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Author Topic: Starting a business with iDry kiln  (Read 861 times)

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Offline tyofwa

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Starting a business with iDry kiln
« on: February 21, 2021, 12:28:52 AM »
Well, the dream became a reality this month.   I've decided its time to exit the corporate world and spend my days pursuing more meaningful and rewarding pursuits.   Last year I met Jeff (Redbeard) at the gas station.  Jeff and Kelly have offered me encouragement and support as I queried them about their business and my intent to make a jump into self-employment.  

I decided to begin a business downstream of milling operations like RedBeard's - offering slab drying, flattening, and sanding services.  We ordered an iDry Standard kiln and an Avid CNC router, and began remodeling our shop accordingly.  Jeff graciously offered his assistance to help unload the kiln, and yesterday we completed the task.  Sadly, my phone battery ran out of juice, and the delivery driver was less than cooperative so we dont have any pictures of the load / unload.  

Here's the kiln on my trailer  - 



The unloading with my son and help from our neighbor - 








 

Finally aligned and shrinkwrap removed. 


 

Jeff and his neighbor plan on stopping by tomorrow to see our progress.  Ill be running PEX and an internet line in the morning, and then power gets hooked up on Monday.  All in all, a VERY productive weekend.  At this pace Ill be drying wood by the late next week.  

The rest of the shop will be operational by late March.  The CNC equipment arrives mid-March.  We have sheetrock up on some remodeled walls, and should have that wrapped up later next week.  Ill use this thread to update progress.  

Some questions for this community -  

  • How are you scheduling loads into the kiln?  
  • How often do you open the door?  
  • How do you manage / queue loads?  
  • Do you offer delivery services?  
  • How do you keep track of customer's inventory?  

I have a ton to learn, but eager to begin this new chapter.  

Cheers, 
Ty
coastalwood.works - contact with domain owner | Epik.com  (just the domain now, will be built out during the month of March)
Embarking on a new journey.  Here to learn, grow, and share.

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Starting a business with iDry kiln
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2021, 06:17:25 AM »
congratulations!  good luck
timberking B 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor 12 volt tarp motor

Offline sumpnz

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Re: Starting a business with iDry kiln
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2021, 11:26:23 AM »
What part of WA are you in?  If not too far I might work a deal with you to dry some maple slabs for me.  If you want to experiment with wood that I dont care if it gets ruined I have some alder I can bring you (again, if not too far).

Offline GAB

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Re: Starting a business with iDry kiln
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2021, 11:54:48 AM »
Tyofwa:
I hope you continue to post as I am interested in knowing how you do.
I think sumpnz's offer at an opportunity, should an accident or mishap happen resulting in the production of some high priced firewood at a low cost to you, is a good one.
Wishing you the very best.
GAB
W-M LT40HDD34 w/6' ext & SLR, JD 420, JD 950w/loader and Woods backhoe, V3507 Fransguard winch, Cordwood Saw, 18' flat bed trailer, and other toys.

Offline tyofwa

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Re: Starting a business with iDry kiln
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2021, 01:37:22 AM »
What part of WA are you in?  If not too far I might work a deal with you to dry some maple slabs for me.  If you want to experiment with wood that I dont care if it gets ruined I have some alder I can bring you (again, if not too far).
Im in South Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island.  There's about 800 BF going in the 1st run by the weekend (my stuff - 2-3" maple slabs), Im happy to throw in some of yours if you can get it here.  I'd prefer to get a couple of runs to tune the process.  
I'm blocked on setting up the track until the other side of my shop completes - waiting on sheetrock finishing at the moment.  When the track is up we are ready to cook.  
Embarking on a new journey.  Here to learn, grow, and share.

Offline sumpnz

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Re: Starting a business with iDry kiln
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2021, 10:30:31 AM »
Right now Im whittling through my alder and birch before I mill the maple.  By this weekend I might have as much as 600-800bf.  Youre about an hour away from me.  Ill see if can get it down to you, but that might require my buddys truck (if hes available he likes that kind of stuff).  Dont think the van can handle that weight.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Starting a business with iDry kiln
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2021, 10:52:13 AM »
Good Morning tyofwa and Welcome to the Forestry Forum.  PatD and I visited with and ate some Dungeness Crabs with Jeff and Kelly in 2019.   LINK

Tell them Hello for us.  :)

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Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline barbender

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Re: Starting a business with iDry kiln
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2021, 02:23:24 PM »
Nice, and good luck in your new venture!
Too many irons in the fire

Offline tyofwa

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Re: Starting a business with iDry kiln
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2021, 12:16:33 AM »
Good Morning tyofwa and Welcome to the Forestry Forum.  PatD and I visited with and ate some Dungeness Crabs with Jeff and Kelly in 2019.   LINK

Tell them Hello for us.  :)
Will do.  Great pics from 2019.   Glad you had a good time and got to see BC before the border closure.  My wife and I regularly visited; always found the people to be friendly and the scenery breathtaking.  Looking forward to resuming free travel one day.  
Embarking on a new journey.  Here to learn, grow, and share.

Offline scsmith42

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Re: Starting a business with iDry kiln
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2021, 02:58:09 AM »
Some questions for this community -  

  • How are you scheduling loads into the kiln?  
  • How often do you open the door?  
  • How do you manage / queue loads?  
  • Do you offer delivery services?  
  • How do you keep track of customer's inventory?  


Looking good! Best of success to you on your new endeavor.
I started with a Nyle L200 in 2003 and today have five kilns, two sawmills and a dedicated slabber, and another Nyle awaiting a chamber. Im not using vacuum though so YMMV.
Re your questions above, here is my process.
Kiln scheduling is based upon species, MC% and thickness. When above 20% Mc we will group similar drying rates together in a solar kiln, using it as a pre-drier. Once below 16% or so we transfer to a Nyle for finish off and sterilization.
Fully air dried customer wood below 16% Mc is staged in a drying barn awaiting space in a Nyle.
Re opening the door, this is different for vacuum versus the others. On the Nyle we will open daily or every few days for a visual check. The objective is to minimize open time so the door is closed back up while we are inside.  Remote probes provide daily shell and core MC% readings.
Loads are queued based upon kiln availability and drying rate. They may be quad for several weeks awaiting kiln availability.
I prefer not to deliver because I have not been able to make the same profit margin as when Im milling or drying, but will do so on occasion if its a large custom order. 
Customer inventory is tagged with their name, phone number and work description using plastic tags and paint markers. It also goes Into a notebook with a board / slab Talley and their contact info. Dont use a sharpie on the tags, they will fade if exposed to too much sunlight. On larger orders we will paint the ends of the boards with a unique paint color designating it for the customer. I buy the marked down reject cans of lates paint from a local paint center for this.
One thing that I have learned in 17 years of kiln drying.... if you rush it bad things will happen. In most situations, Patience is indeed a virtue when it comes to kiln drying.
Peterson 10" WPF with 65' of track
Smith - Gallagher dedicated slabber
Tom's 3638D Baker band mill
and a mix of log handling heavy equipment.


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