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Thread: Point me to plans for building a kiln drying shed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    North Central Wisconsin, and Antioch, IL
    Posts
    732

    Point me to plans for building a kiln drying shed

    I have a wood shop in northern Wisconsin. Clark County.
    I've got some unused land, and I'd like to build a kiln to dry lumber.
    I'd like it to hold about 500 BF.
    Because of the cold climate, I don't want to mess with a solar kiln.
    I'd like to go with dehumidification, and I'd like to use my outside wood boiler, as a heat source.

    I've done enough research such that I feel comfortable understanding drying techniques, kiln schedules, and how to handle the internal air flow and baffling process.
    What I'd like some help with, is the actual building.

    Can someone point me to some plans, for constructing the actual building, that would dry about 500 feet or so?
    I know the insulation requirements are different for a drying shed, compared to a garden shed.
    It can be a wooden or metal building.
    I'd like it to "look nice", so I'm not looking to convert a semi container, or reefer unit.
    Does the interior need to be painted, with a special paint? How should I insulate the walls and floor? What type of venting should the building have, and where are the vents to be located? Or, do DH kiln buildings not have vents?
    Those are the types of questions I have, but I'm not really looking to get them answered here.

    I'm hoping someone can point me to some kiln drying building plans....

    (and why's it so hard to find the price online, for the ebac 800 ?)
    Last edited by dirk martin; 11-29-2019 at 4:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
    Posts
    13,344
    I had an Ebac kiln many years ago that I ran for over ten years. Mine was a 4 by 4 by 8 foot long plywood box (four hundred board feet). It was framed with 2 by 2's and all of the cavities were filled with blue foam sheet. The 4 by 8 door was on the front side for easy access to load and unload the kiln. I used long machine bolts every 18 inches and inserts to secure the door and keep the box air tight using a rubber gasket. There were no vents, only two small holes for the electrical lines and the drain tubing. The Ebac dehumidifier had a built-in heater so it was easy to maintain the drying schedule, its basically a small heat pump. It was inside my barn, not an exterior kiln.

    I purchased my lumber from a local mill in Williamsburg, right off the saw. I put the lumber in my kiln wet, right from the mill and ran the Ebac unit about four days without any heat allowing the lumber stack to adjust. Once I started the drying schedule I maintained a very low amount of heat increasing the temperature only after I measured the water output and it was decreasing...per the Ebac instructions. It took about six weeks to dry a load of lumber to 3 to 4 percent. This is not the most efficient way but it provided the best quality lumber. I rarely had any lumber bend or distort in any way and no end checking. When I ran my lumber though my table saw the boards stayed perfectly flat because there was no stress in any board from any lumber run in over ten years that I ran my kiln.

    I sold just enough lumber to pay for what I purchased at the sawmill. The rest was mine to use in my shop. I enjoyed running my kiln but it is hard work and I spent an unbelievable amount of time planing lumber but I have never been able to purchase that level of quality lumber since I stopped drying my own, at any price. After seeing my kiln my friend built a 1000 board foot kiln. He air dries before kiln drying to reduce the time but the quality is not the same.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 11-29-2019 at 9:37 AM. Reason: Spelling

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    North Central Wisconsin, and Antioch, IL
    Posts
    732
    Thanks Keith. My research shows that people seem to like the Ebac units.
    Anyone out there know the price of the Ebac800 ?

  4. Woodmizer sells a kiln. I've seen many many plans over the years. Not all might meet your "attractiveness" requirement though.
    A FT chairmaker I once knew had the simplest one I've seen. He was a very basic man who lived far back in the country, "up a holler" as we say here. His kiln consisted of 4 sides made of rough lumber creating a long box like affair something like a huge coffin. The roof was metal roofing and in several parts to allow disassembly. At one end he placed a basement dehumidifier and closed the box checking now and then until the humidifier tray was empty. I bought those same units at garage sales and did the same thing for some years. The weakness is with acid woods and the aluminum coils on the units pinholes eventually make for a leak and freons gone.
    I feel you'll learn much more if you search Woodweb along with the web in general and perhaps The Forestry Forum too. The US Forestry also have plans and the number of homemade kiln designs out there is quite a long list.

  5. #5
    Forestry forum has a drying and processing page, that addresses your questions, and the Wood doctor resides there. Personally, I used a reefer box with solar panels to set up a wood dryer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Mountain City, TN
    Posts
    474
    What town in Clark county, WI? I grew up in Greenwood.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    North Central Wisconsin, and Antioch, IL
    Posts
    732
    Granton, WI. I go to Greenwood every now and then....

    I find it odd that it's so hard to get a price from anyone, anywhere on the LD800 DH kiln.
    I don't see any price on their website, nor a thread on any forums where price might be mentioned.
    I see the smallest Nyle is a few thousand dollars....and I'm really hoping the LD800 will be lower....but can't find anyone that knows....
    Guess I'll call Ebac Monday....

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