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Solar kiln

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Blog series by Julian updated 02-25-2009 04:25 AM 5 parts 17152 reads 43 comments total

Part 1: from design to construction

10-27-2008 10:55 PM by Julian | 12 comments »

A few years ago, I had the idea of building a small solar kiln. Well, life happened, and I didn’t have the time or money to build one. Then two weeks ago, my neighbor had a red elm cut down that had been struck by lighning earlier in the spring. I figured that a beautiful elm tree would never just fall into my lap, so I had the tree removal service roll the 8’, 30”+ main trunk into my front yard. After having it milled, I realized that I couldn’t wait an entire year to...

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Part 2: loading the charge

10-31-2008 01:02 PM by Julian | 4 comments »

Well, the time has finally come to load the kiln. Now I am wishing that I would have made the kiln 5’ wide. When I initially came up with the dimensions, I had only measured a few of the elm boards I had recently milled. Well, it turnd out that most of the boards are 19” wide, not 16” wide, so I couldn’t get two rows in the kiln. I got all but 4 boards to fit, but I am not sure how it will dry since the top board are only 2 inches from the roof. I painted some leftover...

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Part 3: Almost complete!!

11-01-2008 09:43 PM by Julian | 10 comments »

I finally can see the end is near for this project. The top is now weathertight, with the exception of the 2nd layer of plastic that is to go on the bottom of the frame, and the baffle with a fan installed . The weather is starting to cool off, so I am not too worried about things going sour on me. Here are some pics of the kiln loaded with just over 200 bf of red elm..

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Part 4: Almost dry

01-23-2009 01:16 AM by Julian | 9 comments »

The elm in the kiln should be ready to use in early spring, once I get a week of 70+ degree days. The elm is just under 20% MC. I just couldn’t wait to see what it was going to look like sanded down, so I took a piece out and planed/sanded it down, and put a coat of linseed oil on it. The colors mellowed out a bit from when it was just milled, but it still looks great IMO. The sample piece is 1”x16”x50”.

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Part 5: 7-9% moisture content finally!!!

02-25-2009 04:25 AM by Julian | 8 comments »

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 1...

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