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Author Topic: Finished the Solar Kiln...sort of.  (Read 702 times)

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Online D6c

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Finished the Solar Kiln...sort of.
« on: March 18, 2020, 05:46:24 PM »
I finally got the kiln all put together and set in place.  I'd built it inside my shop building and had pulled it out early this winter to free up space so it's been sitting out in a temporary spot for a while.

I was having trouble deciding where to place it that had good sun and was out of the way, then realized there was a concrete pad just over the fence in the hay field that had an unused cattle waterer on it.  I pulled the waterer, opened a hole in the fence and used the skid loader to pull it into position.  It's built on skids so it's easy to move.  I'll have to widen the opening the fence for longer lumber, and probably should fence around the kiln in case I put cattle back in that field sometime.



 

 



 

We get quite a bit of wind here so I temporarily put in some screw anchors and chained it down.  Wouldn't you know it, on the other end I tried 7 spots to screw in the anchors....hit a rock 7 times in a row.  I'll probably have to get some concrete anchors for that end.



 

Fans are in place but not wired yet.  They're attic fans with a thermostat control to turn them on at the set temp.  I have to run electric from the machine shed that's about 50' away.  Might also wire in a light and an outlet.



 

 


I set a stack of cedar in the kiln and built roll-up particians to force the air flow through the stack.  One long one across that rolls down from the fan particion and one on each side that rolls in from the sidewall to the stack.  The side curtains have a hook at the top of the roll that go in holes to keep it in place up against the stack.



 

I made a couple of hooks at the top of the long tarp so I can roll it up  and lay it in the hooks to keep it out of the way when loading & unloading the kiln.

It's been pretty cloudy and cool the last few days, but even on cloudy days it gets fairly warm inside.....probably 20 above outside air temp.  Hope it all works.
Now I just need to learn how to run it.....

Offline btulloh

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Re: Finished the Solar Kiln...sort of.
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2020, 05:59:12 PM »
Looks good. Nice job on the baffling. Looks effective and easy to manipulate. I may have to steal your idea on that. My curtains are not nearly as elegant. 
HM126

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Re: Finished the Solar Kiln...sort of.
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2020, 06:40:19 PM »
Cows have to have something to rub on :D
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5-111, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Finished the Solar Kiln...sort of.
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2020, 09:17:09 AM »
I am about to start framing my solar kiln, but decided to get the neighbors to build a pipe skid to set it on. Had them stack 2 pipes for the long runners, and use pipe across on 32" centers.  The thing seems solid enough to not twist or sag between ends, so easy to set it about anywhere when it is finished.  Put the frame in the corner of a pole barn, so I could work on it, but it rains every night, and the road is so muddy can't get the material to it as yet.
Most everything I enjoy doing turns out to be work

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Finished the Solar Kiln...sort of.
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2020, 09:07:40 PM »
Very nicely crafted!  Well done sir!
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
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and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.

Online D6c

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Re: Finished the Solar Kiln...sort of.
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2020, 05:06:13 PM »
I got the kiln fans wired up today.  It's a VERY temporary wiring job that's not near code but my electrician friend is working lots of hours and trying to limit his contact with people, as am I.  Managed to scrounge up enough wire and components around home to get it wired safely, if not to code.

The attic fans I'm using came with thermostats pre-wired so they will come on at the temp you set.  On one fan I swapped out the thermostat for a combination thermostat/humidistat.  The idea being that if, the kiln is cool but moisture is high, one fan will kick on to circulate air.  Not sure if it will work out in practice or not, but the humidistat can be turned off if not desired.

I've got a stack of ERC in the kiln that's been air drying for about two years.  Figured I couldn't hurt it too much while learning how to run the kiln.
We've had a lot of cool, cloudy & rainy days lately but it's a little better today at around 60.  What's a good temp to have fans come on....something like 80?  The vents are mostly open right now and not sure where I should be there either.

Any advice on good starting point for temp, humidity and vent settings for this first load of wood?



 


Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Finished the Solar Kiln...sort of.
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2020, 06:16:41 PM »
The moisture is likely around 16% MC.  Close the vents almost all the way.  This will get the heat you need to finish the wood.  Do you have a moisture meter?  What is your target?  You might have it dry within a week.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Online D6c

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Re: Finished the Solar Kiln...sort of.
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2020, 07:43:46 PM »
The moisture is likely around 16% MC.  Close the vents almost all the way.  This will get the heat you need to finish the wood.  Do you have a moisture meter?  What is your target?  You might have it dry within a week.
I have a Delmhorst moisture meter.  Before going in the kiln it was checking about 13%, but that's just checking a few boards on the outside edge of the stack.  
I'd like to get it down around 7 or 8%.
I read about having sample pieces in the stack but I'm not clear on the procedures....got a lot more to learn.

Offline whittle1

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Re: Finished the Solar Kiln...sort of.
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2022, 10:00:42 AM »
Nice job on the Baffling, Think I will steal your idea. What material are you using?


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