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VT Solar Kiln Built and Used in a Virginia High-school Program

Paul Chirico, the carpentry teacher at Fluvanna County High school, worked with local businesses, citizens and his students to construct a solar lumber dry kiln last year using the Virginia Tech plans. Paul was able to get some materials donated and had students from one of his classes build the structure. He managed to accomplish this within his first year teaching at the school. He has done a considerable amount of work developing a well-organized shop and curriculum at Fluvanna High School. He felt that the solar kiln would allow the acquisition of unique materials and provide further learning opportunities for his students. Paul is in the process of acquiring a portable sawmill to assist with producing their lumber.

May 27, 2015 – While building the solar kiln, Paul made some unique modifications such as using Volvo engine fans for the kiln fans, which can ultimately be converted to solar power. Some contributors for materials for the kiln include: Huber Systems, Wesley Wilson, 84 Lumber, and the Farm Bureau. Paul is using the solar kiln to dry locally produced lumber, which will be used in class projects. Paul is a graduate of the Forestry Program at Virginia Tech.

Dr. Brian Bond visited the carpentry classes in March to provide some instruction about the lumber drying process, the wood industry in Virginia and the use of the solar kiln. Dr. Bond spoke to three of the carpentry classes that day and had the opportunity to assist Mr. Chirico on utilizing the solar kiln.


VT Solar Kiln Built and Used in a Virginia High-school Program Paul Chirico, left, with his Fluvanna High School carpentry students in front of the solar kiln they constructed.


    Spring 2015 Newsletter cover picture

Spring 2015


Upcoming Events


Forest Products Marketing Workshop

The workshop will be held during September 3-4, 2015 at the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) headquarters in Memphis, TN.
More details can be found at this link: http://www.cfpb.


Introduction to Structural design of Wood Buildings

Announcing a short course presented by the American Wood Council and Virginia Tech on Introduction to Structural Design of Wood Buildings per the 2015 NDS, September 30-October 2, 2015, Blacksburg Virginia.

For more information and to register for the course go to:



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