looking to build a solar kiln

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Forum topic by rkevins posted 02-05-2011 12:09 AM 2556 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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79 posts in 3169 days

02-05-2011 12:09 AM

Hello all I am thinking of building a solar kiln to dry lumber, I have looked a many plans online and wanted to ask if anyone had built one and if so what plans have you used or if you have some of your own to share. Thanks Kevin

12 replies so far

View grub32's profile


215 posts in 3287 days

#1 posted 02-05-2011 02:17 AM

I don’t have experience with them, but I found this one here and you might be able to talk to this guy.

Solar kiln

If you make one, post. It so we can check it out,


-- Educator by Day, Wood Butcher by Night!!

View georgia's profile


6 posts in 2910 days

#2 posted 02-05-2011 03:28 AM

I talked to a wood turner the other day that told me he has been using his microwave with good results . I think he just makes game calls and pens.

View rkevins's profile


79 posts in 3169 days

#3 posted 02-06-2011 03:41 AM

thanks grb32 that is the post I have looked for, georgia I forgot to mention I wanted to dry long lumber but I have wanted to tru the microwave for small stuf…thanks to both of you

View Leonard5's profile


377 posts in 2932 days

#4 posted 02-06-2011 03:56 AM

I haven’t built one yet but i am also looking into it. I was going to try and use a solar fan for circulation. Maybe the glass from a big screen tv.

-- Leonard H.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3354 days

#5 posted 02-06-2011 03:59 AM

try to look at this there is some good idea┬┤s

and you can see other different way of doing it on you-tube

good luck

Ps you can use a green house as well

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3967 days

#6 posted 02-06-2011 04:26 AM

Dennis beat me to the recommendation to check the link from my favorite institution of higher learning. You may also want to look for Daren Nelson on this site. HE sells plans, but the impression I have gotten is that his customers have been very happy.

View Scsmith42's profile


125 posts in 2916 days

#7 posted 02-06-2011 04:48 AM

Hands down, the solar kiln design from Virginia Tech is usually the best option. Gene Wengert (acknowledged U.S. kiln drying expert) participated in the design, and I have heard nothing but good things about these kilns.

VT offers a class in kiln drying using a solar kiln, and it is an excellent course and worth investigating further if you want to get into kiln drying. There is a lot of science involved, especially if you dry more difficult species such as oak.

-- Scott, North Carolina,

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 3197 days

#8 posted 02-07-2011 07:26 PM

See, Gene Wengert is the host and has mucho info on kilns on the site, along with the correct ways to use them.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Paul_Steiner's profile


5 posts in 2922 days

#9 posted 02-07-2011 08:09 PM

+1 for this kiln I have seen it up close and seen the lumber, good stuff.

View Paul_Steiner's profile


5 posts in 2922 days

#10 posted 02-07-2011 08:10 PM

View reberly's profile


191 posts in 2928 days

#11 posted 02-08-2011 01:33 PM

I have a modified Virginia Tech model I built 10 years ago modeling the one my great uncle built 40 years ago. They work well, but they take some getting use to. Colorado State has some great free info on construction and operation.

-- "Big Timber is our Legacy" ,

View tnwood's profile


263 posts in 3325 days

#12 posted 02-08-2011 03:44 PM

Just recently Wood Magazine posted a free plan on line from their June 1994 issue. Search the Wood Magazine site for solar kiln and you will probably find it.

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