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Author Topic: Justifying building a solar kiln..  (Read 239 times)

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Offline gwisejr

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Justifying building a solar kiln..
« on: April 04, 2020, 06:00:49 AM »
Can some one with experience  drying lumber in a solar kiln give me a rough idea onn drying times for air  dried lumber? I had some hickory  logs milled into 1"  boards for flooring in a new home that we are building. It has been air drying for about 9 months. It is down around ~20%..  

I'm trying to justify  to my wife  building  a solar kiln to get it down further. Time is the constraint now.  I really dont want to spend   the $3k or so  taking it to someone with one of those vacuum kilns but  my wife's concern is that there wont be enought time to finish drying via a solar kiln. 

So, I realize  that no one can say exactly how long it will take but can someone give me   an idea of ow long it will take to go from 20% down to the 5-7% for  hickory? I'm in the Atlanta, GA area..


Online btulloh

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Re: Justifying building a solar kiln..
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2020, 07:35:33 AM »
If you're getting a lot of good sunny days, my best guess would be 10-14 days.  Maybe even a bit quicker.  Not counting the time to build the kiln of course.  If you're sawing lumber, having a solar kiln is a really good idea.  Hope that helps with the hickory, and the wife.

Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Justifying building a solar kiln..
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2020, 09:49:21 AM »
I would suggest that you can loose 1% MC for every sunny day over 80 F at the low MC you are at right now.
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline farmfromkansas

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Re: Justifying building a solar kiln..
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2020, 10:34:50 AM »
If you are building a house, you could use scraps from your framing to build the solar kiln.  I am building one right now, and had enough leftover scraps to build the thing. And check with Menards if you have one, the twinwall polycarbonate is very reasonable there.  Half what Lowes gets.
Most everything I enjoy doing turns out to be work

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