Fan Drying

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

Montanalocal

Minister of Fire
Dec 22, 2014
558
Helena MT
Fan Drying

I am trying something new in drying and I think it will work out well. I am using a fan inside my shop to dry out some wet wood.

I stumbled across this concept several years ago when I used a fan to dry down and cure some onions. I grow several hundred pounds of onions every year, and previously laid them out in the sun to dry and cure. However, one August when I normally cure them, we had a weather anomaly, and it rained day after day almost the whole month

Finally, I moved them indoors onto the cement floor of my shop. Then, just on a whim, I got an inexpensive 2 ft. sq. fan and set it on the floor and left it running to move the air around.

I got a surprise, as the onions cured out in about half the time they normally did in the sun.

Fast forward to this fall, and we have another weather anomaly. In September we got a big heavy wet snow. Then we got two more just like it about a week apart each.

They were all heavy and wet, and gradually soaked into my woodpiles as they melted, rather than simply running off as a normal rain would do. This wood was all dry and ready to burn. Normally this is a very dry season for us. We usually do not get snow until much later, and it is very dry and fluffy, so that I can just blow it off with a leaf blower. Normally I do not cover my piles, and until now have not needed to.

I removed the top two layers of the stacks I will be using this winter, and moved them into my shop. Then, just like with the onions, I set up a fan to circulate the air. I have propane heat in there, and I can occasionally turn it on for a while to warm up the moist air and blow it out of the garage doors.

It has been only working for about a week so far, but it looks like the splits are drying out nicely, judging from the feel and heft. I will have some nice dry protected wood for mid winter I think.
Fan Drying
 
My brother in law has a portable sawmill. He puts his lumber under a clear plastic tent and uses 3 computer fans connected to a solar panel to move the air. He says the air movement cuts off a third of the drying time for his lumber.
Got any old tin roofing lying around? Put it on top of your wood pile and loop some rope under the wood pile to hold it down. It will keep it dry.
 
Seems like every fall I go into freeze up after a soaking rain and all my stuff gets super wet. I move my stacks into the shop heated with wood and run box fans and a dehumidifier. That really works well for me. I also don't have a floor drain and cars coming in at night add a lot of moisture that the dehumidifier takes out
 
onions i could see this working on, they are small but i dont see it making an appreciable difference on wood, specifically the moisture IN the wood.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bfitz3
This would work for drying the exterior moisture but nothing for the interior moisture....something that only time will cure...pun intended..:)
 
Tried this with some Hickory that wasn't seasoning as fast as I wanted, huge fail. Do yourself a favor and stack it under cover where the wind and sun can work on it. It's free too. I use tar paper to just cover the top of the stack the rest is uncovered.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Soundchasm
Tried this with some Hickory that wasn't seasoning as fast as I wanted, huge fail. Do yourself a favor and stack it under cover where the wind and sun can work on it. It's free too. I use tar paper to just cover the top of the stack the rest is uncovered.

My limited experience with hickory is that stuff is devilishly hard to cure. I didn't have any luck other than 24 months, and that was split small. I about lost patience with it. Well, OK, I did lose patience... ;lol