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Help me with a Kiln
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2018, 10:25:45 PM »
My 4 solar kilns all use a standard water heater type of timer.  Three of them run off of one unit; the fourth has it's own.  However, for what you're trying to do a simple timer for Christmas tree lights should work fine.

Virginia Tech has a lot of great info on building a solar kiln, and on kiln drying in general.

If your pecan is freshly milled,  you might want to consider air drying it for a few months before putting it into a solar kiln.
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Offline GC88

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Re: Help me with a Kiln
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2018, 01:09:47 PM »
I just got a WM meter and it says the pecan is at 20%.

I have looked at the Virginia Tech info and it does have some good info. 

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Help me with a Kiln
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2018, 04:34:35 PM »
I just got a WM meter and it says the pecan is at 20%.

I have looked at the Virginia Tech info and it does have some good info.
8/4 pecan will usually take at least 9 - 12 months to fully air dry.  How long ago were your slabs milled?
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.


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