Does anyone want to try and talk me into using a hoop house covered in plastic as a solar kiln for drying fresh cut lumber?
As I've researched the idea it doesn't seem the hoop house will have the properties needed.
I have a neighbor that has some timber sawed into boards and simply dried it by stacking it neatly and straight on a concrete slab with "slats" under the stand and between layers, strapped everything together tight, then just covered the bundle with some metal siding on top to protect from the rain. It worked for him, but I think getting it indoors, under roof would be much better. A hoop house should work fine.
Yes, I want to talk you out of it. Unless you need the lumber right away it's better to air dry it under shade. The sun will dry the top side faster than the bottom side of those on top and they will be have to be turned over. Like has been said, moisture will leach up from the ground plus the moisture from the wood will be trapped in there.
Some people like them and some don't. If I am working the wood I prefer air dried.
If you can find an old 20' conex (shipping container) on the cheap, these store lumber (or anything) very easily, and keep everything dry and protected.
They get hot with sun, but humidity seems to escape them via the built-in vents. I don't saw my own lumber, so I can't attest to how well "wet" lumber will dehumidify in these things, but I can verify the dry heat build-up.
We've kept our "storage" goods in these, on the homestead, going on 10 years ... including a rack of lumber to pull from and refill. Everything is still in great shape.
These people are Americans building a homestead in Panama where they have a major humidity problem, plus difficulty in buying lumber and other building supplies. They learn most of what they know from youtube, trial and error, and asking the locals how they do it. This is the beginning of building a solar kiln based on a plan from VA Tech.
A forum community dedicated to living sustainably and self sufficiently. Come join the discussion about livestock, farming, gardening, DIY projects, hobbies, recipes, styles, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!