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Author Topic: Kiln investment  (Read 2482 times)

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Offline TN_man

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Kiln investment
« on: February 21, 2006, 06:42:49 AM »
I have been considering adding a kiln to my business based on a few comments that I have read here that have said that it was one of the best things that they did for their business. Is this the general consenses? or have they been more pain then payments? and do they tie you down to your house too much, like no extended vacations or trips?
I have my eye on a used wood-mizer vacuum kiln and I know they had some problems with them. Is this something I should stay away from or have people had success with these kilns?
I appreciate your feed back and I am sorry for all the questions. I have a WM lt20 and a Peterson swingblade that I use to make slabs and turning blanks as well 4/4 lumber (oak mostly) and this is how I would plan on using them.
Thanks,
Jeff
WM LT-20 solar-kiln Case 885 4x4 w/ front end loader  80 acre farm  little time or money

Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Kiln investment
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2006, 07:08:36 AM »
I haven't yet built my kiln but I think this is one of those times when a person can have a valid opinion anyhow, as I have done alot of research and talked to quite a few sawyers about it. I haven't talked to a single person who has regretted having a kiln.
It sounds like you would be using it more than just a little too. In fact keeping a charge in it most of the time? If so then yes it absolutely makes sense.
As to the debt question only you can answer that. As a general rule I avoid borrowing. God has been very generous to us. Once you are debt free it's such a liberating feeling that you just don't want to get back in it.
Now if you are asking if a kiln would produce enough income to make it's own payments? That's where I can't speak with any firsthand knowledge but obviously it depends on if you have a product that the market wants, but I'll leave that to those who actually know what they are talking about.
Only thing I would say is, if you can't buy it outright, can you sell something/s you don't really need anymore to pay for it?
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.

Offline eagles nest

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Re: Kiln investment
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2006, 08:30:11 AM »
i too will be adding a kiln to my setup i went around to 2 cabnet shops & one retail outlet wood store to see if there is a market & have 2 coustermers whaiting now i plan to build a solar kiln that will handle 3000 -4000 bf at a time with wood heated hot water assting in winter. check out kiln at

i havent had any luck selling green white oak here & thats most of whats on our farm so its a no brainer for us wood have allready done this but had health problems last year

Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Kiln investment
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2006, 08:59:53 AM »
I enjoyed your website eaglesnest thanks for posting it.
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.

Offline TN_man

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Re: Kiln investment
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2006, 09:27:12 AM »
KevJay,
Right now we are debt free and I agree with you about debt being bonding. I am praying about this purchase as well as seeking advice from others.
I don't know if I could keep it full all the time but I believe I would be close to it. I am hoping to get more value out of the lumber that I already handle.
Thanks for the responses,
Jeff
WM LT-20 solar-kiln Case 885 4x4 w/ front end loader  80 acre farm  little time or money

Offline TexasTimbers

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Re: Kiln investment
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2006, 09:43:09 AM »
That's great news Jeff, all things considered I don't see how you can lose now! 8) 8) 8)
The oil is all in Texas, but the dipsticks are in D.C.

Offline eagles nest

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Re: Kiln investment
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2006, 06:28:59 PM »
that wasnt my websight , but i bought the plans for the solar kiln  from jim at that websight
but its not mine


Offline Ga_Boy

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Re: Kiln investment
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2006, 08:11:51 PM »
Jeff,

Regarding the Woodmizer kiln, talk with either Garrett or Den at PC Speciality.  They have a good bit of knowledge with these units in terms of rebuilding them so they work better.   The last I heard Den was looking to get out of the servicing of Woodmizer kilns, but you need to talk with Den about this to be sure.

From what I know about the Woodmizer Kilns the vacuum pumps are undersized and there is a history of the electric blankets shorting out and burning the charge.  Hot water heating plates are a better solution for heating the charge but PC Speciality is the resident expet on Vaccum Kilns.

There is another company that manufactures Vacuum Kilns.  Rule of thumb if you are looking to purchase a new vacuum unit is about $150K once you add the support systems.  This amount is for a 1Mbf capacity kiln.

If you want more info let me know.  I have been doing some vacuum kiln research.  I want to add one to my operation, but do not have the coin to do it yet.




Mark

10 Acers in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Offline TN_man

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Re: Kiln investment
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2006, 09:05:00 AM »
Mark,
Thanks for the reply!

I have sent a PM to Den about this question, but he is on vaction right, I think.
I will get in contact with them today, hopefully.
WM LT-20 solar-kiln Case 885 4x4 w/ front end loader  80 acre farm  little time or money

Offline Brad_S.

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Re: Kiln investment
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2006, 09:36:33 AM »
I have a friend who runs a WM vac kiln. It certainly is a temperamental beast. Beyond what Mark said, I will add that it makes the meter spin! Because of that, the utility company has him on a demand meter. It needs constant monitoring, so if he leaves for a few days, I have to monitor it for him and call him if things look goofy. He hates to leave it empty to go away because he has to pay the big electric bill whether he actually uses it or not.

I have a Nyle and a small Koetter, and it definitely adds value to lumber and well worth the investment costs.
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." J. Lennon

Offline TN_man

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Re: Kiln investment
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2006, 09:54:06 AM »
Thanks for the input Brad!
I need to add, that the one I am looking at is the Vac-1000 model, which is the smaller one. I don't know if it makes much of a difference.
Sounds like you may have to keep the thing full just to pay the electric bill. I was just hoping to be able to do the larger dimension lumber as a niche kind of thing.
WM LT-20 solar-kiln Case 885 4x4 w/ front end loader  80 acre farm  little time or money

Offline Brad_S.

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Re: Kiln investment
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2006, 10:05:18 AM »
Here's a link to his site, specifically to his drying page. I don't think he'd mind an e-mail with vac questions.
http://www.mdbindustries.com/kilndrying.htm
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." J. Lennon


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