The question you must ask yourself is: By purchasing a dry kiln, may I improve my strategic position in the market, and gain value-added profits from drying ?
If the answer is yes then you should consider an investment in a dry kiln– whether it is bank financed, leased, or purchased outright.
A 5,000 BF lumber dry kiln will provide you with a small to medium dry kiln operation which will allow you to gain access to kiln dried lumber profits which can be used to buy more kilns, or increase your companies bottom line.
What is great about the Global dry kilns are that they are provided as a kit, which you put together. You save thousands of dollars from sweat equity.
Since the usually kiln chamber is a shipping container or insulated refrigerated van, the unit is portable, and does not require a foundation which saves additional money. Best of all, it moves when you do, and is easy to sell if you need to move the asset, or upgrade to a larger kiln.
Because the units normally consist of containers or vans, they are scalable– which means to add capacity you simply add more containers. Using this method, you may also stagger your kiln charges so that various species can be dried, and not all at the same time which can bog down an operation.
You may also use our kiln parts in an insulated building which may give you anywhere from 15000 to 100,000 BF of Kiln Chamber, depending on size of building.
On our 5,000 BF Unit, we use a wall-mounted tankless boiler to heat the water which can be circulated throughout the kiln chamber via copper pipe and heat exchangers.
Using radiant flooring called pressure composite pipe (or PEX/KITEC) gives you the option of using this flexible pipe which can be installed by simple hand tools and does not require a plumber. Best of all, the product is so easy to install and use, that you may install it saving money.
If you have wood wastes from your mill operation and have no secondary buyers of the product, you may wish to consider a Waterstove to utilize the waste to fire a hot water heater. The Taylor has an efficient burning chamber which is surrounded by a water tank.
The unit is skid mounted and can be located outside of the kiln. Water is heated by the wood scraps, and then the water is circulated throughout the kiln via a circulation pump. As hot water is pumped out, and cooler water pumped in, a thermostat will turn on a combustion fan on the waterstove unit which will increase the burn rate and heat more water. The system is simple and works great. Fed once or twice a day, the Taylor will save you about $160 to $280 per month on your gas bill depending on species dried.
The Central Boiler waterstove can also be used to heat other buildings also. Using the PEX or KITEC pressure composite pipe, plumbing the hot water to different buildings is simple to do.
Once you have your kiln in operation, you will notice that you will not need to spend 6 months or more air drying much of your hardwood. The time will be reduced to one month. This savings you interest and principal on your inventory investment.
A dry kiln produces a superior product compared to air-dried lumber. It provides a consistent, evenly dried product which can be used in furniture grade, flooring, molding, or other secondary products.
A dry kiln will also reduce lumber stain, mold, and insects when compared to air-drying.
If you notice other sawmills around your area, you will probably notice that they do not have a dry kiln. If this is the case, then you will be a large competitive advantage over them. There are literally tens of thousands of one to three man sawmills in the country, yet only a handful of lumber dry kilns.
Most of the money to be made in the industry is by having a lumber dry kiln and in secondary products like flooring, molding, timbers, etc.
Because there are so many sawmills, the markup on sawn lumber is low. However with a kiln dried product, the markup is much greater. Combine a dry kiln with a secondary operation, and the markup (or value-added) can be substantial.
Consider working with a local contractor to provide molding and flooring. Home renovation is very active right now, and wood flooring is becoming the hallmark of many higher priced quality homes.
Look for markets which utilize a product which you can produce, and that others in your area are not. Most small producers believe that just by having a sawmill will make them money. The facts show us otherwise however, and it is the secondary forest products manufacturer’s which are making the good money.
Also consider making your operation with your dry kiln more adaptable to seasonal demands. When home building is more active in spring summer and fall, produce kiln dried lumber for flooring, siding and molding. In the late fall and winter, when building may be at a low cycle, consider drying firewood. Many restaurants are now installing wood burning ovens, and require a quality kiln dried wood to burn in them.
These restaurants normally require a specific species of wood, and want it kiln dried and delivered to their operation. A great deal of money can be made here, and you can make markets in your area by providing access to a quality product.
In all, the acquisition and investment in a 5,000 BF kiln will afford you access to higher value-added markets, and will give you a substantial increase in competitive advantage over other wood processors in your area.