How to make a homemade wood kiln?

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Forum topic by brantley posted 11-09-2009 05:10 PM 37896 views 4 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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185 posts in 3495 days

11-09-2009 05:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question kiln drying

I was wondering if anybody had any plans they would like to share on a home made wood kiln. It doesnt have to be too big because ill just be using it for some smaller blanks of wood for turkey calls. Thanks

19 replies so far

View ericblazek's profile


6 posts in 3665 days

#1 posted 11-09-2009 06:01 PM

I made one from a sheet of foil backed foam insulation board. Cut it into four pieces 4’ by 2’ and tape it up with foil tape (or duct tape) into a long square tube and stand it up on end with a pencil underneath one side to allow air in at the bottom. Stick a 100 w. light bulb in the bottom, and hang your blanks from a string at the top. Mostly cover the top, allowing hot air out. Check it in a few days. Worked great for me.

-- Eric in Oklahoma

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6 posts in 3665 days

#2 posted 11-09-2009 06:34 PM

For that matter, you could try to microwave method. Stick the green blanks on a paper plate in the microwave for a couple minutes on high. Watch them close, as too long and the wood kind of chars. Make sure you do it with the windows open, or else your kitchen will smell like the inside of a hamster cage for a couple of days.

-- Eric in Oklahoma

View a1Jim's profile


117417 posts in 3814 days

#3 posted 11-09-2009 06:44 PM

When microwaving add a little Cinnamon for flavour. LOL For small pieces I’ve seen in an article somewhere that they made what they called a hot box. Just a wooden box with a light bulb as a heat source and some vent holes.
Eric forgive the humor your suggestion is a good one

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Gary's profile


9386 posts in 3670 days

#4 posted 11-09-2009 07:25 PM

Just send it to my x-wife. She can dry out anything in her oven…....turkey,chicken, beef, casarole, I’m sure a little wood would be no problem for her

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

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Daren Nelson

767 posts in 4143 days

#5 posted 11-10-2009 12:40 AM

The microwave method is 30-45 seconds on high…then remove 4-5 minutes to cool…repeat. Do this several cycles until the endgrain stops steaming during cool down. Long cycles in the nuker is going to case damage to the wood (splitting-checking-case hardening) Wood can also be boiled dry. That may sound impossible, but it works. Drop your blanks in boiling water (a pressure cooker works better) and depending on size, yours sound small, 20-30 minutes of boiling should do it. Take them out and let them air dry for a couple days. I see you live in Georgia, wood can be dried in your attic (assuming you have access) several months of the year up there, it’s been done for centuries. In the summer in the attic a couple weeks it’s dry (and free) If you are wanting to built a “hot box” halogen shop lights put out the most heat, I would use foil backed insulation. You should be able to get say a 4’ square box 130+ degrees with one 500 watt light, then as was mentioned you need a vent to let the moisture out.

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3708 days

#6 posted 11-10-2009 12:45 AM

a vacuum kiln would be faster.

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3469 days

#7 posted 11-10-2009 12:51 AM

Daren at has some plans he sells. Rumor is that his kilns work pretty well. Might be bigger than what you want though. The thread is here.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 4041 days

#8 posted 11-10-2009 01:09 AM

This month’s edition of Woodturning Design has plans to make a wood kiln using an old non-operable refrigerator. I have made one of these and they work great. If you want something on a smaller sale an old dishwasher will work just as well. You can usually pick up junk appliances for free just by asking!

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 3198 days

#9 posted 05-16-2010 02:10 PM

i put my wet wood in my glass greenhouse in the garden, at least for the winter because now i kinda need the space to put some melons! but it’s just like outdoor natural drying, only faster.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3352 days

#10 posted 05-16-2010 02:56 PM

here is the link were you can get all the info
about how to build a SOLAR KILN in the size you want

and they work relativ effektiv


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Daren Nelson

767 posts in 4143 days

#11 posted 05-16-2010 03:56 PM

The sun has not shined here for 10 days…and the weatherman predicts 3-4 more days without it. Solar has it’s limitations…just saying.

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3702 days

#12 posted 05-16-2010 04:28 PM

My sawyer uses a huge solar kiln. I’ve used the attic method mentioned above. I need to check the results a little closer. I’m sure the blanks are dry, I just don’t know what percent. I think American Woodworker had a set of plans for a small solar kiln. I believe it held 300-400 board feet. Any set of plans could be scaled up or down for your needs. Good luck and let the drying begin.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View uffitze's profile


199 posts in 3192 days

#13 posted 05-16-2010 05:33 PM

Even on a cloudy day, you can have a decent amount of solar gain. I’m don’t pretend to be an expert or anything but, I’ve been told about houses in Wisconsin that are heated entirely through passive solar techniques. Hard to believe, I know, considering that WI can have some pretty harsh weeks in the dead of winter. So, maybe those folks are happy wearing their long johns and sweaters and having an ambient indoor temp in the lower 50’s or something, but even if that’s the case, it’s pretty impressive considering that the outside temperature can head south of zero degrees Fahrenheit.

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3198 days

#14 posted 05-17-2010 02:07 PM

My attic gets pretty hot in the summer. I live in SE Tennessee. How long do you dry it? How can you tell when the moisture content is at its lowest without a moisture meter? Another forum topic recommended that some walnut logs I have should cut into rough boards ASAP. Thanks.

View brantley's profile


185 posts in 3495 days

#15 posted 05-17-2010 02:41 PM

Knothead thats a good question. I live in South Ga , It stays around 95 degrees here in the summer and during the attic is so hot its just about unbearable to walk in there. Im guessing i could use it..

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