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Baron
Baron's picture
Burning private question.

So you all know that I've pompously declared that I want to install a kiln soon. The problem is that money doesn't grow on trees, just boards. It is boards that I have allot of. What if I built a kiln out of solid wood sans insulaltion. What if I built a typical kiln chamber out of laminated 1 1/8th" planks (5 planks thick). Would that not be plenty insulated?

I've been wanting to ask this for a long time but was embarrassed that I actually am proposing to use my precious lumber to build this. My thinking is that it would buy me time to get my marketing plan in place while also giving me dried lumber to sell.

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

Short answer is yes, you could do that.  Question is, do you want to?.  Fiberglass insulation has about three times the insulation value, per inch thickness, as wood, and foam is about five times.  Because of the lower insulative value of wood, it will take more energy to keep the kiln up to temperature.  If you build a solar kiln, it won't reach as high a temperature and the wood will take longer to dry.  Consider the cost vs the value of the wood.  Even if you don't put much value on the wood itself, consider the time & expense to mill & install the wood.  Your time is also precious!  My recommendation is foam insulation with a good vapor barrier on both sides.  Quicker to build and you'll be happier with the results.  Lots of people have converted shipping containers and semi-truck trailers with good results.  "Reefer" units already have insulation, but a little less room on the inside.

Cntrydad
Cntrydad's picture

If you can get your hands on straw, i think you'd get pretty good results from 2x8 walls filled with straw and vapour barrier on both sides.  Space your studs equal to the width of the straw bale and it should work pretty well.

Sawdust also has some R value and you probably know where to get that - it just might be hard to dry it enough - if only you had a kiln  LOL.

Another option would be to look for recycled material - is anyone tearing down a house in your area?

Baron
Baron's picture

Ah, recycled stuff, straw bales, great idea. "If only I had a kiln". Saw dust is a great idea. 

Baron
Baron's picture

Yes. Post Oakie I was planning to use a container. I should probably stick to that plan.

Do you know the insulation values of wood. I assume that it would be different per species. 

Bill
Bill's picture

Baron 12" of cedar next pine have the largest R values and it's only about equal to 2.5" of fiberglass.

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

With wood, aside from R value, there is thermal mass. This is the thing that lets log houses be built in areas with less insulation than stick-built.

Thermal mass is the concept that there is enough mass to hold heat longer. This will work against you in a kiln, because it also holds the lower temp to start. It will take longer to get up to temp, but once there, it will hold the temp with less energy. But, for a kiln, which is at temp for a shorter period of time, this doesn't get close to the point where it balances out.

Bill MacLellan
Bill MacLellan's picture

Baron, your in the right business, ever consider connecting a used forced air wood furnace to the container or building. Stoke that a couple of times per day and you have a kiln that runs real cheap, cleans the yard up of scrap and slab. If your building is not all that efficient, it's not that big of a deal, you already have the fuel. Just a thought.

Baron
Baron's picture

It is a great idea bill. Unfortunately it will also attract the attention of the zoning officers. I'm trying to fly under the radar. There is 220 on site now. 

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

Ah, Baron, you're not thinking creative enough!What you need to do is set up a great big BBQ pit, and inside hide the wood boiler or furnace. Anyone stops by, ask them if they like Carolina style or Texas Style. No one will question the smoke and the pit.

Baron
Baron's picture

winkActually, if I do that, I'll have zoning asking to see my permit and usda wanting to inspect and organized crime shooting the place up because I'm competing. 

Bill MacLellan
Bill MacLellan's picture

Baron! sounds like your screwed, better move to the country.

Baron
Baron's picture

This past weekend the 4D battery was stolen from my loader.  17  comercial batteries were stolen within 500 yards of me. 

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

I know where the batteries are!

I recall once some poor soul was pulled over driving a lo-rider, and he was scraping the ground in back. Opened the trunk; full of batteries (not really a lo-rider, just a battery thief).

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