mobile solar kilns

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Project by idahoboy posted 10-07-2014 01:37 AM 3319 views 17 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m not sure if this qualifies as a wood project but I am almost as proud of this cobbled up kiln as I am of anything else I have built. Finding wood is a big part of the fun and taking advantage of an opportunity like this is great.

The tree feller we met in Pennsylvania called and wanted to know if we could use some more wood. He was bringing his horse trailer empty to Montana just north of where I live and would cut some trees and have them sawed for us if we wanted. We snapped it up. Of course the wood was green so we had to concoct a way to dry it and we built these two “solar” kilns. The only space available at the time was on these two unused trailers. We offloaded the wood and stickered it up and painted the ends.

The first kiln was built on a flat deck car hauler using the stake pockets to build a 2×4 frame. The smaller kiln was built on a golf cart trailer with a frame attached to the deck. Both were covered with greenhouse grade plastic and fitted with thermostat controlled fans. The beauty of using the trailers is that when winter came they were both simply rolled under the shed roof. The wood dried beautifully over the summer and was all less than 10 percent by winter.

10 comments so far

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3665 posts in 4996 days

#1 posted 10-07-2014 05:32 AM

We love your ingenious idea! How about towing it over here for us to use for a while?!? LOL


-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1385 posts in 2997 days

#2 posted 10-07-2014 08:58 AM

That is such a brilliant idea! Clewer.
Wonder if a unused greenhouse coud do the same trick? (would need to mind not breaking the glass though..)

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View CampD's profile


1833 posts in 4769 days

#3 posted 10-07-2014 12:58 PM

That is a great idea!
I will be using it.

-- Doug...

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3176 days

#4 posted 10-07-2014 01:52 PM

That is awesome. Great job and welcome to LJs

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Bill's profile


404 posts in 3432 days

#5 posted 10-07-2014 02:39 PM

“The tree feller wanted to know if we could use some more wood”

“Um, No thanks, I think I have enough lumber” Said no wood worker ever. Nice build.

-- Putting the "mental" in experimental since 1973

View R_Stad's profile


439 posts in 3126 days

#6 posted 10-07-2014 03:51 PM

Good thinking – it’s a good feeling getting your own wood ready. I can see from your projects it will be put to good use. Well done.

-- Rod - Oregon

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3711 days

#7 posted 10-07-2014 08:41 PM

Nice, save labour loading, and then moving the load into the maximum sun, you are one smart cookie!

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View john2005's profile


1768 posts in 3461 days

#8 posted 10-07-2014 10:38 PM

Now how are you getting wood from PA? I’m in MT.

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View idahoboy's profile


11 posts in 2616 days

#9 posted 10-08-2014 01:33 AM

Thanks for the kind comments.

To lightladylefty, yes I will haul it over if you will take me fishing.

To kaerlighedsbamsen, a greenhouse would work absolutely as long as you have good air circulation and venting to let out the “wet” air. We have a little greenhouse that is too small to put wood in but it gets really hot in there which is good for drying.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4617 days

#10 posted 10-08-2014 05:38 PM

Great concept!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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