Steampunk Running Shoe Dryer: the Rauthbauer Pedo-Dessicator




About: Be limited only by your imagination.

This device dries running shoes by gently blowing warmed air through them. Air is pumped into a vintage makeup box and warmed by a 60 Watt bulb. It then enters a bifurcated iron pipe and is expelled through the shoes. There are LED lights under marbles for visual interest. The pipes have been aged using vinegar to etch them followed by a hydrogen peroxide and salt bath.

Step 1: The Iron Pipes

6 inch upright section
T - Adapter
T - for the two ends
3 inch pipes

You can see how the parts fit together. Parts should fit snugly. These are basic off the shelf iron pipes from my local plumbing store. Use whatever combination that seems to suit your needs and creativity. It helps to get uncoated pipes if you want to rust them the way I did.

Step 2: Aging the Iron

Nothing says Steampunk like corrosion, so let's age those pipes. Start by using a wire brush and follow that with a wire brush on a drill. the more scratches the better. When finished rub it down with mineral spirits to remove the oil.

Next throw the whole thing into a bag with about a cup of white vinegar. Disassemble the pieces first. Leave them for an hour.

Next take them out and let them dry. I used a heat gun.

Next, reassemble it.

Next, mix up a cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1/4 cup salt with 1/4 cup vinegar. Use a foam brush or rag to coat the pipes. Repeat for an hour. Put a cardboard box down or you'll stain your surface.

When done, leave it outside to rust more but not on cement or you will have rust stains. I left it out a week waiting for the makeup case to be sent to me from North Dakota.

Step 3: Add LEDs

I wired a separate switch to turn on the fan and the LED's. I used a 12V power supply that was in my parts box. There are two multicolored LEDs from RadioShack (Part 2760356) wired in parallel and hot glued to the underside of the marbles.

You will use a resistor to decrease the voltage from the power supply. I have a 12V power supply and the forward voltage of the LED's is 3V and they draw 24 mA, so the resistor value is 375 ohms. I used a 100 and 270 ohm resister wired in series. Close enough. You can calculate the resistance needed by following the instructions in this link:

Calculate Resistor Values

The computer fan is also wired in parallel and controlled by a switch. Although 12 volts is ideal you can use almost any higher voltage as long as you figure out the appropriate resistor value.

Video of the LED's in action

Marbles Illuminated by LED

Step 4: Add the 60 Watt Bulb

To heat the air I used a 60 watt incandescent bulb. This is wired to a 120 volt line and are controlled by a grungy old wall switch that also sends current to the transformer for the LEDs and fan. The case will heat up to when the bulbs have been on for about five minutes. There seems to be little chance of setting the box on fire BUT USE YOUR DISCRETION. Each box and wattage will be different and I'd recommend checking it with a thermometer. Also note that I mounted the bulb about half height on the wall to keep the heat away from the case.

Step 5: Finished Project and Photos and Video of the Device in Action.

Here is the project alone and in action drying my shoes. The unit is plugged into another project I made that contains a timer and an outlet. I generally set the timer for an hour. I'd recommend that you use some kind of timer too for safety. Does it work? Actually yes. I hope you enjoyed this build and would love to hear from you if you make and modify this! Build On!

Here is a link to the video demonstrating the project in use.

Steampunk Shoe Dryer: The Movie!

Rainy Day Challenge

Runner Up in the
Rainy Day Challenge



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    8 Discussions


    3 years ago

    It's not steampunk, but dieselpunk...

    Good idea and good job

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    It is from a 30km road race around a lake at Ioannina, Greece.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Too cool. 30k is a great distance. I wish there were local races that length.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks. Like most of my project ideas, I got it while running. When I run, I can see the pieces put themselves together in front of me. It's like watching an animation.