Once you have decided on the type of wood, it is time
to cut it into the correct size pieces. ( Note that many
lumber companies such as Lowes will cut your board for you at
a nominal fee, very handy if you do not own a tablesaw or
other means of making precise cuts ).
You will need the following size pieces of plyboard for constructing a kiln with inside dimensions of 17x22 inches:
1 Ea. Top piece measuring 19 inches x 23 1/8
2 Ea. Side pieces measuring 18 inches x 22 inches.
2 Ea. End pieces measuring 18 inches x 19 inches.
1 Ea. Bottom piece measuring 18 inches x 22 inches.
Note, be sure to use wood glue on wood surfaces that
join together, this is a must!
Apply a thin bead to each surface as shown. After joints have been attached, some glue will usually be squeezed out, wipe this off with a damp cloth before it dries, otherwise, it may affect the outside finish of the kiln if you decide to use a varnish or stain.
The Electrical Control Assembly is the heart of the kiln, it contains a 120 volt heating pad, an adjustable thermostat ( a hot water heater thermostat available at most hardware stores ), a hygrometer/thermometer gauge and the 120 volt male electrical plug assembly.
We’ve mounted all of this into a 4 inch square eletrical wall box found at any hardware store, but you can use any configuration you like.
You will also need to add the aluminum angle to each of the outside corners ( see finished photo below ).
The angle adds strength to the box and helps prevent
warping due to the high heat and moisture inside the
Insulation is an option, and one that we strongly recommend. The kiln will work without insulation, but it is much more efficient with insulation, plus it protects the wood from excessive moisture which will cause early rotting and warping.
We use 1" commercial air duct insulation ( same type material large air ducts in homes and commercial buildings are made from ), as it is not affected by moisture and heat. All corners are sealed with silver duct tape.
This insulation and tape can be purchased from
commercial heating and cooling supply companies, but can be
hard to locate in some areas.
Excess moisture ( over 75 percent ) can be removed simply by leaving the lid cracked open slightly. Usually, the only time you have excess moisture is when you initially begin curing the tobacco.
This leads up to the question of a humidifier for
maintaining the 70-75% humidity required. Do you have to have
No, you can actually control the moisture by placing a damp towel or sponge at the bottom of the kiln and adding distilled water as needed. But this requires daily attention, and it is rather awkward.
You may want to buy one of the Oshkosh Humidors that hold 10 ounces of distilled water and has an adjustable top to regulate moisture. Once you've used one, you will never want to try anything else.
We include a free 4 ounce bottle of Propylene Glycol with the kiln. This humectant/preservative is the same additive used to make the special care solutions used in most cigar humidors. Simply add a half ounce of this to the distilled water ( about 9 ounces ) in the humidifier to help prevent mold and encourage even humidification. Additional bottles of glycolene can be purchased from us for $3.95 per bottle, but one bottle will last for several curing processes.
On average, you can expect to cure a little over 2 kilos ( about 5 pounds ) of tobacco at a time over a 3-4 week period.
Each commercial king size cigarette usually contains a
little less than a gram of tobacco each. This means that you
can expect to cure enough tobacco for about 2,500 cigarettes
The kiln can be used continuously, meaning that you can start curing a fresh batch of tobacco the same day you remove a cured batch. You can kiln cure tobacco that has been air drying for months. We mention this because you may wish to cure tobacco for your neighbors or community and recover some of your cost for the kiln. If you do charge to do this, make sure you abide by your local, state and federal laws.
How much does it cost to produce a carton of cigarettes better than store brands? We get asked this a lot, and here is a general answer:
1. In order to start processing your own tobacco, you will need the following equipment: A kiln, a cutting machine, and a rolling machine .
2. Once you have these items and your first crop of tobacco, all you will need to purchase for cigarette production is flavoring, filters and papers. If you use a rolling machine that uses filters, the cost of filters and papers will run about $5.85 a carton. Adding flavoring ( we strongly recommend this ) will add about a $1.00 to the cost or a total of just under seven dollars a carton for filter cigarettes, or just under five dollars a carton for non-filtered cigarettes.
3. We did not include the cost of the kiln, cutting
machine and rolling machine as this should be absorbed over
the length of time you process your tobacco. If you currently
pay $25.00 a carton for cigarettes, and smoke a carton a
week, you would realize a savings of about $936.00 a year (
probably more since you will not be paying you local and
state taxes on this as you do store bought cigarettes ).
Of course this savings will only get larger each year, because prices are only going to go up on cigarettes, not down.
We must stress that the real savings is to your health, as you will not be consuming the thousands of additives that are added to commercial brands.
Herbs should be collected just before they bloom. Collect
herb leaves in the afternoon after all dew has dissappeared.
Make sure to shake herbs and remove any insects, dirt, etc.
It is preferrable not to wash herbs, but if you must, lightly rinse herbs and spread leaves to dry until all visable moisture has disappeared.
Place herb leaves lightly into cotton gauze bags or
pillowcase and set on top of the mesh tray at the bottom of the
Leave the top lid of the kiln blocked with something so that the lid will not completely close, but instead leaves about a one inch gap at the front of the kiln when the lid is closed. This is for moisture release. Plug in the kiln and let set for 12 hours. Then remove the bag(s) of herbs, stir the leaves so the leaves that were in the center are now on the outside, and place back into kiln.
Inspect and stir leaves every 12 hours until leaves are dry and crisp, they are now ready for use. Small herb leaves can dry in as little as 24 hours, larger leaves may take 2 days or longer.