Kiln Chamber

Started by K-Guy, January 31, 2019, 04:30:16 PM

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Hi Guys
I'm curious to hear what your chamber sizes are. We always think we know but I want to hear from you and what model your kiln is.
Nyle Service Dept.
A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
- D. Adams


L53.  Chamber is 11.5' wide, 10' deep, and 8' high.  Double doors open wide and load the kiln with tractor with forks. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5-111, Kubota L2501, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.


A Yellow Hammer 40' Sea-can Special with a KD250 and 6 fans overhead. Sure is breezy in there!!  
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.
White Oak Meadows


I built a container kiln 16 years ago.  I started with a 45' high cube container and insulated it.  Maximum stack width is 48" and maximum height is 72".  It has 6 fans, three of which can be closed off for low bd ft loads.  The L200 is installed in a "bay window" sized chamber on the side of the container.  Stickered lumber is forked onto kiln carts outside of the kiln and then winched in. It's been in almost constant use for 15 years.

Having processed many hundreds of loads through this system, I can state that I am not a fan of it.  What worked well on paper (offbearing from the sawmill directly onto a kiln cart) was more labor intensive in practice than in theory.  I also feel that it takes me at least an hour longer to load per charge versus forking directly in from the side.

Additionally, it is my opinion that the air flow inside the long, narrow chamber is not optimum.

It is my plan to build two new kiln chambers this year (I have a second L200 bought years back from a FF member).  The kiln chamber will be sized for up to 4000 bd ft of 4/4 oak to be forked directly in from barn style doors on the side of the chamber.  I will keep my current 4' deep stickered stacks, because that is a good size for many forklift fork lengths.  The chamber will be designed in terms of height, width and depth to allow me to place four 1000 bd ft stacks inside - two side by side and stacked 2 high.  I am anticipating a depth of 13', give or take, in order to have 3-4' of clearance in front of and behind the stacks, and also for the L200 unit to be located along the back wall w/o impeding walk access by the lumber.  

The main new addition that I would like to make to it is a fast and effective method of baffling the stacks.  Currently I drop down hinged plywood panels on top of the stacks but it takes a while to baffle under the carts and on the ends.  This I would like to expedite.

There are benefits to container kilns, but in 15 years of operation I have noted consistent deltas between drying rates for lumber placed at the far ends of the container versus what is stacked on the middle carts.  

My 2 cents.  YMMV.
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.


High cube shipping container. I have very comsistent drying by providing a larg flat plenum area in front of the kiln machine and angling the top baffle fans to create a corkscrew effect for the airflow to blow out the corners.  I've checked with my handy annemoter, and have very consistent airflow from one end to the other.  Heavy canvas drop down baffles that the carts slide under without doing any handling.  I couldn't be happier, and if I needed 10 more kilns they would be in this configuration.

Stickered lumber, 4 packs, is loaded via pallets and forklift onto kiln carts and 3,000 lb loads of granite palletted and loaded in top of each stack. Then the carts are simply pushed into the kiln with the forklift. The L200M moisure prones are sweet.   

I also have a stick built kiln, and it is a pain in the keyster.  Door seals, vents, concrete floors, etc, all cause trouble.  

Take steps to save steps.

If it won't roll, its not a log; it's still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, they're burned, and you can't fix them.

Sawing is fun for the first couple million boards.

Be smarter than the sawdust


L200M. Bldg is 10x20x8ft.