Sawmill and Timber

Wood Drying and Processing => Kilns => Topic started by: milling man on September 16, 2008, 07:01:21 PM

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Title: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: milling man on September 16, 2008, 07:01:21 PM
I have been looking into building a kiln for sometime know and need some input. What type do you have or what type is the most fool proof if there is one?
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: Kirk Allen on September 16, 2008, 07:34:09 PM
Nyle Dehumidification systems are pretty much Bubba Proof.  That is the unit I have and hope to have it running by November. (said that last year  :D)

Solar is cheaper but takes longer and from what everyone who has a kiln as shared with me, once its up and running the drying business seems to take off more so than the milling. 

When I am done with mine I will be able to do loads from 500 BF up to 4000 bf at a time. 
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: Frank Pender - AKA "Tail Gunner" on September 16, 2008, 08:28:43 PM
I converted a 24' refer trailer to a kiln and can run as much as 1,500 feet through the unit.  Hardwoods runas 30 day cycle, while Douglas Fir runs on as 7 to 8 day cycle.
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: mike p on September 16, 2008, 09:47:49 PM
check out birkeys page . this is my dream kiln
http://www.timbergreenforestry.com/Solar%20Cycle%20Kilns.html
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: Frank Pender - AKA "Tail Gunner" on September 16, 2008, 09:59:23 PM
Mike, as friend of mine built one, out here on the Left Coast and it takes quite some time to get a charge dried.  I found that he has some very nice lumber, but time is moneyfor me and my method has really been a boon to my operation.   In fact, I am at least 7 months out in getting everyone of my customers lumber dried.
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: sawmill squaw on May 23, 2011, 11:37:52 AM
Frank,
Do you have plans on that refer trailer conversion?  That you would like to share?
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: Frank Pender - AKA "Tail Gunner" on May 23, 2011, 11:09:25 PM
Very simple unit.  I use a Taylor hotwater furnace or heat and run the water though a heat exchanger, hanging on the wall, at the halfway point.  I have a number of 20" box fans helping move the air through the lumber.  I have a thermostat that regulates the exchanger turning off and on.

I am installing another unit for drying.  I have another exchanger, 41' seagoing refer unit, all stainless steel and insolated,
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: Stevem on May 24, 2011, 02:00:46 PM
I'm in the same quandary. 

I would love to have a solar kiln (about 1000bdf) but the only place I have enough sun is far removed from any power source so it would have to be totally solar even the fans at about $350 each (x4)

Or

I could put together a small DH kiln (500 bdf) that would be near enough to a power source to plug in.

Can't do both money wise.

If it's totally fool proof only fools will use it. 

Oh, what to do?
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: HaroldCR - AKA Fla.-Deadheader on May 24, 2011, 03:34:12 PM

 Steve, how many panels can you afford to run the fans ??  Why not use Radiator fans that are heat sensor controlled ??  Junkyards or "Auto Salvage yards"  ::) ::)  should have a bunch. They run off of 12 v DC, so, a few batteries, and the panels to help offset the batteries, and, you are good to go.

 I am about to embark on a system to make my own Solar Panels. I bought 500 watts of  6" X 6" Solar CELLS off Ebay, for $250.00, including everything needed to solder them together. Prices are cheaper, now, than what I paid. I will build 3 panels using 35 cells per panel, and get , on a GOOD day, 24 Amps of output at 12V, (actually 17.5volts output), but, able to put 24Amps into batteries.

 I will use regular window glass, 1/8" thick, and I bought Solar Panel EVA to use to seal up the whole thing. Got it shipped into Fl. for free shipping.  ;) ;)  Will pick all my stuff up in 3 weeks and bring back enough stuff for 5 projects.  ::) ::) ::)

 There is a 3 part thread, over on http://www.fieldlines.com, where a guy shows the whole deal from start to finish. He built a small oven to put the panels in, so he could melt the EVA and seal the panels. This is what the Pro's use to build panels. I think the average chimp can build these, so, I'm all over it.  My panels will measure approx., 33" wide X 45" high. I will encase the glass into an Aluminum frame, and, hopefully, build a tracker to follow the sun.

 My current Solar Kiln, gets plenty warm even on partly cloudy days here. I also put a 30 Pint Home Dehumidifier in there, and run it occasionally, to see how much water it will pull. I can dry lumber to 12% here, which is fine, in about 120 days. that's 3 loads a year, and, I don't do anything after I put the wood in there. I also do not use fans. The top of the kiln is not sealed up, so, I have heat losses, but, it also moves the moist air up and out.   I really need to finish up the kiln, but, I don't NEED it, so, I just put nice stuff in there after air drying for 30 days, and forget about it, until I check with the dehumidifier.

  When I built the kiln, I put down boards on the bottom of my 2 X 6 X 5' long joists, that made a boxed floor at 12' long X 5' wide. I then put sheet plastic into each "box" and piled in dry sawdust. Covered all that with a sheet of plastic and floored it with 1X lumber. (Nice to have a sawmill, ain't it),  >:D ::), and covered THAT floor with a folded over sheet of plastic. Then, built 2 X 4 walls, and 2 X 4 roof, and filled plastic feed sacks with dry sawdust. Put them in the stud walls, and nailed up 6" X 6" concrete reinforcing screen, to hold the sacks in place. Same with the doors. You would be AMAZED at how hot it gets in there, so, I never finished the openings between the roof beams.

 No one around my area dries wood, so, it settles in at around 14-16 percent, according to my Pin Moisture Tester. That's what all the houses are built with, other than cement blocks.

 I bought a wireless thermometer system, and, it reads 100+ any sunny day, with dry lumber in there, and the reading is transmitted through a stack of lumber I have inside the shop, on stickers for over a year. Humidity stays around 30% or so, but, I KNOW that reading is off, because of the open rafters and the lumber pile that blocks the accuracy of the sensors.

 DaaAAAMMMMMMMMMM. This is a long post.   BYE.  ;D ;D :D :D :D
 
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: sawmill squaw on May 24, 2011, 10:22:46 PM
Harold, I bought a solar book a few years ago.  The man was building solar ovens and such.  He got almost all his stuff for free...including glass.  He would contact glass/window installers and get large panes of glass they took out of people's homes.  He says if a person does this they are actually helping the business owner.  You didn't mention if you were getting your glass for free or paying.  Thought I'd throw that at ya in case your having to pay for it. 

I told Willie about you using the refer trailer.  Just in a quick conversation we had, he wondered about using a refrigerated unit and changing refrigeration to heat.  What say you?

Stainless steel refer?  Purdy!!! 8)
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: HaroldCR - AKA Fla.-Deadheader on May 25, 2011, 08:11:18 AM

 Thanks for the info on minimal cost glass.  Down here, in Costa Rica, it's pretty tough to get stuff for cheap. They use glass that's 14" X 45" tall, as wing windows for Jalousie Windows. A LOT of houses are built small, so they can get away with less money spent. It's a different world, here.  Thanks.

 It was Frank (Tail-gunner) that used the reefer trailer and wood burning furnace boiler. Mine is just wood frame, on skids, so I can drag it around with my Land Cruiser, if needed.
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: Stevem on May 25, 2011, 01:19:10 PM
How big is your kiln?

Quote
Steve, how many panels can you afford to run the fans ??  Why not use Radiator fans that are heat sensor controlled ??  Junkyards or "Auto Salvage yards"  Roll Eyes Roll Eyes  should have a bunch. They run off of 12 v DC, so, a few batteries, and the panels to help offset the batteries, and, you are good to go.

Thought about radiator fans because of the 12 volt benefit 'tiil I found out that they draw in current

Quote
Using a Fluke digital clamp ammeter, we tested the starting (or inrush) current draw and the operating current draw. The Taurus fan pulled a little over 130 amps on startup (only for milliseconds) and settled down to right around 40 amps using the high-speed wire.


I question that info because the fan is only fused for about 15 amps but it's still a lot.  In reality probably closer to 10 amps.  Strange thing about fans is they pull less current when faced with restricted air flow.  Vacuum cleaners speed up when you plug the intake hose.

Too much current to be supported by solar I think.  Lots of air flow though and price should be right. 

For a thermostat was thinking of a hot water heater control (snap switch).  Cheap and capable of withstanding high temps and high current draw.  Probably free off an old heater.

Let me think over what else you said though.  Don't know I need more projects right now. 

 
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: HaroldCR - AKA Fla.-Deadheader on May 25, 2011, 04:40:57 PM
 I'm going to Fl in a few days, and, will be sure to check the amp draw on different make fans. You can also get a small inverter at a truck stop. Schumacher brand are excellent, and then run the 20" box fans off that.

 I have several 1400 KVA UPS's to try to run stuff at 120V AC. I run my " hammer drill off a garden tractor battery off the Peterson, and it runs the 350 KVA UPS. It all site in the wheelie barrow, when I go down to work on building the dam and sluice for the Hydro system.  I have drilled holes in big rocks, then drove wedges in to split the rocks small enough to carry to the dam site.
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: Frank Pender - AKA "Tail Gunner" on November 19, 2011, 10:17:07 PM
Steve, I still have that brand new Ebac 3,000 in the box.  I paid $3 grand for the unit, over 15 years ago.  Make me an offer.  All I can say, is no.
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: Sawmill Knowledge on February 23, 2019, 11:24:03 PM
my design on my website keeps the sunlight away from the lumber,it has natural air circulation by using the chimney effect,check it out.
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: kbeitz on February 27, 2019, 08:08:20 AM
This unit cost me nothing but my time and some screws and tar to build.
This was made with sliding doors that the in the glass shades did not work
right. I use six small box computer type fans in it. They use very little electric.
You can find the fans like that in 12 vdc, 120 ac, 220 vac. I painted the inside
with a 50/50 Tar and diesel mix. I am very happy with the way it works.

 
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: A.O. on February 27, 2019, 08:57:21 AM
This unit cost me nothing but my time and some screws and tar to build.
This was made with sliding doors that the in the glass shades did not work
right. I use six small box computer type fans in it. They use very little electric.
You can find the fans like that in 12 vdc, 120 ac, 220 vac. I painted the inside
with a 50/50 Tar and diesel mix. I am very happy with the way it works.

Doesn't look like it would hold much, pretty narrow.
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: starmac on February 27, 2019, 06:00:22 PM
A.O., Unless you are planning to dry lumber for the public, I would look at some of the solar plans. I think it was the University of Virginia that has a nice planned out one, that several folks have built and are happy with.
I checked into them, and they will not work this far north, something to do with the sun. lol
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: A.O. on February 27, 2019, 07:59:54 PM
A.O., Unless you are planning to dry lumber for the public, I would look at some of the solar plans. I think it was the University of Virginia that has a nice planned out one, that several folks have built and are happy with.
I checked into them, and they will not work this far north, something to do with the sun. lol
Yeah, I've seen those plans..they look deeper than the one in the pic..  i'm just looking right now to put some sort of roof up to get my stacks out of the weather.
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: Ox on February 28, 2019, 08:43:16 AM
I built low, narrow A frames out of basically firring strips and tarp, basically just a little bigger than the top of the lumber stack.  First screw together shallow A frames that will act like trusses, then lay long strips lengthwise to act as purlins, then take carefully cut tarp material and staple down on one side, pull tight and staple other side, then staple down remaining purlins.  I use typically about 4 "trusses" and 6 "purlins".  It simply sets down on top of lumber stack and sheds rain and keeps snow off.  Wind don't blow it off either.  Only drawback is for me it takes 2 people to move, but is much faster and handier than old metal roofing and concrete blocks.  If needed one person can do it easy enough by shuffling one end at a time.

I can't get any pics, and won't for quite a while, since we've been blessed with yet more snow and temps are staying quite cold for this time of year.  All you'd see is long, narrow, shallow pitched roofs over some lumber and all snow covered.  Should be warming up some, but this is only for 2 days then right back down to singles and teens.  I know it ain't nothing compared to some, but I'm SO tired of it.
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: A.O. on February 28, 2019, 10:09:45 AM
I built low, narrow A frames out of basically firring strips and tarp, basically just a little bigger than the top of the lumber stack.  First screw together shallow A frames that will act like trusses, then lay long strips lengthwise to act as purlins, then take carefully cut tarp material and staple down on one side, pull tight and staple other side, then staple down remaining purlins.  I use typically about 4 "trusses" and 6 "purlins".  It simply sets down on top of lumber stack and sheds rain and keeps snow off.  Wind don't blow it off either.  Only drawback is for me it takes 2 people to move, but is much faster and handier than old metal roofing and concrete blocks.  If needed one person can do it easy enough by shuffling one end at a time.

I can't get any pics, and won't for quite a while, since we've been blessed with yet more snow and temps are staying quite cold for this time of year.  All you'd see is long, narrow, shallow pitched roofs over some lumber and all snow covered.  Should be warming up some, but this is only for 2 days then right back down to singles and teens.  I know it ain't nothing compared to some, but I'm SO tired of it.

I've been debating something like that, would rather put tin on them cause tarps out in the sun full time don't last too long. I could probably alter them so I could pick them up with the forks on my tractor..

40's 50's and 60's here lately.
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: kbeitz on February 28, 2019, 11:42:56 AM
Mine might look small but I can put all my tractor can lift twice inside.

Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: A.O. on February 28, 2019, 03:46:03 PM
Mine might look small but I can put all my tractor can lift twice inside.

Sounds like you need a
bigger tractor HAHA
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: starmac on February 28, 2019, 08:33:48 PM
Ox, I have had something like that swirling around in my brain, I was thinking build them heavy enough that I could just handle them with the forklift.
Now here is a little known secret, for tarps for something like that go to a billboard sign company. Some times thy will give you the ones they take down, sometimes they charge a little, but they can' reuse them and they are tough enough to cut up and nail down. They will last for years too.

I can't count how many I have seen left under the billboard when they removed them.
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: Ox on March 01, 2019, 08:47:15 AM
I've heard the same thing - they're vinyl, right?  Pretty thick stuff.

I've had some incredible luck with some "heavy duty tarps, brown" on Amazon.  I've got one that's now 4 years old that's been covering the carriage on the mill.  It shows NO degradation.  I'm totally impressed.  It cost me around $20 or so, for a 10 x 12 or something thereabouts.  I'm interested to see how long it'll last. 

There's a sign and billboard company within 30 miles of here and a guy on craigslist who always has cut pieces of that stuff up for sale.  Maybe one day I'll look into it more.
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: Crusarius on March 01, 2019, 08:47:40 AM
Since that tip has become mainstream now I think they cost at least $60 each last time I looked. But I do remember quite a bit more for some.

Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: Crusarius on March 01, 2019, 08:50:51 AM
hmmm. this company seems to be decent.

https://billboardtarps.com/product-category/billboard-vinyl/billboard-vinyl-9-oz/

12′ x 25′ 9 oz. Black Vinyl Tarp – Reused Billboard – 11 mil – $0.09 sq. ft.
$27.00
Add To Cart

damn. shipping gets ya every time

Subtotal   $27.00
Shipping   FedEx Ground Home Delivery: $24.17
Calculate shipping

Total   $51.17
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: furu on March 01, 2019, 10:50:53 AM
OK for those of us that know nothing about billboards and the like. 
What do they use the canvas for? 
Are the ads actually printed on canvas and the canvas is then glued up on the billboard. 
What is the canvas's purpose?

It does sound like an interesting way to get some inexpensive coverings.
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: A.O. on March 01, 2019, 11:10:33 AM
The problem I'm seeing is the doubling of price with shipping.
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: Crusarius on March 01, 2019, 11:35:12 AM
yea the shipping is killer.

furu thats exactly what they do. print the banner on vinyl then just go hang it on the billboard. alot quicker and easier than painting.

So the billboard vinyl does have an ad of some type on them. that company I think also sells new  vinyl.
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: furu on March 01, 2019, 12:04:11 PM
Crusarius

Thanks
Title: Re: What Kind of Kiln would you build ?
Post by: Crusarius on March 01, 2019, 12:16:12 PM
its funny that this was brought up. I acquired the framing for a portable garage also had a bunch of steel roofing with it. I was just going to screw the steel to the frame but the steel has been relocated to all of my wood stacks instead. Now I am thinking if I get one of those billboard tarps I can make it wrap the top and go halfway down the sides and be able to put a bunch of lumber in it.