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Author Topic: Portable solar kiln in progress.  (Read 2590 times)

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Offline Delawhere Jack

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Portable solar kiln in progress.
« on: October 16, 2016, 08:47:40 PM »
I mentioned this idea a little over a year ago here on the FF. Finally getting it done. Basically the Virginia Tech design with some slight modifications. Shortened the north wall about 1 foot to avoid clearance issues while on the road. There will be three doors on the north wall for loading, each 4 feet wide that will be lifted out for loading. It will accept 12' max material, and hold about 1,000 bf.

 

  

  

 

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2016, 06:38:44 AM »
Looks really fine indeed.  One question...do you have a small door so you can get in to inspect and check the lumber during drying?
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline AnthonyW

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2016, 09:43:29 PM »
Delawhere Jack: I see you are building on a single axle landscape trailer. I would estimate a 2500 or 3750 axle capacity. Have you estimated the weight of the kiln and of the lumber placed in it? Even 1000 bdft of green white pine is estimated to weigh 3000 pounds, and that does not include the weight of the kiln.
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Offline Delawhere Jack

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2016, 05:24:07 PM »
Gene, Yes, there will be a small door, about 20" x 40" on the west wall adjacent to the north wall.

Offline Delawhere Jack

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2016, 05:27:33 PM »
Delawhere Jack: I see you are building on a single axle landscape trailer. I would estimate a 2500 of 3750 axle capacity. Have you estimated the weight of the kiln and of the lumber placed in it? Even 1000 bdft of green white pine is estimated to weigh 3000 pounds, and that does not include the weight of the kiln.

Anthony, the combined kiln and trailer should come in around 3,200lbs. The axle is rated at 3,500. There will be jacks at all four corners, and it will not be moved while loaded.

Offline Darrel

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2016, 10:22:56 PM »
I like this concept.  I will watch this thread to see how it goes.  keep up the good work and also keep the pictures coming. 
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2016, 07:50:58 AM »
A stickered load of freshly sawn oak weighs more than 6000 pounds per MBF.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline Darrel

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2016, 11:49:39 AM »
A stickered load of freshly sawn oak weighs more than 6000 pounds per MBF.

I am thinking, that much weight on this trailer would require more jacks than just the four corners.  The springs and axel won't support enough of the weight and the trailer will sag in the middle.  I'd also put jacks forward and aft of the axel.
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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2016, 04:38:28 PM »
Now you can dry wood going 70 mph down the Interstate. 
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2016, 07:13:54 AM »
You also need to add the weight of the stickers and other wood, such as 4x4.  You also need a roof that can withstand 70 mph, which means the normal construction techniques must be modified.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Online thecfarm

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2016, 08:56:23 PM »
Take all back roads,35mph tops.  :D That is half as fast.
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Offline Delawhere Jack

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2016, 10:17:21 PM »
I appreciate all of the observations, and I know this is "pushing the envelope" on kiln design. If worse comes to worse, this one will end up as a stationary kiln. It has occurred to me that a smaller model may be more practical. But I'm forging ahead with this. I am certainly keeping highway speeds, overhead clearance and loaded weight in mind.

Hope I don't end up with a Spruce Goose!!  :o

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2016, 10:34:19 PM »
Slowly coming together. I've been sidetracked with lots of milling work and replacing my furnace lately, but have made some good progress the last few days. Rafters, polycarb panels and ridge cap installed. Still need to sheath the west wall and build doors.

 

 

Offline Darrel

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2016, 12:16:21 AM »
Looking good!
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Offline Delawhere Jack

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2016, 09:14:21 PM »
West wall sheathed, east, west and south walls insulated and interior sheathing installed. Exterior all primed. Have tarps covering the north wall door opening, and the man-door in the west wall due to thunderstorms this evening.

While insulating and installing the interior sheathing this afternoon, the kiln was facing south-west. Boy it gets warm in there!  :D And that's with the north wall door opening wide open.

Got to admit, there are a lot of things I've done stupidly in building this.  smiley_whacko

I really should have built the kiln on the ground and then placed it on the trailer.

My framing skills grade a D-.  :-[  (luckily it hasn't cost my too much lost material).

I should have primed and painted the sheathing before installing it. It's a real pain in the butt trying to paint around the side rails of the trailer.

No major foul ups, but a lot of wisdom in hindsight.... I'll get some more photos tomorrow. It was getting dark when I wrapped up today, and all I wanted to do was get home and shower off the fiberglass insulation dust.  bath_smiley


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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2016, 09:34:12 PM »
As I always say,you need to do something twice to know how to do it the second time.
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Offline Delawhere Jack

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2016, 05:47:15 PM »
As I always say,you need to do something twice to know how to do it the second time.

I blame my hubris... Seem to have more than my share at times... Think it's a genetic thing.  ::)

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2016, 05:57:19 PM »
It's coming along. I've been so busy milling lately I haven't had much time to work on it. Anyway, exterior primed and painted. Will need a second coat. East, west and south walls insulated and sheathed on the inside. Put the first coat of paint on the exterior today after milling a small job. At 2pm it was well over 100 degrees inside, with just tarps loosely covering the door openings. It was 68-70 outside.

 

  

  

  

 


Offline Delawhere Jack

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2016, 08:05:56 PM »
The build is coming along. The north wall doors are built, fan plenum and fans installed, and the inside sealed with foundation coating. Will get some more pics soon.

A couple questions:

What are you other solar kiln guys using for baffle material? I looked into getting used retractable awning (Sun Setter type awning) fabric. Talked to a guy who installs them, but he said they're done for the season, and they throw the old ones out.

I'm thinking of making something like a roller shade blind on the outside that can be extended over the collector to adjust collector size for smaller loads. Has anyone done something like this?

Photos are worth a thousand words. ;)

Thanks. John.


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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2016, 11:03:47 PM »
I used a dark green tarp for a baffle, attached at the bottom of the wooden fan deck, and draped down over the wood stack.  It's been going strong for many years and I wouldn't want to use anything else, except maybe a black canvass one. 

I wouldn't worry about the smaller loads, if you think things aren't right and you are getting too much heat, the easy solution is to just open the vents more to cool the inside off.  I've even cracked the door open some, a solar kiln is extremely forgiving. 
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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2016, 06:45:29 PM »
Thanks YH.

Offline Warren

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2019, 10:46:27 AM »
Delawhere Jack,

Any learnings or reflections after having your portable solar kiln for a couple years ?  I am considering doing something similar with a 12ft skid steer trailer.

Thank you !
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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2019, 04:30:26 PM »
Yellowhammer
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2019, 01:54:54 PM »
Painting or staining the exterior walls a dark color will help, because of solar heating, evaporate any water inside the walls.

When driving down the road, a small air leak and/or fluttering of the roof will result in a little more fluttering and then more and then finally the roof panels fly off.  So, maybe a tarp when driving that goes over the roof and is nailed down especially in the front of the trailer would be a good idea to minimize the risk.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline jimbarry

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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2019, 03:15:57 PM »
^^ what he said ^^
Jim
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Re: Portable solar kiln in progress.
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2019, 07:34:07 PM »
@Delawhere Jack folks are talking in front of your back. We want to know how this came out, really.
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