Solar Kiln

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Real kilns modulate temperature and moisture by heating up with a cycle of then letting the hot moist air out, then heating up again. Ideally, for a solar kiln, you would want to cycle the air out in early afternoon, then let it time to heat before nightfall again. A furnace blower on a timer with shutters that blow open would facilitate that very nicely. Also, if you do not stick your wood, you are fooling yourself.
This isn't aimed at Lew, just an add on to the thread.
--
Jim in NC


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On Tuesday, March 11, 2014 7:28:49 PM UTC-5, jloomis wrote:

Great idea about a solar fan. I'll check that out for sure, but the fan sho uld be on a timer, I think. I'm concerned about regulating the temps and dr ying too quickly, as you and Lew point out. It will be important to paint t he endgrain and weigh it down to keep it straight during drying, and use st ickers, as Jim Morgan says.
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On Monday, March 10, 2014 12:59:54 PM UTC-7, Michael wrote:

ws tilted at 45 degrees (Wisconsin) and a small fan to circulate air. Any i mportant things I need to keep in mind?
Well, yeah: you need to figure a way to block the sunlight if it gets too h ot, and stop the venting when the moisture level is 'right'. Kiln drying is done by a prescription of time/temperature/humidity, and get ting it done RIGHT is harder than getting it done.
You might want to read all of the USDA _Wood_Handbook_ but especially chapter 13 <http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr190/chapter_13.pdf
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On Tuesday, 11 March 2014 03:59:54 UTC+8, Michael wrote:

ws tilted at 45 degrees (Wisconsin) and a small fan to circulate air. Any i mportant things I need to keep in mind?

There's a bunch of good information on the Virginia Tech website: http://pu bs.ext.vt.edu/420/420-030/420-030_pdf.pdf
If you are electronically-minded, you can use an Arduino to manage/monitor temps and humidity.
From what I have read, kiln-dried wood that is brittle and hard has been ba dly kilned. Properly kilned timber to 7% humidity should be better than air -dried.
The key is, don't let it get too hot, don't let it dry too fast. Unless you constantly monitor and manage the drying process, you can only guess at th e results. Managing that process by the use of a microprocessor-controlled venting circuit will take that guesswork away and result in a perfectly-dri ed product.
Building a control circuit would involve an Arduino, a solenoid of some sor t and an appropriately configured vent. I am guessing a cost of $30-50 and some thinkin' :)
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