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Old 01-05-10   #1 (permalink)
Big J
Senior Member, Raffle Sponsor 2014
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: near Edinburgh
Posts: 4,482
Filled my first kiln

Hello - new member but I've been milling for about 8 months now. For one reason or another it's taken me a while to get the kiln filled, but it was switched on last night with 240 cubic foot of Elm (wych, wheatly and lots of burr), Oak, Yew, Beech, Maple and Cherry.

My milling set up is a Stihl 088 with 36 inch bar and mill. I have a 60 inch bar from Rob with all the bits but haven't got round to setting it up yet. I have a 40 inch Oak sat at my yard which will probably get milled with that.

Filling the kiln was utterly exhausting but very satisfying. Highs and lows included getting much more elm than expected (130 cubic foot of the stuff!), destroying a chain on a completely embedded sandstone in the yew. Also, not being able to get suitable stickers meant I had to rip 600m of dry cedar on the table saw!

Lessons learned from the week included:

* Employ a help for the whole week (someone competent with a chainsaw so that they can dimension and prepare the logs ready for milling).

* Have backup kit for everything - when efficiently stacked, my kiln will hold 300 cubic foot plus and something is bound to break!

* Get logs that are as uniform as possible. The more waney edged it is, the more inefficient the stacking and the more space wasted.

* Cut logs to 8ft 10", as that is just a touch under half the length of the kiln. Would make life much easier for stacking!

Anyway, here are some pictures from the week:

A stack of Yew

A close up of some very wide (24 inch) Yew

Posing for the camera with a slab of Wheatly Elm

Stacking the kiln - sending my shorter and more compact colleague up to the top of the stack!

I don't have so many pictures of slabs from later in the week, so nothing of the burr elm sadly.

A question regarding the cherry - I've not milled it before and found it very tough going. Had a good sharp chain on, oiling well and struggling like hell to get through it. Also found it to be very chattery, though the finish was smooth and consistent. The cherry was quite wide (for cherry) at 21-23 inches and also leaking resin, but I can't figure out why it was so slow. It was munching through elm of the same thickness just beforehand at twice the speed.

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