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Questions about green ebony logs, and how I should build my own kiln dryer...

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Forum topic by lechevaldebois posted 03-08-2008 06:46 PM 944 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lechevaldebois

54 posts in 2422 days


03-08-2008 06:46 PM

I recently bought a trunk and a log of Texas Ebony from Bluestingrayboots here on LJ and had it shipped by freight to my shop in Montreal. Beautiful logs! So rare!... I brought my logs to a man (owner of a Wood-Mizer LT-40 hydrolic portable sawmill) who was able to slice my logs into board. This ebony is hard as a rock! The poor man went through 7 blades!!!...Anyways, it took him 2 1/2 hours of hard work but I got my boards and they look awesome.(I will post pics here soon). I sealed the ends of each board with log sealer and am thinking if I should pressure-wash them (to clean the wood dust and the bugs hiding in the wood or in the bark) before putting them into a home-made kiln dryer. I would leave the washed boards standing for 24hours just to let the water drip from the surfaces of the wood until the boards are dry to the touch. Then I thought I could try building me a low-cost kiln dryer in the shop. I was thinking to put a tarp on the cement floor to cut the humidity coming from the floor then put 2 pallets side by side and pile my boards on the pallets with hardwood sticks every 12 inches or so. Then I thought I would use straps that would tighten the whole pile to the pallet. For the kiln dryer, my idea was to build a sealed ’’tent’’ out of 2X4s and polythene, put a heat source (electric heater), a fan for air circulation and a dehumidifier. Very low-tech I must admit, but I think this might work. I would weigh one board every day and stop the drying process when the board’s weight would be the same for a couple days..Then, before taking the wood out of the tent, I was told it’s better to remove the dehumidifier and replace it with a humidifier for just a couple hours just to lightly re-humidify the outer surface of the boards to reach an equilibrium with the center of the boards.
I got approximately 200 bf of ebony total so bringing such a small quantity to a professional kiln dryer is a problem. Plus none of them have ever handled ebony, which makes their methods as experimental as mine I guess. I think that having access to my ebony during the drying process will help me monitor the progress and make necessary adjustment if problems arise. I am totally new at this so any advice and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


5 replies so far

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Daren Nelson

767 posts in 2572 days


#1 posted 03-08-2008 07:27 PM

I have never brought this up here before, thinking it would be tacky, but here it goes. I built one in 2005, gave the plans away to several woodworkers (dozens)...then one of them put my plans on eBay for sale as his own. I put a stop to that and have been selling the plans on my site and eBay since 2006. I am not advertising, I know there is a section for that. Just telling my reason for selling them to make me sound less greedy (if possible). I would still be giving the plans away today if that one guy had not, in all honesty here, hurt my feelings. It turned me sour on the many hours a week I was spending helping guys build kilns just for the brotherhood of woodworking.

Now that I am done sounding like a whiner. Yes your idea with some minor changes will work (probably won’t need the heat source ?). There are 200+ similar ones running right now. Here are about 100. http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&userid=217daren&ftab=FeedbackAsSeller

-- http://nelsonwoodworks.biz/

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lechevaldebois

54 posts in 2422 days


#2 posted 03-08-2008 08:16 PM

I will buy your plan. Tonight. Thanks! After you get my Paypal payment (since I am a little squeezed by time for this batch of ebony), if you could give me a few pointers by email on how I could manage without it for now I would really appreciate it. I will build the kiln dryer from your plan for my next batch.
It is perfectly fair to be selling your plans in my opinion. Been searching the web for weeks can’t find anything simple, cheap and adaptable to my space/needs. After reading your Ebay description, yours seem to be exactly what I was looking for. My email: lechevaldebois@hotmail.com

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Daren Nelson

767 posts in 2572 days


#3 posted 03-08-2008 08:54 PM

I will just send the plans as an email attachment, so you will have the whole thing to read over. Then if you have any questions after that you can holler any time.

-- http://nelsonwoodworks.biz/

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lechevaldebois

54 posts in 2422 days


#4 posted 03-09-2008 07:57 AM

I bought the plan, read the whole thing and am convinced this will work. I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in building his own kiln dryer. Very simple and straight forward. Thanks Daren, this is EXACTLY what I was looking for. You the man! LJ is GREAT! I will post pictures of my kiln here when it’s completed without revealing your secrets ;-)

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Daren Nelson

767 posts in 2572 days


#5 posted 03-09-2008 02:09 PM

I figured they would work well for you, you already had the basic concept figured out. If it were not improper etiquette I would link a thread from another woodworking forum I belong to. One of the guys is drying similar wood in his kiln (Texan, drying mesquite and other stuff). And I tell a funny (I thought) story about an 81 year old woman who is drying her own wood, she is spunky. Yea, and make those kiln pictures “fuzzy” and vague, it’s so simple you will put me out of business ;-)

-- http://nelsonwoodworks.biz/

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