Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Building a DIY Kiln with Dan Tilden

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hey everyone for this week's video we're gonna be making a homemade wood kiln so

the homemade wood kiln are going to be less expensive it's gonna be less

expensive than a standard wood kiln something that you could buy it's

something that pretty much anybody can put together themselves with things that

you can buy at your local big-box retailer and I have Dan Tilden over from

Oregon he's another woodturner all the way

across the country to help me out with this project and Dan is actually built

one of these on his own dan can you tell us maybe give us some idea of why a

woodworker would want to have a challenge yeah so when a woodworker

Mills up some green wood it's it's full of water and to be able to get that wood

to a sustainable level to be able to work with you need to dry that wood out

properly and this kiln drives us slowly it takes the moisture out and as it

dries and it gets it to a level to where you're able to work with it simple and

easy so an important part about drying wood is that you want to keep an

equilibrium if any one part of the wood starts drying out faster than another

part of the wood it can start to crack so our whole objective here is to dry

this wood slowly and evenly so that we don't have any cracking and we just have

beautiful pieces of quarter sawn white oak left when we're done let's get

started let's do it

this is approximately 500 4 feet of quarter sawn white oak that I brought

down with me from New York so we're gonna do like a homemade kiln using some

foam insulation a heater and a dehumidifier and I think we're gonna put

it right in here so we're gonna have to take this lumber out first chop it down

to the sizes that we need good build the kiln in this area and get everything set

up and then when we bring the lumber back in we're just gonna be loading it

back into the kiln okay yeah

I have an ongoing production job here in Charleston that requires eight quarter

quarter sawn white oh I've had a bit of difficulty sourcing the lumber for this

work most Mills cut this wood just a little too thin for this specific job

and I've also had issues with checking or cracking in the wood from where

someone tried to dry the oak too quickly so I found a mill in upstate New York

that was able to cut this lumber to my specifications just a little extra thick

and I picked it up when I was in that part of the country teaching back in

2017 when I bought it this lumber was freshly cut and wet so it needs to dry

before I can use it in my work


go stack that we're cutting these pieces down to about

26 inches long which is the length I'll be needing for my future project if you

think of a tree as being a bundle of straws hearing all the moisture and

nutrients up from the soil when we cut this lumber we're shortening those

straws and making it easier for the moisture to escape when this lumber sits

in the kill after we get these pieces cut to length we need to seal the ends I

use a wax that can be easily painted on called anchor seal without the wax the

ends of the boards would dry much faster than the middle and that differentiation

and moisture content would cause the wood to crack

to cure as much lumber as possible in the space I've got we decided that the

kiln will be three feet deep three and a half feet high and eight feet long

my bandsaw makes quick work of cutting down these foam sheets but a sharp

utility knife would work too we're using foil tape to attach the foam pieces

together and to seal the kiln I join the back bottom top and side pieces together

to four and half of the box and we'll start loading from there being careful

to leave a little bit of space for air flow between each piece

we use stickers which are pieces of scrap wood between each layer of oak

once we get our first batch of cut pieces loaded up it's time to cut some


as you might imagine we built up quite the appetite with this kind of work so

as we're finishing up for the day on starting the coals for dinner

and since it's Friday night after dinner we're headed to downtown Charleston to

watch my friend Graham Worley and catch the fireworks

as Dan mentioned earlier when lumber is first harvested it's full of water in

fact there can be as much as forty to fifty percent moisture content air

drying is always nice if you have the space of time now this wood has been

sitting in the back of my studio for about a year and a half so it's down to

about fifteen percent we want to get it to seven or eight percent in Charleston

because it's super humid this wood will regain moisture when it comes out of the

kiln but as long as it has the memory of being at that lower moisture content I

don't have to worry about cracking if my finished product is shipped somewhere

with a much drier climate like Colorado or Arizona

I use a pronged moisture meter to check the moisture content so I know what

we're starting with after we load up all the oh we situate the fans eater

dehumidifier and thermometer one fan is on the top left corner and the other is

on the bottom right corner to create a circular air motion the heater is set to

low until we see what temperature this box gets up to about a hundred and

fifteen degrees is ideal the dehumidifier is half in half out of the

box because your standard home dehumidifier is not meant to function in

these kinds of temperatures we've set it up to D humidify the outside air and

blow that dry air into the kiln this meat probe will poke right through the

top of the kiln giving us a good reading in the middle of the space we're also

creating a little door so that we can access the heater and dehumidifier if

needed this kiln is not completely airtight we need to allow some air to

escape since the dehumidifier is pulling outside air so I think we have a

successful project here we accomplished everything that we set out to

yep we got the wood in the kiln got it to the temperature that we want and

we'll check in it in a couple weeks and make sure it's still the same thank you

so much for your help Dan you're welcome that was a lot of fun so now it's just a

matter of check back in with us and three or so weeks and we'll let you know

how it did and if you guys would like to follow Dan and check out some of his

work we have links at the bottom of the video thanks for watching Thanks


The Description of Building a DIY Kiln with Dan Tilden