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Nobody should ever have to climb into a damp, cold, moldy wetsuit. With this heat pipe,  there's no reason to.

Everyone thinks living on a tropical island is all fun and games. Actually it can be very challenging. Now that swim season is here, we have to manage our swimwear carefully. It takes forever for anything to dry out naturally, and these fabrics do not tolerate dryer heat or sunlight well. Here is the solution.

You will need 

3 to 5 feet of 2 inch sch 40 PVC drain pipe 
a miter saw to cut it appart
PVC pipe adhesive to glue it back together
2 to 4 feet of rope and a hook
3 to 6 feet of rope lights
optional decorative fabric

Step 1: PVC Pipe Frame

Judging from the variety of paints and adhesives, my ancestors put this piece of scrap 2 inch  pipe to good use. With that family heritage in mind, I cut it to pieces. Using this rash guard as a template, I figured my shoulders were about 16 inches wide. To get a nice bend in the frame, I cut 15 degree miters for joints. The angle isn't nearly so important as the quality of the cut. 

I butted the pieces so they laid flat and marked their positions across the joints. Then I glued them together with regular PVC glue. No priming is needed. Just hold the ends together for a minute or two and let it rest quietly. After an overnight cure, the resulting joints were too strong for me to break barehanded. I figured that was good enough.

I sanded the outside corners so they wouldn't scuff or snag fabric. But this thing was still hopelessly ugly.

Step 2: Decoration

I would like to give a practical reason for this step, but I couldn't make up anything remotely credible.  Like most sewers, I have a heap of fabric scraps begging for a reason to live. And someday I would like to use this bowl in the kitchen again.

Black and yellow looked like a dangerous combination and there seemed to be enough. So stitched together a ribbon from a 2 inch strip of each. I spiral wrapped the ribbon around the pipe frame with some stretch and pinned the ends. A few discrete dabs of polyurethane glue between the wraps keeps it in place. The ends are left open.

Step 3: Drip Drying

The width of the pipe (2 3/8 inches) is just right. It is narrow enough to fit inside arms, but wide enough to keep garments open. This lets heat in and moisture out.

it's easy to use the dryer like a regular clothes hanger with a step-through jacket. But it also works with pullovers by sliding the pipe through the arms. I hang it will a loop of heavy polypropylene line and a toy carabiner. 

But sometimes drip drying just isn't fast enough.

Step 4: LED Drying

For some reason, everybody likes LEDs for the light they give off. I'm in it for the heat. These rope lights throw about 7 watts per foot, so my 6 foot length delivers at least 40 watts. That's just enough to safely dry a wetsuit without toasting it. Of course there are many variables, but I have never measured a temperature above 90F with a dry suit. Since the garment is held open by the pipe frame, a constant convective current flushes out warm moist air.

The relative humidity here has been over 60% all week. Am I worried about starting my next dive in a stinky wetsuit? No.

Cheers from Sarasota

About This Instructable

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Bio: retired chemist trying to stay out of trouble
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