The DIY Boot Dryer is the first in a series of Marvelous Man Crafts.
Marvelous Man Crafts are crafts you can do for a man, crafts that be done by a man, or crafts you can do with a man.
There is no sexist intent here, just an opportunity for me to make things for the men in my life, showcase things made by the men in my life, or to share with you the things I have made with the men in my life.
The boot dryer was made by my husband for my son-in-law. My son-in-law wears boots every day for his job. This will dry his boots each day which will help prevent the growth of icky things in his boots.
Materials List for the Boot Dryer
You can also download and print this shopping list from my Resource Library. The names of the PVC pipe components are as they appeared on the store receipt.
- 2 inch x 5 feet of PVC pipe — Some hardware stores have 2-foot sections of PVC pipe and probably won’t have a 5-foot section. We had to buy a 10-foot piece from our store.
- 1-1/2 inch x 18 inches of PVC pipe — Hopefully your local hardware store has a 2-foot section you can buy
- 2 inch PVC Vent Elbow (quantity 2)
- 2 inch PVC Sanitary Tee (quantity 2)
- 2 inch x 1-1/2 inch PVC Coupling (quantity 4)
- 2 inch PVC 60-degree Elbow (quantity 2)
- 2 inch PVC Cap Socket (quantity 4)
- 2 inch PVC Flush Clean-out Tee (quantity 1)
- 2 inch PVC Test Cap / Knock-Out Plug (quantity 4)
- 1-1/2 inch PVC Test Cap / Knock-Out Plug (quantity 4)
- Plywood Board 12″ x 14″ at least 1/2″ thick (we used 5/8″ thick plywood) — the size is flexible but needs to be at least this size
- 6 Flat head self-tapping wood screws. They need to be long enough to go through the plywood plus half an inch.
Tools to Make and Operate the Boot Dryer
- Drill bits: 5/32″, 3/8″, 1/4″
- Saw — You need something to cut the PVC pipe to the lengths required
- Glue gun and glue sticks
- Sand paper (coarse 60 or 80 grit)
- Knife (X-Acto, box knife, etc.)
- Blow Dryer with an air output size of approximately 2-1/4″ (both of my blow dryers fit this)
Steps to Create the DIY Boot Dryer
I will take you through each of the steps, including pictures and some videos to help you make this project on your own.
Step 1 – Cut the PVC Pipe to Length
From the 2 inch diameter PVC pipe, cut the following:
- 2 pieces that are each 12 inches long
- 2 pieces that are each 9 inches long
- 10 pieces that are each 1-1/2 inches long (these will be “joint connectors”)
From the 1-1/2 inch diameter PVC pipe, cut the following:
- 2 pieces that are each 3-3/4 inches long
- 2 pieces that are each 4-3/4 inches long
Using the coarse sand paper, clean up the rough edges from cutting the PVC pipe pieces.
Step 2 – Attach the 1-1/2 inch Joint Connectors
The 10 pieces cut from the 2 inch PVC pipe that are each 1-1/2 inch long are your “joint connectors” for connecting the tees and elbows.
Assemble the base parts by using the joint connector pieces to connect the tees and elbows. In this picture I have placed a yellow circle at each of these 10 joints so you can see where each one goes.
This picture shows the parts laid out with the joint connector pieces between the tees and elbows.
Step 3 – Making the Air Holes in the Caps
Start with the 2 inch PVC Test Caps (quantity 4) and the 1-1/2 inch PVC Test Caps (quantity 4). Mark each cap as shown. If you have a spring punch to make the marks, it will help to keep the drill bit centered when you drill the holes in these caps.
Drill four 1/4″ holes in each of the 8 test caps.
Using a knife, trim off the lip of ONLY the 2″ caps. Leave the 1-1/2″ caps intact.
In the picture below, the caps on the left are the 1-1/2″ test caps with the lips intact. The caps on the right are the 2″ test caps with the lips trimmed off.
Step 4 – Building the Air Outlets
Use the two 1-1/2″ x 3-3/4″ and the two 1-1/2″ x 4-3/4″ PVC pipes and insert them into the four 2″ x 1-1/2″ PVC Couplings as shown below.
Lay the 3-3/4″ pipe assembly from the previous instruction along the 2″ x 9″ pipe.
Lay the 4-3/4″ pipe assembly along the 2″ x 12″ pipe as shown in the picture below.
Note, the picture only shows one of each size. Repeat this for the other set.
Mark the plain pipes at about 1/8″ above the end of the pipe assemblies — along the blue line as shown in the above photograph. For the 9″ pipes, this is approximately 3-1/8″ from one end. For the 12″ pipes, this is approximately 4-1/8″ from one end. Do this for all four of the 2″ diameter pipes. The picture above indicates where you are to make those marks. Drill 6 to 8 holes around the diameter of the pipes along those marks with the 5/32″ drill bit.
With the hot glue gun, glue the 1-1/2″ caps on top of the four 1-1/2″ pipe assemblies, the ones to which you attached the couplings. This picture shows one of each of the two sizes.
Insert the 2″ caps into the bottom ends of the 2″ diameter pipes (9″ and 12″). The “bottom” is the end closest to the 5/32″ holes you drilled. Push them into the pipes with the respective short pieces. This is hard to describe in words so we made a little movie to show you how to do this. There is no sound with this clip.
Using the hot glue gun, squirt some hot glue into the 5/32″ holes to secure the trimmed test caps to the inside of the pipe. We have a little video clip on how to do this, too.
When you look down the length of the pipes, and rotate the pipes, you will see the air holes get into and out of alignment, which is how the air flow is controlled.
Place the 2″ PVC Cap Sockets onto the ends of the 9″ and 12″ pipes.
Along the 9″ and 12″ pipe lengths, and above the glued-in test caps, drill some 3/8″ holes. The number of holes and placement of these holes is up to you. You can use this picture as a guide.
Step 5 – Attach Base Assembly to Wood Base
Using the self-tapping screws, attach the base assembly to the wood base. Depending on the diameter of the screws you use, you may want to pre-drill the holes. You can optionally countersink the holes. Included with the shopping list in the resource library is a pattern for where to attach the screws. The screws go through the wood and into the base PVC assembly.
Attach the screws and turn the assembly over, right side up.
Step 6 – Attach the Air Flow Controllers
Into the 90-degree elbows, insert the inner component of the air flow controllers that used the 4-3/4″ pipes.
Into the 60-degree elbows, insert the inner component of the air flow controllers that used the 3-3/4″ pipes.
On the 90-degree elbow side, slide the 12″ outer pipes.
On the 60-degree elbow side, slide the 9″ outer pipes.
At this point the boot dryer is assembled.
Step 7 – Mark the On/Off Positions
Set a blow-dryer to the cool setting and place it into the center opening of the boot dryer. Turn on the blow dryer.
Repeat these steps for each of the four arms of the boot dryer:
- Rotate the outer component of the air flow controller until the air flow stops flowing through the holes.
- Mark this as the Off position
- Rotate the outer component of the air flow controller until the air flow is at its maximum for that arm. It is about one-eighth turn.
- Mark this as the On position
This is a short video clip that shows rotating the air flow controllers and how that affects the air blowing through the arm of the boot dryer.
Using the Boot Dryer
Each of the four arms of the boot dryer can be independently turned on or off. You can use all four of them or any number of them. The following are a couple of pictures showing possible usage including boots, exercise shoes, and gloves.
It’s recommended that you use the blow dryer on the cool setting. If you use a heat setting, you can burn out the blow dryer. If you choose to use a heat setting, you should stay with the boot dryer and turn it off at the first hint of anything that “smells” hot. This could be an opportunity to use a blow dryer that no longer produces heat but still blows air — instead of throwing it away.