First kiln questions

CreosoteCowboy

New Member
Jun 1, 2019
52
MN
I'm thinking of putting together my first kiln next week.

It looks like many people put down black plastic on top of pallets, and then punch vent holes through the plastic.

I'm thinking of putting together a 60x96 base out of 2x6s. If I left a very slight gap between the boards, could I forego the black plastic base without losing too much heat? I could paint the boards black, if it matters.

I realize that lots of guys have good luck with the plastic base, but I can't get over the feeling of not wanting to create a base where water could pool.
 

CreosoteCowboy

New Member
Jun 1, 2019
52
MN
Fantastic threads, thank you. I had been looking at some threads from several years ago, and I didn't realize the designs had been significantly refined. If I'm reading correctly, people have abandoned the plastic underlayer with good results.
 

Jan Pijpelink

Minister of Fire
Jan 2, 2015
1,844
South Jersey
Correct, you need airflow as well. Skip the black plastic at all. Lift the wood up from the ground to increase airflow (pallets) and use clear 6 mil plastic to wrap. BTW, June/July is the best period to start this.
 

CreosoteCowboy

New Member
Jun 1, 2019
52
MN
Thanks. I'm planning to do some cutting, splitting and stacking next week. I'll get the wood on platforms such that I can easily add the plastic at the start of the summer.
 

dcl

New Member
Dec 25, 2018
7
northern illinois
Absolutely love this idea. This was/is our second season of burning. Since September I've put up over 8 full cords of cherry,oak,locust. But I've been wondering about how well it will dry by this coming fall. I'm going to try the kiln idea this summer. Thanks to all for the input in these threads. Dcl
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,348
Woolwich nj
Absolutely love this idea. This was/is our second season of burning. Since September I've put up over 8 full cords of cherry,oak,locust. But I've been wondering about how well it will dry by this coming fall. I'm going to try the kiln idea this summer. Thanks to all for the input in these threads. Dcl
I'd separate your wood as much as you can. your cherry will.dry alot faster than the oak.. if you have a split here or there in the stack .. no big deal.. but if you have alot of cherry mixed in it's going to dry alot faster then the oak.. it's not a super deal breaker but it's nice to have all the wood around the same moisture content
 

Woodcutter Tom

New Member
Apr 28, 2019
55
Northern Illinois
Absolutely love this idea. This was/is our second season of burning. Since September I've put up over 8 full cords of cherry,oak,locust. But I've been wondering about how well it will dry by this coming fall. I'm going to try the kiln idea this summer. Thanks to all for the input in these threads. Dcl
If you don't mind me asking, where in northern Illinois are you located? I'm in Oregon. I plan to make some type of solar kiln this summer. I want to have dry wood next winter so I can get some heat from my smaller stove. This winter had lots of smoke and bubbles from ends of splits.
 

dcl

New Member
Dec 25, 2018
7
northern illinois
If you don't mind me asking, where in northern Illinois are you located? I'm in Oregon. I plan to make some type of solar kiln this summer. I want to have dry wood next winter so I can get some heat from my smaller stove. This winter had lots of smoke and bubbles from ends of splits.
I'd separate your wood as much as you can. your cherry will.dry alot faster than the oak.. if you have a split here or there in the stack .. no big deal.. but if you have alot of cherry mixed in it's going to dry alot faster then the oak.. it's not a super deal breaker but it's nice to have all the wood around the same moisture content
Thanks for the reply. I've got the wood pretty well separated as far as types. 2 stacks 45' long,2 splits wide of cherry. That's where I started the wood stacking for the season. Hopefully it will dry in time. Keeping the oak and locust in similar stacks.
 

dcl

New Member
Dec 25, 2018
7
northern illinois
If you don't mind me asking, where in northern Illinois are you located? I'm in Oregon. I plan to make some type of solar kiln this summer. I want to have dry wood next winter so I can get some heat from my smaller stove. This winter had lots of smoke and bubbles from ends of splits.
Hi Tom. We are Close! I'm outside Franklin Grove.
 

CreosoteCowboy

New Member
Jun 1, 2019
52
MN
This kiln is going to have its work cut out for it.

Over the past week, I've CSS much of four standing dead red oaks. They were standing long enough that they'd lost most of their limbs, and they were getting slightly punky on the outside in spots.

When I cracked the rounds in half, they were still very wet. Straight pieces tested in the low 40% range, while crotch pieces were in the high 50% range. So much for standing dead trees drying out.









I think I'll end up with about two cords of this red oak that I'll build a kiln around by June. Two cords of green red oak weigh about 6600 pounds. If the kiln can drop the moisture by 25% on average over the summer, it'll have removed 1650 pounds of water. That works out to 197.6 gallons, or about three and a quarter 55 gallon drums full of water. That's a lot of water that needs to come out of this wood!
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,348
Woolwich nj
This kiln is going to have its work cut out for it.

Over the past week, I've CSS much of four standing dead red oaks. They were standing long enough that they'd lost most of their limbs, and they were getting slightly punky on the outside in spots.

When I cracked the rounds in half, they were still very wet. Straight pieces tested in the low 40% range, while crotch pieces were in the high 50% range. So much for standing dead trees drying out.









I think I'll end up with about two cords of this red oak that I'll build a kiln around by June. Two cords of green red oak weigh about 6600 pounds. If the kiln can drop the moisture by 25% on average over the summer, it'll have removed 1650 pounds of water. That works out to 197.6 gallons, or about three and a quarter 55 gallon drums full of water. That's a lot of water that needs to come out of this wood!
your on track for a good outcome.. you have started early enough.. top cover and just let it sit. your well north so I'd make sure you wrap it early june and give yourself plenty of time to keep it in there prior to fall. you'll be surprised on how much water it will lose prior to wrapping it up.. post some pics and show us the kiln as well as post up some data
 
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CreosoteCowboy

New Member
Jun 1, 2019
52
MN
Quick update. I didn’t get around to building a kiln. Instead, I built a platform with a translucent fiberglass roof.

I cracked a few open today, and I found 23-25% moisture. It’s been a hot summer, but that seems like a pretty good result so far to me.
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,200
Iowa
Quick update. I didn’t get around to building a kiln. Instead, I built a platform with a translucent fiberglass roof.

I cracked a few open today, and I found 23-25% moisture. It’s been a hot summer, but that seems like a pretty good result so far to me.
Can you post a few pics of your platform and roof? Maybe fill us in on the brand of roofing material.
 

CreosoteCowboy

New Member
Jun 1, 2019
52
MN
Can you post a few pics of your platform and roof? Maybe fill us in on the brand of roofing material.
It's just a simple platform of 2x8s with gaps for airflow. I got the roofing material from Home Depot, and they called the pieces "patio panels."





There are several issues I'll eventually fix (e.g. the flat roof with zero overhang), but sitting on a southwest facing hillside this summer it's done a good job letting the wood dry out.
 
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showrguy

Feeling the Heat
Aug 2, 2015
457
Marysville, Pa.
It's just a simple platform of 2x8s with gaps for airflow. I got the roofing material from Home Depot, and they called the pieces "patio panels."





There are several issues I'll eventually fix (e.g. the flat roof with zero overhang), but sitting on a southwest facing hillside this summer it's done a good job letting the wood dry out.
It's just a simple platform of 2x8s with gaps for airflow. I got the roofing material from Home Depot, and they called the pieces "patio panels."





There are several issues I'll eventually fix (e.g. the flat roof with zero overhang), but sitting on a southwest facing hillside this summer it's done a good job letting the wood dry out.
Did you crawl in and outa that thing with every piece of wood ??
If I did that I’d never walk again.... lol
 

Jan Pijpelink

Minister of Fire
Jan 2, 2015
1,844
South Jersey
Quick update. I didn’t get around to building a kiln. Instead, I built a platform with a translucent fiberglass roof.

I cracked a few open today, and I found 23-25% moisture. It’s been a hot summer, but that seems like a pretty good result so far to me.
I have both your set up and a kiln. Kiln dries MUCH faster.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,200
Iowa
It's just a simple platform of 2x8s with gaps for airflow. I got the roofing material from Home Depot, and they called the pieces "patio panels."





There are several issues I'll eventually fix (e.g. the flat roof with zero overhang), but sitting on a southwest facing hillside this summer it's done a good job letting the wood dry out.
Nifty setup. Thinking about building a carport roofed with the same. May ad sidewalls with the same material as siding. The sidewalls will be removable. I helped a buddy build a greenhouse using the same panels. Super hot inside.