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Hot air drying?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by FarmerDowling, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. FarmerDowling

    FarmerDowling New Member

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    Hi, just joined so sorry if something like this has been covered elsewhere. I have a home made wood burner in the garden as I'm always out there with my chickens and I have quite a lot of Logs. I was wondering about ways to speed up or at least help the seasoning process and thought about running the 'bendy' chimney I have attached to the top through a metal container filled with split logs.

    Has anyone tried this type of thing and had results or am I just using up room for nothing??

    Thanks

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  2. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Won't work, for multiple reasons. The hot chimney gasses want to rise, so you'd have to elevate the box of wood above the stove. If you got that far, you'd find that cooling the gasses by using them to heat logs for drying would only stop the chimney from drawing.

    Also, safety hazard.
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    How well it works will depend on several factors the first of which is how efficient the stove is. There may not be enough heat left in the flue to heat a drying oven. If you cool the flue gasses too much, you will lose draft and produce creosote. There needs to be enough heat going up the flue to create draft and the flue needs to stay hot enough for the full height to limit condensation.
  4. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Farmer.

    It has always been so strange for me to hear of others always trying to shorten the time for wood to dry. Especially when it is so easy to just stock pile the wood for a few years and always stay ahead. For sure it is work getting ahead but it is like priming a pump. One sometimes has to pump like the dickens to get water but once it comes, just an easy steady pressure gets you plenty of water. Same with wood. Work a little hard at the start. Get 3 years ahead on the wood. Once there, then just cut one year at a time. Not only are the benefits that you burn good dry wood but you'll also burn less wood to get the heat you need. The also if something bad befall you and some year you can't get out to cut wood, no problem because you have some there for a cushion.
    milleo, Shane N and Dune like this.
  6. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    +1. Kind of funny hearing people complain about all the work involved in getting seasoned wood, so that's why they burn green.
  7. FarmerDowling

    FarmerDowling New Member

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    Its not a complaint and I also understand the forward planning but Im at year 1 so don't fancy freezing for the next 2 years! :-D

    I was Hoping to cut some corners on the stuff that was split during the early summer and had also thought of using a glass roofed log store to try and get more help from the sun. Has anyone found any benefits to this? Again im NOT being lazy just trying to shorten time!
  8. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Solar kilns do work, but the trick is getting the right balance of temperature and fresh air ventilation. If you put wet wood in a hot, sealed box you just end up with a steamy sauna. To work as a kiln you need the warm, damp air to be leaving the box and being replaced by cooler, dryer air, and it needs to happen at a rate that isn't so fast that it carries away so much heat that the box never warms up. Solar kilns for lumber typically have thermostatically controlled fans similar to an attic ventilation fan. Insulation may be needed to conserve heat. Getting one of these to work well is a significant project.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  9. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    I wish I would have enough room in my yard to store as much wood plus a wife who would be ok with that. I am glad that I can keep about two years supply at hand but three years is out of the question. Not to mention that I do not have a woodlot and scrounges are unpredictable. For faster drying I am really considering a solar kiln:
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I can work but remember that air circulation is the biggest key to drying wood. Sun and warm is good but wind is what you really need to do the trick. So, if you get some wind along with your idea, it will help. Just how much is debatable. Some folks are happy with marginal fuel and some like only good fuel.

    And don't forget that unknown factor mentioned earlier. We have had a few cases of folks on this forum where some accident or sickness befall them and they could not cut for a winter. If you are that 3 year ahead, you have a cushion to fall back on and need not buy wood or have someone come in to cut for you.
  11. FarmerDowling

    FarmerDowling New Member

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    Thanks for the video - it looks exactly like what I sketched out on my 'post it' note! ;-)

    My wife overheard it and all I got was an eye roll so I'm going to take that as an ok! :)

    Attached Files:

  12. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

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    Thats a very complicated solar kiln. I think I will stick to my polytunnel version at least I can load it up with a tractor or fork lift and I dont have any ongoing fan costs.
  13. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I think a kiln would be a pretty neat project - make it big enough that you could open a side of it & load a pallet or two in with a FEL and Red Green's your uncle.

    Aren't there solar powered attic vent fans out there? If you could tie one of those to a humidistat (out of a dehumidifier?), you'd pretty well have automatic humidity/fresh air control that uses no electricity.
  14. FarmerDowling

    FarmerDowling New Member

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    I had wondered why he hadn't used a solar fan as the kiln obviously faces the sun? My space doesn't allow for a palet depth but I could make it twice as long as this. My colleague is a techie genius and is helping me put together a special needs sensory garden that will have solar and wind powered stuff so maybe he could knock up something! I also like the poly tunnel idea but without the space would the tunnel get the correct blow through?
  15. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

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    In respect of the polytunnel as a guide our tunnels are 25 mtr x 8 mtr
  16. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    There is a simpler yet still effective solar firewood kiln. The clear plastic is held above the wood by a framework of some type. The only ventilation is an opening around the bottom. Water vapor condenses on the plastic and drips to the ground. It is important that the plastic not touch the firewood at any point.

    This simple type of kiln can reduce seasoning time by greater than 50%.

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