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Author Topic: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama  (Read 13306 times)

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Offline WDH

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Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« on: September 14, 2013, 08:53:56 pm »
I am interested in a small kiln, so I went over to New Market, Alabama to spend a day with Forum member Yellowhammer (Robert).  He was one of the first to install and operate the Nyle L53 Dehumidification kiln.  Through his hard work and diligence, he has become an expert in operating this kiln.  From his structured approach and detailed records, I believe that Nyle has learned as much as he has about this kiln.

The L53 is designed to dry from 300 BF of fast drying, sticker stain prone wood like yellow poplar and pine to 1000 BF of slower drying wood like oak.  It can dry 600 BF of the medium drying hardwoods like walnut and cherry.  I knew it was going to be a fine day when Robert said that he would have lunch for me when I got there.  Ribeye steaks and baked potato!

 

 

Robert uses a pallet system.  Each pack of lumber is stickered on a pallet that he makes.  320 BF to a pallet.  The pallets are allowed to air dry for a bit to lower the starting moisture content of the wood.  Robert varies the load in the kiln based on the drying characteristics of the wood and the kiln's capacity to remove water. He uses the wood load as another variable in controlling the drying process.  Here is the kiln with with two packs of cherry that were ready to come out of the Kiln.  The average moisture content of this load was 6.1%.

 

 

He uses foam insulation left over from the chamber construction to baffle the load to assure that the air is drawn through the lumber stack.  The dehumidification unit is located in the back of the kiln and pulls the air through the lumber to remove the evaporated water.  The controller is located outside the kiln.

 

 

The kiln chamber is insulated very well, and the door seals perfectly.  He uses a trailer door locking cam to make sure that the door is tightly closed and sealed.

 

 

Robert also has a solar kiln that he uses as a pre-dryer.  Here it is with a load of sassafras ready to come out and go into the dehumidification kiln for sterilization. 

 

 

Here is a pic of Mr. and Mrs. Yellowhammer with some air drying packs in the background.  Pre-drying allows the kiln to dry more wood faster and improve the efficiency.  These packs are yellow poplar, red oak, hickory, and sassafras. 

 

 

A special treat was getting to tour his beautiful farm in mountains of North Alabama.    I was very impressed and inspired by Robert's operation.  I can't wait to get started on my own kiln.  Thank you Robert!  I owe you big time.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline fishpharmer

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2013, 10:02:34 pm »
Thank you for sharing your day with us! 8)
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Offline Kingcha

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2013, 10:08:24 pm »
Nice set-up.  Thanks for sharing.

Matt
a Wood-mizer LT15 10hp Electric, 45hp Kioti tractor, electric smoker, wood-fired brick oven & yes a custom built Solar Kiln

Online YellowHammer

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2013, 10:16:58 pm »
WDH - We were more than glad to have you visit. 8) 8)  It was a special treat for us.

For those of you that have not met him, WDH is as nice and knowledgeable in person as he is on the Forum.   It was a clear fall day, and after we'd talked business awhile, I showed him around in the farm.  He really knows his stuff, much more so than any other professional forester I'd ever had here.  It was amazing how he was able to point out species I'd never noticed before, and I thought I'd pretty much knew my own woods.
I can't wait for you to get your kiln up and operating so I can stop by and visit.
YH

 
Hobby Hardwood Alabama.com
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Offline hackberry jake

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2013, 11:03:35 pm »
Man! Thats a lot of lumber! I sure would like to get one of them there kilns.  8)
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Online thecfarm

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2013, 07:52:44 am »
Did you get a passing grade?  :D
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Offline WDH

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2013, 07:56:33 am »
I have not taken the test yet  ;D.
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline bama20a

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2013, 08:31:08 am »
That is a nice looking operation you have,& It is nice when fellow forum members can meet, Just makes this world alittle nicer,
I do have a question though, ;D,It looks as you have the outside of your solar kiln painted flat black.I've often wonder about that,because I noticed that tobacco barns are painted flat black also,I've often thought that would be a beneifit on a kiln, to raise the temp & help hold heat.Any comment? Anyone?
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Online YellowHammer

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2013, 12:45:08 pm »
Although it doesn't really hold heat like a heat sink, black paint on the outside reduces the differential thermal load on the wall insulation, especially in the winter.  The black paint on the outside absorbs enough solar energy to cause the outside wall be a few degrees higher than the ambient air temp, essentially simulating a warmer day than it actually is.  With perfect insulation it wouldn't be significant, but in real life, it makes a difference.  On a cold Alabama day, the outside black wall will pick up enough energy to almost be warm to the touch.

I think it looks nice too :D

YH
Hobby Hardwood Alabama.com
LT40 Diesel Hydraulic, Stihl 028, MS440, MS660, 2 Kilns

Offline drobertson

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2013, 04:54:50 pm »
Nice set up Yellowhammer,  david
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline WDH

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2013, 08:13:27 pm »
Another impressive thing to me was how well Robert prepared his wood for sale.  Expertly dried, planed, defects cut out, and placed neatly in racks by grade and price.  I did not get a pic, maybe Robert will post one. 
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline fat olde elf

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2013, 12:15:55 am »
Great report Danny.  You do good work..........
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Online YellowHammer

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2013, 10:45:29 pm »
Here are a few more pictures of our operation.  This is a picture of our shop layout, with a load of sassafras in the foreground ready for processing, and cleaned and processed cherry lumber stacked on the pallet in the background, ready to be moved to the racks for marking and sale.  The cherry and sassafras is the same wood that was shown earlier in the post, the sassafras was dried in the solar kiln but sterilized in the DH kiln before it got staged for processing.

We can do about 300-400 bdft of lumber per hour, from pallet to rack.  There are lots of reasons to do this, such as significantly increasing the value of the lumber, quality control, and just because it makes a big difference selling it.

Here's what the lumber looks like directly from the kiln:


  

Here is how it ends up:


  

Here we are planing and sorting some wide cedar




  

We have multiple racks filled with many north Alabama species.  This is the oak rack with QS and flat sawn white and red oak. Other racks have cherry, walnut, pecan, maple, poplar, cedar, etc.  Each board is marked by width and surface measure so that it is easy to add up when we have several customers pulling lumber at the same time.

In addition to the lumber on the racks, we try to have a restocking reserve already processed and ready to go to refill the racks as soon as they get low, or usually every weekend.
 

  
Our kiln reloaded with 960 bdft of red oak, which should be out in a couple weeks, and the process starts again.


 

Of course, the when we are not taking wood out of the kilns, we are sawing and getting the next loads ready.

YH
Hobby Hardwood Alabama.com
LT40 Diesel Hydraulic, Stihl 028, MS440, MS660, 2 Kilns

Offline beenthere

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2013, 11:00:32 pm »
Great operation.
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Offline hackberry jake

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2013, 12:56:45 am »
That planer sure is quiet! I probably need new blades in mine though...
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Offline WDH

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2013, 06:43:58 am »
I could use a planer like that!
Woodmizer LT40HDD35, John Deere 2155, Kubota M5640SU, Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln, and a passion for all things with leafs, twigs, and bark.  hamsleyhardwood.com

Offline OneWithWood

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2013, 07:19:16 am »
Very nice operation indeed.
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Offline Jemclimber

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2013, 07:02:34 am »
That's a nice operation.  YH has posted many useful ideas that were helpful to me and my lt15.  Thank you for sharing, YH.   

J.E.M.
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Offline kilgrosh

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2013, 12:13:47 pm »
Very nice set up Yellowhammer. I am most impressed. Do you happen to have an arieal sketch of your lay out? For all the pieces you have (air shed, solar kiln, DH kiln, shop, etc.) I am wondering how your stuff is laid out to maximize efficiency.  I am most interested in the spacing between each piece to allow for the best ease of movement of the pallets. Thanks!
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Offline bedway

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Re: Went to Lumber Drying School in Alabama
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2013, 01:57:46 pm »
Great operation you have there.

Who digitally removed the box your standing on? Or is momma standing in a hole. ;D