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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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available to our                                                                     advance as possible,            an article that appeared in WOOD® magazine?
                                                                                                                     Please write to:

    Tool-test update                                                                                                         Sounding Board
                                                                                                                             WOOD magazine
    •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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6                                                                                                                    those of the greatest interest to our readers.

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