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DIY Kiln (Read 308 times)
 
Allan Miller
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DIY Kiln
Feb 12th, 2018 at 4:20pm
 
What is the best temp to dry bowl blanks? I built a kiln from an old 20cu/ft freezer with a thermostat, heat lamp, and fan for temp control with air ports on bottom and top for circulation. Only been turning about 6 months so everything is a learning experience
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Ron Sardo
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Re: DIY Kiln
Reply #1 - Feb 13th, 2018 at 8:01am
 
I've seen people use a 100w incandescent bulb for heat in setups similar to yours.

I've used black plastic bags in the sun during the summer as a kiln. I'd reverse the bags each day then replace the wood.

Vacuum kilns heat below boiling point, but that is a different breed of kiln compared to the one you have.

You don't want to cook the wood because if it drys to fast it will crack.

How hot are you running it now?
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Allan Miller
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Re: DIY Kiln
Reply #2 - Feb 13th, 2018 at 9:32am
 
Currently have it set at 95f, the heat lamp cuts on at 92f and off at 95f and the fan comes on at 98f. My thinking was that during winter the heat differential would provide circulation and in the summer when ambient temps are at or above 95 the fan would provide circulation. I tried a 100w bulb but it would struggle to maintain about 82f with 100% runtime so I added the thermostat and heat lamp.
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« Last Edit: Feb 13th, 2018 at 9:34am by Allan Miller »  
 
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Ron Sardo
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Re: DIY Kiln
Reply #3 - Feb 13th, 2018 at 4:00pm
 
How long does it take for the wood to dry?

You're going to have to experiment to find the right temp. My thinking too is if your kiln is fully loaded and you don't have the enough ventilation it may slow down the drying as well.

If it takes to long I would sneak up the temp a little each time you start a new load until you start seeing some checking then back off a bit.

On hot summer days I'm guessing my plastic bag kiln passed 110F. On the vacuum kiln that I've seen working the temp went up to 140F on most wood and according to its owner some woods needs to get up to 180f which was barely below boiling point in the vacuum chamber. (Water boils at a lower temp in a vacuum chamber)

There is no getting around this, you are going to need to experiment until you find the right balance with your equipment.
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Allan Miller
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Re: DIY Kiln
Reply #4 - Feb 13th, 2018 at 5:10pm
 
The ones I have seen online say 3 weeks or so for rough turned blanks but at the moment I just have rough sawn blanks to see how it works. Plan is to check moisture content once a week to make sure I am not pulling too much off.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: DIY Kiln
Reply #5 - Feb 14th, 2018 at 9:12am
 
Rough sawn blanks will take noticeably longer to dry than a roughed out bowl. Anything over 2" thick may never dry in your kiln.

When I have a choice I prefer to rough turning green wood. Its a whole lot easier to rough out a green blank compared to a dried blank.
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