Friday, August 9, 2013

Drying the Logs and a Solar Kiln.

So the latest news in our saga of getting logs for the house involves some mold. Namely that we live in a goddamned swamp and almost and all of the logs I had debarked were molding. So then we sprayed them with bleach, which promptly made them look like ass. So then we sanded and scraped the dead mold super bleached layers off and treated the logs with a sealer.

And they kept on molding.

 Pictured: failure.

 So then I freaked out a little bit because these fuckers are going to have to last for like, years until we can put them in the damn house where they belong. Of course at this point I felt like I was out of options because I had never thought to buy a book about building with logs because I was making a stone house and it would have never occurred to me before now that the more logs we cut down and drag out of the forest the less money we will have to spend on lumber. Even though books about log cabins probably would not have helped me anyways because they assume you are buying already treated and dried lumber because all of those are written for people with money and shit. And it's also a moot point because we just poured like 400$ into the driveway because nature and culvert pipes can be real assholes.

So then Scott stepped up to the plate, using things like the WV agriculture extension office and pointed out that what we really needed was a kiln for drying lumber. And I pointed out that we were, like poor. And then he pointed out that we could build a solar kiln. And then I was all like YES! The sun is good and free!

The only problem was that most the plans called for fancy things like, not starting this project this late in the season and it might need fans and floor drains and junk. So we argued and made plans to skip building it this season and wrap the logs individually like they were cigars in the most ghetto attempt ever to stop the demon mold. Of course at this juncture Scott pointed out that we only had light blue heavy plastic to wrap them in and I pointed out that this was just like baking and I didn't think we could substitute that many ingredients and steps and still come out with a dried mold free log. Since at that point I think this whole plan would have been more like trying to make bread by taking powered sugar and mixing it with lard and then hitting it with a rolling pin and putting it in the sun and expecting a nice sour dough.

So after coming to our senses we then went to price heavy duty black plastic and I had I minor cardiac event and then we were like maybe we should not waste any of this and just go ahead and make the whole damn kiln. Of course this also means that we have to make it storeable because expecting it and its plastic covered surfaces to survive the winter would be like expecting one of those hairless cats to survive just fine outside on your vacation to the north pole for Christmas.

It ain't gonna make it, is what I am saying.

So stay tuned for our exciting adventure building a solar kiln and swearing and getting splinters and me getting more sawdust down my chest and having my living room invaded by battery chargers and sandpaper and screws and bolts and tape measures and gloves because my living room clearly = shed.

Not that I am bitter or anything.

And normally I would say something about how mobile homes suck and we are going to be building that house except that is exactly what we are trying to do right now and somehow that still seems kinda remote even though it shouldn't but whatever because life is complicated like that.

You know what else is complicated?

Solar kilns.

Solar kilns and life, man.

Solar kilns and life.


  1. Your life is awesome. The fact that the construction of a solar kiln is even a possibility in your life is awesome. I want a solar kiln too, but it's just not going to happen, because I've got no land, money, time, or things to do with a solar kiln. I still want one though. I might vicariously enjoy yours.

  2. I agree with the 'don't substitute'. I once grew the world's largest dandelions (seriously, those puppies were FEET across in size) as I substituted clear plastic for black when covering my garden. At the time, my substitution seemed completely logical. In retrospect, I have no idea why I didn't see that I was creating a giant greenhouse.

  3. If you could build an industrial strength, winter proof solar kiln, you could go in there in the dead of winter and pretend it's some tropical vacation?

    So, are the logs because you've abandoned the stone house idea? My neighbor came from Germany and he was telling me about the stone house that he built. It sounded really cool. Aside from all of the stones that you have to haul. But hey, you've got King the backhoe to do the heavy lifting? :)

  4. Oh. Em. Gee.

    This post made me tired. And sad that you're poor. Because it reminded me I'm also poor. And that sucks.