Solar kiln

tumm21

Member
Jul 16, 2011
209
North Jersey
Ok so again I have some red oak that has been cut split and stacked on pallets 3 rows deep by about 40 ft long since December. I have come to the conclusion from you guys it won’t be dry by November. So I bought 6 mil clear plastic and shrink wrap to build a solar kiln. If I do this this weekend do you think it will dry by then. Also do you guys have any pointers? Do’s and do nots ?
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,867
Eastern Ontario
Search Solar Klin here there are so very good posts
and suggestions on how to do it and build it
 

Jan Pijpelink

Minister of Fire
Jan 2, 2015
1,834
South Jersey
Ok so again I have some red oak that has been cut split and stacked on pallets 3 rows deep by about 40 ft long since December. I have come to the conclusion from you guys it won’t be dry by November. So I bought 6 mil clear plastic and shrink wrap to build a solar kiln. If I do this this weekend do you think it will dry by then. Also do you guys have any pointers? Do’s and do nots ?

Read this:

https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/solar-kiln-for-hardwoods.170518/
https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/solar-kiln-for-hardwoods-part-deux.175875
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,199
Fairbanks, Alaska
I saw this a couple days ago and almost tagged woodplitter67, but I knew he wouldn't miss this thread next time he logged in.

My advice is do it woodsplitter 67's way, he is near you and has experience drying hardwoods.

The bugaboo with these is getting the water out. Anyone can throw a plastic sheet over a pile of wood out in the sun and get their new tent filled with hot very humid air. What you need is a way to replace the hot humid air with cool dry air, which means getting the water out of the tent. You got water in the wood. Using the plastic tent you pull some water out of the wood into the air in the tent. Now you got to get the water out of the tent so you can do it again and again. Eventually your wood will be dry enough to burn good.

Seat of the pants I use an opening in the tent wall, up near the top, about the size of a cantalope for every cord of wood in the tent. IIRC WS67 uses a lot more airflow than I do - but I am 4 time zones away from you guys and at 64 degrees north latitude, with no hardwood.

Do it woodsplitter 67's way for best results.
 
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tumm21

Member
Jul 16, 2011
209
North Jersey
I attempted to make the kiln. It all went wrong. What a waste of time and money. Problem is my wood pile is too close to my neighbors fence and I could not shrink wrap it. I’m so ———. So all I could do is plastic put the plastic over the wood and staple it to the pile so it don’t blow around. The bottom foot of firewood is not covered. Hopefully what I did will help season it a little. Other wise I bought 6 mil plastic for nothing. I’m thinking it should heat up a bit more under the plastic. And being the bottom is open moisture should get out. Hopefully it don’t get moldy. I’m over it.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,298
Woolwich nj
moisture will not make.it out the bottom. If you read the threads in the links provided you need to cut 2 U shape vents at the top for the warm moist air to vent out of. Sometimes the first time we do something its difficult, its a learning experience. This being said now you know how to better prepare your self to do your next kiln. To say it was a waste of you time is a big mistake, but it will be if you didn't learn something from this.
 
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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,298
Woolwich nj
So your saying I should at least cut in some vents even though the bottom foot of wood has no plastic. I guess one on either side?
Heat rises it needs to vent out the top.. cold satyes at the bottom layer.. your creating a loop.. heated moist air goes out the top and draws cool dryer air through the bottom creating a loop.. speeding up the drying process... did you look at the links that were provided by @Jan Pijpelink provided.. if your having problems the links are in my signature.. your wood will not dry with out the convection loop.. you have to replace the moist air with dry air or the moisture in the wood has no place to go..
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,867
Eastern Ontario
If it were mine a vent at each end then one every 8 to 10 ft
The only difficulty I see is if the roof is flat then rain my get in
but probably not enough to affect the drying process
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,199
Fairbanks, Alaska
It was me that said a cantolope sized opening for every cord. It is enough for spruce in the north half of Alaska. I am pretty sure woodsplitter who is down next to the very gates of Hades with all that heat uses bigger openings.

90 degrees above, I would call out sick from work and spend the day in a walk in refrigerator.
 
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Hoytman

New Member
Jan 6, 2020
39
Ohio
I have 3 cords thrown in a stack and covered since last early fall. Also have 2/3 of cord stacked and covered for year and a half. I think I’m going to go ahead and build a kiln and out all of it in there until October or until I can use my MM to get what I’m looking for.
I think I’ll go ahead and have another 3 cord delivered as well and put it in a kiln as well.

I have some dry wood for shoulder season if I need it. I burned nut coal last year and plan to this year as well. However, I also just acquired a mice used Lopi Liberty that I may swap out sometime this year and it will be nice to have some dry wood to try in it. If nothing else I will put that Lopi on a furniture dolly and at least try some test burns outside with the dry wood.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,357
Northern NH
It was quite noticeable when I first covered the stacks that moisture would build up in the headspace of the kiln if my flaps had blown closed. I would find them closed and it was noticeably damp. After a couple of months its harder to detect any dampness.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,298
Woolwich nj
It was me that said a cantolope sized opening for every cord. It is enough for spruce in the north half of Alaska. I am pretty sure woodsplitter who is down next to the very gates of Hades with all that heat uses bigger openings.

90 degrees above, I would call out sick from work and spend the day in a walk in refrigerator.

today's temp.. 97.. dew point...77.. heat index 105 today.. its
 

Hoytman

New Member
Jan 6, 2020
39
Ohio
Yes, I read the links but must have missed it. I think someone else asked in another thread also, but I didn't see a reply.

I need to get going on this asap this week.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,298
Woolwich nj
Go to thermoworks.com Its called DOT and has different temperature probes or air probes you can get for it.. When I do the kiln I put the airprobe in it and leave it there. When I want to get info i plug the dot in and get my info. This DOT probe is actually for my offset smoker I use it to cook with and see what temp the smoker is at.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,298
Woolwich nj
Yes, I read the links but must have missed it. I think someone else asked in another thread also, but I didn't see a reply.

I need to get going on this asap this week.
what kind of kiln you doing. how many cords
 

Hoytman

New Member
Jan 6, 2020
39
Ohio
Go to thermoworks.com Its called DOT and has different temperature probes or air probes you can get for it.. When I do the kiln I put the airprobe in it and leave it there. When I want to get info i plug the dot in and get my info. This DOT probe is actually for my offset smoker I use it to cook with and see what temp the smoker is at.
Sounds good. I will check it out. Thank you!

I've got a pile been sitting tarped since last fall...3 cord. Have another 2/3 of a cord stacked and tarp covered on the top and top third of the sides. So, nearly 4 cords. Thinking of buying another 3 cord, but I'm not sure yet because I've been burning coal...which is allowing my wood to dry. I recently got a moisture meter to use. For 40 years though I've always liked to season wood stacked for about 3 years before burning...this long before EPA stoves.