PVC and the Art of SCUBA Maintenance




Like most surfers and all scuba divers I needed a way to dry and store my wetsuits and some of the other gear. Drying and storing a wetsuit requires a bit of care, and a soft touch. If the hanger puts too much pressure at any one point it could crease the neoprene. The suit must also be held open to get the suit thoroughly dry. This is why I built my wetsuit hangers out of 2” PVC. The large radius and smooth plastic gently hold the suit open until it is time to wear it again.

I ended up with three different styles of hangers, each is described below. Mix and match to fit your own needs.

Step 1: 1st Hang Farmer John

The Farmer John hanger was easy to build. I built a second copy, as it also works great for hanging a BCD (buoyancy compensation device) I use for SCUBA diving.

Tools and Materials I used:
2" PVC Conduit--------------------Home Depot $7.89 for 10' (I used the conduit as it was $2 cheaper than PVC pipe)
2" PVC caps--------------------Home Depot $1.51 each (from the plumbing isle, it did fit the conduit)
PVC Coated Wall hook--------------Had one, I think it came from Harbor Freight
8" length of 2x2 wood -------I think it was last used as a garden stake

Chop Saw
Power Drill
¼" drill bit
Tape measure
Sharpie Pen

I measured across the shoulder straps of the Farmer John and decided a 20" bar would be sufficient to hang the pants while leaving plenty of room for the smooth end caps to hold them in place. I decided to go with 2" diameter PVC as it is waterproof and a large enough diameter that it shouldn't leave a crease in the Neoprene. I brought the conduit over to the chop saw and took 20" off of the stick for use.

Since I had some concerns about the lag threads of the hook getting a sufficient grip in the thin wall conduit, I looked and found a piece of 2X2 that fit snugly inside to use as a back plate. I think this made the assembly a lot stronger.

Slide the piece of wood (back plate) into the conduit, drill a pilot hole to screw the lag bolt of the hook into, pop the end caps into place, and the 1st hanger is done. (See Photos)

Step 2: 2nd Hang the Jacket

The hanger for the Jacket was assembled in a similar fashion. I used electrical conduit sweeps for their smooth curve and to better fit to the natural shape of the jacket. Once again I used a piece of scrap wood to back the treads of the hanger. I used 8" of the conduit pipe leftover from building the Farmer John hanger. When you measure to decide how long to make your straight piece across the shoulders. Be sure to add 1" to each side for the sweeps to slide in.

Tools and Materials I used:
2" Conduit----------------------Home Depot $7.89 for 10' -- see Farmer John hanger
2" PVC Conduit Sweeps-------Home Depot a couple of $ -- each
Coated Wall hook--------------Had one, I think it came from Harbor Freight
2"x2"x8" piece of wood------- scrap wood

Chop Saw
Power Drill
¼" drill bit
Tape measure
Sharpie Pen

Step 3: Time to Hang Shorty

Ok, this one is so simple, you got it in the first picture or two. I gave you four so everyone could see my long time favorite shirt. This is the third iteration of the wet suit hanger. The Jacket Hanger worked OK, and The Farmer John hanger is great for hanging a Farmer John or BCD. but this is the best for a light suit.

Tools and Materials I used:
2" PVC Conduit 45 Degree Sweeps-------Graybar-- $ 1.43 each
2" PVC Conduit Connector------------------Graybar-- $ 0.40 each
Coated Wall hook------------------------------Had one, I think it came from Harbor Freight

Power Drill
¼" drill bit

I think this version as it is the easiest to construct, (4 parts), no cutting, and didn't need backing for the lag bolt/hook/thingie, because the Graybar connector was much heavier duty than the other parts.

Have fun, get wet, then get the suit dry again.



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    3 Discussions

    Brian M V

    8 months ago

    simple and smart! those 'official' hangers are freaking expensive!

    how is the lag bolt/hook/thingie holding up? personally i would have gone for something with a locking nut inside the pipe, concerning weight and small movements i fear the hole wil widen over time and eventually drop your set to the ground.


    1 year ago

    This isn't really that crazy an idea for motorcycle gear too. Some leather jackets or suits are just as heavy if not heavier than scuba gear and I've seen some hangers rebranded for either use.

    1 reply