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Author Topic: solar kiln in progress  (Read 293 times)

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Offline NateF350

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solar kiln in progress
« on: August 29, 2019, 09:10:36 PM »
Hi everyone, new to the forum but been a lurker for a long time. Iím currently building my own log home and getting close to needing paneling and hardwood floors. I have all the lumber cut and air drying for a year or so but had trouble finding someone to kiln dry my lumber so after many hours research Iíve started my solar kiln. Canít wait to get it finished and run my first load of quaken aspen through. Couple pics of the kiln and house below. One quick question, I read someplace on here about using temp probes for for monitoring air entering and exiting the stack to get a rough idea on the MC of the stack as a whole. Anyone have any info on doing this? I know I donít need to but Iím a numbers junkie and like to get track of data and stuff.  

 

  

Offline WDH

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Re: solar kiln in progress
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2019, 09:31:03 PM »
A good moisture meter to check the moisture content of the wood will be very helpful. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline btulloh

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Re: solar kiln in progress
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2019, 09:33:18 PM »
Nice. Youíve got a lot going on there. 

I understand your desire as a numbers junkie. I built a system using a raspberry pi with multiple temp and humidity sensors as well as light sensor and a few other things. Produces gobs of numbers and interesting to me. I built in February a couple years ago during a stretch of bad weather. 

You should get a pin moisture meter and take readings of the stack. Iíd recommend doing a few oven dry moisture samples also. I learned a lot from doing the oven dry samples. Get an old microwave to dry the samples and a kitchen scale to weigh them. Very educational. 

Get a raspberry pi and some parts and save them til cabin fever sets in. There is some correlation of differential temp and humidity of air entering the stack and exiting the stack, but itís a hard way to check your lumber compared to a moisture meter. 

Welcome to the Forestry Forum and keep us posted on your cabin and kiln. Very interesting. 
HM126

Offline btulloh

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Re: solar kiln in progress
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2019, 09:35:35 PM »
And . . .

Congrats on posting some pictures without even complaining about the process!!  :D ;D :D :D

Offline NateF350

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Re: solar kiln in progress
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2019, 12:54:25 AM »
Thanks guys, I have a cheap moisture meter right now but Iím looking at a Lignomat right now with the cables and pins for a kiln. 

Yea there is a lot going on, itís year 3 of the build and Iím ready to be done and back to working in the shop more.  I read the post on the raspberry PI and Iíd love to build something like that but Iíd ya e to do a lot more research to be able to do what you did.  I have a scale already, have to dig up an old microwave.  I like learning new things and Iím looking forward to learning how to operate the kiln.

Post pictures wasnít near as bad as others various forums Iím on. At least you donít have to host the pics someplace else to post them here lol

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: solar kiln in progress
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2019, 07:36:40 AM »
Aspen is a bit tricky.  You will find that very low MCs, are much better with this species.  Some aspen door makers use 5% and even 4% MC.  This means quick gluing as the wood is so dry, but the machining and stability benefits are top.

To achieve very low MCs in a solar kiln, use two layers for the cover, run the fans only when you have plenty of direct sunlight in the kiln, and keep the vents closed 99% at the end of the cycle to maximize heating.  This also means that solar drying is probably restricted to the warmer months.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Online Crusarius

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Re: solar kiln in progress
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2019, 07:53:47 AM »
This is looking great. My next step will probably be a solar kiln. Good timing on this thread :)

Welcome to the forum.

Offline NateF350

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Re: solar kiln in progress
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2019, 12:29:14 PM »
Thanks for the tips Gene, I spent a lot of time reading many of your post on here about solar kilns. My lumber is already down to 12-14 percent so I have that going for me. We are having good clear weather so I donít think Iíll have a problem getting down to at least 6-7 percent which is what I had done to the other boards I used in the house. Itís holding up good.

Yea I wish I would have built the solar kiln awhile ago. I can see a possible Nyle L53 in my future also


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