Solar Kiln Articles & Publications


INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW OF THE VIRGINIA TECH SOLAR KILN
A good overview of the design, construction, and operation of the VT solar kiln. This is a terrific starting point for learning everything you need to know about solar kilns.
http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/forestry/420-030/420-030.html

WOODWEB KNOWLEDGE BASE ON KILN CONSTRUCTION
A good overview of the design, construction, and operation of the VT solar kiln. This is a terrific starting point for learning everything you need to know about solar kilns.
http://www.woodweb.com/KnowledgeBase/KBPPKilnConstruction.html

MOTHER EARTH NEWS MAGAZINE ARTICLE ON A SOLAR KILN
A lengthy article on the construction and use of a homebuilt solar kiln from 1982. This kiln is based on the older Forest Service kiln plans. The article covers all aspects of solar kiln use including the construction, logic behind the design, use of moisture meters, etc.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/1982-07-01/A-Homemade-Solar-Lumber-Kiln.aspx

HOMEBUILT SOLAR KILN FOR HARDWOODS
This ten page report gives an overview of the construction and operation of a quonset hut style solar kiln in South Africa. Pictures and graphs of its operational characteristics are included.
Note that this is a link directly to a .pdf file.
http://dlaidler.lando.co.za/WTDownloads/A%20Homebuilt%20Solar%20Kiln%20for%20Hardwoods.pdf

JONATHAN GUEST'S INTRODUCTION TO DRYING WITH A SOLAR KILN
An introductory forty-three page slideshow presentation covering all aspects of drying wood with a solar kiln. Note that this presentation isn't entirely friendly with FireFox, so use Internet Explorer (if you must).

http://www.jonathan-guest.co.uk/Solar_Kiln_Presentation/Solar_Kiln_Presentation_2003_files/frame.htm

USDA FOREST SERVICE REPORT ON CONSTRUCTING AND OPERATING A SOLAR KILN
This twelve page report covers the basics of building and operating a solar kiln. The report dates back to the 60s and utilizes recycled materials (glass windows) for the construction.
Note that this is a link directly to a .pdf file.

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fputr/fputr7.pdf

USDA FOREST SERVICE REPORT ON IMPROVEMENTS IN SOLAR KILN DESIGN
Gene Wengert who went on to co-develop the Virginia Tech kiln design wrote this ten page report for the Forest Service in 1971. This report primarily identifies areas of major energy loss in the solar kiln design that was in use at the time.
Note that this is a link directly to a .pdf file.

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplrn/fplrn212.pdf

USDA FOREST SERVICE REPORT ON A COMPUTER ANALYSIS OF SOLAR ENERGY FOR DRYING LUMBER
An 83 page report completed in 1986. This is a technical paper using a computer analysis and a red oak sample to determine if solar energy is a viable energy source for kiln drying in various parts of the country.
Note that this is a link directly to a large .pdf file.

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplrp/fplrp477.pdf

WOODWORK MAGAZINE ARTICLE ON SUN-DRIED WOOD
Robert Erickson is a woodworker in California who built and uses a large solar kiln to dry lumber for his furniture making business. This article was in the October 1998 issue of Woodwork magazine and covers all aspects of the design, construction, and use of his kiln.
http://www.ericksonwoodworking.com/articles/article-4.html

THE OAK FACTORY INTRODUCTION TO SOLAR KILNS
Kip Yeager, the originator of The Oak Factor woodworking forum (www.theoak.com) wrote this introduction to solar kilns base on his experience building and using a solar kiln.

http://theoak.com/modules/articles/article.php?id=1

DANISH TECHNILOGICAL INSTITUTE REPORT ON SOLAR DRYING IN GHANA
Although this 69 page report is only partially related to solar kilns for lumber, it is a good read related to solar drying in general. A solar crop dryer and solar fish dryer are addressed. The summary report also includes links to several individual reports including a 24 page document that specifically addresses their solar kiln for lumber (http://www.buildvision.dk/pdf/part_wood_drying.pdf).
Note that this is a link directly to a .pdf file.

http://www.solenergi.dk/rapporter/sec-r-24.pdf

 

Air Drying Articles & Publications


USDA FOREST SERVICE REPORT ON AIR DRYING OF LUMBER
This 66 page report is probably the most comprehensive document on air drying lumber Although the report is primarily directed at large commercial operations, the information is still applicable to the small, hobby stack of lumber that will be air dryed. There are many other articles and publications available that address air drying lumber but they simply contain information that is already covered by this document. The file is large but it is a must-read document.
Note that this is a link directly to a large .pdf file.

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr117.pdf

 

General Wood and Wood Drying Articles & Publications


USDA FOREST SERVICE WOOD HANDBOOK
The mother of all Forest Service documents related to wood. This link is the index for the entire list of chapters and the pdf files that make up each chapter. The Wood Handbook can be downloaded as a single file but it is pretty big at 14.3 mb. Of particular interest are Chapters 2 (Structure of Wood), Chapter 3 (Physical Properties and Moisture Relations of Wood), Chapter 12 (Drying and Control of Moisture Content and Dimensional Changes), and Chapter 13 (Biodeterioration of Wood). This document is the starting point for all things related to wood.
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr113/fplgtr113.htm

USDA FOREST SERVICE DRY KILN OPERATOR'S MANUAL
This manual presents the Forest Service's total collection of information specific to the operation of a dry kiln. This link is the index for the entire list of chapters and the pdf files that make up each chapter. The information is not specifically for solar kilns. However, there is plenty to be learned and transfered to the operation of a solar kiln.
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/usda/ah188/ah188.htm

USDA FOREST SERVICE REPORT ON DRYING HARDWOOD LUMBER
Although this large 144 page document does not specifically address solar kiln operation, it does give valuable details on all aspects of drying hardwood lumber.
Note that this is a link directly to a large .pdf file.

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr118.pdf

USDA FOREST SERVICE REPORT ON DRYING EASTERN HARDWOOD LUMBER
The majority of this 110 page report is a repeat of the more comprehensive "Drying Hardwood Lumber" report. As the title indicates, there are some details addressed in this report that are specific to eastern hardwoods.
Note that this is a link directly to a large .pdf file.

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/usda/ah528.pdf

USDA FOREST SERVICE NOTE ON THE STRENGTH OF AIR DRIED vs. KILN DRIED
This is a great little one page research note issued in 1922, 1952, 1961, and 1964 that simply states that all factors being equal, dried is dried with regard to strength. Air dried or kiln dried wood at the same moisture content will be the same strength. No advantages specific to strength with either method.
Note that this is a link directly to a .pdf file.

http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fplrn/fplrn055.pdf

 
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