Ron L. Wood chunk Dryer

For those who don’t have perfect weather, for drying your wood gas chunks, this is what I came up with since our kiln burnt down. I’ve run 5 batches already. It takes 3 days to run a batch. It does a great job. Here are some pictures of my project.

The box is 8’ X 4’ X 4’

It is lined with 3" of polypropylene sheets,
It will hold 3 racks that I can load with my tractor. Over 500 # of chunks.

The door has 7 regular hinges, and has eye hooks on both sides so I can ratchet it shut tight.

I can attach my heat exchanger to my outdoor wood boiler using pex lines.

I used a furnace blower fan and a 14" X 14" heat radiator.

I can monitor the heat using a meat thermometer and the ambient temperature is 135* . I can regulate the temperature by the ball valve coming out of the boiler. I put a dryer vent on the opposite end to release the steam.


Hi Ron L, i was woundering if wood house would be fire proff enough, what is the max temp you can get it too with a hot water radiator. and not burn the plywood shed, Looks Good.Looks Good.YOU probbly never noticed useing much more wood this time of year.I like the idea of extra dryer wood too.Thanks.


Hi Kevin, my boiler water temp is set for 170 degrees and when the wood chunks get warmed up the highest it has been in the box was 140 my goal is 135. I only used a #7 Taco hot water pump if I needed to be warmer I could use a larger pump or turn the boiler up another 15 deg… My biggest concern is the polypropylene I used for insulation is only rated for 130 deg but after five batches I havnt noticed any degrading of the material yet. I got it really cheap from a salvage auction for 5 dollars per sheet , really good deal , to buy this retail is $25 per sheet… Another concern was the water damaging the plywood the biggest cost of the project,it is coated with alumized roofing pitch which is working very good…
I was waiting for the heating season before starting the dryer and havnt noticed much difference in wood use.
Another problem will be the motor on the blower is an open dripproof so it eventually will have a problem with the corrosive and humid steam from the wood.


Ron, that is brilliant! Makes good use of your resources. Does the furnace blower “box” have a return air opening near the top or under the radiator? I can’t see where it is in the picture.


It looks great! You got a great deal on wood!. I personally would look at passive solar thermal panels so you can run during more parts of the year.


Think i will build somthing like that too small and efficiant.Wayne keith probbly laffing all the way out too his house trailer, that old wood storage trailer probbly gets 140 in the hot summer with out a heater.


If it is in the sun it could. I dry stuff by filling up a 55gal drum with holes in the bottom, and a pipe nipple in the lid. It dries pretty fast. There was a sawmill around here that the guy used a solar kiln. it caught on fire because it got too hot, and because of how regulations about lumber are, it really has to be dried in regular kiln to make sure it killed off all the beetles and crap that could be in it.


We have a company in town that builds kilns that can cure a truck load of pallets at a time. Lots of pallet companies in the area. One person bought one to cure split fire wood that he sells all over the country. I say cure, because they aren’t going for dry as much a killing the bugs in the wood. TomC


Hi Mike. the air return is in the floor at the end the vent is in
I would be concerned about fire if there was any part over 300*, over 400* the wood could flash into flame but with hot water not much chance of getting heat over 200*
Mr Wayne definitely has the most efficient way of drying and least costly, or even passive solar , but another building would cost more than my box .


Hi Tom to heat treat pallets and I think firewood is the same standard the thickest part of the wood has to reach a temp of 133* for 1/2 hour…The kiln has to be certified and each batch documented and inspected by a person certified by the USDA. For pallets this is only for export or the manufacturers requirement, but fire wood because of the bark cannot travel out of the quarentined areas, without being treated.


If you haven’t, I would put a temp monitor on it that starts an exhaust fan or something. Kevin has a valid point about the potential to get really hot in the summer… A chimney would also work and draw air through.