As all woodworkers know, the price of kiln dried lumber is getting extremely expensive. With cherry and walnut prices reaching $6 a bd-ft (and more), a single 8" wide, 10' long, 4/4, FAS board can cost $40 and it doesn't take long before just the wood for that basic coffee table project costs almost as much as the store-bought couch sitting behind it.
Likewise, anyone who runs a sawmill for work or pleasure knows that serious money is being left on the table when selling green lumber. The price difference between boards coming straight off the mill and kiln dried lumber can be substantial.
Kiln drying your own lumber is a great opportunity to save money or make money. There are several good commercially available kilns for small scale production. Unfortunately, the starting prices can be prohibitively high. The obvious solution is to build your own solar kiln to keep costs (building and operating) as low as possible. Granted, the drying rate can be sporadic and your production may slow in the winter months, but a solar kiln may still fit your needs.
My adventure into building a solar kiln began for all of the reasons stated above. I'm a woodworker who cringes at the money I spend for a project, and I also own a small sawmill with hopes of selling an occasional board. To make my decision to build a solar kiln even easier was the fact that the only place for me to locate a kiln, has no electricity available. As I began building my own kiln I realized everything I learned along the way would be great information for others. This site represents the accumulation of my ongoing solar kiln education as well as the collective knowledge of everyone else who adds to this site.
Always feel free to join in on the forums with questions or answers, and feel free to send me any solar kiln resources you think should be added to what's available here.