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Solar kiln plan leads to
career as sawyer
Back in June 1994 (issue 70), you was outstanding! I dried all
showed a diagram of a wood-drying of my lumber, and some for
solar kiln (see photo, below). In a way, a few customers.
that article changed my life and allowed The next year, I leased
me and my wife, Patty, to start a new my friend’s mill and dried
woodworking business. 6,000 board feet of lumber
Several years ago, I hired a friend for myself and for a growing
with a portable mill to cut lumber from number of customers.
trees on our farm. I needed to dry the In November of 1998, I
lumber, so I ordered plans and built bought my friend’s sawmill,
your kiln. right, and his dehydration
The kiln, which I built on skids for kiln to keep up with
portability, came out great. My first requests for custom-drying.
A Wood-Mizer bandsaw mill, located in an open-sided
attempt at drying, though, was a disas- As my volume of work shed, makes Mark Shupe’s setup complete, allowing
ter. Heavy rains caused one corner of increased, I needed more him to cut logs into lumber before kiln drying.
the kiln to settle, so the whole load kiln space. In 2001, we built
twisted and warped as it dried. a 3,000-board-foot solar kiln, shown What was just a hobby has become a
I fixed and leveled the kiln, and cut a below, based on your original design. business. We stay booked for months at a
batch of new stickers. The next load It works great. time with custom milling and drying. It’s all
thanks to that one simple article.
—Mark Shupe, Toledo, Ill.
Mark Shupe now dries enough
stock to fill his original WOOD ®
magazine solar kiln, left; his Note: To order plans for our 1,000-
new, super-size solar unit, right, board-foot-capacity solar kiln, a copy of
that holds 3,000 board feet of the original article, a materials list, and
lumber; and a commercial
dehydration kiln, not shown. information about drying, send $9.95 to:
Great job, Mark. Keep that Solar Kiln, WOOD PLANS®, PO Box 349,
beautiful lumber coming. Kalona, IA 52247; or call 888/636-4478.
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Please write to:
Tool-test update Sounding Board
•7 mid-priced bandsaws (issue 144, p. 78):
1716 Locust St., GA-310
The horsepower rating for the Jet JWBS-16 is 11⁄2 hp. Des Moines, IA 50309-3023
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