Saturday, January 31, 2009

Speed Dry

The dry-out process gets faster and simpler. This board had a small leak along the rail, about a third of the way from the front. Most of the water was in a roughly six-inch diameter area. I cut a hole near each end of the board, put the board in the sun, bottom up, so the wax wouldn't melt off, and stuck a ShopVac hose in the front hole.

Once the board warmed enough to generate condensation in the wet area, I switched on the Shop-Vac. I would run it in 15 to 20 minute sessions, kind of thinking I should let the board warm up between sessions, but mostly thinking how annoying it must be to be my neighbor right now.I started the processes at about 11:30 a.m. on the morning I got the board wet. Ambient temperature was in the mid seventies. (It's winter, after all.)

At 2:30 p.m., the board seemed dry, and the creeping shade was about to shut down my sunning spot. So I decided to weigh the board to see how much progress I had made.

The board came out weighing less than the day I finished building it - and that's with the wax on there. So in about three hours, sun and Shop-Vac drove and sucked all the water out, and then some. (The assumption is that the air flow also drew out water that is normally present in "dry" cardboard.)

Three hours. I could have done it in less
if I had run the Shop-Vac the whole time. Next time I'll try it without sun - just the vacuum in the garage, with the board on a scale, collecting weight loss and time data.

Yes, you can dry these boards out when they get wet inside. No, the cardboard does not disintigrate. Same-day dryout and repair looks feasible.