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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member


USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 07 2014 :  16:39:50  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
With the current political environment and my involvement in such, I've had little time to prepare for winter heating.
Started off pretty good, but down hill from there..

I need a drier and I need it now!

Two cords of 'green' coming in, at a good dollar, but it's green and I need it for this year.

The Cordwood drier experiment is about to happen!

So to expedite the drying process my thoughts goes towards the 'Solar Kiln'.
With some research my beliefs of this process have been 'somewhat' confirmed.

1) Air dries wood, not heat
2) Heat plays a role in the process, as in keeping the moisture warm enough to escape.

The 'cross-over temperature' is still un-known to me.
Is there a point of heat that is no longer is efficient?

This project is a 'must' for me.
I've fallen behind and only have a cord ready for this season.
I need 2 at a minimum.

Structure: What do I have on hand?
Being in the 'Trades', I have staging!
A simple set gives me approximately 150 cubic feet of drying space.
Okay, maybe I get a Cord in there.. stacked loosely..

It would be a foot off the ground to the base of the stack (16" actually).
Figure to cover it with clear plastic (to allow the sunlight in, still not sure if required.. Black would absorb more heat..)
And leave the bottom open to allow air movement.
Of course a tarp on the ground under all this not to absorb ground moisture.

I have a couple of 12v computer fans around here (believe they move 40CFM) and a project panel not doing anything at this point in time, that could be used as an exhaust.

Racks for the wood I have covered, the old half destroyed ladder when the 100ft pine came down on it is going to be re-purposed.
Another story for another time..

I'm not seeing this as a 'closed unit' as I see many other kilns out there.
I want the air, even passive air.

Correct me in my basic's.
Advise me in my process!





Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 08 2014 :  16:53:28  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The stacking process I'm still in debate about.
I can load it with a cord of wood, but does really leave much room for air flow.
My thought now is to load leaving an open area in the middle (probably will be a foot).
Figure it puts me at about 2/3 a cord..
This comes from the 'Old' European style of stacking which creates a 'Bee-hive' looking stack.
Hollow in the center, allowing heat to be trapped.
If I only leave a foot between the stacks, then I should be able to cross the top with a couple of rows.
The ends will take 'creative stacking' to close off, but I'll work that out.

Now it doesn't make any sense to me right now to have any black heat absorbing material inside..
Once loaded with wood, it wouldn't be expose to sunlight..

Next area of consideration is how much spacing to leave the cover from the ground.
Right now the first row will be 16" off the ground.
I have plenty of space to work with.
I'm going with 6" right now.
Figure it's easier to cut higher, than to add.

Wood is coming soon, So is winter!







Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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hkalan
Senior Member



Hong Kong
1019 Posts

Posted - September 08 2014 :  19:38:54  Show Profile  Visit hkalan's Homepage Send hkalan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey ODR,

Just my 2 cents...

The movement of air is going to be a major part of the drying process. The computer fans are made for a small box 12" x 8" x 6" (or something close to that size).

You have a huge amount of space you are trying turn the air over several times an hour to expedite the drying process.

If you cover the wood, I will guess that the importance to evacuate any moisture before it has a chance to condense is key. Computer fans seem too small for the job you are looking to have done.

Good Luck my Friend !

Alan


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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 08 2014 :  20:05:10  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Appreciate your input Alan!

Size of the drier is working out to 150 cubic feet and the fan 'supposedly' will move 40CFM.
So give or take, every 16 minutes the air has been replaced.

I was thinking this may be too much..
Hmm..

Answer will be in the moisture build-up on the inside of the cover.
I can always add another, have a few around here..

These are the reasons I ask such things!
To get input on items I have over-looked.



Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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Kudzu
Administrator



USA
1619 Posts

Posted - September 09 2014 :  12:15:10  Show Profile Send Kudzu a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey ODR,
Do y'all ever use green wood in with the dry ?
When I grew up, we always cut and split green Oak & Hickory to add at night to make the fire last all night ... We would add it on top of a good coal bed with a few pieces of dry , then the green on top ... The fire would dry out the wood and keep us toasty all night , without havin to get up and add more wood .
I remember the heater was named something like "Fire King" and had a 2 speed blower .. In the drafty old house , it would run ya outside it would get so hot , if ya didn't keep the air vent mostly closed .. It was a Maroon color and the top cover would come off ( we used it without the cover to make stew & soup when the power was out ) to cook on it ..

=========================================
I still think the only dumb questions are the one's you didn't ask ...
=========================================
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Benjamin Franklin
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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 09 2014 :  16:53:55  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been know to bring in some 'green' and stack it near the stove to expedite drying. As of the past few seasons, downstairs near the pellet stove.

Stoves of 'old', and I've owned a few over the years, are not like stoves of late.
I haven't had to get up and load the stove for many years.
They just burn that well.
'Green' shuts down the secondary burn.. even a few pieces..

As an alternative to buying oil or propane, you just can't beat what good dry wood will do.
Thus the drier project...

Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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49er
Administrator



USA
4426 Posts

Posted - September 10 2014 :  10:03:32  Show Profile Send 49er a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi ODR

I have looked up some solar wood dryers years ago and the sun played a very big part of drying. It was made with black plastic and 2X2's, a solar fan, no open holes were visible. The fan force was faced into the stack and the black plastic was on a 45 degree to the south side of the stack and during the day the pile got above 150F. How ever he never said how wet the wood was but it dried in a very short time. Good Luck

Doug
The sky is not the limit...There are footprints on the MOON.
Your only as DUMB as where your standing.
No matter where you go there you are.
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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 10 2014 :  18:01:53  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Doug! That does help.

One concern has been inlet air, mainly how much..
And... I've been debating black plastic or clear.
Clear, the sun uses the wood as the absorption of heat (how efficient? Yet direct.)
Black, the plastic now absorbs and transfers (should be at a higher rate).

I'm still torn as of which and need to decide by this weekend.

First stack is in the frame and setup for the second stack.
Will happen Friday. Saturday the cover happens (which ever it may be).

Placing the fan under the stack is something I hadn't thought of and has merit.
1)I need 'heat' to build.
2)I need air to flow and remove moisture.

I'm really liking this thought!
I'm not seeing 'downside'..

I believe you just helped me make a few decisions here!






Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 12 2014 :  15:09:59  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cordwood drier frame;


This is a set of staging I own and with a few blocks under the legs works well as a basic structure.

I am half loaded at this point


The end core stack, in the center, is called a crisscross pattern.
To do this again, it would dry better if all the wood was stack this way. Afterthoughts...
It also creates the Chimney where the fan will blow.

Loaded and ready for the cover


Well last roof piece to go in place, but close.





Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 12 2014 :  15:40:33  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Decision was to go with Black Plastic.
I will make the sides of a single piece
Then the roof cover as another.

Two thoughts involved with this.
The side will be adjustable to height from the ground without cutting.
Top would be easy to vent if required by allowing a gap along the edges.
I'll post some pic's to explain better as I build.

On to the cover!

Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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49er
Administrator



USA
4426 Posts

Posted - September 13 2014 :  12:24:16  Show Profile Send 49er a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi ODR

One thought is if you put all extra plastic to the south side it will make more heat.

Doug
The sky is not the limit...There are footprints on the MOON.
Your only as DUMB as where your standing.
No matter where you go there you are.
You must be logged in to see this link.
SKYPE doug.bennett49er
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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 13 2014 :  13:39:13  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Like the way you think Doug!

All the pic's so far are taken from my South side.
I've been looking at several Solar kiln's out there and there are two I really like.
Both are permanent structures, something I do believe I will build.
If this is indeed my future, no getting wood as I have before, then a solution is in order.

The first is the Virginian.
You must be logged in to see this link.
Very nice layout and hinge an opening on the backside for accessibility and I'm not seeing downsides on this design.

The second I have lost the link to, but only adds the second stage, black absorbing material 'inside' the unit.
How much better can you get?
Produce the heat within the unit.
Insulate the unit to reduce transference.

My thought is now going towards adding a slopped clear plastic sheet in front to capture the heat being spent away.
On the idea of a tent vestibule.
Couple of tied off ropes, staked to the ground and voilą, a second stage.





Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 13 2014 :  13:56:49  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's the latest.



Cover is now on and it went as one piece.
Solar panels are hooked up and the fan is running.
Now the picture looks like a bright sunny day, but reality is, we're under clouds and rain is threatening..
Yet the fan is running.

I did put a piece of plastic on the ground so no ground moisture would be added.
Very happy I did!
The better reason, as I learned today, was to take the leeside and hook it up to the first shelf creating a scoop for the breeze to catch and put it up into the unit.
As I design my permanent one, I see it being 18" off the ground to create this effect again.

Moisture reading have been taken on several 'marked pieces of wood and I'm reading 30% on most (green). Goal is to get to 12-15%.
I now realize I should have weighed these control logs.
Further research shows me that the weight difference is a better way of understanding efficiency.
Live and learn...

All I can say now is: Come on sun and show me the heat!


Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 14 2014 :  08:25:06  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Today is forecast as a Bright Sunny day!
Should be a first good test day.
I'll post up temps as the day progresses.

Balance of this upcoming week shows good sun almost all week into Saturday with only Tuesday of rain (50% chance).

Could be a good test week!


Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 14 2014 :  17:24:08  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Running out of sun and 'steam'...
The balance of the wood is now stacked and covered.

Temps 'on' the unit reached 130F.
Temps inside only increased outside air by 8F.
Too much air flow I'm thinking..
Shut down the fan on the last hour of sun on the unit and picked up a bit.
Also had very high winds today..

On the second stack I decided to try the second idea I liked.
This is a very simple cover involving no more than clear plastic and good string (and a few ground stakes).



and:


Theory very basically is to capture what you can to add to and allow the natural air to evacuate the moisture.
How much simpler does it get?
Good side by side test.
By theory, the backside needs to be higher than the front (Works for me).
Heat is produced highest from the front, collected and expelled at the rear.

I've also stacked as I've been taught.
Bark down as you stack and Bark up on the last 3 courses.

I'm certain this had to do with ground moisture and repealing rain off the stack, but did they know something more?
The more I do as taught..
The more I'm impressed of my teacher's!
Temps off my 'dry' stack (uncovered) were higher than the unit..

Curious now of the 'tented' unit..

The final stack..
What the heck, give it a go..


Simple black cover, open to the air.

Bases covered.
Let's see who wins!









Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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49er
Administrator



USA
4426 Posts

Posted - September 14 2014 :  17:59:25  Show Profile Send 49er a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi ODR

To me the first pic is off the ground to much for what you are trying to do. You have no way to let out moisture in the top of your stack. Looks like you could make more heat with more plastic in front on the south side.(example a 4x8' in front to the bottom of your wood and cover the 3 other sides to the ground) a small vent hole in the top would act like a chimmy, what I see now, wind sucks the heat out of the bottom of your stack before it heats the wood. Think of it like a shelter, control how much air and the heat you make to where you want it to go (out the top). IMHO

Doug
The sky is not the limit...There are footprints on the MOON.
Your only as DUMB as where your standing.
No matter where you go there you are.
You must be logged in to see this link.
SKYPE doug.bennett49er
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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 15 2014 :  16:00:14  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I believe you're correct, too much air.
I believe I'm going to shut the fan down and go passive.
I'm not sure you can see the ground cloth in the pic, but it's hooked to the underside of the first shelf.
Only the front 2 feet actually goes to the ground.
Without the fan running we'll see what happens and I'll adjust again from there.
I've been hesitating breaking the seal of the cover until a couple of days of checking heat.
If I do not get higher temps tomorrow, then I'm sealing up the bottom more and creating a vent at the top.

Now for S&G's..
Scroll up 2 pic's and look at that simple clear cover.
I beating outside air by 32F at the top and 12F (lowest read) anywhere along the front face.
The only thing sealing the ends is my 'criss-cross' stack of wood on the ends.
The wood is now the absorbing material and dark enough to gather.
This can only get better as it dries and darkens.
'And' it's directly on the material I want to heat.
I'm also really liking the single row idea.

I'm now wishing I had gone with clear on the main unit..
If I don't get higher temps with a few adjustments...
There may be a drastic change, in at least the front, coming soon.

Live and learn, aye..




Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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49er
Administrator



USA
4426 Posts

Posted - September 15 2014 :  18:29:46  Show Profile Send 49er a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi ODR

I think your going the right way and only time will tell Good Luck

Doug
The sky is not the limit...There are footprints on the MOON.
Your only as DUMB as where your standing.
No matter where you go there you are.
You must be logged in to see this link.
SKYPE doug.bennett49er
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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 18 2014 :  16:41:53  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is only the third good day of sun (Tuesday it did rain).
The complete opposite of what I thought is happening.

The simple clear plastic covering is producing heat exceeding 140F at max and 98F along the face.
The big black box is only getting to 98F, highest (no fan running and a vent hole).

Air temps have been highs in the mid 60'sF all week.

Some changes are inline for the Big Black Box this weekend.

The S&G stack (as it's been so named), is already showing cracks and splitting on the face of the logs. The pile is also sagging towards the front. I may need to re-stack if this continues. Showing that drying is happening quickly front to rear, expected, just not this quickly.

What have I learned?
I believe now that the logs themselves are a great enough heat sink to do the job.
The openness of the cover, the amount of air naturally flowing is not as much of a concern as first thought.
Single row is the way to go (Hey a catch phrase)!

Moisture tests will happen this weekend in both units to compare.



Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 20 2014 :  15:12:43  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
With what I have learned from my yard experiment, I've gone ahead and built my first 'real' solar kiln.

Two areas of non-expertise (okay there's a few..) are Air volume movement and being able to cut 1/4" plate glass successfully.
You have experience in either, I can use your advise.

Working with the S&G cover and it building up the greatest amount of heat, I've built this:







The S&G stack is open by 2/3rd's on the back, this will be open by 1/3 of the height.
I did debate insulating the sides and back and may indeed do so as I set it up tomorrow. I do have some foam insulation kicking around.

If I place this where I believe right now I will (fairly level ground) I will have a 4" inlet and a 17" exhaust.
I believe this will give it a natural flow.
Sides will be posted up on some landscape timbers I have around here.

The glass top comes from the S&G stack and how it captures heat before the sun comes fully around.

The dark interior/exterior is just another way to capture heat.
Nothing here is of cost to me, had everything here salvaged from sites I've worked on.

I'll post up how well it does (optimistly speaking).
Here's hoping I can beat that 140F!

P.S. I will weigh the wood before (a few choice pieces that is) loading this time...



Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 20 2014 :  16:48:43  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In place and top set/drying.



If I need to close down the backside, I figure to leave the opening as is and add to the base.



'Butt' glazed the two top pieces and will finish it tomorrow where the clamp now resides.

The front is removable for loading.
This I debated quite a bit.
It's easier to load from the front and if required can add mullions at glass joints. Right now, don't wish to..

Next is to cut down a couple of pallets and load.

Come on 140F PLUS!!
Make me happy!!

Oh ya.. Ended up with a 3" gap on the front (give a little).
Think I should only be 9" on the back..
Wish I could find my old 'spin-dial' calculator the HVAC guy gave me..


Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!


Edited by - olddawgsrule on September 20 2014 16:54:58
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49er
Administrator



USA
4426 Posts

Posted - September 20 2014 :  18:02:03  Show Profile Send 49er a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi ODR

Free is best for these type of things and you do have that covered. Looks Good keep up the info
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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 21 2014 :  12:49:56  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Loaded and functioning!



I have a band drying in the garage to go over the top of the glass to insure a 'good blow' does hurt anything.

When I build the bigger unit (next year, need to start salvaging!)I will be looking for full sheets of plywood.
Because this sheet was only 38" wide it restricted the bottom depth. 48" wide would allow for better air flow.

I also will probably not score on glass again as I did this year, But I do have an old glass slider that could be re-purposed for the front.
That would require excess from the rear.

Some folks have built these with 6mil plastic, I have 3.5mil on my pile and it took some heavy rains last night with no issue, so 6mil should work fine on a larger scale unit.
The question now, to be answered this week, is if the clear glass is that much better..

Dis-appointment of the morning..
My Toledo dial scale is MIA!
"Hey Babe, you know where my scale is?"
"We threw that away."
"We? Or Oui??"
She confuses me at times with that answer...
Back to MC readings.. Dam..



Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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49er
Administrator



USA
4426 Posts

Posted - September 21 2014 :  13:56:18  Show Profile Send 49er a Private Message  Reply with Quote
LOL ODR

We all have that problem. LOL
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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 23 2014 :  15:56:55  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Update:
With the MC readings I'm saying The Black Box is barely beating out the S&G cover.

The Display Box (as it's now been named) is hitting 100F easily, but not much higher. Yesterday's read was barely 95F (at higher points) and I closed up the back (plastic to seal it, insulation for the heck of it). Today, is better, but not where I want it.
Air is now vented at the top by a gap created by lifting the back edge of the glass (currently 1/4").

If I was good at cutting glass, I would cut it a foot shorter and build a 'Hot Box' to add to the front. Kinda like what you have Doug on your house.
Second possibility is to add a black 'Privacy' screen in front of the wood. This would allow for air to pass through and build up a greater amount of heat.

I like the Hot Box better..

I know you're all thinking, heat doesn't dry wood, air does, but..
If I can build up the heat high enough, than I can fan force air to circulate and expedite the drying.

I'm open to suggestions.


Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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49er
Administrator



USA
4426 Posts

Posted - September 23 2014 :  19:25:30  Show Profile Send 49er a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi ODR

I think your good to go, time well be the test (C20 Rate) LOL D20 rate days and done. LOL
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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 24 2014 :  15:56:30  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I bought an inexpensive scale today and weighed some key pieces. I feel much better now. The only true way of knowing loss is weight.

Forecast has rain coming in overnight on Thursday and beautiful sunny days through the weekend. This week is looking very good!

LOL, love the D20!

Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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kcarring
Moderator



Canada
1057 Posts

Posted - September 25 2014 :  21:31:36  Show Profile Send kcarring a Private Message  Reply with Quote
While it is not always an option, lawns are not the ideal bed surface for a drying environment. Dry Gravel holds a lot less humidity. Crushed white quartz-like material is even better if available. Lack of Humidity is the key to drying wood, as the moisture content will always vary with the ambient. if you have a test piece you can drive two nails in it, measure initial weight, interim weight, and also the DC resistance across the two nails.

Cheers

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You wouldn't laugh at my igloo if you knew how cold my beer is!

Edited by - kcarring on September 25 2014 21:34:09
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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 27 2014 :  07:36:20  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I had heard of this and thank you for reminding me.

A great article on this is here, with a chart.
You must be logged in to see this link.

I now have both charts printed out.
Problem with a moisture reader is it doesn't know species or temperature. This will be a great test to check the MC meter against.

It has also been suggested to place a short stack next to each unit as a control and direct comparison (same ground & sun condition). I'm going to do this today.
I do have a control stack out there, but I like what was recommended.

Yesterday I hit 70F with full sun!
My cheap thermometer, in the bottom of the unit pegged out (over 120F). It's in the sun right up against the wood.
My better thermometer (with a built in MC reader) placed at the top read 115F/32%).

Today & tomorrow are supposed to be matching days!
Sunday I will open up and take readings on all 3 units.


Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!


Edited by - olddawgsrule on September 27 2014 08:24:26
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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - September 27 2014 :  12:22:35  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Since, by the time I get home, I have not had a good read all week after adding the front cover to the Big Black Box.



After 3hrs of sun on it, the front cover is breaking 130F and the vent is expelling 115F.
Last weekend, before the cover, highest read was 98F at the vent.

I have about 3 more hours of sun on this unit and will check in a couple of to see if there's any increases.

Oh yes.. ambient temp is 71F.

It will be interesting tomorrow when I open it up to take some readings.

Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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49er
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USA
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Posted - September 27 2014 :  14:23:01  Show Profile Send 49er a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi ODR

What is the % you will be happy with? How long do you have to get these 3 cords down to that?? How many cords do you have to go??
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olddawgsrule
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USA
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Posted - September 28 2014 :  07:12:18  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 49er

Hi ODR

What is the % you will be happy with? How long do you have to get these 3 cords down to that?? How many cords do you have to go??



Maximum 20%, still a little wet, but burns okay.
Desirable 15-18%, going as low as 12%.
Anything lower than 12% and you don't get the BTU's out of the wood like you should.

I figure I have 2 months.
5 'face' cords to go (Display Case will take almost a face cord)

Display case tested yesterday.
Control pile reads over 30% moisture.
Wood in the Display Case is at 22% (1 week, 2 days overcast, 2 days party cloudy, 3 days great sun).

I suspect drying is not linear and this rate will slow down.
If I can get half this again, by next weekend, It's burnable!
And it can finish off in the shed.

If this rate works, I'll be close to my goal.
I also suspect the over-all rate will slow down as the days get cooler.



Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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olddawgsrule
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USA
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Posted - September 28 2014 :  07:16:43  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you again Kyle!

All MC readings are now being done with the DMM, the chart and compensating for temperature.




Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!


Edited by - olddawgsrule on September 28 2014 07:27:58
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olddawgsrule
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USA
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Posted - September 28 2014 :  09:59:32  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The numbers are in.
Better number next week, I have now weighed control pieces in all stacks.

My open air (standard stack with cover on top only) is still running >30%. Anything over 32% is hard to get a good read on..

S&G Stack (lean-to cover)
25% on pieces closer to the top
32% on lower pieces
2 weeks running

Big Black Box
25% average through out
Nothing higher than 27%
2 weeks running

Display Case (solar kiln)
22% average (nothing higher than 23%)
1 week running

I like the results of each, but I do have my favorite!


Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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IrishDave
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Ireland
850 Posts

Posted - October 03 2014 :  07:10:34  Show Profile Send IrishDave a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi OD.

That looks amazing!

Just before I logged on here, I was just looking out at my pile of chopped up decking on the shed roof. I need to get it all covered as the rains returned today after our driest September on record - 25% of normal.

I held off on buying my wood stove, as they have finally started to sell gasifying boilers here. They are coming in from Slovakia, so they are designed for harder, longer winters than here.
You must be logged in to see this link.
They are just over 4k euros, but with a saving of around 40% fuel over wood stoves, I am leaning towards buying one. It will be next winter before I can get it, but the wood storing has begun already.
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olddawgsrule
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USA
1434 Posts

Posted - October 03 2014 :  11:29:55  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's the link for those of us over here.
You must be logged in to see this link.

That's amazing Dave!
If that is 40% over 'My' stove.. A very big WOW!

I bought my stove for $1500 back when, currently running $2100 new.
I ran some numbers and conversions, would be a good investment for myself as well.
It's the efficiency and full home heat that puts it over the top.

Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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olddawgsrule
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USA
1434 Posts

Posted - October 03 2014 :  14:51:49  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We had some tough issues with internet today at work
I wanted to also ask Dave that when you do buy it, start a thread here and teach us about it.

It seems like it's natural vent, but I assume it's power vented for control of fire..
Ya now Dave.. How about starting a thread now!
This is too cool an item!

Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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olddawgsrule
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USA
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Posted - October 03 2014 :  15:15:16  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
@ Dave (and anyone else..)

If you have the time, a season to dry, then the lean-to (S&G) cover comes into play.

I'm in a conversation with another (on another site) that has a version of this he's been using for 3 years now. He's closed in the front (as I now am), open in the rear (also matching), but closed on the ends. He is also drying 'hard to dry' wood (like my Red Oak) and doing it in 1 season (typically takes two in a normal covered stack).

I 'need' to knock it down fast this year so I went to the Solar Kiln idea (The Display Case). I'm loving what it's doing so far.

The Big Black Box can also be considered a solar kiln and I've learned my lesson of not using a clear front.
It means a lot.
Get the sun on the wood!

If you do decide to try any of these, I will be posting some diagrams before I'm done here.
I haven't yet only due to wanting to see what each can do and improvements.
I can see a few on each..

I also wish to point out the article posted earlier in the thread.
Kyle reminded me of this (again thank you) and I searched it out.
Great charts of species of wood, temperature correction and how to use a DMM to test.
Well worth reading and printing out the charts.

This weeks numbers coming tomorrow.




Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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49er
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USA
4426 Posts

Posted - October 03 2014 :  19:03:15  Show Profile Send 49er a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi ODR

My 4 tons of pellets cost 800.00. Look at your costs and time to figure out if it is worth the effort?? just to compare for everyone else on a dollar cost.
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IrishDave
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Ireland
850 Posts

Posted - October 04 2014 :  06:02:00  Show Profile Send IrishDave a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi OD.

Thank you for that link.
I won't have the funds to purchase the device until next year. It is a bit of a jump from the 600euros I was paying for the wood stove, but the 40% saving on the wood stoves is what stopped me in my tracks and made me have a rethink.
It won't be burning in the house, so it will also save me some costs on redecorating the sitting room, which I would have needed with the instillation of a wood stove.
I will start a thread for it when I finally get around to buying it.
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olddawgsrule
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USA
1434 Posts

Posted - October 04 2014 :  12:15:44  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This weeks readings are dismal at best, but so wasn't this week.

1 day of great sun
2 days of partial clouds
5 days of overcast or rain.

Lost only 2oz's of weight in all units (at least lost..)
Standard stack (covered top only) is >32% (can not read)..

Upcoming week is promising!

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and dry and I'm going to re-test for fun and see what 1 good day produces.
Dark, dank and rain over night ending early hrs to a bright dry day.
Those 2ozs could be gone by morning, but with a good day it will be interesting.


Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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olddawgsrule
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Posted - October 05 2014 :  17:03:18  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Meant 4 days of overcast & rain.. but you get the picture..


Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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olddawgsrule
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USA
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Posted - October 06 2014 :  17:36:06  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm rather impressed by the S&G pile.
I know it won't get me where I need to be, but.. check out the splits ends under that simple cover.



If you're going to cover anyway..
I'm becoming a believer that this will cut the time in half.
Weaker wood is at 22% in that pile
Strong wood is now at 27%

Readings now based by weight, not MC, not DMM and conversations (though I still check against to prove).
Believe I have a better way, but 'proof' will be in the burn.
The way temps are going, that could be soon..

The cover is still the weaker of the group, well.. BBB is lacking and S&G is catching up, time will tell between the two.

Between the two groups I'm working with, I'm getting great info!
They think I'm too scientific and with you guys I figure I'm not enough..

I'm lovin' the spot I'm in!
Experimenting and learning.





Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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olddawgsrule
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USA
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Posted - October 07 2014 :  17:50:51  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Last week was dismal at best..
This week has promise!

With RonO helping out on what I thought I could do, I now have a great way of telling true MC Content.
I will clean up the spreadsheet and add the links, then I'll share.

It comes down to weight and knowns'.

The Display Case is the only unit I have re-tested (running out of daylight..) and it's running at 24% with the new readings.

The S&G Cover was blown away by the winds today!
Thankfully it was..
I had no idea just how much a lean had occurred with so much drying happening on just the face.
Mid point was on the edge of going over.

I'm impressed by this design, but know it will not reach 'my' goal.
So simple, so inexpensive and it seems to work well.
We'll see what the readings tell when I'm done with this.



Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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49er
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USA
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Posted - October 07 2014 :  19:48:46  Show Profile Send 49er a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi ODR

Good stuff keep up the good info
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olddawgsrule
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USA
1434 Posts

Posted - October 12 2014 :  08:40:50  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Rotated my first load out of the Display Case!

All medium and small splits, All large (excluding my Red Oak) where 18-20%. Some of the smalls where 12-15%.

3 Week run in the Solar Kiln!

The larger (Red Oak) pieces are reading 25-27% depending on just how big and gnarly they are.
Red Oak is my best wood and is also the hardest to dry, so I wasn't dis-appointed to see it needed more time. Maybe another 'good' week?

I transferred from the BBB, mainly because the back row is lacking in progress. The wood moved had an average of 25%, with nothing reading over 27%.
Now I have a known going in (which I did not before, only >32%, as far as my readings could go).

With another poor week forecasted, I'm hoping for a 2 week run.

Transferring my notes to the spreadsheet for reference this morning.
The weight calculator seems to be working well so far.
Not an exact science, but much better than just a MC read.

Example: Piece can reading 18% by MC and 22% by weight.
Depending on size of the 'split', small I'd put at 19-20%, mid's 20-21%, large probably the full 22%.
Like I said, not exact, but much better!

The 'Spreadsheet' is almost ready for sharing.
I've added the web sources for key inputs, and once entered automatically changes the chart for the species your checking.
I'm working on the record section now (as well as confirming the calculator) to insure anyone who wishes to use this will have records to use and share.




Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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olddawgsrule
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USA
1434 Posts

Posted - October 12 2014 :  08:53:08  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
BBB has gone through a change.
It's now 3/4 clear plastic.

The assumption of the dark color absorbing more heat may be true, but the simple S&G cover has taught me..
Sun on the wood means everything.
The single row theory works best.
And, a single stage, at least for my purpose, works better.


Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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49er
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USA
4426 Posts

Posted - October 12 2014 :  09:57:43  Show Profile Send 49er a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi ODR

So what have you learned, LOL simple is the best. GOOD WORK You have showed all of us the best way. Thanks
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olddawgsrule
Advanced Member



USA
1434 Posts

Posted - October 12 2014 :  12:30:18  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you Doug and You're Welcome!
'Best', well, not yet, maybe better..

This experiment has really changed the way I thought it would work.
It has also changed the design of what I thought I would build (and how).

My mind goes towards using the 'raw' material I have around here and create a thermal mass.
I'm seeing some very good temperatures (typically >40F over ambient) and I'm certain I am not utilizing 'all' the Sun is giving me.
If you have to have a solid base to hold the weight of the wood, why not utilize it..

I've yet to see any of the designs out there doing this..
I'm wondering why?
If anyone spots one.. Send the link my way!


Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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49er
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USA
4426 Posts

Posted - October 12 2014 :  14:29:17  Show Profile Send 49er a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi ODR

With what you have now see if you can find a roll of Mylar to reflect more sun to the pile or a couple of mirrors. see where I am looking?? Sun seams to work the best??
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olddawgsrule
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USA
1434 Posts

Posted - October 12 2014 :  15:57:35  Show Profile  Visit olddawgsrule's Homepage Send olddawgsrule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm actually thinking Fresnel and heat mass..
Much too concentrated for subject (wood), but rather well suited for mass.
Too much wasted energy with no way of practical use..


I do see where you're looking and appreciate that interest and input.
I want folks to input and check what I may have missed!

Refection vs. direct..
Re-directed vs. direct..
It's defiantly a consideration to be explored.



















Old in age, not in mind, so
'Teach me something new'!

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