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Very small batch to dry (two boards)3/29
I have two slabs of 10/4 Ambrosia Maple that I need to dry quicker than air drying. Are the any plans or guidance for a small solar kiln. The slabs are approximately 4’ x 5’. I’m in Colorado and have good southern exposure. Thanks Rick
For that size, I'd buy a 1965 Plymouth Barracuda! LOL
In all seriousness, how well would an old car, station wagon or van do as a makeshift, cheap, on-the-fly kiln?
Park it in the sun for a summer. Solar kilns are in the 120-130 range, right? Hot car temp articles I've found say 115 for cabin and surface temperatures of 125 at the seats and 160 at the dashboards. That's on a 95 degree day though.
Certainly not the best or most efficient, but would it work?
I dry small batches of wood for turning. Often no bigger than 2x2x12" for Christmas ornaments. I use the top of my furnace trunk line in the basement during the winter. It warms up the wood when the furnace runs, then cools off after each cycle. Works great! In the summer I use the attic of the house. I don't take green wood directly up there because it would start too quickly. Often thought about running a duct from the garage attic into an insulated box downstairs. Just use the attic for a collector and that would make handling heavy lumber much easier. In a car you would want to crack the windows slightly for the humidity to escape at the start of the cycle. You'd also get an odor with most woods when they are green, and without enough air flow under a stack a little mold.
I like the attic approach, but in Colorado you get more sunlight and lower humidities than many locations. So, an attic could be too severe. So, maybe try an attic in a garage that would not get so hot. Otherwise, air dry for month and then up into the attic.