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wombosi 03-19-2010 06:05 PM

want to make an ultra cheap wood kiln - any advice?
i'll soon be getting 200 bd/feet of 12/4 sassafrass.
i don't want to spend even a penny on a kiln, but i would like to dry it properly.

one guy recommended stickering the wood outdoors, surrounding with used tires, and covering with glass and let it sit there for a few weeks.

i could manage something like this with free tires and some glass.

or, should i just sticker it in my garage and seal the end grain and let it sit?

what is the best way i can properly dry this stuff out without really spending money?

the wood will be used to turn lots of balusters, so i need it to be pretty stable in the end.

i coudl theoretically let it dry a bit, then rough down to round, let it dry more, then finish.

what is the best way to dry it out though? i'm in western MA and we're starting to get some nice sunshine.

thank you

tpolk 03-19-2010 07:59 PM

there used to be a design for a plastic wrapped shed for drying firewood, you may be able to google it . good luck

nap 03-19-2010 08:09 PM

I don't have an answer but just wanted to ask:

you are building with sassafras?

I have never heard of using sassafras for much of anything let alone actual construction. Actually, about the only thing I have seen anybody actually use sassafras for is as kindling for a fire as it burns so hot, it will ignite just about any other wood.

Termite 03-19-2010 09:27 PM

You're not going to build even a basic wood kiln without spending a few hundred bucks.

Get a can of Anchor Seal, seal the end grain only (a couple coats). Sticker the wood indoors (not will not dry below 20%mc or so outdoors and that isn't good enough for interior applications). Let it sit. A good rule of thumb is one year of air drying per inch of thickness.

There is no way to dry it faster than that. If it were smaller (like a bowl blank) you could soak it in denatured alcohol to speed the drying somewhat, but that will not work on a board.

oh'mike 03-19-2010 10:33 PM

KCTERMITE gave you a good square answer--Out door drying is not to good for furniture wood.

Stickering it in your attic might work to speed it up--But I am not experienced in drying.

This link might help---these people are experts--and friendly,too.
The Forestry Forum - Index

Mike in Arkansas 03-20-2010 04:39 PM

Only problem with drying indoors is if it's a shop with iron topped tools like table saws, then the moisture in the wood at first is going to raise the humidity in the room potentially causing rust. If that's the case, I believe the best process is to dry outdoors under cover but well vented for a few months until the moisture content drops some before moving inside. Of course if there is no problem with the humidity being high inside then that's probably the best way.

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