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small Solar kiln

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Project by watermark posted 02-03-2013 09:54 PM 5146 views 19 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a small solar kiln I made last summer. The fan is also solar powered. I have sliding vent covers that aren’t installed in the pics that help regulated drying rate.

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb





14 comments so far

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

6717 posts in 2043 days


#1 posted 02-03-2013 10:13 PM

What a good idea on the fans.
I’ve had one for about six years but my fans plug in so I have to set them up on a timer.
The only problem I had was once early on when I dried a small load and didn’t reduce the collector area.
With two fans and the vents closed I still cooked a bit of my wood.
Since then I’ve paid closer attention to the sq footage of collector uncovered / fbm in the kiln ratio.
They are a great way to dry wood in a fast but controlled way.

Congrats on yours.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglas boats he would have given us fibrerglas trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View stefang's profile

stefang

15294 posts in 2580 days


#2 posted 02-03-2013 10:27 PM

A very nice and sensible project.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View watermark's profile

watermark

481 posts in 1188 days


#3 posted 02-03-2013 11:15 PM

Shipwright I am on my third charge and had read about the sq footage of collector uncovered / fbm in the kiln ratio so I was careful with it but with the varying weather here its hard. I got impatient with this load and opened the collector right up then we got 4 days of really hot and dry weather and I cooked the top board. From your experience is the wood just good for fire wood now or will it be workable if I let it sit and come back up to 12% or so??

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View David's profile

David

64 posts in 1273 days


#4 posted 02-03-2013 11:17 PM

Nice work! what are the dimensions? I need to build one but i do not have a lot of room, so small is what i need

-- http://littleredshop.net "A man that works with his hands, knows his soul" " Have Fun, Go Fast, and Take Chances for Christ's Sake!!"

View bowtie's profile

bowtie

941 posts in 1591 days


#5 posted 02-03-2013 11:48 PM

Nice build.

-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

View watermark's profile

watermark

481 posts in 1188 days


#6 posted 02-04-2013 01:10 AM

David it is 10’x4’x4’ if I were to build another one I would go taller than that I might even raise this one. It gets real tight when I am loading and checking the MC of the front stack is hard when its full. There is a lot of good info online here is a good article from American woodworker this one is designed to be packed up and stored which may be useful is space is an issue.

I have some more links saved from when I was planning mine so if anyone is interested I would be happy to share what I have.

For every 10 bd. ft. of capacity, you need 1 sq. ft. of solar-panel or roof area is the rule from the article I linked and the angle of the collector is relative to where you are located.

I am far from experienced when it comes to kiln operation but I did a lot of late night reading when I was planning this one.

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View watermark's profile

watermark

481 posts in 1188 days


#7 posted 02-04-2013 01:21 AM

Here are the rough plans and material list (number of sheets for roofing should be 3):

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

6717 posts in 2043 days


#8 posted 02-04-2013 01:57 AM

What happened to mine (it was arbutus(madrone)), was that some areas sort of collapsed, near knots and the like. I was able to cut around those spots and use most if it.
... but you do have to pay attention.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglas boats he would have given us fibrerglas trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/

View Hawaiilad's profile

Hawaiilad

2784 posts in 2266 days


#9 posted 02-04-2013 05:15 AM

Great idea…that’s something I think would work real good where I live. Much better than letting the log dry out a couple years. What part of the County do you live in?

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View hoss12992's profile

hoss12992

3687 posts in 1138 days


#10 posted 04-02-2013 06:32 AM

Great job! Thanks to you and shipwright, yall anwsered alot of my questions. I will be building myself one next year, and very much appreciated you posting this. Hoss

-- The Old Rednek Workshop https://www.facebook.com/theoldrednekworkshoptn

View CasanovaFrankenstein's profile

CasanovaFrankenstein

31 posts in 745 days


#11 posted 04-20-2014 12:09 AM

this is a very good idea! I need to build one of these.

-- -Kyle

View Project of the day's profile

Project of the day

16 posts in 426 days


#12 posted 09-21-2015 08:02 AM

Hi

Now it’s a few years since you built this, do you still think the designed to work well or would you like to change anything? I ask because I’m thinking of building one myself.

-- Project of the day, Sweden, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsx6Ebzfq3YuzKNRw58ZdEw

View watermark's profile

watermark

481 posts in 1188 days


#13 posted 09-29-2015 09:17 PM



Hi

Now it s a few years since you built this, do you still think the designed to work well or would you like to change anything? I ask because I m thinking of building one myself.

- Project of the day

The basic design I still think is really good but the collector is way over sized for the volume of lumber I can dry in it so I use a tarp to block of portions depending on how much wood or what the MC is at.

What I would do if I was to build another one would be to make my front/lowest wall 4’ and my back 6’ and also make it with 3 fans. I would have built it with 3 fans originally if I had that much money to throw at it but the fan was almost as much as all the rest of the materials combined.

I have also modified the baffle from my original design which used 5mil black plastic. It got brittle and tore up after just 1 year of use which isn’t that big of a deal to replace for cost and time but I found it would sag and lay directly on the lumber causing it to over heat or not let air pass over the top boards. Now I have metal roofing painted black on hinges and it works really well and I will never need to replace it.

I have a full load of Iron wood and Lychee in there right now and it has been up to 120 F lately.

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View Project of the day's profile

Project of the day

16 posts in 426 days


#14 posted 09-30-2015 05:59 AM

Thank really appreciated

-- Project of the day, Sweden, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsx6Ebzfq3YuzKNRw58ZdEw

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