We have several greyhounds and foster newly retired racers as well. Among the many physiological uniquenesses of greyhounds is their thin skin. This combined with the nature of our backyard leads to the occasional laceration. In order to keep these wounds clean in the healing process we have a selection of boots, some waterproof and some not. My wife made the comment it would be great it we could dry out the non-waterproof ones with the boot dryer/warmer my in-laws gave me for Christmas. So I decided to build adapters that would let me accomplish this.
Step 1: Tools & Materials
- Two plastic tubes about the same size as the inner diameter of your pet's boots. (I used extension tubs from an old vacuum cleaner.)
- Two large plastic bottles with screw on lids.
- Two plastic perscription pill bottles, Close in diameter to the plastic tubes.
- Epoxy putty.
- Dremel Trio (or other implements of cutting and drilling).
- Bench vise.
- Utility knife.
- Deburring tool.
- Tape measure.
- Rubber gloves.
- Work piece protectors (optional).
Step 2: Marking & Cutting
The first step is to mark up the major components for cutting.
I started with the vacuum extensions. Slide a boot onto the tube to serve as a template. Mark where the bottom of the boot reaches. Then
use your tape measure to make a mark two inches below this mark. This is where we will cut the tubes. In order to make the next set of marking easier I made these cuts now. I did this by placing the extensions in my bench vise and cutting it with my Dremel Trio, which I also used to file down the rough edges. In retrospect the cuts would have been cleaner if I had used a hacksaw.
When the cuts are made it is time to lay out the air circulation holes. You can do this in some really precise scientific manner, but I just chose to eyeball it. I just laid out the holes in an alternating fashion to try and distribute the hot air as evenly as possible. I then clamped the vacuum extention into my bench vise and used my Dremel Trio at a low speed to cut the holes. When I cut all the holes in both extentions I used a large file to knock the scrap plastic out of the extensions and smooth the edges of the holes.
With the vacuum extnesions marked I moved onto the bottles that will serve as the bases for the extensions. Turn the bottles so the bottoms are facing up. Using your boot dryer as a template trace the diameter of the boot dryer tube onto the bottle bottoms. With the diameter marked clamp the tops of the bottle in your bench vise and cut out the marked area. Test fit to make sure the cut bottles fit snuggly around the boot dryer tubes
Step 3: Marking & Cutting 2
With the first round of marking and cutting done we need to mark and cut the lids of the bottles. Remove the lids from the bottles and place them flat on your bench. Stand the vacuum extentions as near to center of the lids as possible and then trace around the diameter of the extensions.
Cutting the lids was a little tricky as placing the lids in the bench vise secure enough to hold them for cutting would crush them. I solved this by screwing the lids back onto the bottles and then sliding them onto the boot dryer tube which I secured in the bench vise. This gave me a stable surface to work from.
Step 4: Joining
Slide the cut lids over the vacuum extensions until the lids are just under the mark we made earlier where the boots end. Then put on your disposable gloves and mix up epoxy putty. Work the putting into and around the join between the lids and vacuum extensions. Allow the epoxy to cure.
Step 5: Limiting the Flow
As the extensions are now all the air will flow right out the top, which will dry to the toes of the boots, but neglect the sides. In order to force the air out the sides I decided to cap the extensions but to leave a hole to allow some air through to dry the toe of the boot. To do this I got two pill bottles that were roughly the same diameter as the extensions.
I clamped the bottles in my bench vise bottoms facing up. I drilled out the center of bottle bottoms with a 17/64" drill bit. This removed about 1/3 of the material and will (hypothetically) redirect the majority of the air out the sides of the extensions.
With the holes drilled I clamped the bottles horizontally into the bench vise and used my hacksaw to cut the bottoms off the bottles. I then used a utility knife and deburring tool to clean up the edges.
I then pressed these sevred bottoms onto the tops of the extentions. Now we're ready to dry.