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Author Topic: Kiln design  (Read 383 times)

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Offline rastis

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Kiln design
« on: April 15, 2019, 06:30:58 PM »
I am looking to build a solar kiln based on the VT plans, but increase the size to 10x20 to fit the area it will be built in. Has this been done before? Any pros or cons with those dimensions? 

Offline Jon1985

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Re: Kiln design
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 09:37:50 PM »
Newbie here, getting ready to build by kiln this weekend based on the same plans.  My understanding is you don't want the kiln to be 'to big' for the space you actually need.  If you are only planning to dry 200bdft at a time you dont want a kiln suitable for 1000bdft. The amount of bdft you can dry is 'supposedly' 10x more bdft the sqft of roof. EG: 6'x10' roof is 60 sqft, suitable to dry 600bdft.

As I said, newbie here.  No kilns built yet but lots of reading.

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Kiln design
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 09:45:07 PM »
i would make it as big as you will ever want, to dry.  Oak goes slow so more can go in for the amount of heat, pine can go fast and the heat per board feet can be higher.  You can cover part of the collector for smaller loads of slower dried material.  i would do bigger as well, or long boards will not fit.  10 by 20 sounds good for a hobbyist.  for a small load, you close the vents to get the humidity up, or air dry so it will tolerate the lessor humidity.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Kiln design
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 09:50:27 PM »
There is a conference in Blacksburg VA in may at VA tech.  can search solar kiln on this forum.  in may.  @GeneWengert-WoodDoc


Drying and Processing / VT Solar Kiln Workshop 2019
  by VTwood on March 27, 2019, 09:47:08 AM 
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Kiln design
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 11:57:05 PM »
A look space of 10x20 gives a roof of 14 x 20 or a capacity of 2800 bf.  The problem with the width is that you will need larger fans.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline rastis

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Re: Kiln design
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2019, 06:58:55 AM »
Thanks for the feedback. I am allowed to build up to 200 square feet without the need for a permit, so I am looking to maximize the space

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Kiln design
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2019, 07:15:24 AM »
Any solar kiln can be regulated for short loads simply by opening the doors of increasing the vent area to match the load size.  Ultimately, if enough vent area is opened, it will simply mimic air drying.  
HobbyHardwoodAlabama.com

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Kiln design
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2019, 09:17:33 AM »
@GeneWengert-WoodDoc , is the standard size 8 x 20 footprint?  I want to build one and hope to keep a long length.  when I am not drying hardwood, I hope to dry some firewood as well.  As you know I am more of an uber hobbyist.  Best regards Sir.
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Kiln design
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2019, 09:54:28 PM »
The VT kiln was originally 6 x 17.  It is suggested that the kiln could be shorter, but not wider.  However, when solar drying air-dried lumber, a little wider is tolerable.

When room is available, rather than a 34 long kiln, building two adjacent kilns, each 17 long is more versatile...the two kilns can dry different MCs, thicknesses, species, etc.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more


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