Slow progress on kilns (brr!)

Having decided that three kilns is the right number for my tobacco farm scene in St. Williams, I promptly got busy doing other things and this structure-building project has languished. That happens when I get out of the habit of putting in regular sessions on a project – and it’s been such a cold winter this year that all I really feel like doing is huddling for warmth in front of the fireplace.

Nevertheless, they must get done. So today I hauled out the tools and supplies and added tarpaper to three more end walls – walls opposite the doorways on the kilns. I attached and painted tarpaper before lunch- and after lunch I even got a start on painting, cutting and installing wood trim on the front and back of one kiln.

No photos yet – they’ll come in due course. I just wanted to say it feels good to resume his project and I hope I can keep up the momentum. That said, it’s bitter today and the fireplace beckons…

7 thoughts on “Slow progress on kilns (brr!)

  1. Trevor
    Remember, don’t thow the kilns into the fire place, keep a good supply of logs to keep the room warm. Good luck in surviving this cold.

  2. I was unaware that tobacco was grown so far North, in cool climates. Here, down-under the tobacco was grown in Far North Queensland (Dimbulah) in a tropical environment. It occasionally got “cold” to us. 50 – 60 F, and on very rare occasions got down to 20-25 F. Usual “summer time” temps from October to April are in the 80 – 95 F range. We kinda miss, what you would call Fall and Spring, these being measured in weeks, in stead of months.

    • Yes, tobacco is grown in Canada – although not nearly as much as it used to be.

      A while ago on my blog I included a link to an excellent documentary about Ontario’s tobacco history called The Back Breaking Leaf. Enjoy if you watch.

      I also wrote about Ontario’s tobacco industry – including the need for kilns – in a post called Flue-Cured. Enjoy if you read it.


  3. Further to the above comment, if you go to Google maps and check out Dimbulah (photos) there is a classic “whistle stop” @ Petford photo.This is on our 3’6″ narrow gauge system, closed down about 10 years ago. As well as being a whistle stop,40 to 90 years ago, milk churns (cans) {about 10 imp gallons each} were also left for transport to the milk factory at Malanda, 25 miles away.

  4. One of the reasons why I use “trays” for modelling is the facility to move between places, including nestling by the fire when it gets to that time of year.

    I now use two types; the first type is a home built wooden tray that’s about the size of A3 paper, with sides around 3 and 5 inches high and a removeable front and a solid bottom. Something similar was shown in RMC a long time ago. The second is the plastic trays frequently used in Science labs which are normally just over A4 size and around 40mm deep. I got mine when a local school where my wife taught was re-fitted. Rescued before they went into the skip they came with a cabinet that holds some 18 or so trays.


  5. Trevor, your timing is fine with regard to Kiln building. The tobacco crop will not be ready until say late August/September – so you are right on track starting to build them in time for the harvest. I can now see three neat tobacco kilns waiting to be filled come fall.
    Appreciate your blog.

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