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Finishing - Drain Tubes - Drying

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For those of you who use a drip tube. Do you let the rod dry in the tube or in a separate drying chamber? For how long?  (Randy Tuttle)

    I dry sections separately in a 4" PVC pipe, with the bottom open and raised on a couple of 2 x 4's, and put a coffee filter over the top to filter air.  Since the solvents in the varnish are heavier than air, they set up a convection to draw fresh air in the top.  I'd recommend no more than two sections per pipe, though, because although they're "small", they're swinging when you put them in, and a new section can bounce off a section already there, leave a dimple in the varnish, and ultimately a mark.  (Greg Kuntz)

    I've been using a drip tube for a couple of years or so.  I take my sections out and place them in a drying cabinet after they've been "dripped".  My tube is kind of narrow, and I figured it would probably take longer to dry in the tube.  The only time I do more than one section at a time is when I'm doing the tips, and I have only one drip tube.  I like to do the finish on all the sections in one sitting, so I have to remove the sections from the drip tube to do that.  If I have a couple of days in a row to be able to work on the finish, I'll let the sections sit in the drying cabinet for at least 16 hours, then put the next coat on.  I should add that I use Minwax Helmsman spar polyurethane, which dries fairly quickly in the drying cabinet, which has an inside temp of about 90 degrees F with the technological wonder called a "light bulb" for raising the heat.  I've been considering a new method of regulating the heat.  Larry Blan sent me a neat heat strip about 8" wide by 18" or so long, 110 VAC, and coupling that to a PID controller to manage the temperature in the cabinet.  Just haven't quite gotten around to getting the PID controller yet.  Usually though, I rarely have the opportunity to be able to get out in the shop more than one day in a row, so by the time I get back to doing the finishing, the finish has cured plenty.  (Mark Wendt)

    Like Mark, I dry in a separate cabinet for at least 24 hours for any finish.  (Brian Smith)


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