Last Saturday Andrew and Cairns unloaded the kiln while I dealt with customers (details of new stock to follow – 65mm thick boards) and then Andrew got the next load (pictured) loaded in all in the same day – 40mm thick boards of elm, spalted beech, birch & alder, including some nice burry & figured boards. Ready in a month’s time.
The stacks are loaded by forklift then weighted down with various weights – we need to make more of the ones with fork holes like the prototype I made years ago pictured far left. Then the cart is pushed in by the telehandler on its wee wheels along the track. Note the foam blocks stuffed in to restrict the airflow where there are big gaps – air flows through big gaps mostly if it can so we need to force it to flow through the small gaps between the boards instead. Even the foam blocks have a small gap though to allow just a little air to get through there and dry the underside of the adjacent boards. Once pushed in the remaining gaps are filled and the fans & heaters switched on.
The canvas curtain sits on top over the weights and directs the airflow in a continuous cycle for approximately a month while the boards go from about 25 to 30% moisture content air dry to approx. 8 to 10%.
While the kiln box was empty I took the opportunity to replace another 2 of the original 8 fans which have been running 24/7 almost continuously now for seven and a half years and have started to burn out. I have been able to source the originals direct from Spain from the fan manufacturer for a third of the price than getting them from the kiln unit supplier (name and shame woodmizer!!!). They are lovely heavy duty 3 phase motors, 80W each. To give woodmizer credit, they have done a great job of putting together this package and I am thinking about getting a second unit from them soon.
Post by Patrick Baxter 🙂