Walnut and Maple Slabs For Sale

Solar Kiln

Why do I dry the wood in a solar kiln?

A solar kiln is used to dry the hard wood before it's used in furniture. Wood drying is very important. Freshly cut wood retains much of it's moisture, it will then obtain an equilibrium with it's environment over time by either absorbing or desorbing moisture to match the moisture content in the air. Obviously, wooden furniture is intended for use within a dry, indoor environment, this means the wood will desorb moisture to match the air inside the home. If this occurs after the piece is built, it may cause warping and sometimes even cracking of the piece.

 

So for use in furniture, it's absolutely crucial that drying takes place. It's also important to the integrity of the wood that this drying is carried out in a slow and careful manner. Too fast and the integrity of the wood will be compromised.

 

Many people dry the wood using air drying. This is as simple as it sounds, the wood is stacked, raised up from the ground and separated by stakes. This also often requires coating of the wood to achieve the best results. This is perfectly fine for most uses, but the wood will still retain - at best - around 18% of its moisture. Obviously if the wood is being used indoors, where there's very little moisture in the air, it's better if the wood is dryer still. Also, with conventional air dying, it's not guaranteed that all fungi and insects will be killed during the drying process.

 

This is why I use a solar kiln. A solar kiln enables the wood to achieve results far beyond that of air drying. Using this process, I've been able to achieve results of less than 10% moisture, which makes the wood great for furniture and leaves no room for the wood to warp after it's been made into a piece. Some people will dry the wood in an electric, gas or steam powered kiln. But of course it's not as environmentally friendly as using that great big heat source in the sky we know as the Sun. It's also a longer and more even process if the wood is dried naturally in a solar kiln, meaning there will not be any small cracks developing in the wood caused by the wood drying too quickly which may become an issue over time as the piece ages.

 

This controlled drying makes the hardwood of exceptional quality for woodwork, and gives the customer the confidence that the wood will last without coating it in solvents.