Dehumidifier Kiln

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Blog entry by bigwoodturner posted 04-20-2009 03:00 AM 8013 reads 18 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Most of you are not going to turn on as large a scale as I do so you are not going to need as large a facility as I use. I am going to talk about what I call a coffin kiln. By enclosing an area under a wall mounted work bench about the size of a coffin you will be able to dry several weeks worth of turning. Frame the area in or simply build a framed box of the same size. If you are building under a bench your door will drop down and if you build a free standing box have the lid open like a coffin. The voids in all you framing are to be filled with Foam insullation you can use spray foam insullation to make it nice and tight around the foam blocks. Make a free standing frame and mount a good quality bathroom ventilation fan into it. Install this at one end leaving about 10 inches behind it to allow circulated air do be drawn from behind and hot air to be blown through the remainder of the coffin. In that 10 inch void mount an outdoor light socket, one that can stand up to moisture. Cut a hole in a metal coffee can or something very much like that and install that around the can. Put a switch somewhere outside the box, this is to turn the light on and off. The light bulb will be your heat source and the can will be the amplifier for the bulbs heat. At the other end of the box install a high quality room dehumidifier. You can get these at Home Depot or Sears as an example. You will drill a hole and mount the drain tube through that outside the box. Put a bucket there to catch the water. Dump the bucket out daily. The amount of moisture captured will depend on how loaded the box is. Put a latice system in the box to place the roughed out turnings on as the air must circulate all around them. Cover your insullation with alluminum sheeting such as foil with the dull side away from the insullation. This protects your insullation and helps retain heat. Rough out your pieces to a wall thickness of one inch or slightly thicker if 10 inches or less in diameter one and a half to two inches if larger. Coat your end grain with Anchor Seal or old Latex paint to prevent checking. If you ever look at lumber that has been kiln dried in the rough that is why the ends are painted they color code it for species. Get a moisture meter with prongs to check moisture content as you dry. Start with a 100 watt bulb and as the moisture content goes down reduce the bulb wattage. Anything under 8 percent and you can turn with little or no wood movement. You can purchase commercial dehumidifiers and fan units with controllers that create their own heat and have probes built into them if you want to build a building like mine. A little pricey though so for the weekend turner, the coffin kiln is the best way to go

-- Dale

12 comments so far

View lew's profile (online now)


12056 posts in 3750 days

#1 posted 04-20-2009 03:20 AM


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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Craftsman on the lake

2790 posts in 3433 days

#2 posted 04-20-2009 03:43 AM

Cool, that was a good description. Wish you had pictures. I used to have a flat box with a lightbulb in side it to keep guitar back sets and tops dry. Of course they were already dry but this kept them dry between work times especially during the summer.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Rj's profile


1047 posts in 3626 days

#3 posted 04-20-2009 03:46 AM

Great Dale Thanks for posting this It will come in handy. When are you going to write a book ?

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

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10635 posts in 4242 days

#4 posted 04-20-2009 03:56 AM

Great idea from a master. Thanks a ton. I am definately gonna make one of these. Sounds simple. You got a cheap source for anchorseal?

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View bigwoodturner's profile


231 posts in 3341 days

#5 posted 04-20-2009 04:15 AM

My wood turners club buys it in 55 gal drums and we have a pump to put it jugs for members. Left over or miss mixed latex paint works just as well and is cheap.

-- Dale

View mmh's profile


3676 posts in 3717 days

#6 posted 04-20-2009 05:05 AM

Great blog! Very practical if you can fit it under the wall mounted workbench or even a wall of hanging tools.

And if you give up wood working you can make mummies.

Or beef jerky . . .

You can buy Anchorseal direct from the manufacturer. I bought a 2 gallon bucket for $42. postpaid. Here’s their website:

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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18267 posts in 3671 days

#7 posted 04-20-2009 07:10 AM

Thanks for the info guys :-)

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

View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 3728 days

#8 posted 04-20-2009 01:06 PM

Great stuff, thanks!

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

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1651 posts in 3832 days

#9 posted 04-20-2009 02:48 PM

I can’t thank you enough for this Blog…very well written, easy to understand.

I had an idea of this nature rolling around in my head. After reading this a big light bulb went on….....

I have a space all cleared out under a bench and will be doing in this project come the fall. Just no time right now. Once again thanks.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

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scott shangraw

513 posts in 4064 days

#10 posted 05-03-2009 06:00 PM

Great info.I’m not a wood turner but this would work great for my carved vessels and bowls.Thanks again !!!

-- Scott NM,

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117090 posts in 3572 days

#11 posted 05-03-2009 06:16 PM

Hey Dale
Nice detail s on a very practical space savings and economical kiln. It will benefit many thanks for sharing.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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1 post in 1440 days

#12 posted 06-12-2014 05:40 AM

Dehumidifiers are indeed very helpful. While buying just check out for the best quality options available in the market. Well, I can recommend a website where you can get information on best buys of Commercial Dehumidifiers.

Just Click on this if you’re interested :

Thanks for posting!!

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