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Author Topic: Settin' up a Kiln  (Read 2434 times)

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Offline Mrs._Stump_Jumper

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Settin' up a Kiln
« on: May 13, 2005, 05:38:03 PM »
We are thinking of setting up a kiln with wood heat possibly a boiler unit. 

We would like to set it up using possibly car or truck radiators. We would run antifreeze through the radiators and an underground coil system with a circulation pump we would have fans in front of the radiators to help pull the hot moist air through so the moisture can condensate on the radiator and drip into a pan and run outside.  The coil would be in the ground about 4ft deep and keep the antifreeze cool.

Does this sound like it would work? ???  If so we are wondering how much underground coil we would need and what should this coil be made of? ??? Has anyone done anything like this before or have any ideas? ???

I realize it wouldn't be high tech but with some experimenting maybe it will work out.

Maybe this has been talked about before but I haven't seen it.
Delcy - Morley, MI
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Offline Jason_WI

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Re: Settin' up a Kiln
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2005, 07:01:49 PM »
I think you woud be better with a heat and vent conventional kiln. You will have better control of the RH inside the kiln this way.

Jason
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Offline Mrs._Stump_Jumper

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Re: Settin' up a Kiln
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2005, 09:24:52 AM »
So how does a conventional kiln need to be set up? ???  I understand that you need heat and vents to open and let the hot moist air out every so often do I do this manually or is there automatic controllers for this?  Do the vents need to be forced air? Where is a good place to read on a conventional kiln?
Delcy - Morley, MI
'07 F350 Dually, Diesel, Flatbed
3 Lovely Children Jonathon, Monica, and (Jeff)
2 Brittany Spaniels:  Buddy and Pumpkin Pie

Offline Mrs._Stump_Jumper

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Re: Settin' up a Kiln
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2005, 09:28:50 AM »
What are the pros and cons of a conventional kiln verses dehumidifying unit does one produce better lumber than the other or faster or anything along that line?
Delcy - Morley, MI
'07 F350 Dually, Diesel, Flatbed
3 Lovely Children Jonathon, Monica, and (Jeff)
2 Brittany Spaniels:  Buddy and Pumpkin Pie

Offline Gilman

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Re: Settin' up a Kiln
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2005, 01:57:53 PM »
Mrs.
You could probably control the humidity with a controller like this one.  When the humidity gets too low, have it shut off your circulating-cooling pump. 

https://www.dwyer-inst.com/htdocs/humidity/SeriesHSPrice.cfm
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Offline TnAndy

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Re: Settin' up a Kiln
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2005, 08:43:03 PM »
What are the pros and cons of a conventional kiln verses dehumidifying unit does one produce better lumber than the other or faster or anything along that line?

A "conventional" kiln ( high temp, vented ) is a good way to go if you have cheap energy, like scrap wood or dust to get rid of anyway.  The downside to a high temp kiln is the drying is a science....you can flat ruin a load of wood if you don't know what you are doing.  There are strict schedules that must be applied to have consistant sucess.    One nice thing about high temps, they will kill off any bugs like powder post beetle larve.

The dehumdifier kiln you're proposing will probably work, but you're going to have to play with it to get it to work right.

My own kiln in my shop I run off an old window airconditioner.  I ran a small radiator in it as well for a short time using cold water from a creek right behing the shop, just pumping it thru the radiator.  Really didn't need the extra dehumidification, so I took it out....but if I were running another source of heat ( not the waste heat off the AC ), I'd probaby try it.  You're gonna need a pretty fair amount of surface area, since your water is going to be in the 50 degree range compared to freon at probably zero or less when it goes from high pressure liquid coming off the compressor to a gas in the evaporator section ( the cold coil on the front )....but I guess you could just keep adding radiators until you get what you need.

Bottom line, I'm sure it can be done, but you SURE ain't gonna find it detailed in a book....ahahahaaa

How big a kiln you planning ?
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Offline Mrs._Stump_Jumper

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Re: Settin' up a Kiln
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2005, 09:26:07 AM »
Thank you for all of the good replies very good thank you.

We are thinking of setting up a kiln that will hold about 6000 bd ft.  The room will be appox. 10'w x 48' l and approx 8' ceiling.  It will be a lean to off an existing barn.
Delcy - Morley, MI
'07 F350 Dually, Diesel, Flatbed
3 Lovely Children Jonathon, Monica, and (Jeff)
2 Brittany Spaniels:  Buddy and Pumpkin Pie

Offline ElectricAl

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Re: Settin' up a Kiln
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2005, 07:52:31 PM »
Mrs._Stump_Jumper,


Automotive radiators will not heat your chamber fast enough or hot enough.  A better option is two or three of Central Boiler's biggest heat exchangers.

WWW.CentralBoiler.com

A cold water loop has a fair amount of expense with little real effect.

A power vent controlled by a simple Wet/Dry bulb controller will add more control through the entire drying cycle.  With a Wet/Dry bulb controller standard kiln schedules can be used with good results. The controller will regulate the temp and humidity within the chamber.

You will also need 8 fans that will produce around 3500 CFM each hanging from the ceiling. When shopping for fans you'll need motors that can stand 140 degrees ambient temp.
If you plan to use an outdoor wood burner a water temp of 180 will allow the kiln to goto 145.  Enough to kill bugs and set pine pitch.

To determine the width of the chamber, take the sticker thickness times the number of sticks plus the thickness of all bolsters. An example is for 2 packs with 15 rows each. Sticks are planed one side to a uniform 3/4". So 14 sticker rows times .75 = 10.5" times 2 = 21" plus a 3" bolster = 24".  Now your air plenum on each side needs to be at least 24" in width.
With a 4' wide pack of lumber you'll need a little more than 8' inside the chamber.
Linda and I custom saw NHLA Grade Lumber, do retail sales, and provide Kiln Services full time.

Offline TnAndy

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Re: Settin' up a Kiln
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2005, 07:26:51 PM »
Hey Al,

I think ya missed her intent here......her plan is to run cool to cold water thru the radiators so the hot moist air will condense on the cold surfaces and run off as condensate.

Dehumidification rather than standard high temp venting kiln.



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Offline Buzz-sawyer

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Re: Settin' up a Kiln
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2005, 09:52:47 PM »
member MURF cools his shop this way :)
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Offline ElectricAl

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Re: Settin' up a Kiln
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2005, 10:33:35 PM »
Tn...Andy,


I understand the concept very well.  Just keep the radiator temp below the Dewpoint temp. 


I just added some extra info to think about when designing the chamber.









Linda and I custom saw NHLA Grade Lumber, do retail sales, and provide Kiln Services full time.


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