Saturday in the Woodworking Shop #9: Solar Kilns

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Blog entry by AndyPitts posted 07-21-2015 07:37 PM 3865 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Dehumidifying Lumber Storage Part 9 of Saturday in the Woodworking Shop series Part 10: Lumber Case Hardening »

I bought my Woodmizer sawmill in 2001 in preparation to mill a lot of eastern Virginia hardwood. I had milled lumber in the 1980’s and had air dried it (on the East Coast of the US) and had powder post beetle damage. So, I researched those critters and discovered that the holes I saw were exit holes from the beetles. They lay eggs in cracks in wood, then the eggs hatch to become larvae, then beetles. To kill the larvae required heat, about 130 degrees F core temperature for an hour would do it. Hence, I built a solar kiln to dry the lumber from my mill. The added benefit of the solar kiln was fully dried wood, without steaming it. Seemed like a win-win, and ever since I have not seen powder post beetle holes and my wood is dry when I want to use it. Building the kiln was straight forward and not too expensive. Here’s more about my kiln:

View on YouTube

-- Andy Pitts, Heathsville, Virginia,, YouTube AndyPitts1000

4 comments so far

View Tim's profile


3029 posts in 1379 days

#1 posted 07-22-2015 05:29 PM

Would love to have space to build one. Nicely done video, thanks.

View AndyPitts's profile


122 posts in 495 days

#2 posted 07-22-2015 06:54 PM

Thanks Tim.

-- Andy Pitts, Heathsville, Virginia,, YouTube AndyPitts1000

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1167 posts in 1131 days

#3 posted 07-22-2015 09:33 PM

Very informative. Got to look into solar kllns.. Thanks for sharing

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Roger's profile


19706 posts in 2222 days

#4 posted 08-02-2015 12:49 PM

You definitely have the technique, space, and equipment to do this. Thnx for sharing

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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