How to Build a Pyrotechnic Drying Chamber

This article on making a drying chamber, by Ned Gorski, is a side article that goes with the Tiger Willow Shells in 2-1/2 Days - Part 2 article.

How to Make a Simple Drying Chamber

The chamber is simply a Rubbermaid plastic tub with a vent grill fitted into the lid and a small ceramic disc portable heater ducted into the side of it. IT IS IMPORTANT TO USE THIS TYPE OF HEATER, AND NOT ONE THAT HAS GLOWING ELECTRIC COILS. WE DON'T WANT BURNING SPARKS COMING OUT OF IT.

Plastic tub homemade drying chamber
Simple Homemade Drying Chamber and Screens

The screens are simple wood frames with aluminum window screening stapled onto the bottom of them, and retaining wood strips applied over the screen. Note the little rubber bumper feet that have been installed on the bottom of the screens to allow for spacing and airflow between them.

There is one modification I might consider if this project was being carried out in very humid conditions. I'd think about ducting de-humidified air from a dehumidifier into the front, intake side of the space heater. Warm, moving, dry air makes for ideal drying conditions.

An Even Better Drying Chamber

I recently upgraded my original portable drying chamber. I constructed a lightweight plywood box with a duct for the heater to sit in. I also made new screens, 14" x 24," using 12-mesh stainless-steel screening. This screen is much more rigid than the original window screen that I'd used. It does not sag, so the components that are drying on the screens are more easily, uniformly distributed.

They say, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Here are a few thousand words' worth, describing this new drying chamber.

Plywood drying chamber and screens
Drying Chamber and Stackable Screens
Drying chamber heating duct  Drying chamber cover
  Heater, Duct, and Cover Detail of Drying Chamber
 Detail of drying screens Interior drying chamber grill
Screen Detail and Interior Grill

The interior grill is a safety precaution to keep any critters and/or debris out of the chamber while the heater is running.

Screens stacked in drying chamber Screens Stacked in Drying Chamber

Materials Needed
  • Ceramic disc portable heater
  • Plastic tub or Plywood box
  • Vent grill
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