Solar Drying Lumber,Tall Tv Stand Plans,Building Plans For Platform Bed With Storage,Water Bed Wooden Frames - Easy Way

06.11.2015, admin  
Category: Bookshelf Woodworking Plans

For figured, thick, prized or check-prone wood, it’s best to start the drying process with the vents closed.
Home Centers,  Fiberglass roofing panels, treated lumber, treated plywood and insulation. However, air-drying lumber can take several months and lead to warping and cracking before it can be used. I have managed to obtain green wood at a lumberyard at a fraction of the price of dry wood. Because the wood is protected from the elements, this solar kiln offers more control with much less chance of defects than air-drying provides.
This keeps the humidity in the kiln from dropping too quickly and slows the drying process. Drying wood in a controlled environment requires much less time and allows the wood to contract without warping.Solar-drying kilns are the simplest, cheapest, and safest way to dry green wood quickly, and they are good for the environment since they don’t generate CO? emissions. Insulation in the walls and floor helps the kiln retain heat, which helps speed the drying process. They are closed toward the end of the drying process to help maximize heat and get the wood down to the target 8 percent MC. A solar kiln will dry the wood with a smaller chance of defects than air drying.“And they won’t dry wood too fast,” says Dr. Corrugated roofing manufacturers offer various solutions to this problem, such as wood strips cut to match the undulating roofline or strips of foam that conform to the corrugations. It’s only near the end of the drying when you need to measure moisture content to determine if it’s time to stop the process and pull the wood out.”A solar kiln can also dry wood of varying shapes, sizes, or mixed species and thicknesses in the same load.


The surface of the wood gets wet and cool, relieving any drying stresses that built up during the day.
Although there are different solar designs on the market today, the Virginia Tech design is the kiln model considered the standard by which other kilns are built. Woodworkers can find instructions for this model and other similar designs online.The initial investment for a solar kiln varies, depending on the size and the building materials. However, it pays for itself in the long run.A small solar kiln normally dries anywhere from 800-1,000 board feet, although some can be downsized to dry only a few hundred board feet. A large solar kiln dries 1,500-2,000 or more board feet of lumber.The Virginia Tech solar kiln can hold up to 1,000 board feet of 1-inch thick lumber per load and dry it in about one month of moderately sunny weather in the mid-latitudes of the United States.
The kiln heats when solar energy enters the clear glazing and is absorbed on the black painted interior surfaces.As air is heated in the collector space, one or more fans circulate it through the lumber, enabling it to absorb moisture from the lumber’s surface. If the kiln has too much solar panel area, one risks the wood drying too fast, causing the wood to check and split. However, if there’s not enough solar panel area, there’s the risk of never being able to dry the wood below 15% moisture content (MC).In order to circulate air through the stack of wood, it’s necessary to install an electric fan. If used during the winter months, the angle should be increased by 10 degrees (in this case, to 55 degrees), since the angle of the sun changes from summer to winter.Moisture ReadingsSolar drying time for lumber can vary. Also, drying time for 2-inch lumber will take longer than 1-inch material.Woodworkers first learning to dry lumber, especially lumber thicker than one inch, should monitor moisture content (MC) daily to avoid drying too rapidly.
It’s important to monitor drying speed by measuring the MC of the sample boards and comparing the daily rate of moisture loss with the “safe rate” for that species.There are tables available that list the safe rates for drying 1- or 2-inch thick lumber from different species.
Safe rates must be followed until lumber moisture content drops to 20%.Although moisture meters don’t work well when the MC is above 30%, the design of the kiln is such that it normally won’t allow the wood to dry too fast.


Still, when just learning to dry lumber in a solar kiln, it’s best to monitor the process to avoid any unforeseen problems.Exceeding the safe rate drying speed for a given species can cause defects in the lumber. If drying is too fast, part of the roof should be covered, or the fans turned off and the vents closed during the hottest part of the day. Although the temperature will likely rise inside the kiln, the trapped air will quickly reach 100% of its capacity to hold water and the lumber will stop drying.It’s also important to identify sample boards at the start to determine MC loss rate. These are boards that may have started out with a higher MC than the rest of the load were cut more recently than the others, or are a little thicker.“If you check the sample pieces and they’re too wet, you’re going to continue drying,” says Dr. Wengert notes that the Virginia Tech solar kiln was designed so that it wouldn’t allow the wood to dry too fast. However, if the kiln is only half full and the lumber inside is prone to cracking, such as oak is, it would be necessary to cover half the collector on the roof. Otherwise, there would be too much solar input for the little amount of wood in the kiln.Moisture MetersWoodworkers should select a moisture meter that will meet their specific needs. In addition, if the wood is to be used for exterior house walls where it’s protected from rain, a good average is 12% MC.SummarySolar kilns are ideal for the hobbyist or professional woodworker who wants to save money by drying his own lumber. Additionally, they are good for the environment since they generate zero CO? emissions.Although solar kilns are designed to keep wood from drying too rapidly, it is wise to check the MC level, especially near the end of the drying cycle. It’s also recommended that woodworkers who are new to drying lumber in a solar kiln or who are drying wood thicker than one inch frequently check the moisture levels to prevent defects later on.




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