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Author Topic: Hot Box  (Read 4271 times)

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Offline caveman

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Hot Box
« on: June 07, 2019, 08:53:44 PM »
John and I needed to ensure that we could have hardwoods that were free of  PPB.  We have not had a problem with them but we have been reluctant to sell any hardwoods that may cause an issue for customers down the road.  We spray with DOT off of the mill but we want to take every precaution.

A little while ago we decided to build a box and insulate and heat it to do this job.  We will install the rest of the insulation tomorrow.  We spent longer than I anticipated to get the doors hung and trimmed today.  The heat source will be halogen lights.  We still need to do the corners and stain the wood.
 

 

 

 

Offline E-Tex

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2019, 10:30:31 PM »
Looks very nice.
What are the dimensions?
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Offline WDH

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2019, 07:32:05 AM »
When you don't have any lumber to sterilize, you can smoke a hog in there. 
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Offline Don P

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2019, 08:35:16 AM »
You'll have to talk to them that know but I think halogens might make hot spots, like a magnifying glass on dry leaves?
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Offline caveman

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2019, 12:28:47 PM »
We are going to put a fan inside to stir the air.  The dimensions inside of the insulation are 45" deep, 49" tall, and 11' 4" wide.  My tractor's forks are 42" and that is the width we try to make our lumber stacks.  The front insulation panel will have to be removed each time we load or unload it but it is made so that if we have a small load we can push it towards the back making the heated area smaller.  

WDH, I have plenty of smokers that I can smoke a hog or several  hogs on.  We have discussed installing a window shaker AC, a PVC pipe pee hole, TV and a recliner and it would be the perfect place to take mini imaginary vacations to destinations like Colorado or Alaska (just stay in there bundled up until we run out of food or it cools down around here).

If the halogens do not work right for a heat source we will go to plan B.

The doors and the homemade hinges hang and swing very well.  I think I will make some similar but much heavier duty ones for the kiln when we redo the doors.  Removing and installing the kiln access panel is such an exercise that we seldom use the kiln.  
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2019, 02:48:09 PM »
If you heat the chamber up to 150 F, you will actually have the bulbs hotter than this in order to heat the air.  You want to make sure that the electrical fixtures can withstand the heat.  As wood dust can ignite at fairly low temperatures, you do want to keep the interior very clean.
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Offline caveman

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2019, 03:12:29 PM »
Thanks, Doc.  We will certainly have to watch it closely when we first start using it to sterilize to determine how much heat for how long it will take to get the box up to 150 for a day.  
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Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2019, 10:13:07 PM »
Would you guys please post your results here?  Looking at doing the same thing.

Offline caveman

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2019, 07:16:09 AM »
We will certainly post results.  John went home with a list of items to look for.  I called a neighbor last night and may have a fan coming today.  After we cut the foam insulation to fit, I got inside and had John shut it up to locate any leaks.  There were not too many and we should be able to seal them up without too much trouble.  We are going to have to come up with a convenient way to remove and install the insulation panels behind the doors to ensure they fit tight but we have a plan.

We still have to wire it, buy and install a thermometer, nail down the floor spacers over the joists to make room for the tractor's forks. 

Caveman

Offline jimparamedic

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2019, 08:37:06 AM »
I am just asking why not use a couple of electric heaters? And maybe add a dehumidifier and you would have a great would dryer too.

Offline caveman

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2019, 09:00:33 AM »
We have discussed that too.  We have a good sized solar kiln that does a good job of drying but I am not sure it stays hot enough, long enough to ensure the wood is sterilized.  We even entertained the idea of adding a heat source to the solar kiln to sterilize wood.  The main issue with the solar kiln is making the process of loading and unloading less of a process and more of a mundane task.  I do like the trailer latch to use on the doors like WDH posted.  I was going to build something like that but for the price advertised on the link he posted, ordering them seems like the way to go.

We will see how this hot box does and we may eventually use it to finish off air dried wood with a dehumidifier and possibly another heat source.  


Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2019, 09:14:26 AM »
Ive been using halogens worklamps for many years for aux heat, still do, and by far the best and safest heat source Ive found.  They are sealed, wont corrode, put out a lot of heat and dont have thermal shutdowns.  The bulbs will last for a year or so and can be replaced for $5 at Lowes.  The halogen light cycle operates at a much higher temp than incandescent and the main thing is to use the same precautions you would use for them anywhere, dont back them against a wall, keep some clearance to the ceiling, and its best to have fans moving air over them to help with the circulation.  

In my L53, Ive found that 4 of the 500 watt halogens, 2,000 watts is good, with reasoable heating times.  For a baseline, the Nyle 200 has 4,000 watt heat strips and the Nyle L53 has 1kW.  So I routinely use the halogens in the L53 but arent needed in the L200.

Make sure your circuit can handle the load, Id recommend no more than 2 lamps per 20 amp circuit, and dont put the breakers or switches inside the box, they will corrode in short order.  Wire up some outlets outside and simply plug the lights in to the outlet.  No switches to go bad and it lets you control the temps.  For example, use 4 lamps to heat up, then typically 2 to maintain temps.

I also recommend the little Sensor Push device we talked about at the Project.  It has Bluetooth connectivity, and displays the temps and RH on a graph anytime you get within wireless range without having to open the doors or otherwise disturb the environment.

Its also a very good idea to put a well insulated vent or two on the hot box, as if the wood isnt completely dry, it will give off moisture which will significantly extend heating times. So its best to do a vent dump and get rid of the moisture laden air and the box will repeat quickly.  Also, vent dumping is a good way to finish the load after heating, turn the lights off and let it come slowly down for a day, the moist air slowly exiting the vents, and will drop the load another moisture percent or two. 

A Wal Mart dehumidifier 6 qt/day will work also, except when the temps go up, and will last a year to two before they die.  
 
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Offline caveman

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2019, 01:51:50 PM »
Thanks for the guidance.  I was looking at the thermometers trying to decide which to get and I stumbled across a previous post where you (YellowHammer) mentioned the weather stations with the remote sensor.  

I have been taking down a fence made of cypress boards.  Some of the boards have carpenter bees in them.  I am saving them for the maiden voyage of the hot box.  
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2019, 06:25:09 PM »
Carpenter bees are a good test, when well done they look like little black pistachios and you will see piles laying on the floor.  I hate bugs in my wood.  

The toughest thing to kill Ive seen are those big black carpenter ants, readily found in cedar.  They take some substantial heat.  If you kill them, you are killing everything.  


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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2019, 06:37:36 PM »
i use a homeowner W-mart one to maintain my dry wood in a container, and looks new after several years.  just got ant bait Advance 375a bait and killer.  kills carpenter ants and even the tiny black ones in the house.  any one with plans for a carpenter bee trap, or pics.  i assume they are like most bee traps.  @YellowHammer   @customsawyer .  the remote weather station i.e. temp and humidity are 14 dollars on line or at W-mart.  i have one working for 5 years now, just change the batteries.  I think they are accurite
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Offline samandothers

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2019, 09:08:26 PM »
@doc henderson 
I don't have any pictures but I recently made some new traps.  I used pieces of 2x6 or 2x4.  As I recall I ripped it to 2.25 and cross cut at about 6 to 8 inches.  I then butted one length wise to anther so the 1.5" thickness of one lay length ways against the 2.25 length of a second piece and glued/ air nailed.  This formed an L shape when viewing from the end.  I repeated this so I had two L shaped pieces.  Then I put them together forming a box with a 3/4" square hole in the very center end to end. I bored 1/2" holes at an angle with a forstner bit in each of the 4 long sides.  The angle was steep but such I could drill to the center and join the 3/4" opening in the center.
On one end I put a piece of cedar as my top, glued and nailed with a screw eye in it to hang.  I had some pint and half pint canning jars.  I used the center disc of the canning jar top and cut about a 1/2 " hole in it.  seems I used a spade bit, some have used a sharpened conduit as a circular hole punch. Either way be careful of spinning sharp can lids and bits so you don't end up in the dumb things I've done thread.  Placed the canning disc in the ring and nailed it to the bottom of the trap center on the 3/4" hole.  Then screwed the canning jar onto the canning ring.

Down side it is a glass jar but I have not broken one .. yet.  I placed them around my pole barn and have only been back once since I hung them and they were working.

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2019, 09:31:29 PM »
We have a customer build some carpenter bee traps for us, and we resell them.  His design works about twice as good as any other configuration we have tried, including the ones I built.  We have 8 of them hung on our barn alone and they will literally fill up in a couple weeks time.  

The carpenter bees attack our drying pallets, so we cycle them through the kiln regularly, and whatever bees have tried to make a home in them get cooked, along with the mice and snakes.  We dont have bees in our lumber, but they love our barn and pallets.  



 
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2019, 10:51:36 PM »
sam thanks for the great instructions. @samandothers .  @YellowHammer i would love to see a pic, unless you feel it is an original design and do not want to infringe.  i know there were a ton at @customsawyer  about 1 every 5 feet on his eves.  might try to make a design of my own, but want to understands what is what.  i know you leave the bee's in for a while, what do you  bait it with first?  sugar water?  Thanks guys.  guess my brother is having some eat on his house.
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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2019, 11:59:51 PM »
Ill take a pic tomorrow, its probably time to empty them anyway.  A couple tips and observations.  

The hole design is critical, I believe he uses a 5/8 hole at a slight upward angle.  The upward angle is very important.  They need to crawl upward and they make their nest that way so, I assume, it wont fill with rain water. 

The traps work best on corners, the bees like to fly around them.  We have some on eaves, and they catch maybe half or less than a trap on a outside corner a couple feet away.  The more traps, the more bees youll catch.  Its weird, as one trap just a few feet away from another will catch all the bees, and the next day, the other trap is doing all the catching.  

The traps, although hung with short pieces of coat hanger, should not swing in the wind.  The bees know that a good nest doesnt swing in the breeze to spin around, and will not use them, (until the wind dies down) so I like to mount the wire where the trap roof will rest or brace against the eave or something to steady it.

No bait is necessary, the hardest bee capture is the first.  They put out a phermone or something and they make the best bait.  So the worst capture results are when a trap is new, or its just been emptied.  

The little buggers are mean, they love to fight, so if a trap gets one, others fly by, see the one in the trap, want to fight, and will go head to head across the clear plastic and then they they will find a way in.  So having live buzzing bees in the traps works better than having dead ones.

The key to emptying the traps, when there are literally dozens if not hundreds of bees, some still alive and really mad, is to mix up a bucket of soapy water, loosen the bottom cap (dont take it off yet) and dunk it in the soapy water and let the water come into the bottom of the trap, soaking the first few layers of bees.  They cant fly with soap on them, which keeps them from chasing you down.  Then pull the end of the trap out of the bucket, let the water drain out, take the cap off and again dunk the open end in the water and start swishing it around until all the bees are swimming in the soapy water.  Reset the trap and get the next one.  

Most of our traps are made of Poplar or cedar, and the more weathered they get, the better they work.

In the fall we throw a hunk of meat in them and they catch yellow jackets and wasps.  
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Offline samandothers

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Re: Hot Box
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2019, 10:53:43 AM »
I have several hanging on the pole  barn but as stated I have not been back to the land in a while.  I'll try to catch a picture next time up there.  Yellowhammer gave great detail that I can't add to.

I have made them with a 4x4 and bored a center hole length wise with a  large spade bit.  I had to bore from both directions to get through the length of the piece.  I then bored 1/2" holes at an up angle from the bottom toward the top through the sides of the 4x4 to the center for the channel they crawl up through.  I added a top and used a plastic Gatorade bottle (16 Oz I believe) and a water bottle (16 Oz I believe) to catch the bees.  The top of the water bottle was used as a funnel on the bottom of the trap.  I cut the top off about a half or 3/4 of an inch down from the neck.  I split the short sides to make tabs to staple through.  I then stapled this over the bottom of the bore neck/cap pointing down.  The smaller neck allowed the bees to see the light once they were in the center of bored 4x4 and crawl through the hole but the small size would make it difficult to get back through if they tried a reverse trip to exit, though I don't know they would do this and exit the 'light'.
I cut the bottom off The Gatorade bottle.  Again sliced to make some short tabs.  I turned it upside down and stapled it so it covered the water bottle top on the bottom of the trap with the neck/cap pointing down.  The two bottles were lined up so the center of the bottle cylinders where on the same line, concentric. The Gatorade bottle was what the bees would fall into as they climbed down through the water bottle neck and be captured.  You could then unscrew the cap of the Gatorade bottle and empty.  It is good to have some bees in the bottle and I did not clean often, it helps to draw others in as YH stated.

There are quite a few YouTube videos with peoples ideas for bee traps.  I watched some of those and then 'winged' it!


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