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Build Your own Rod Dryer (Greg Pennell)

I decided to build a rod dryer to go with my wrapper, after spending several hours turning a couple of rods by hand to prevent sags in the wrap finish.  Since most of the rods I build are rather long steelhead or fly rods, I decided to build a dryer that would turn two sections at once, to save space.


My design is really simple...two uprights, one holds two 115 volt, 40 rpm motors that I got from www.allelectronics.com (2.50 each), and the other has two “V” notches to cradle the rod sections.  I made the uprights from a 1x6x24 poplar board, but you can use any wood you desire.  I simply cut the board into four 6” pieces, and glued/screwed them together as shown in the photo.  I cut “V” notches in one, and covered them with the fuzzy half of a strip of velcro.  The other I mounted the two electric motors on with wood screws.  I added felt to the bottoms to keep them from scratching my workbench er, kitchen table.  An electric cord with an inline switch completes the hard part.


Here’s a photo of the completed dryer:


How to attach the rod sections to the dryer took some thought.  For the butt sections, I made a chuck out of a PVC pipe reducer fitting, by filling the small end with epoxy and letting it dry.  Then I drilled/tapped three holes in the large end, and added thumbscrews to hold the rod butt.  I drilled a hole in the center of the epoxy-filled small end, and slid it onto the motor shaft.  To hold the tip sections, I wrap electric tape around the other motor shaft to make a snug fit inside the ferrell.  this way I can finish all the wraps on a long rod at one time.

 Here’s one of the dryer in use:



Another few tips I’ve picked up are to use masking tape on the rod contact points inside the rod chuck to prevent any marring of the finished surfaces.  Others have also advised to use a timer to automatically shut off the dryer after a sufficient amount of drying time (which of course varies with the finish you use)  Hope this helps, and remember this is only one way to do it!