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Author Topic: Making solar kilns to sell.  (Read 368 times)

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Offline flatrock58

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Making solar kilns to sell.
« on: October 04, 2017, 09:08:26 pm »
With all the post about making solar kilns i was wondering if anyone has ever tried to make a solar kiln to sell.  I would think there would be a market.  I just have never seen a home made solar kiln for sale.
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Offline GeneWengert-WoodDoc

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Re: Making solar kilns to sell.
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2017, 10:33:53 pm »
Wood Mizer sold a kit around 1985 or prior.  It was a kiln that had a north wall that condensed moisture.  I saw one, but the drying rate was too slow, so the owner converted it to a VT design.

There was one person who sold the solar kiln plans of the Virginia Tech kiln I designed in 1978.  The VT kiln plans have always been free.

The Marc Adams School of Woodworking had a week long class where the students cut all the parts needed to length and width, with special angles, etc.  The students also built a complete solar kiln so they could see how to do it.

We looked recently at having a class where the students would build the mini-VT solar kiln and could haul the completed kiln home on a small trailer.  Liability concerns (students handling power tools) were too large to do this.

If you were to build one, the materials would cost around $1300 with your labor maybe another $1000.  Then add profit of $2000 and shipping.  I wonder if someone would pay over $5000 for a solar kiln?
Gene - Author of articles in Sawmill & Woodlot and books: Drying Hardwood Lumber; VA Tech Solar Kiln; Sawing Edging & Trimming Hardwood Lumber. And more

Offline Crusarius

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Re: Making solar kilns to sell.
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2017, 08:11:23 am »
If I wanted a kiln and was not as handy as I am I would pay that. But thinking about it, anybody who wants a kiln is probably pretty handy. So that is going to limit the market. But then you have to factor in the cost of buying vs building. In building my mill I can get more bang for the buck. but if I did not have the time to build it would cost quite a bit more.

I guess it gets down to cost vs time. but the real question is would you sell it assembled set it on blocks and go or would it be knockdown and they just need to assemble it? If it is knockdown it may not save them much.

The #1 reason I chose to start with Linn Lumber basic sawmill kit was so I didn't have to try to source all the parts individually.

A complete kiln on a trailer or a kit would both have potential for good sales if you are in the right area. If they are cheap enough many places will buy more than 1.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Making solar kilns to sell.
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 08:38:24 am »
I think tha5 there would not be much market for them.

You will have a lot of labor hours invested, and many SK owners are DIY type of folks that would rather do it themselves and save the $.

Not to mention the challenges and costs associated with transporting a 1k bd ft model.
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Offline Darrel

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Re: Making solar kilns to sell.
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 04:49:30 pm »
Wood-Mizer still sells a solar kiln in a kit.  The kit includes plans, fans, specialty hardware and a list of materials.   Looks like you are on your own to buy lumber, insulation and paint. Called the KS50 and costs $1,595.00
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Offline flatrock58

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Re: Making solar kilns to sell.
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2017, 09:13:42 pm »
I was just thinking that there are people who are not able to build one themselves that might want to dry wood.  I figured that I would see one here and there on craigslist.  I guess that is not an item you see being sold after and old sawyer dies.
2001 LT40 Super Kubota 42
6' extension
resaw attachment
CBN Sharpener
Piney Woods modified Dual tooth setter.