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Author Topic: Amish milk house into a dehumidifier kiln??  (Read 350 times)

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Offline GreatScott

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Amish milk house into a dehumidifier kiln??
« on: July 28, 2021, 12:16:02 PM »
Hi all, I'm 100% completely new to forums and to kiln drying. Here's my question.. I might have the opportunity to aquire a used Amish milk house collection building and want to make it into a kiln, maybe a dehumidifier kiln? The building has a concrete floor, power, low ceiling around 8' and is well insulated and approximately 12' wide by 20' long. I know nothing about kiln drying per say, other than I deal with a wide Amish community and there is definitely a high demand for drying lumber, mainly pine and the occasional hemlock and cedar. Because of the high moisture content in pine is why I'm thinking a dehumidifier kiln. So here's my main questions, I need to do this as cheaply as possible at least until I build some capital, but also need to dry pine from green to dry in approximately 2 weeks, I'm guessing if I stack right I can fit 3k to 4k board feet into the building, I'm thinking adding fans, baffles, a home dehumidifier (how big?) And a added heat source if the dehumidifier doesn't produce enough heat or to heat treat/set sap and sterilize at the end(electric heater? Old trailer propane or kerosene furnace blowing hot air into the building?). If I sound like I'm thinking correct, what dehumidifier would withstand the interior temps and remove enough moisture? I'm not exactly understanding the dry bulb wet bulb terminology, hoping to find someone local to explain it better(I'm in northern New York near Ogdensburg). Also what would the proper schedule be as far as pine let's say, for how long to use only air flow, air flow and dehumidifier, or add heat? Any and all tips, answer's or thoughts would be extremely helpful, again I'm trying to use the cheapest quickest method at least to get started, thanks all in advance!

Offline Tom the Sawyer

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Re: Amish milk house into a dehumidifier kiln??
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2021, 02:16:17 PM »
I am sure some will be along with low-budget approaches for your building but my first concern would be low ceiling height, considering that you would need a fan wall running the length of the building.  That potential 2' height will limit how much wood you can dry.  Another concern would be the uninsulated, concrete floor, which you could insulate at the cost of more interior height.
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Amish milk house into a dehumidifier kiln??
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2021, 04:12:45 PM »
so if you are new, many of the generic concepts you ask about can be found on various threads here.  @GeneWengert-WoodDoc is an authority on kiln drying and wood, and is part of this forum.  he has written handbooks on drying hardwood and other available for download online.  he also has done many webinars available through the NHLA (national hardwood lumber association)  you have to register, and if you have trouble it will be because even your name and address cannot have spaces in the sign up page. then all kinds of webinars are available to tell all the reasons why this will not work well over time.  it will work, but it may be easier and cheaper other ways.  most home humidifiers have a temp limit, and will only last a few years in that environment.  If the lumber is for framing and such, it only needs to be under 20% and can be done outside airdrying and with poss. addition of fans.  cost some electricity.  can be cheap plastic 20 dollar box fans, or 100 dollar meatal bigger fans.  most places can air dry to 12% in the summer.  at least start out air drying, and then if you need 7%, you can finish in the DH kiln, when much of the rapid water removal is done by airdrying.  7% would be for finished indoor projects.  if you are paying to add heat, then insulation becomes an issue, and if not waterproofed/sealed well, the insulation will not last.  you will need to seal the concrete or it will degrade form the chemical extracted from the wet wood with the water.  you could look at building a series of solar Kilns and the plans are online via Virginia Tech.  Dr. Wengert was involved in its original design.  costs and efficiencies are discussed.  Your best bet, if you have the building, is to airdry, and if needed finish in the building with a box store dehumidifier (to be replaced in a few years).  I airdry and finish in an uninsulated 10 x 20 container with a dehumidifier.  down to 7%.  I do hardwood in their.  softwood is all just airdried.  air drying can be done well, and it can be done poorly.  lots of thread evolving stickering, and that may be the place to start.  

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