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DIY Kiln (Read 352 times)
 
Micheal Gipson
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DIY Kiln
Apr 1st, 2018 at 2:36pm
 
I know I'm probably getting ahead of myself but I want to mostly work with wet wood. I have seen some people go from using a home depot box to a refrigerator. What's the best route to go with? I have a small lathe so probably only going to have 9in bowls to dry. Things like that. I was thinking a mini fridge?
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Allan Miller
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Re: DIY Kiln
Reply #1 - Apr 1st, 2018 at 3:06pm
 
I got an old freezer from an appliance graveyard and added a heat lamp I used to hatch chicks. But that was way to hot so I got a hot cold thermostat from amazon for 30 bucks and added a fan on the cool side. It now stays right around 82 degrees and drys great with only one “failure” so far that I think I have a neat fix for.
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Don Stephan
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Re: DIY Kiln
Reply #2 - Apr 1st, 2018 at 5:32pm
 
The concept is interesting, but with most green woods I have no failures drying once turned bowls without heat.  My workshop is heated to 60 deg F after hours, and 66 or 67 when I am working.   Using a kitchen scale, as soon as turning is completed I note the weight (in grams) and date on teh bottom of the bowl (or a small piece of paper), and put the bowl in a paper grocery bag on the concrete floor.  The weight (and date) are recorded every Saturday.  When the weekly weight loss is less than 2% I move the bag and bowl onto a table and continue weekly weighing.  When the weekly weight loss again is less than 2% I remove the bowl and continue weekly weighing.  When the weekly weight loss is again less than 2% I consider the bowl ready for sanding and finishing.

Recently I was asked to turn bowls from a sweet cherry log, and 4 of the 7 developed significant cracks across the bottom, but with walnut, oak, maple, bradford pear, . . . the bowls seldom develop cracks.  I've not paid close attention, but I would guess bowls 7-9" probably dry by this approach in 5-8 weeks.
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Bill Neff
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Re: DIY Kiln
Reply #3 - Apr 2nd, 2018 at 9:23am
 
Here's a method using a box, lightbulb and old computer fan.  I haven't tried it so I can't say how well it works. 

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Ed Weber
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Re: DIY Kiln
Reply #4 - Apr 2nd, 2018 at 9:31am
 
Help me out here
Micheal Gipson wrote on Apr 1st, 2018 at 2:36pm:
I want to mostly work with wet wood.

If you want to work with wet wood why do you want to build a KILN?
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Micheal Gipson
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Re: DIY Kiln
Reply #5 - Apr 3rd, 2018 at 12:28am
 
I want to start with the wood wet, turn some to finish wet so they will worp. I also want to dry some so they all don't worp. Not everyone likes bowls that way.
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Don Stephan
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Re: DIY Kiln
Reply #6 - Apr 3rd, 2018 at 8:00am
 
Some wood species noticeably warp more than others as drying once-turned bowls.  The explanation is the relative rates of shrinkage along the growth rings (tangential) and across the growth rings (radial).  Woods with a lower ratio, if memory serves walnut is 1.4, warp less than those with a higher ration, again if memory serves red oak is 2.2 or 2.3.  I learned about differential shrinkage and found a table of rates and the ratio in Understanding Wood by R. Bruce Hoadley.

Commercial kilns that closely control temperature and humidity might be able to lessen warping, I'm not sure, but my suspicion is that a small bar fridge-style kiln will not affect warping, just lessen the drying time.
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Ed Weber
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Re: DIY Kiln
Reply #7 - Apr 3rd, 2018 at 8:37am
 
Don Stephan wrote on Apr 3rd, 2018 at 8:00am:
Commercial kilns that closely control temperature and humidity might be able to lessen warping, I'm not sure, but my suspicion is that a small bar fridge-style kiln will not affect warping, just lessen the drying time.


Agreed,
A form of some kind must be used to eliminate (actually restrain) the wood from warping, which is where it want to go naturally.
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Don Stephan
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Re: DIY Kiln
Reply #8 - Apr 3rd, 2018 at 6:55pm
 
There's nothing wrong with making a kiln Michael, it will dry bowls more quickly.
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Micheal Gipson
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Independence, Missouri, USA
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Re: DIY Kiln
Reply #9 - Apr 4th, 2018 at 12:29am
 
Ok. Thank you. You guys have been really helpful. I will look at that chart. It will help me pick which wood I use. I just started my job in a lumber mill and get to keep the scrap wood. Looks like I will get more dry wood after all.
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