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Homemade boot dryers?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Any Ideas, success', failures....etc.
post #2 of 21

why homemade?

Why not just buy one already made?
post #3 of 21
because the materials are really cheap and you can usually make something better than the comercial versions for much less.

That said I did pick up a commercial version for my kid at Dicks, for under 30 bucks, recently for his work boots.
post #4 of 21
Get an old desktop computer, seal up all the holes in the box with duct tape, wire the fan directly to the power supply so that it runs all the time and add a couple of flexible hoses long enough to reach down to the toes of your boots. You might even be able to get that to work with a working computer, and no one would come into your office all winter.

BK
post #5 of 21
Bear in mind this was fro work boots and/or Sorel type boots, but could easily be beefed up for ski boots --- needs some sort of support for trh weight of a ski boot.

I've made them from 1 1/2 inch PVC a couple ways, the simplest was a Tee, (2) 90 degree fittings, and some PVC pipe of appropriate lengths to connect the pieces together so that it had a long length fitting into the center of the tee that became the attachment for the air flow source. Short lengths form the tee sides to the 90's, then appropriate lengths going straight upwards to hold the boots

drill holes in the uprights (at an appropriate height to be inside the boots) to distribute the airflow

I used a computer fan for air flow, and some stiff paper rolled into a cone and taped together. Cut the cone at an appropriate spot to fit over the long length and tape in place. The other end of teh cone should be large enough to shove the fan inside, duct tape into place.

No real need for heat, just all night air flow will be enough to dry almost anything. When heat was needed---read soaking wet construction boots---- I just put it on top of the boiler over night and let er rip!

I did another one that was neater and more 'professional' looking by building a 'plenum' box out of scrap MDF I had lying around and fitting all the pieces into the box. Two upright PVC pipes sticking up. The fan was mounted inside with an intake hole cut into the box end.

The box was way more stable, Bonni painted it black and it looked pretty good! The kid asked for another one this year! He got 3 or 4 years use out of it.
post #6 of 21
It's easy to picture a PVC header with some lightweight hose or tubing that will attach to the header with multiple stations and a PC fan from RadioShack. It does not take much air movement and no heat needed in the cold dry Rockies if you just leave them overnight. Maybe attach the manifold to the fan with a block of wood with holes that match the PVC pipe on one side and a different size hole on the other for the fan. Use wood screws to mount the fan and some bathroom fittings to give the PVC-wood block attachment a finished look. Time Money?
post #7 of 21
Check out these bad boys from Lou Dawson's Wildsnow blog.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveturner View Post
It's easy to picture a PVC header with some lightweight hose or tubing that will attach to the header with multiple stations and a PC fan from RadioShack. It does not take much air movement and no heat needed in the cold dry Rockies if you just leave them overnight. Maybe attach the manifold to the fan with a block of wood with holes that match the PVC pipe on one side and a different size hole on the other for the fan. Use wood screws to mount the fan and some bathroom fittings to give the PVC-wood block attachment a finished look. Time Money?
Too much rigmarole.

1. Buy a plastic flexible funnel from Trash Auto/Malwart.



2A. hold the fan in there whilst a helper duct tapes,

or,

2B hold the fan in there and spritz expansion-seal foam around it.

3 wire plug.

done.
post #9 of 21
Sooooo this might be a very stupid question, but do you want the air blowing into the boot, or sucking air out of the boot?

I'm leaning toward sucking air out, but I don't know...
post #10 of 21
Into.

That way you can direct the main flow to the furthest point of the boot (toe box) instead of drying out just the shin area.
post #11 of 21


Thanks!
post #12 of 21
I stuck a $5 desk fan in a small rubbermaid plastic tub (shoe box sized) and then have four PVC pipes poking out the top to dry gloves, and four hoses (about 1.5" diameter) that can go into boots. All the hoses, etc pack up in the tub for transport. It works well on weekend trips.

For travelling by air, I bought some of the Dry Guy circulator heaters when I saw them on sale for about $25. They work very well, and come with a 12V auto plug and an AC transformer. The only thing is that I had to trim the feet off the bottom in order to easily slide them in and out of my boots. But they work great.

I tried some other commercial dryers that stick tubes down into the boot, and most did not go down into the boot far enough (I have a 28 shell) and were only blowing air against the shins. I think it's important that the dryers direct air/heat down into the foot area.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
Check out these bad boys from Lou Dawson's Wildsnow blog.
thats what i'm talkin about thanks
post #14 of 21
I built a boot dryer a few years ago for the Glen Eden ski school just outside of Toronto Ont. It was capable of around 50 pairs at a time and cost maybe 300.00 total to build.
I was just talking to Lady salina the other day about making a 2 boot dryer for boots and gloves. I figgure it should cost about 40.00 max to build from a small light weight pump and some 1/4" plastic tubing and a few hose barbs.
Actually think I will head out tommorow and purchase the "Doins" to build one. I will let you know how it turned out. LOL Lady Salina just said REI.com has one on line for 49.00 that does 1 pair at a time and your mitties.
post #15 of 21
I've made 2 boot driers (fan boxes) over the years. both worked.
neither cost over $15.

First, about 30 years ago, was quick and dirty (yes-none were
available then & I should have sold em) I got a 3" square "muffin"
fan" -a 120V AC one and attached a cord/plug (freebie at work)
cut a large round hole in a cardboard Liptop soup box. Screws thru
the cardbord -later some tape. cut 4 smaller holes in the side and
inserted tin VW heater hozes. Blowing air with this did a great job for about 20 years.
But due to extra crappy construction It got kind of squashed after
10 years and was really disintegrating after 15 years. Still kinda
works but is covered with many layers of duct tape!!

Second, 5 yrs ago, is much better. I used a slightly smaller fan
maybe 2 1/2" but still 120 volts (no walwarts etc so much lighter
for travel) Also used-free. Next I got a 3" PVC pipe coupler, Attacted the fan to one end and a tin plate over the over end (tin from a junked TV).
Around the circumference I drilled and filed 4 holes just large enough for 4 pieces of 1" plastic airduct hoses 14 inches long.
This one is pretty much bomb proof. When packing I just yank
out the 4 hoses.

Both dry boots in 4 to 6 hours. They're noisy so they go in a
bathroom or closed closet overnight. Two hoses are all you need
for boots. Sometimes I use the other Two for drying gloves or
street shoes.. Else I just tape the holes shut. Air that moves is all you need. I'm afraid that gadgets that put out heat will damage the inner boots.

If I ever make another one It will probably be like the second one.
But with a safer and smaller 12 volt fan. 12 volts with a car plug
since I usually drive a lot on ski trips -to cheaper motels away
from the slopes in towns.
HTH
post #16 of 21
Although a few bugs need to be resolved such as finding your boots and/or their remnants after drying, will dry thousands of boots both simultaneously and instantly !!! Probably could find a parts at a steal at your neighborhood Air Force scrap yard.

Falcon_O aka Charlie
525x525px-LL-vbattach4371.jpg
post #17 of 21
Skier219 has the idea.

Except, use a cheap plastic toolbox, where the end of the bottom section is big enough to accept a small fan. No need to glue most of the tubes together, leave them loose, and just stack them in the toolbox when you need to move it.

Also, if you want heat, you can either just put the end of the toolbox beside a heating vent, or put a small lightbulb inside the box, wired to turn on only if the fan has power. You don't really need heat, just dry air.
post #18 of 21

Not my idea

I borrowed this from a thread here long ago.

I use an aquarium air supply pump. One with 2 outlets stick the hoses in each boot and let it run overnight. The room tempurature are works ok. I've been using this system for a few years. I don't remember the cost.

I bought a set of http://www.hotronic.com/products/sd/index.html these for my wife. We'll see how it works out.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOD View Post
I borrowed this from a thread here long ago.

I use an aquarium air supply pump. One with 2 outlets stick the hoses in each boot and let it run overnight. The room tempurature are works ok. I've been using this system for a few years. I don't remember the cost.

I bought a set of http://www.hotronic.com/products/sd/index.html these for my wife. We'll see how it works out.
I also just bought the hotronics as well...strange thing for me was that the air flow seemed very minimal....might be I'm used to blowdryer like power, but can't see them drying some very wet boots overnight with that kinda power.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by swisstrader View Post
I also just bought the hotronics as well...strange thing for me was that the air flow seemed very minimal....might be I'm used to blowdryer like power, but can't see them drying some very wet boots overnight with that kinda power.
Don't forget that, unlike with hair, water isn't just on the surface, it has to cycle up and wick up from deeper layers in the cloth/foam. Too much power would just be wasted because it would be blowing unsaturated, almost dry air away from the moisture.

More power and a short hose also gets you into the recirculation mess, namely, how do you make sure air that's already been in the boot doesn't go back in?
post #21 of 21

I love my aquarium bubbler

I love the aquarium air pump. It is fairly quiet. It pushes low volume of room temp air into the boots. I place the end of the tube just off the end of the toes (inside the toebox). I think the trick is the amount of air pumped over a long period of time. I plug them in as soon as I get home and leave them plugged in until I eat breakfast. I don't ever put my feet into wet boots anymore.

We haven't used the Hotronic drier yet this season. My wife has her pass but hasn't skied yet. I'll still use the tried and true method. We'll see if the $ spent on the Hotronic was worth it.
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