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K Cooper

Home Made Kiln

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Has anyone made their own kiln. I have searched all over my area for someone with a kiln with no luck and I'm tired of paying $9.00 bf for walnut while watching mine dry.

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Has anyone made their own kiln. I have searched all over my area for someone with a kiln with no luck and I'm tired of paying $9.00 bf for walnut while watching mine dry.

 

WOW! No experience on building my own but, there's no way in hell I'd pay that!  You can buy walnut cheaper from Bell Forrest and their prices are high!

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The ones I have are live edge slabs and I want them to become something. The one I just bought for $46 is just a damn board, a nice damn board but still....

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Coop

American Woodworker had a solar kiln article. I will look for the article and send if I can find. No promises, but it was a back issue and I ordered it.

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Coop

American Woodworker had a solar kiln article. I will look for the article and send if I can find. No promises, but it was a back issue and I ordered it.

Thanks Bryan, I appreciate that.

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I have a buddy with a kiln, it's a connex box trailer. Don't know much about the logistics besides to say,  he's been spending months getting it right. Each species of wood typically has a baking recipe. It's not as simple as sticking wood in there and turning the dial to defrost. Big learning curve.

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I have a friend that built a solar kiln. He says it works really well. I believe he got the plans from the University of Illinois Extension web site. Wouldn't swear to it. I'll ask him when I see him.

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Thanks for any input. Upon reading up on this, I too think it's more complicated than just sucking water out of wood. It appears that a solar kiln might be the safest way to go.

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The one my buddy has is the Verginia tech 1000 bf kiln. It dries 8/4 to 6-8% in four weeks on average. I've helped load and unload it. Way asier to unload . The design is also stupidly simple.

Coop you could probably fit a kiln right there where your stacks are drying

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I built this one in my basement. Found and article in American Woodworker (I think) I should have it bookmarked at work. Holds about 300 bf. First load I put into it was 5/4 hard maple. Went in at about 40% and came out 6 weeks later at 8%

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Check on the Forestry forum.  Plenty of people there have, but probably mostly much larger than what you are looking for.   Brad's looks great!

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Just checked, youtube has plenty of videos. Woodworkers guild shows one in detail how it works.

I found one last night for constructing a large one, but will go back this morning to look for others. Thanks

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Building the kiln is the easy part. Drying the wood at the proper rate and being able to monitor everything to avoid defects is the hard part.

Each different type of wood has different rates that you can safely dry it at before you run into problems. The manual for the Nyle L200 has tons of great info.

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the old american woodworker site had a kiln article.

if you go to pintrest and search for it someone, somewhere will have posted the links to just about everything on the web.  work benches, jigs, fences, and yes, kilns.

 

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I haven't built one though I've been looking into building an oven to dry powder paint. I just wanted to say.. WTF is up with those walnut prices? I'm at $6.50/bf here. Makes me think I need to drop a $1000 before they jack the prices on me.

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Lumber prices are based upon supply and demand just like everything else.  Right now walnut supply is down and demand is sky high.  Econ101.

 

But be sure you're comparing apples to apples when looking at lumber prices.  Surfaced FAS is going to be considerably more expensive than rough commons.  Not all boards are created equal...quality is a huge determining factor, despite the wishful thinking of many people..."walnut is walnut."  No, not true.  Just because you find a huge pile of lumber in some farmer's barn for cheap doesn't mean it's a great deal if the boards are all junk.

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It's threads like this that make me kick myself for only buying 200 BF of 25 year air dried at $2 bf. As far as building a kiln, I know some guys who do solar kilns. I can ask them about them if you'd like.

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Tom, I just spoke with the guy that milled my trees and he has a homemade small kiln and will dry these for me. While I'm there, I'm going to take pics and get measurements of his and make me one. Thanks all for your help.

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