So not only are we building an addition on our house, but I am building a solar kiln. This is something I have been threatening to do for several years. Right now all my lumber is air dried – I first stack it outside for about a year and then bring it under cover into either the pole barn or the barn, and then if I want to make furniture I bring it into the woodshop for several months. With a solar kiln I can (should be able to) dry the wood and get it to 7-10% moisture content in a few weeks if the wood is first air dried.
The design I am using is based on the Virginia tech design. It will process about 1,000 board feet of lumber and supposedly dry green oak in about 30 days. A more complete description for this design is available on this website. Anyway, the process is slow because I am trying to do it on the cheap AND do it in my increasingly rare spare time. In November I constructed the floor using the joists from our former deck (removed for our home addition). I hauled the floor up into the pasture with the tractor to where I get a good southern exposure.
Poor Ethan has become the forced labor on this project. But it’s his grandfather’s fault because he gave him a hammer and tool belt for Christmas. The only benefit to Ethan is that he gets to drive the truck back and forth from the barn to the project when I forget a tool.
By mid-January this was our progress:
Check back as I will add to this post with more details. Right now it’s under roof and (mostly) sided.
While working on this project we are visited occasionally by two idiots.