From tree to lasting memory #7: design a simple solar kiln

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Blog entry by gpastor posted 07-24-2011 12:00 AM 4701 reads 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Show me the lumber Part 7 of From tree to lasting memory series no next part

Would it be funny if I said “I am a little green when it comes to drying wood” or ” I think my wood has an ear infection, it equilibrium is off” It sounded funny in my head, oh well.

Like milling logs, drying them is all new to me. I have found there is no shortage of good informatiom on drying wood from Wikipedia to books like Fine woodworking on wood and how to dry it

I have alot of info but no practical experience and there is only one way to get that…

I set out to build a solar kiln. You may want to look a way if you are “lumberistic” (ya, just made that word up, meaning suffix, from L. -isticus (often via Fr. -istique ), from Gk. -istikos, which is adj. suffix -ikos added to n. suffix -istes. meaning everything must be made of wood!!!! I built the frame from 1-1/4 sch 10 pipe. Yes I said pipe, what can I say it was free and I can weld. LOL

The floor is 12’-6”long x 6’ wide it should hold about 2500bf

The glass is from an old paito door

The idea seems simple

-- Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31

7 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4097 days

#1 posted 07-24-2011 12:04 AM

That is a fine looking Kiln. I wish I had space in my yard for one.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View gagewestern's profile


308 posts in 3350 days

#2 posted 07-24-2011 01:08 AM

hi WOODWEB>COM is a good place for info. its looking good

-- gagewestern

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3236 days

#3 posted 07-24-2011 01:09 AM

Great job! It should do the job for you. Looks like you’ve got the sawing part under control.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3017 days

#4 posted 07-24-2011 03:10 AM

Looks very professional! what did you use for the floor? I hope you put additional pipes down so the wood has something to set on.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View gpastor's profile


184 posts in 3057 days

#5 posted 07-24-2011 03:56 AM

erwin, I laid down 4 rows of pipe and than 3/4 plywood.
If anyone has tips on drying please help, i could use more how to’s from you guys that have tried this before.

-- Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3085 days

#6 posted 07-24-2011 04:49 PM

I have always thought an exhaust fan moves more air through a structure than an intake fan, eg exhaust fans
for an attic, so would not an exhaust fan placed near the bottom low side of the kiln and inlets placed near
the high side be more efficient, you could hook the fan up to a thermostatic control so that it would only
operate when the air was hot enough. Just my humble opinion.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View gpastor's profile


184 posts in 3057 days

#7 posted 07-25-2011 12:30 AM

Gus, I have two fans on a thermal switch set to come on at 90 degrees. In the last pic above you can see a
squirrel cage fan at the top set on low pushing air down the face of the glass and a fan at the floor.
Pic of fan wire and thermostats

I don’t have an intake fan but the building is vented the roof and at the floor

-- Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life. Proverbs 16:31

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