Screen Printing Tip Of The Day: Building Your Own Conveyor Dryer DIY
A while back, before we purchased our M&R Fusion Dryer, we decided to make our own conveyor dryer from materials available at our local Home Depot and Lowes. Our friend over at Toldeo Tee’s wrote a step by step detailed DIY guide to building the dryer, which can be found at T-shirtForums.com. But this is just a brief summary on building your own at home dryer.
To start off you want to make a table which will serve as the base of your dryer. Our base was 30 inches tall by 4 feet wide. It was actually a shelving unit that we used to use for some folded shirts.
Along the two sides we secured 10 foot air conditioning rails, which are used to hang AC units from the ceiling. These are used to hold the drive roller on one end and belt support on the other. The rails were placed with 2 feet extra on one end and 4 feet extra on the other. This leaves for 2 feet intake, 4 foot chamber and 4 foot cool off for when the shirts come out of the end of the chamber. To make the drive roller, we used 3 and 1/4 inch thick PVC piping cut to just below 2 feet with and capped it on both sides. We drilled holes directly in the center of both caps then lined the pipe with the mat used to line the inside of a toolbox. This lining give the roller grip so the belt can spin. Then we made 4 more of these rollers, but without any lining. We secured one on the other end and three more throughout the 10 feet. To secure the these we put 1/2 threaded pipe inside them and secured them on both ends with some bolts. It’s important to note that these rollers must be able t turn, so don’t fasten the bolts too tight. As for the drive shaft, we purchased a rotisserie motor at Lowes and and fastened it to its rod, then secured the motor to the end of the 10 foot rails.
Next, we fabricated a belt from fiberglass screen door, which is fireproof. Wrapped the belt around all the PVC pipes and secured it with high temperature silicone glue. The glue is red and is as to tolerate high temperatures. It’s important to note that the belt should not be too tight, since the weight of the shirts helps tighten he belt.
The final stage consisted of making a heating chamber, also known as the oven. The oven we built was made up of Micro Density Fiber, a material that is able to withstand high temperatures. The MDF boards look like wood, but are much heavier and thicker. We built a box around above the base (2′W x 4′L x 2′H). We opened holes on both the intake and exit to allow for the belt to roll through. Underneath the belt we laid ceramic tile, this served as a radiant heat reflector. Then purchased two 1000 watts quartz heating elements, and secured them about 8-10 inches above the belt (in the chamber). This acted as our heating source and the temperature rose to 1000 degrees at the bulb.
The dryer is all done at this stage and ou should be all set now to print your custom t shirts!
Here is the link to Toledo Tee’s step by step instructions: http://www.t-shirtforums.com/screen-printing-equipment/t195933.html