Free Solar Kiln Plans


VIRGINIA TECH 750 TO 1000 BD-FT KILN
These plans represent the current design from Virginia Tech. The overall length is a bit over 13 feet, so the longest board that will fit would be a 12 foot board. Double rear doors allow for easy hand loading or loading an entire stack with a fork lift or equivalent.

Note that this is a link directly to a .pdf file
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http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/forestry/420-030/420-030diagrams.pdf

VIRGINIA TECH 2000 BD-FT KILN
These plans are a variation of the VT 750 bd-ft kiln. The length is stretched out to more than 17 feet while the width is slightly increased. A side door is used instead of the double rear doors. This would probably require the use of a track loading system.
Note that this is a link directly to a .pdf file.

http://www.woodscience.vt.edu/about/extension/pdf/2000%20board%20ft%20Kiln%20Plans.pdf

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN 750 BD-FT KILN - VA TECH STYLE
A set of plans from the University of Wisconsin extension services. These plans are essentially the same as earlier Virginia Tech plans developed by Gene Wengert and Fred Lamb. The overall length is 10 feet, so the maximum standard board length will be 8-footers. With a shorter length, the 750 bd-ft capacity is created by using a higher front wall which allows a higher stack of lumber.
Note that this is a link directly to a .pdf file.
http://forest.wisc.edu/extension/Publications/98.pdf

USDA FOREST SERVICE REPORT ON A 750 TO 850 BD-FT KILN
The Forest Service issued this report on the construction and use of a solar kiln back in the 70s. The report was reissued in 1989. Construction of the kiln utilizes re-used glass windows for the collector. There is some good reading information here, but the VT style kilns seem to be a big advance over this predecessor.
http://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/fputr/fputr7.pdf

 

Paid Solar Kiln Plans

JONATHAN GUEST - INTRODUCTION TO SOLAR KILN DESIGN AND OPERATION
This is really more of a slideshow presentation of solar kiln information. Included in this information are some photos and descriptions of the construction of Johanthan Guest's solar kiln. The kiln is similar to the VT design but it has a permanent collector plate and glass collector surface. Also included in the manual are many of the documents referenced in the Articles & Publications page of this site, as well as many forms and documents used during the operation of a solar kiln. The complete manual is available as a download for £10. This kiln has a capacity of about 850 bd-ft.
http://www.jonathan-guest.co.uk/solar-kiln.htm

TIMBERGREEN SOLAR CYLCE KILN
If you have more time, a somewhat larger budget, and a need to dry larger quantities of wood, the Timbergreen Solar Cycle Kiln may be what you're looking for. The Timbergreen kiln works off of the same principles as most of the other solar kilns although it better separates the solar collector space from the lumber. These kiln designs also allow for lumber storage during air drying with a simple movement of doors to begin kiln drying a stack - no moving and restacking lumber. A set of plans for several sizes costs $29.95. Even if the plans don't suit your needs, there is plenty of information to grab for free from the website.
http://timbergreenforestry.com/Solar%20Cycle%20Kilns.html

THE CARL PETERSON SOLAR KILN
This solar kiln was developed by Carl Peterson, the originator of the Peterson swingmill. There isn't much information available on this design other than the pictures on the site. It appears the kiln includes a ventilation stack that supports operation without fans. The plans are being sold for $49.95.
http://www.truthaboutax.com/site/1515517/page/858958

POPULAR WOODWORKING'S SMALL SOLAR KILN
Popular Woodworking magazine is selling an article from a past issue related to the construction of a small backyard solar kiln. This kiln may fit the bill if you're only looking to dry a few hundred board feet a year. Pricing for the entire issue is set at $8.00 (click on "learn more about this issue" if you want to purchase).
http://www.popularwoodworking.com/articleabstract?aid=14497

 

 

 

 

 
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