Although almost all of the joinery timber we purchase is kiln dried and suitable for general purposes, there are some applications where the timber needs to be of a lower moisture content. A good example of this would be floor boards. Timber can be left in the surroundings where it will be used to slowly acclimatise to the lower moisture content. However, if time does not permit this we have an onsite vacuum kiln to speed up the process.
Our WDE Maspell vacuum kiln uses a combination of heating plates and vacuum to dry the timber up to 20 times faster than traditional kilns. Computer programs automatically control the temperature and pressure inside the kiln according to the type of wood, its thickness and moisture content. The kiln design produces a high contact pressure between the heating plates and the timber which ensures that the timber remains flat during the drying process.
With a capacity of 3m³ our kiln is large enough to cope with the volume of timber for an individual order but small enough to enable us to load, kiln and unload quickly which combined with the increased drying speeds of the vacuum process gives us a fast turnaround. We can reduce the moisture content of 25mm thick boards (which are commonly used for flooring applications) from an average of 14 – 16% on softwoods or 12 – 14% on hardwoods to below 10% within 48 hours meaning that on site acclimatising time and timber shrinkage are much reduced.
It is not just flooring applications for which rekilning is beneficial. For example, 50mm softwood boards can be rekilned to a lower moisture content to reduce shrinkage and give more stability for applications such as door manufacturing.