Solar kiln #5: 7-9% moisture content finally!!!

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Blog entry by Julian posted 02-25-2009 04:25 AM 3211 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Almost dry Part 5 of Solar kiln series no next part

I just recievede my new Comprotec moisture meter today and went right out to the kiln to try it out. This is my first moisture meter and I have to say that it seems very well built, especially for only costing around $70. It’s also made in Canada and has a three year warranty, and not made in China, which was another great feature…..... So back to the load in the kiln. All of the 4/4 boards are between 7-9%, with the 5/4 at 14%, and the thicker boards around 20%. So after around 100 days in the cold midwest winter the solar kiln has done its job. The 4/4 boards have virtually no end checks or warp/twist. I tried ripping a board to see if it would bind the blade due to internal stress and there was none.

I planed down a test piece and tried out three finishes; tung oil, shellac, and linseed oil. The coloring in the wood is great. Now its time to get to work on making furniture out of it!

Tung oil


Linseed oil

Now to look onto the next load to go in. I will be cutting down a pesky silver maple in my front yard due to it destroying my sidewalk, driveway, AND sewer pipe. I am hoping to get 300 or more board feet out of it, which will be more than enough to build a new dining room table and chairs.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

8 comments so far

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 3793 days

#1 posted 02-25-2009 06:21 AM

That wood is going to make some really nice furniture! Congratulations on you success with the kiln, and I can’t wait to see what else you get out of it!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3677 days

#2 posted 02-25-2009 09:49 AM

Very cool… I may look into one of these…

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3745 days

#3 posted 02-25-2009 03:47 PM

I’m glad the kiln worked out for you so well. I was skeptical it would work over the winter here in N. IL. The wood looks great! And you already have the next load lined up. It’s got to be exciting & fulfilling.


View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4090 days

#4 posted 02-25-2009 05:21 PM

What brands of finishes did you use?

-- 温故知新

View Will Mego's profile

Will Mego

307 posts in 3675 days

#5 posted 02-25-2009 05:56 PM

Very nice, I was excited when you posted the klin, very cool to see how well it worked during this very wet winter we’ve had.

-- "That which has in itself the greatest use, possesses the greatest beauty." -

View marcb's profile


768 posts in 3636 days

#6 posted 02-25-2009 06:39 PM

Quick question. How does the excess moisture get out of the kiln?

I didn’t see any note on that in the series. Thanks for the info. I have a chunk of space behind my shop between the shop and the fence that I might be able to squeeze a little kiln into.

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3488 days

#7 posted 02-25-2009 10:43 PM

Tim, I was skeptical also. I figured it would take at least till april for the 4/4 to get to 7%.

Drgoodwood, I’m not sure of the brands, but it’s what was on the shelf at Menards.

March, There is 4 openings in the rear of the kiln. Two up high, and two down low. They are 8×12 and can be closed to keep the moisture in if needed.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18244 posts in 3639 days

#8 posted 07-07-2009 09:05 AM

Hi Julian, i just found this project. How’d the wood trun out? Dry now? did you run a fan in there 24/7?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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