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Author Topic: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts  (Read 658 times)

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Online DR_Buck

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Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« on: August 28, 2019, 05:22:13 PM »
I'm looking for ideas for the under structure to support tracks for kiln carts.       I think I am finally going to assemble my kiln carts and tracks to make it easier to load my opened end insulated container.   This 1 board at a time crap is getting old.

My tracks are going to be inverted angle iron welded to 4" wide 3/16" flat stock.   I will be using v groove wheels on the carts which will be similar to what Nyle recommends.    

What I am not sure of yet is the best type of support structure for under the tracks.    They'll be about 10"-12" above ground level.    One of my thoughts was sinking treated 6x6s and bolt double 2x10s to one side of them on edge.  Then place the track on top of the 2x10s.   

I've already got the wheels and steel for the tracks and carts, so those materials are already finalized. 

I'm open to ideas and suggestions.        
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2019, 08:27:01 PM »
Inside the kiln or outside?

On mine, inside I just ran 1/4" x 4" flat bar with the angle tack welded to it.  Outside the door, I built the ground up so that it was level with the kiln floor and then placed white oak 2 x 12's down, with the same 1/4" x 4" flatbar / angle combination on it.  Only one track has the angle, the other side is just the flat bar.

It's worked fine for 15 years.  Had to replace the oak after 13 years though.

I use a removable bridge inbetween the interior and exterior tracks, so that the doors can open and close.

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Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2019, 09:31:20 PM »
I just got done with the kiln cart and tracks.  Outside I hauled some railroad gravel and built the area up in front of the container door, used a string line and stakes to set the grade, took some big hedge posts and cut them 8" thick, just cut top and bottom, which I used for railroad ties, built the track from oil well pipe, and welded the angle on top for the track.  Used short pieces of angle welded to the pipe to lag screw the pipe frame down to the ties.  After I got it all leveled up, filled between the ties with gravel, and hauled more gravel to level off the yard, left a slope going up to the track, as that helps my skidsteer handle more weight.  Really is nice to load your pallets with lumber as you saw, putting stickers between layers, then put them on bunks to air dry, then use skidsteer to load the pallets into the container.  My back is not good enough to handle those heavy boards any more.

Offline CHill8903

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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2019, 10:09:17 PM »
I did my inside track exactly as scsmith describes.

In the past I did a smaller kiln with the outside track on 6x6 piers concreted in and 2 6x6x12 oak rails with the angle bolted to it(it was a downward slope from the kiln so it was about 2 off the ground at the far end. It worked ok but after 10 years its pretty beat up from the loader and weather.

On my last kiln(40 container) I wanted something that would take the abuse of a 24000lb wheel loader bumping it and hold up to the weather.  I dug out and formed up piers 1x5x4 deep on 4 centers. Reinforced with rebar, poured, and back filled. Then I put 1x4 channel as cross ties, bolted into the concrete, then welded the angle to that.

Overkill? Probably.  More than I wanted to spend? Definitely. But I have piece of mind that I have a solid track that will stand the test of time. I wont have to dig up rotted wood and I wont knock it crooked with a loader mistake, which makes it very difficult to move the cart.  Im very happy with it.

Offline DWyatt

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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2019, 07:04:40 AM »
Do a search for the high cube kiln @YellowHammer built. I remember he had a good write up about the track and carts he built. I do agree loading one board at a time gets old. The kiln Gramps build has been loaded that way for probably 30 years, hoping to get a new side loading kiln built in the next few months. 

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2019, 08:14:48 AM »
This discussion reminds me that for a small kiln, pulley wheels on one side of a cart that ride on a piece of angle iron inverted so it looks like an upside down "v" works well.  The other side of the cart is a flat wheel and the track is merely a strip of flat iron.  On other words, only one side is "steering" the cart.
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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2019, 09:03:35 AM »
@DR_Buck 

Yellowhammer did a good job of his and hasn't complained about them. Other than "beer canning" his L200, his words not mine. :D
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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2019, 09:16:33 AM »
Only one track has the angle, the other side is just the flat bar.


This is key! With 2 tracks that have angle if they are not PERFECT they will not roll easy at all.

Since I am a steel fab guy I would prefer to do it all out of steel. Couple reasons. Steel does not rot (in your lifetime)! And is very easy to pick the entire system up and move if the need ever arises. Also very easy to realign after the inevitable oops :) 

With the proper supports it can be made very easily adjustable. If you really want to get crazy you can put a floor jack under one end of the track to raise and lower the end. That would give you the ability to load the cart level then raise the track and roll the cart in by hand. 

I have this habit of over engineering things so maybe the hinged track is not greatest idea. But I thought it was kool :)

Offline CHill8903

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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2019, 09:38:50 PM »
Keep in mind no matter how you decide to do it a 40 container load of green hardwood can easily exceed 20000lbs. Thats a lot of weight to support/move.

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2019, 12:07:25 AM »
I made tracks of 2 inch angle welded point up, to 6 x 1/4 flat plate, and made them 40 foot long, welded into one massive length, then pulled into the kiln.

I used v rollers for each side, simply because I wanted both sides of the cart constrained in the tracks.  I definately did not want a derailment.  Alignment is easy, make the carts accurately and then use them as an alignment tool.  The carts can easily be pushed by hand, when empty.  Roll the cart on the track, and fasten the track down.  I used 8 of the Nyle V rollers per 18 foot cart, and it has been working perfectly for years.  38 foot of track inside the chamber, 40 foot of track outside the chamber and then a 6 foot removable bridge.  

The carts are made from 4 inch channel, 18 feet long.  

As with most situations, the grades of the outside track and inside track wont match, so use crossties as crossties to make a railroad.  Then put gravel between the crossties and its there forever, and will allow you to actually drive on it, the carts out can be done with a 4 wheeler or forklift.  

Here is the initial package from Nyle.  @K-Guy 
Notice all the wheels.  Some assembly required.  The Nyle V groove wheels are perfect for the job, I wouldnt buy anything else.  Greasable bearings and good steel.  Super strong.  They roll like butter.



 


Heres a load of cherry coming out. Notice Im pulling with a UTV.  This is why double v wheels are important, they make sure the carts wont come off the track with a not perfectly aligned pull.  
 


Loading is done with a forklift.  
  

We try to do a load every 7 to 9 days.  Heres a load last week, one coming out, one going in.


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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2019, 07:03:28 AM »
Thanks for the input.     Especially Yellow Hammer.   I had never considered using a tie structure.   That looks like the solution I need as my container floor is about 12 inches above ground level.   I already have greasable v groove wheels for both sides of the cart and I bought steel per the  Nyle plans for the carts.

My container is only 20 ft so everything will be half of the Yellow Hammer spec.   :-)  
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2019, 07:25:33 AM »
YH certain "hit the nail on the head" in that we want to prevent derailments.  The biggest issue with metal carts is that heat causes them to expand slightly in width, so alignment of the tracks changes slightly when the kiln is hot...some kilns only go up to 130F, but other go to 160 F.  The carts expand, but the floor is stable.  Hence having only one guided track can be an advantage.  Cooling the kiln before Moving the lumber is a reasonable approach.
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Offline WDH

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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2019, 07:44:56 AM »
 Outside I hauled some railroad gravel and built the area up in front of the container door
Once the railroad finds the gravel missing, they might not be too happy.  Did you do it under the cover of darkness? :D
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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2019, 07:47:15 AM »
could always use track on both sides. Make one side bolted down tight and allow the other side to float with slotted grooves and loose bolts. Will function the same and prevent binding. I still prefer the single track but do understand the derailment issues. One of the biggest advantages to this is the wheel heights will be the same on both sides of the cart. So the carts can be used on concrete and not have to be strictly kiln carts. So they could be loaded in the shop then placed on the tracks.

I would put a pulley inside the kiln on the wall that can hook to the carts to pull them in. and the same thing on the end of the track outside. You could then pull with anything from any angle and the pulley will keep everything aligned and pulling straight. 

Or instead of pulling with a UTV you go get a cheap harbor freight winch that will run off of any 12 volt power supply and mount that permanently so all you need to do is turn it on to pull the carts in or out.

Lots of ways to make this work. All depends on level of skill and cost.

I would bet yellowhammers carts are heavy enough that there would never be a derailment with the pulley setup I mentioned above. Even with only 1 track guiding.

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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2019, 08:11:46 AM »
I went with the UTV or Tractor or forklift or whatever I have handy.  Hook a strap to it and pull it out.  Put the forks against the carts and push them in.

A note about the winches.  The carts loaded with wood will far outweigh the empty chamber, so if mounting the winch to the chamber, unless it is really anchored, then there is the possibility of the shipping container moving toward the wood, as opposed to the wood moving to the chamber.  Pulling and pushing with a vehicle or a properly configured winch is very important so the chamber doesn't start creeping and get misaligned over time.

Although derailment when moving is always threat, loading and unloading is when it will have the best opportunity to come off, when the forks are under the pallet and the cart gets bumped.  Double V grooves help keep everything steady and secure.

It's been several years since we installed this setup, and we haven't had any issues.  Its been pleasantly trouble free.  We put a load of wood through it about every week.  A side shifting forklift is a huge plus.    

Lots of gravel to secure the crossties.  I used washed gravel with no fines so it wouldn't settle.  Just like the railroad.  
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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2019, 08:27:32 AM »
Yellowhammer, I do love your setup and hope to get down there to check it all out someday. 

If the tracks and winch are all secured to the container it will be one solid entity and shift will be very unlikely. I definitely understand your concern though. How often do you have to realign?

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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2019, 09:19:02 AM »


Or instead of pulling with a UTV you go get a cheap harbor freight winch that will run off of any 12 volt power supply and mount that permanently so all you need to do is turn it on to pull the carts in or out.


But then you don't have excuse to tell the wife why you need another toy!!! ;D :D
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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2019, 09:28:40 AM »
you got me there :)

Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2019, 09:39:31 AM »
The railroad went diagonal through my place.  A few years ago, it was abandoned.  Might seem a blessing, but was a terrible mess to clean up.

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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2019, 10:04:32 AM »
The railroad went diagonal through my place.  A few years ago, it was abandoned.  Might seem a blessing, but was a terrible mess to clean up.
Railroad when threw my last plane and then here at our new it went across the back of the property.   Unfortunately the one here was removed in 1911 and there is no gravel for me to reuse.  :-(   
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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2019, 02:27:52 PM »
If the tracks and winch are all secured to the container it will be one solid entity and shift will be very unlikely. I definitely understand your concern though. How often do you have to realign?
I havent had to yet, everything is still where we put it.  Actually, the whole setup looks pretty much as it did when we installed it.  Zero degradation and maintenance.  I blow it out with a leaf blower every few months to clean all the dead bugs off the floor.  The stainless and aluminum shipping container seems wear proof.  

We run it 24/7 since the day it was installed, and I hope it keeps on trouble free.  Even the Nyle 200-M kiln has been trouble free, but dont tell Stan, @K-Guy or he will get the big head.   :D






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Re: Need Track Structure Ideas for Kiln Carts
« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2019, 01:56:19 PM »
@YellowHammer
If it can take your handling, it must be good. LOL. Don't worry about my head swelling, you guys take care to make sure that doesn't happen. 😎
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