Home made wood kiln and working from home.

side view of the wood kiln before installing the sides

home made wood kiln debugging old barn wood


When I got home from work this afternoon, I fired up the new wood kiln .

I’m building custom made harvest tables on the side out of old barn wood.

My long term goal is to quit my day job  🙂

and create custom made furniture from home.  I would still be looking for construction projects but more on my terms.

Here’s a picture from inside the shop…nothing fancy, just peace and quiet :

view from inside the shop

I had not noticed any bugs in the wood from this particular barn, but decided after doing some additional research to “debugging” anything I just/ just in case.

After digesting a mountain of information,  I came across this article   with this nugget of wisdom:

From Professor Gene Wengert, Sawing and Drying Forum technical adviser:
I would question whether you can fumigate white oak without using special procedures that would be very expensive. The property that keeps water (wine or whiskey) in a white oak barrel will also keep the fumigation gas out. Therefore, use heat. You only need to get the wood up to 130 throughout for 30 minutes to do the trick. The 160 F quote you have is likely for softwoods for setting the pitch.


Here are a few of my latest projects:

6 ft table and matching bench

coffee table


We recently returned from a family reunion near Hastings Nebraska.  My wife’s first cousin was telling us over breakfast  the dramatic change in her husband  He is a family doctor,  been working for a  large health care groups and finally said the heck with it.  He would be allotted 7 minutes per patient.  From the moment you walked in the doors of the clinic your cost started at over $300 per visit. This money didn’t go to the Doctor.

Nada. You were paying for the fancy fountains, the ornate buildings,  the bloated bureaucracy, and the profit margin for the investors.  After a visit, the patient would be mailed a  form to rate their office call.  If her husband received too many negative marks  his pay would be docked.

quoting now…”This was not why he went into the medical field”

They decided to open up a private practice where patients would pay on a cash basis, a fraction of the cost.

He is not the same man he used to be”

I told my wife later that day, that was the highlight of the reunion for me.  I finally met another husband who  chose doing  what he loved to do over  money and stress of a rat race job.  His wife told us, she would much rather live on less income and have him happy again.  “When he leaves for work in the morning now, he’s whistling..”



I realize I’m rambling just a little tonight.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to pick apples.  We have   to 50 apple trees to pick.  The Cortlands look like they are ready, as well as the Gala’s and Honey Crisp.  Everything is 3 to 4 weeks ahead of normal.

Here are some shots from the orchard:

Cortland apples


Ginger gold’s


If you’re in the area tomorrow,  stop by !

I’ll put you to work and pay you in apples.

How does that sound? 🙂

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7 Responses to Home made wood kiln and working from home.

  1. emjayandthem says:

    Trust your instincts, that’s what I say … Loved the Doctor’s story and am looking forward to finding how yours turns out next 🙂

    Those apples look scrumptious! MJ
    thanks MJ! Every year we have apples I am still amazed at how beautiful they turn out…and I still don’t know what I’m doing most of the time 🙂 DM

  2. shoreacres says:

    If I was closer, I’d be there to pick!

    Sometimes I feel like ye olde internete matchmaker. That kiln and furniture suddenly made me think, “I have to tell him about Sippican Cottage!”

    Sippican lives in Maine. They’re pretty much off the grid and home schoolers. They’re restoring a house. He makes furniture for a living. You can find him here. Look at his side bar. Do a search for wood, or woodworking, or working from home. Prowl around. You’ll like it!

  3. Glene says:

    Love that kiln idea simple but how cost and effective is it. If you follow what you read you can spend thousands.
    I borrowed the header from my uncle (probably cost you $500 if you were to buy one new…the material had had laying around..so didn’t have anything in that…plus my time…if you were starting from scratch, I’m sure you could build the whole thing for under $1000. It would depend on the time of year and how big you made the box and the btu size of the heater…I would think running it in the warmer weather would speed up the process. I was very happy w/ how quickly it worked however. DM

  4. Dan M says:

    Tell me more about the kiln. I am reclaiming wood from my family’s tobacco barns in SC and some of it has minor beetle damage. I was thinking of something similar to yours with a wood frame, insulated walls and a tin outer shell. Is that an electric heater or propane heater? What temp were you able to get your kiln up to? Having never done this before, is there anything I need to know about to not damage the wood?

    Dan, the heater I’m using runs on kerosne or #1 diesel fuel. I fired it up again a couple of weeks ago when the temperature here was in the 20’s…within 15 minutes it was 180 degrees in there. Wood will not com-bust until 500 degrees (at least that is what I’m reading on line) The contraption I built is 20 ft long…If I had more time, I would build some type of interior wall I could move back and forth…seems like a lot of area to heat up when the boards are only 10 to 12 ft long. I put an oven thermometer inside that I can read with a flashlight to keep an eye on the temp. I’ve been running it for a couple of hours just to make sure the interior temperature of the wood hits 150. Before I insulated the walls, I was having a hard time getting it hotter than 90 degrees on a cool day, but once I installed the insulation, we were off to the races. Let me know if you have any more questions. I will tell you what I know. DM

  5. MICHAEL FLAX says:

    Hi, can you tell me how you insulated adn framed the kiln? Thanks a lot:)

  6. Jordan says:

    Hello, Im a little late to the posting here. There seems to be little information online for this type of procedure without getting into commercial kilns or low temp solar kilns. I too am interested in the way you insulated this kiln. I like the setup and I am mimicking what you did here. I would greatly appreciate any additional pictures or information you can offer about this set-up. I too am starting to make furniture with reclaimed wood but ran into some bugs in it. I am planning on using steel framing studs for the structure with aluminum sheeting on the inside and outside. Will probably be putting unfaced fiberglass inside the walls for insulation. I looked up the John Deere T70 heater you show in the picture and looks to be rated for 70k BTU. It seems that is sufficient for your size of kiln? Also, did you notice any additional checking, cracking or discoloration in the wood that you have treated with this set-up? Thanks in advance for any feedback.

    • DM says:

      I will try to post some additional pictures asap. I used unfaced fiberglass batts on on the walls and top panels. I have 3 removable panels on the side when I load the kiln. When I stack the wood, I put spacers between the boards to allow the heat to flow between the boards. Also try to keep the wood a couple of feet away from the end where the heat is blowing in, (so not to catch fire) The first several times I heated the kiln up, I put an oven thermometer on the far end that I could check in order to watch the internal temperature….

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