DIY Boot Dryer




Introduction: DIY Boot Dryer

This is my attempt at a DIY boot dryer that I saw in Popular Mechanics. One of the many projects that I've wanted to do and with 3 boys needed to do. I think I spent a total of $25 buying the items that I didn't have on hand but the cost wouldn't be much more if you had to buy everything.

I've attached the original instructions that I saw on Popular Mechanics and based on the items that were available I made some adjustments.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

Jig saw

Dremel rotary tool


Drill bits


Wood rasp

Wire cutter/stripper

1/2 inch plywood

1" deck screws

2" PVC pipe (48 inches)

(6)PVC pipe smooth couplings

(6)PVC pipe caps

Computer fan

(2) light switches

Double light switch box

Lamp holder

40w light bulb

(2) extension cords

I had the plywood, deck screws, and light bulb already on hand. I picked up the PVC pipe, couplings, and caps from a local building supply store(~$15). I picked up the computer fan from Radio Shack (~$5) and got the light switches, switch box, lamp holder, and extension cords from the local Habitat for Humanity Restore($2).

Step 2: Cutting the Pieces

Start by boring paths for the pipes to run through the box top. I choose to make my box larger since I've got 3 boys, potentially 3 pairs of boots to dry at one time. Drill six 2 inch holes in a 16 x 16–inch sheet of plywood. Paint it. Cut four 16 x 6–inch side walls, leaving two edges short to account for the plywood thickness. Measure the fan; saw a circular hole in one side for the fan. Cut a hole in a different side for the light-switch box.

Cut a 6-inch length of PVC for every boot you plan to dry. Drill several ¾- and ½-inch airflow penetrations in each 6-inch pipe. Slip a smooth coupling over the pipe, leaving 1 inch exposed. Cap the opposite end and slide the open ends into holes in the box top. When drying less than 3 pairs of boots, cut a pair of small, non-perforated PVC pieces that can be capped when not in use.

Step 3: Assembling the Box Sides

Use the 1-inch screws to fasten the plywood sides into a square, but leave the top open. Seal the inner side joints with caulk.

Step 4: Mounting and Wiring

Mount the fan, light switches and lamp holder to the box sides. I cut the receptacle ends off the extension cords to use as my power cords. Wire the fan to one light switch. I didn't have to use a transformer since I was able to find an 120v AC fan. Wire the lamp holder and power cord to the other light switch. Add a bulb. Test the connections.

Thankfully, my father-in-law is a retired electrical engineer. So he was able to "sanity check" that my wiring was correct and wasn't going to "electrocute" myself.

Step 5: Completion

Fasten the box top with the 1 inch deck screws or you can leave it loose.

Wet boots on the pipes dry adequately in hours. An overnight stay yields blissful, total desiccation. I have also dried gloves as well.

Step 6: Things I Would Have Changed or Final Touches

I will need to find/create a cage to go over the outside of the fan to keep out little fingers.

I'm still tweeking the wiring and bulb selection so I haven't fastened the top to the box sides. I was in a hurry to finish the build so I didn't spend much time looking for the 1 & 1/2 inch PVC pipe and went with the 2 inch which was available. I may try to find some PVC reducers in order to use 1 & 1/2 in pipe to dry my smallest boy's mittens.

I may also paint the sides of the box and let the boys add artistic touches.

This took me about 6 hours, about 3 hours too long, since I wasn't able to have completely uninterrupted building time. Overall, it might not be the prettiest but it gets the job done. The build was fun to do and I enjoyed the problem solving and getting dirty.

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    3 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    boot and shoe dryers are quite common in norway and usually consist of a wall unit with some flexible hoses that blow warm air. This one is pretty cool too

    R.JStorey (Rodders)
    R.JStorey (Rodders)

    5 years ago

    neat concept well executed. it may be kinda cool to maybe put a clear side in the box to use it as a hallway light. nice job though


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This looks very nicely done! Great project, and a very well presented first instructable too.