lumber drying method?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by bent posted 06-19-2009 10:59 PM 1817 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bent's profile


311 posts in 3693 days

06-19-2009 10:59 PM

i had an odd thought today about drying green lumber. my father is a farmer, and on his farm is a grain bin. attached to the grain bin is a heater and a giant drying fan. when grain is harvested and put into the bin, it is dried to reduce it’s moisture content and prevent rotting. anyone in the midwest should know what i’m talking about. my father is talking about retiring from farming soon, meaning that this grain bin will more than likely be sitting empty. does anyone know if this bin/dryer system could be used as a lumber kiln? i’m pretty sure it’s a similar process to kiln drying lumber. at least the goal is similar if nothing else (reduction of moisture content). let me point out that i know very little about kiln drying, so maybe there’s reasons it wouldn’t work? if it’s a stupid/crazy idea that won’t work, please let me know before i waste any time on it.

7 replies so far

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3793 days

#1 posted 06-19-2009 11:49 PM

how hot does the heater get. i know that when kiln drying i think its like 120 degrees that they aim for in the beginning to make sure that any bugs that are in the wood are killed off. and then just steadily decreasing the heat over the next couple of months.

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3550 days

#2 posted 06-20-2009 12:17 AM

Go over to, and post this in the forestry and milling section. There’s plenty of guys drying their own lumber over there that will give you all the knowledge.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3602 days

#3 posted 06-20-2009 12:38 AM

Drying wood has a lot to do with air circulation and the wood being stacked so it can dry equally on all sides plus a way for moisture to escape.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View noblevfd's profile


48 posts in 3481 days

#4 posted 06-20-2009 01:15 AM

grain drying bins are set up to move high volumes of air through the system we dry down 4000 bu of corn in about 48 hrs. using on average 400 gal. of propane so I would think you would have to completely revamp system to even think about drying lumber in a bin for months but hey you never know till you ask keep those ideas coming I don’t know much about drying lumber but I do dry corn on the farm

noblevfd god bless

View Bill Davis's profile

Bill Davis

226 posts in 3949 days

#5 posted 06-20-2009 01:20 AM

Here’s an excellent source to learn more than you ever wanted to know about kilns.

View bent's profile


311 posts in 3693 days

#6 posted 06-20-2009 02:16 AM

thanks bill, that’s a very informative article. after reading it, i’m in agreement with noblevfd and socalwood. the current system would dry it out too fast and damage the wood. oh well, it was just a thought.

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3712 days

#7 posted 06-20-2009 03:45 AM

At least you had the courage to ask the question : ) good idea , but I was wondering how you would regulate the temperature and exhaust the moisture seeing as I’ve never operated a grain bin before.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics