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The Drying Cabinet

This cabinet was just a thought in a man’s imagination when the first of 2008 rolled around.

In January 2008 I had a class scheduled for Mike Macneil to come and teach an Advanced Woodgraining and Marbling class. To provide quicker drying capabilities, Mike and I decided to use a cardboard box and a hair dryer to attempt to move through the many layers of paint and glazes. I know that everyone in our industry has been there and done that. So here we were doing what everyone else usually does. I knew that there had to be a better way but just couldn’t put my finger on how to accomplish this.

This is where the help of my father in law, Al Jonaitis comes in. He stopped by to see how the class was going and noticed the box and dryer apparatus. He asked,” what in the world is that for?” I told him that we were using the box and hair dryer to speed up the drying of the sample boards. Having the engineering background and abilities beyond any of us, he broke out a pad of paper, took some measurements and told me he would get back to me with an idea.

What an idea it turned out to be……!!!

After a few days he called me to tell me he had something for me to look at. I dropped by his shop and there he had built a prototype of a drying cabinet. The only thing missing was the heating source. We researched together the many types of devises that could possibly work for us. After narrowing down the sources we decided on a convection oven type of heat source.

After the heater arrived we went to work on developing a transition that would accommodate the heater and the drying cabinet. One of the most important issues was that this cabinet needed to be quiet. In a classroom environment it can be overwhelming with a few hairdryers going at the same time. Even one dryer is too loud. Well when we turned on the heater is was so quiet!

We also picked out a heater that could run on multiple speeds and heating levels.

Now all we had to do was engineer the transition to give us the ability to provide the correct amount of heat needed. We decided that we needed an overflow outlet to provide constant warm air flow. This was key to being able to dry even the most sensitive products without cracking the finish or damaging any other types of products. We also realized that we needed a baffle to provide constant air flow throughout the cabinet. This would provide the ability to dry the sample boards evenly. To top it off the assembly has built-in heating overload circuits to prevent any potential fires.

After weeks of testing we came up with a working model. Now I put it to the test and ran the unit for weeks on end. Each and every time the finishes turned out perfect. I was so amazed as to what we had developed. I know knew that there was opportunity to share this invention with all of my faux friends!

Weeks had passed and I decided to get some advice from my teacher, Martin Alan Hirsch. I told him in detail about our invention and he was very interested in seeing what we had developed. I told him that I was planning on launching the cabinet at the upcoming Sali Convention in Charleston, S.C. The advice he gave me was this……”Get a patent on this cabinet before you show it to anyone.”

We took his advice and received our patent pending in the weeks to come. It was great advice!

Next stop…SALI convention.

At the Convention, the word got around and everyone was coming by to see the cabinet. We actually brought my original proto-type cabinet from my studio for everyone to use while doing the ‘Play with Paint’ activities during the show. We were quite the hit!

I was drying sample boards for Todd VanHouten, Scot Povlin and the teachers with Faux Effects for their demos in their booth. They were all very happy to use our cabinet to speed the drying of their demo boards. After the show Todd came by, thanked me, and told me that he was very excited about what we had. He told me that they would have never been able to pull off the demos without the ability to dry the boards so quickly.

Most of the other vendors that were participating in the ‘Play with Paint’ also came by to see our drying cabinet. They too were amazed at how fast the cabinet dried the boards.

Rose Wilde, from the Wood Icing Company, told me that the time drying her samples in classes was the biggest challenge. She brought over a couple of sample of her product to test and see if the cabinet would dry her samples without damaging them. She had one sample with crackle on it to promote cracking and the other sample of the Wood Icing without any crackle. After 10 minutes we pulled out the boards and she was amazed! The boards with crackle had cracked better and the board without was perfectly dry and ready for the next step. Due to the ability to dry quickly she said that her classes could be cut down from three days to one day!

Talk about saving time……….. and money! This devise is all about saving time. Time is a precious commodity that should not be wasted.

I would like to again mention that this cabinet is the brainchild of my father in law, Al Jonaitis. I give him all of the credit for this wonderful creation. At 75 years old he is by far the sharpest gentleman I know. I just hope that I’m like him when I get to his age. He’s an absolute genius!

We have coined the name of this wonderful tool as the “Pro Easy Dryer”

We have the ability to build any size cabinet for custom boards and also for Cabinet doors and drawers. Custom sizes are available for a personal use 4 board up to a school sized 10-14 board unit.

The Pro Easy Dryer has been published in 2 different magazines; the 2008 fall issue of the Artisphere magazine and the Summer of 2009 issue of the Faux Finisher magazine.

EasyDryer/Artisphere Pro Easy Dryer.PDF

EasyDryer/IDAL Pro-Easy Dryer Article.PDF

EasyDryer/Pro Easy Dryer Installation and Operation Instructions.pdf

EasyDryer/Pro Easy Dryer Specifications.pdf

EasyDryer/Pro Easy Dryer Prices.pdf


 

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