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Thread: Home Made Kiln???

  1. #1

    Home Made Kiln???

    Kind of a crazy idea, but you guys are used to that by now...

    I have a 35,000 btu propane powered clothes dryer that is pretty much doing nothing. Its been rebuilt and is perfectly fine in every way, but my wife wants to keep her electric one for now.

    So I got to thinking, what if you made a sheet metal box for this thing, mounting it to the front of the clothes dryer, remove the door and then load wood in it. If the thing works so good for drying clothes, why wouldn't it dry lumber? The big kilns often use natural gas or other fossil fuels to create the heat, and the internal blower would distribute the air flow...

    The only problems I can think of is the timer. These things are made to run for 60 minutes max. Defeating the timer would be easy enough, but all the safety features for the burner tie into the timer. It would not be so easy to defeat as one would think??? The door shut off would be another safety kill switch to defeat, but that would be easy.

    I don't know if turning the kiln on twice a day for 60 minutes (before work and after I came home) would be enough to dry the lumber or not. I supposed I could stick a dehumidifier in there to dry the lumber inbetween "firings", but I could do that without a 35,000 btu burner unit too though?

    Just a wild idea I had...
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Travis,

    If you build that, you've got to get it featured on the Red Green show...

    If you need a kiln, there's got to be an easier way!

    On the other hand, if you need a shop heater, it sounds perfect. Turn it on when you first go out there to take the chill off, let it run for an hour, and Bob's your uncle!

    Thanks,

    Bill

  3. #3
    I fear that what you would create would be an oven for quick drying and distroying woods. Too quick of a drying process is the distruction of wood. Cracks, checks, warps, & wanes is a result of quick drying.

    Although a great home made kiln can be made using a simple dehumidifier in an enclosed area. I know one fellow who took an old truck Box, constructed racks on either side that would allow stickering of woods and in the center he placed a common room dehumidifier with a drain out of the enclosed area. In a few months he was able to bring the MC down to workable conditions. (I can't quote % numbers as I am not sure of the numbers and how long they took but he does have a simple yet effective home made kiln.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Lantry View Post
    On the other hand, if you need a shop heater, it sounds perfect. Turn it on when you first go out there to take the chill off, let it run for an hour
    The sad thing is, I was thinking about that. 35,000 btus would be just about right for my shop heater size wise.

    Yeah the drying kiln might be a little to over the top. I have been thinking about building a small dehumidifying kiln in the shop though. I was thinking maybe hang it from the ceiling just to conserve space. Nothing big, just something to get the moisture content down from the solar kiln I now have. It would not be something you shove 500 feet of lumber into, maybe 75-100 bf for a certain project. I saw a guy on Fine WW do this I think and he got ready-to-use lumber in 7 days.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  5. #5
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    Travis, You would be better off finding a used dehumidifier and using that. I have one in the shop and does speed up the drying time a lot.

  6. #6
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    Dryer Timer

    If you want a separate timer, put an timer extension cord to plugin the dryer, I'm sure there are 24 hour or 48 hr timers available(ie car plugin for block heater)
    Irv

  7. #7
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    Irv when you are drying wood in Golden do you kiln dry or air dry? I realize that air drying takes longer but do we not have the next to perect climate for it?

  8. #8
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    Travis, my buddy had a homemade kiln, painted it flat black, put three solar powered fans (from HF). Amazing how quickly the boards dried, happened a lot quicker with the fans, assume it is pulling the moisture out of the air. Worked here in Indiana both in winter and summer. Winter he shut the door, summer he left it open as it got extremely hot in there! Oh, saw something to do with heating and a manure pile in the last issue of Farm Show Magazine. Didn't think of you because of the manure, but because of the story!

  9. #9
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Last edited by Alan DuBoff; 02-27-2008 at 08:33 AM.

  10. #10
    Alan DuBoff is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
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    Last edited by Alan DuBoff; 02-27-2008 at 08:33 AM.

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