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Killing it with Fire

2628 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  SCOTSMAN
Morning friends,

To summarize so you don't have to read the whole thing:

-Can you use one salamander/torpedo heater to heat a 12'x6'x4' OSB-framed kiln to a minimum air temp of 150 for at least 4 hours, for the purpose of killing anything alive?

-Will the power of the heater matter much? Or is even the weakest of these heaters capable of creating an air temp of 150 inside this box?

-Do I need to vent the box? I want as much heat to stay inside as possible.

The Details:
I have a stickered stack of reclaimed lumber.
I know there are some wood boring insects inside, (a recent infestation). Grubs/eggs or whatnot.

My plan:
Kill 'em with fire.
150-200 for 4 hours ought to do it.
Build a makeshift kiln around the stack.
Four walls and a roof made of cheap osb on a 2×4 frame.
Dimensions of stack: 12'x6', rising to approx. 4' off the ground.

The question:
Heat Source?
Looking for effective, cheap, easy, safe.
In that order, lol.

My current options in order of my preference:

1: Salamandar/torpedo heater
$20 to rent from HD. Won't actually place in the box, but place it maybe 3' outside. The business end sticking into a "tunnel" of cinder blocks leading into the box. This way, no actual wood is in contact with the heater.
Possibly add a fan, if air circulation is lacking.

2: Small fire in a circle of cinderblocks, just outside the box, venting into the box.
Definitely need a fan inside the box. Definitely need to keep a sharp look out for safety.

3: Steam. Rent steam cleaner from just about anywhere.
Possible problems:
-Warping of OSB box walls, releasing the heat.
-Saturating the wood. I believe the steam would actually lower the RH of the wood, but I'm no expert.
-It kind of seems like going around my * to get to my elbow. The other two options involve ONLY a heat source, where this option uses a heat source to heat a 3rd party substance, to then heat the wood.
However, steam is a common way of killing insects/sanitizing.
-Not as cool/satisfying.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.
You guys, and this place, are awesome.
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Of the options you present, I think I like the torpedo heater the best. I don't think you need a tunnel, though .. may waste lots of heat. How about the heater blowing into a hole with an angled wall of cinder blocks somewhat blocking the entrance so the air deflects off them and into the kiln ?
Wouldnt steam do the opposite of drying the wood? If you were looking to bend a ton of lumber this would be a good idea.
It being hot right now and me being not overly ambitious, I would use chemical means, bug bombs to
kill the insects.
Thanks for the input, everyone.

Yonak: Yes, I think that is a great execution.

SirIrb: I am not trying to dry the wood, just kill anything living inside. I had a similar worry, that it may soak the wood, but I think it may actually have a drying effect. Not sure though. I can't find any info on how a quick steam affects relative humidity of the wood.

Bluepine38- I contemplated tenting it and throwing a handful of bug bombs inside, however, intuition and a little research led me to believe the chemicals may not find their way around the corners and through the debris of the insects holes.

Thanks again!
A bug bomb will not penetrate the wood enough to kill powderpost beetles.

The wood must be heated to an internal temp of over 133 degrees for several hours. May take longer than 4 hours at 150 degrees to reach an internal wood temp of over 133 degrees.
Solar power. Wrap in black plastic, in your sunniest location. Let it sit for a week. Here in California this method works great. Yesterday was 106.
I say either microwave ! or if too big for the m w then coat liberally with kerosene/parrafin and leave .Possibly storing after wards in a sealed box or wrap with plastic bags etc.There is no need to fill the bag with kerosene just paint it on liberally and wait. I also understand they don't like heat but then neither does wood usually.Alistair
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