I made some Xmas gifts this season and needed a jig to dry the urethane that I applied on the candle holders. Normally I would do this by brushing the sides and top, let it dry and then do the bottom. Or use the drying cones/pyramids but they don't work with smaller projects like candle holders. I think there is a better way!. So I decided to make a jig to dry multiple projects at the same time as well as have a way to dry other pieces of different sizes, including long, short, broad etc. I will be using this to dry stained and painted projects as well.
Everything used here was built with materials that were lying around. Overall cost would be less than $5
- 2 pcs 12x12x1/2 inch plywood (you could probably use any dimension you want as long as it fits your purpose.)
- 16 pcs 1 1/4" drywall screws with Philips (cross) heads
- Wood glue or nails or both
Tip: plywood is best as it will not split when you put screws in without drilling a hole or close to the edges of the wood pieces. The drywall screws are thin and "self taping" which work well.
Drywall screws or any other screws are very sharp so you want to be careful as they will be exposed and sticking up when not in use
Other Materials and Tools
- Something to cut the plywood. I used my band saw as I am very comfortable with it
- A straight edge
- Drill with Phillips drill bit
- Work bench
- Sand paper or other sanding apparatus
- Brad or Finish nailer
Step 1: Draw and Mark the Plywood
I drew directly on the plywood that I used. I used this pattern because of the type of projects that I work with. I used a combination of 1, 3 and 4 screws per square.
Why: well look at the pictures and see how I have used them for different drying pieces. This served my drying projects well.
The 4 single screws can be used for larger projects (cutting boards), the 3 and 4 screws can be used for smaller ones.
Step 2: Cut the Plywood Pieces and Frame
Cut the plywood 12x24 x 1/2 inch into 2 pieces of equal size. One is used as teh backing board and the other for the frame and squares. My squares are not perfectly squared up. I just set my band saw fence to 3.5 inches and try to make squares the last row is not perfect but that doesn’t matter. This project doesnt need to you to be a perfectionist
Step 3: Screw the Screws :-)
Mark where you want to put the screws. It doesn’t need to be precise, just a guess. I try to be 1/2 " from the edges so I don’t split the wood.
Put the screws through just enough to make the screw heads flush with the plywood. This is import because the screws should be more or less the same height sticking out of the wood or your drying piece will wobble. What I did was to invert the blocks and let them stand on the screws. Using my android app for a level, checked if the screws were all equal. Sand the entire project so that you don't get splinters.
Glue and use the finishing nails to keep the frame in place with the second piece of plywood. All the blocks should fit within the frame.
When storing invert the blocks so that the nails are faced down for safety
Check out some of the pictures on how I used the system. Enjoy!