Archive for the ‘Current’ Category

Design Choice

We’ve decided to go with a relatively small kiln – one that can accommodate approximately 1000 board feet of lumber per charge.  Depending on the wood species, thickness and weather –  turnaround time should be 3-6 weeks per charge.  Given the extremely high cost of commercial lumber right now, we’ll likely avoid any commercial lumber and plywood and build exclusively using planks off the mill.

Footprint will be approximately 14′ x 7′ and will allow a stack of wood around 12′ x 4′ x 4′.  Allowing for stickers, this works out to just over 1000 bdft.  Circulating fans will be driven by a few solar panels making the kiln 100% off grid.

The goal is to keep the cost of the entire build under $1000.  Key cost factors will be insulation, clear roofing panels and the solar panels and fan assemblies.

Kicking off the project

One of the first projects in the spring will be to undertake the building of a solar kiln to dry the lumber coming off the mill.  Lots of reasons for this – first and foremost is speed to a useable product in various projects including furniture.  Second reason for a solar kiln is the gentleness in which it dries lumber.  There are a lot less internal stresses introduced to the lumber during the drying process using a solar kiln over a commercially heated kiln.

The project will be designed and built using the overall approach of the Solar Kiln project from Virginia Tech.