The Drying Cabinet
This cabinet was just
a thought in a man’s imagination when the first of 2008 rolled
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
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
Easy Dryer Prices.pdf