My attempt at kiln

Rob711

Feeling the Heat
Oct 19, 2017
335
Long Island, ny
I Have to thank this forum and it’s members ingenuity I feel I’m still new at this as compared to most of you. I apologize for not taking moisture readings. I went as far as taking the meter to the back yard, also I’m missing a major component, solar! We’ll see!
 

Rob711

Feeling the Heat
Oct 19, 2017
335
Long Island, ny
7 pallets on the ground with 3 or 4 pallets vertical in between for stability, built up the ends to add height. Stack is about 5’ high, 24’ long, two rows of mostly black locust. Peak is about 6’ high, covered in 6 mil plastic with vents cut in the gable ends. I wrapped the bottom with that stretchy plastic Saran Wrap stuff.
I should’ve stacked wood wider on pallets, the stretchy film doesn’t really do much so I ended up stapling the plastic to the pallets to keep it tighter. A sunny spot would probably help too!
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,492
central pa
You need some vents top and bottom. Not to much you need to build heat but you also need to let moisture escape.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,304
Northern NH
Hi Rob, I am also trying a poor mans kiln. I used some 3/4" conduit at 4" intervals that are buried a foot in the ground and then bent over the top of the pile to form a roof . I then zip tied the bent conduits that bend over the roof together. I used black agricultural plastic over mine. This allows me space to leave a gap between the plastic and the wood on all sides. My roof is slanted from the front edge to the rear to make it less prone to snow build up even though I intend to pull the plastic before fall. I have a hole poked in the plastic on both ends at the high spot. I just wish I could get a humidity controller as adjusting the opening to optimize temperature without the humidity going too high inside is constant thing. Make the holes too small on a hot day and its get humid inside, open up the size of the holes and the humidity drops while the temp also drops. I don't own a moisture meter so no data is being collected. I will check the wood out in a couple of months and decide if I want to continue with it.

I do have a chart recorder for humidity and temperature kicking around somewhere so I may end up doing some monitoring.
 

Rob711

Feeling the Heat
Oct 19, 2017
335
Long Island, ny
Dataman I thought same thing, great way to ruin about two cords of wood. I’m going to keep a eye on it. I’ve seen some condensation only at one end so I cut another vent. This was created sorta outta necessity and curiosity. I have about 3 cords dry. And 3 I’ve split and stacked in January. This is another 2. I use about 4 a winter. Any signs of mold I’ll pull the plastic and rig up a top cover only.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,492
central pa
Gonna Rot Fast
Not at all as long as there are vents to allow moisture to escape. I did something similar last year and got my combo of red and white oak down to between 15 and 18 percent in about 5 months
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,492
central pa
Dataman I thought same thing, great way to ruin about two cords of wood. I’m going to keep a eye on it. I’ve seen some condensation only at one end so I cut another vent. This was created sorta outta necessity and curiosity. I have about 3 cords dry. And 3 I’ve split and stacked in January. This is another 2. I use about 4 a winter. Any signs of mold I’ll pull the plastic and rig up a top cover only.
You will get condensation on the inside of the plastic that is what happens as the water is driven out of the wood no way around it.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,253
Woolwich nj
looking at your kiln there are no vents. with a kiln that long you will need vents on both ends as one in the center.. cut the vent in a u shape so you can adjust it if Necessary. you also need to open it up at the bottom to allow air to come up and in and go out the vents.. you look pretty shaded so I'm not sure how you going to get alot of solar gain. it would be best to take a temp reading and post back what the temperature is on the inside. iv had mine up to 140 degrees during the peak of the day like 3..4pm
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,492
central pa
looking at your kiln there are no vents. with a kiln that long you will need vents on both ends as one in the center.. cut the vent in a u shape so you can adjust it if Necessary. you also need to open it up at the bottom to allow air to come up and in and go out the vents.. you look pretty shaded so I'm not sure how you going to get alot of solar gain. it would be best to take a temp reading and post back what the temperature is on the inside. iv had mine up to 140 degrees during the peak of the day like 3..4pm
Mine was almost to 150 one time I checked. But it is on asphalt with full sun. I agree that one doesn't have enough vents
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,253
Woolwich nj
Mine was almost to 150 one time I checked. But it is on asphalt with full sun. I agree that one doesn't have enough vents
mine sits in the yard so no asphalt but the key is the sun to operate it correctly.. im hoping he gets alot more sun than in the pic..
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
21,492
central pa
mine sits in the yard so no asphalt but the key is the sun to operate it correctly.. im hoping he gets alot more sun than in the pic..
Yeah most people don't have a parking lot at their house like I do.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,182
Fairbanks, Alaska
I would feel better about it if there were cinderblocks or something under the pallets. The thing to watch is the condensation that collects on the inside of the plastic. If it can flow down to the ground and out on the inside of the plastic surface it will probably work good.

If you end up cycling the same water in and out of your wood over and over, maybe not so much. Keep a close eye on it. Thanks for pushing the envelope on design. If the condensate is getting out and away it will probably work fine.
 
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maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,464
Nova Scotia
looking at your kiln there are no vents. with a kiln that long you will need vents on both ends as one in the center.. cut the vent in a u shape so you can adjust it if Necessary. you also need to open it up at the bottom to allow air to come up and in and go out the vents.. you look pretty shaded so I'm not sure how you going to get alot of solar gain. it would be best to take a temp reading and post back what the temperature is on the inside. iv had mine up to 140 degrees during the peak of the day like 3..4pm
There are vents.

I think if I was doing this I would try to incorporate a solar attic fan setup. Might take a bit of tweaking, but thinking you could get the fan speed set right so whenever the sun is out on it (and humidity is then in turn leaving the wood), the fan would come on & ventilate it. Could maybe adjust fan speed by adding a control to it for that. Could tune further by blocking part of the solar panel if needed. Once you get it tuned in, should be hands off automatic.

Then again, I guess with simple vents & adjusting those, you might get to that point too with convection being the driver?
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,253
Woolwich nj
I would feel better about it if there were cinderblocks or something under the pallets. The thing to watch is the condensation that collects on the inside of the plastic. If it can flow down to the ground and out on the inside of the plastic surface it will probably work good.

If you end up cycling the same water in and out of your wood over and over, maybe not so much. Keep a close eye on it. Thanks for pushing the envelope on design. If the condensate is getting out and away it will probably work fine.
hello there @Poindexter How's the weather in Alaska.. u still burning..it was warm her this winter.. was yours cold , average or warm