For quite some time I have had the idea of building a wood kiln. Specifically, a solar wood kiln. Now for those of you that are not sure what a wood kiln is or does, probably the best way to explain it would be that it is a lot like a greenhouse. Only instead of using it to grow plants, it is used to dry lumber to a moisture content suitable to build furniture (8-12% moisture content).
Traditionally, wood workers would dry stack their lumber in a well ventilated area (a barn or shop) to air dry. This process could take anywhere from 1-3 years depending on type of wood and the climate it was stored.
At some point, wood workers figured out that if you could add a source of heat and a consistent source of air that the wood drying process could be accelerated. Thus the wood kiln was born. There are many kinds of kilns, some operate thru the use of a wood fired boiler while others use a gas burner to supply the heat source. And then there is the solar kiln, which uses the sun’s energy to operate.
So I am proud to say that after a lot of research on the internet I am beginning the process of putting together enough materials to start the project. For starters, I have several pine logs ready to saw into framing material, but those logs are in an area that is a little too wet to get right now. So on to the siding but what to use?
Well, I have been driving by this cedar for some time now. It was actually a casualty of the “gravity wave” that we had 2 years ago. It had fallen over the fence and we cut if up into 2 pieces (an 8 footer and 5 footer which is the one in the picture) basically just to remove it. Both were very knotty and probably should have been used for firewood. But then again I figure they will work just fine for the siding.
Next, I hope to be moving on to the pine logs. I’ll post when I get some more pics to show my progress.