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Small kiln (Read 129 times)
 
Frank Padden
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Small kiln
Oct 12th, 2020 at 8:36pm
 
I see free wood everywhere I go, it's there for the taking. I need to find a good system for drying it. Does anyone use a small kiln at home? I'm thinking of one using a dehumidifier and a fan. Any advice or comments? Thanks, Frank
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robo_hippy
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Re: Small kiln
Reply #1 - Oct 13th, 2020 at 11:35am
 
One friend and mentor had a kiln like you describe, and it worked well. He has retired from turning other than for his grand kids. I think he had a light bulb in it as well for minimal heat. Solar kilns work well as well. The end product cuts like air dried wood. Rip a board on your table saw, and you get shavings, not dust. I know you need to drain the water out of the shed, and the shed probably needs to be insulated if you have cold or cool winters.

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David Moeller
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Re: Small kiln
Reply #2 - Oct 13th, 2020 at 2:16pm
 
Depends on the size of the found wood and anticipated use. I primarily turn spindle such as stool legs and small pots, etc.
I wedge log sections into quarters and turn cylinders, seal the end, write a date on, throw on a shelf and forget for a while. I've had success from 1 1/2" up to 6" dia. P.S - it's FUN to turn fresh wood and it smells wonderful.  Wink
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Frank Padden
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Re: Small kiln
Reply #3 - Oct 13th, 2020 at 2:34pm
 
I mainly turn bowls. What ever I find, I cut into logs and seal the ends. I'm looking for a small kiln that could hold about 15 logs. I'm hoping a kiln could help speed up the drying process.
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Don Stephan
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Re: Small kiln
Reply #4 - Oct 13th, 2020 at 6:57pm
 
What are the inside dimensions you would need?  The pieces of wood would have to be spaced apart so air can flow.
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Frank Padden
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Re: Small kiln
Reply #5 - Oct 13th, 2020 at 7:31pm
 
I'm thinking 4x4x4 with a few shelves inside, a dehumidifier and a fan.
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Al Wasser
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Re: Small kiln
Reply #6 - Oct 14th, 2020 at 9:03am
 
You might consider an old dishwasher.  Power it with a small crock pot or light bulb.
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robo_hippy
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Re: Small kiln
Reply #7 - Oct 14th, 2020 at 10:30am
 
You will have better luck drying slabs than drying whole log sections. Main reason is that the log, and any thicker than 2 to 3 inch slabs, no matter what you do, will not dry evenly. The outside dries quicker than the inside. This creates stress, and stress is relieved by cracking. This is why most people rough turn first because it evens out the drying stresses and you get less cracking. For me, that is the same reason I don't cut my logs up until I am going to turn them. By cutting a lot of blanks from a log, you end up losing an inch or three off of the end of each piece you cut.

If you know some one with a Wood Miser, you can cut slabs of different thicknesses, but I never like the way some one else cuts up the slabs. They don't look at it the same way I do, and I end up with more waste.

You can dry walking stick blanks fairly easily. If you want to turn spindle blanks, like for rolling pins, turn the cylinder, do about a 1/4 inch radius on both ends, and then I coat the end with titebond 3. It is an excellent sealer, and seems to work on even Pacific Madrone blanks. A 3 inch blank will take at least 3 years to dry in the shop.

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Don Stephan
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Re: Small kiln
Reply #8 - Oct 14th, 2020 at 7:04pm
 
Frank - the dehumidifiers I am familiar with would take up quite a bit of space.  I've seen mention of small kilns like this with a light bulb to generate some heat to dry the wood.
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chris lawrence
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Re: Small kiln
Reply #9 - Oct 14th, 2020 at 7:44pm
 
Dehumidifiers dont need to be on the inside.  Cut a rectangle in the side of the kiln to match the size of the intake on the back of the dehumidifier.  Use cardboard to make a short "duct" to connect the dehumidifier to the kiln.  Use a piece of flexible ducting to connect the exhaust of the dehumidifier back to the kiln.
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Frank Padden
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Re: Small kiln
Reply #10 - Oct 14th, 2020 at 8:26pm
 
Why would I want to connect the exhaust back to the kiln?
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chris lawrence
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Re: Small kiln
Reply #11 - Oct 14th, 2020 at 9:01pm
 
Frank Padden wrote on Oct 14th, 2020 at 8:26pm:
Why would I want to connect the exhaust back to the kiln?


To recirculate the dehumidified air.  If you put low humidity air back into the kiln it will not have to fight with the humidity in the air outside of the kiln.  Just the moisture that is released from the wood.  It would be a closed circuit system.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Small kiln
Reply #12 - Oct 15th, 2020 at 9:13am
 
chris lawrence wrote on Oct 14th, 2020 at 9:01pm:
To recirculate the dehumidified air.  If you put low humidity air back into the kiln it will not have to fight with the humidity in the air outside of the kiln.  Just the moisture that is released from the wood.  It would be a closed circuit system.

Agreed
A dehumidifier in a closed room or box works fine.
The moisture removed from the wood is the condensate (water) the machine collects. Most dehumidifiers have a drain hose option for removing the water.. There is no need to make things more complicated by ducting.
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