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Thread: Show me your solar kiln

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Show me your solar kiln

    Who has built a solar kiln? I am strongly considering building one next spring and am interested in your design and experience with yours if you have one. I'm looking to size one for something around 500 BFF per load. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
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    Took mine down last year... It was a modified VA Tech design... held about 250 bd ft..
    Do a search on "Virginia Tech Solar Kiln"

  3. #3
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    Thanks Ed. I'm familiar with the VA Tech design. What modifications did you make, why, and how did it work?

    John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
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    Made it 4' deep, 10' wide, 3' on the vertical front, 45degree double insulated glass, mounted on a steel trailer, 2 20" walmart box fans..
    Having it on the trailer, could move it to face north when not drying to keep it from getting so hot and also could pull it up to sawmill to load it..

    Sorry, cannot find a photo of it... computer went belly-up last spring and lost a lot of pictures..

    It really worked great... dried a bunch of walnut, cherry, gum, oak, hickory, poplar and firewood when it was not drying good lumber...
    Used it for about 10 years but I made it out of OSB and it finally fell apart... was cheap to make and lasted as long as I needed it...

    Did most of drying in summer months and used it a lot for storage in winter months...even though I dried several loads in fall/winter...

    Buy a decent moisture meter and keep track of moisture in lumber, it is easy to over dry in the summer...

    Build one, you will not regret it...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
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    The thing I like best about the kiln was that I sawed the cherry logs on my homemade mill, dried the lumber in my solar kiln, then made my daughter a solid cherry bedroom suite.... I took it from the standing tree to her bedroom completely... Great feeling...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WNY
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    Thanks very much for the follow ups Ed. I'm about 95% sure I'm going to build one. Very clever to put it on a trailer. I will likely build mine on a packed stone pad facing due South. I'll cover over some or all of the glazing and open the vents when necessary to avoid over heating.

    John

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