Building Your Own Epoxy Drier For Better...by: Jason Akl
Epoxy is not a new material to the fly tying world, it has been around for the better part of four decades, but many fly tiers still feel imitated by this basic 2- part adhesive. Some of the fear comes from the belief that in order to use epoxy effectively on flies the individual is going to need an expensive rotary drier to allow the fly to set smoothly and finish properly. This statement contains only half truths. Yes, an individual does need some sort of rotating device to finish flies because turning more than two flies a day by hand can be a trifle overwhelming, but on the other-hand it does not need to be an expensive undertaking either.
There are many good epoxy drying devices on the market today such as the NuWave Head Spin HS-1 fly drier but these types of products can be a little expensive for the recreational fly tier who wants to try his hand at epoxying just a few flies for his own needs. Building your own epoxy drier can be a weekend project for most people, and the product will produce a quality drier that will outlast even the most ambitious tiers.
First and foremost you will need to find somewhere to get the motor. Make sure that you buy a motor that is between the 7 and 18 RPM rating (I have found 7-RPM motors to be the best for drying flies, they are slow and smooth giving the perfect shape). Nuwave tackle sells them for around 20 dollars, but if you are good at searching the Internet I have heard from friends that you can find them for as cheap as 7 or 8 bucks. The motor is the most important part of the set up, so make sure that the one you buy is right for the job. Next, you are going to need some source of power for the motor. A lot of the epoxy dryers purchased on the market use 6 volt batteries to power them and you are suppose to get quiet a long life from each battery.
Supposedly, 6 volt batteries give you around 400 hours of turning power, which sounds like an eternity, but if the one time you finally epoxy the perfect minnow and the battery runs dead, you will have a not-so-perfect sagging fly. If you are building your custom epoxy drier from scrap, why not spend the time and attach an AC/DC adapter. The adapter will allow you to directly plug the drier into any electrical outlet so you can run it for any amount of time without worrying about the battery going dead while you are not around. Who knows, you might someday need the drier to finish that new rod you have always been dreaming of building, would you chance that to a battery? I was lucky enough when building my own epoxy drier to find an old AC/DC adapter pack tucked away in my basement, after some simple wiring it was ready to be mounted. If you have trouble finding an adapter pack to attach to your motor, try going to Home Depot; I have heard from friends that they carry them for a good price. You are also going to need some wood to mount the motor on. Almost any wood will work; just make sure that it is sturdy enough so that when the motor is mounted it will not fall over.
Finally, you are going to need something to stick the flies into so that the drier can spin them. There are many ways in which one can do this, but personally I use an old wine cork glued inside of some flexible foam. The cork is used as the center mount for the spinning apparatus because it can be pulled on and off the rotating motor shaft and still not slip the next time flies need to be spun. It sounds like quiet a bit of work, but you will see that if you follow the step-by-step instructions and pictures below you will have a great rotary drier for all your epoxying needs.
The step-by-step construction of your epoxy drier:
Tight Lines and Smooth Threads.
Added: Fri Aug 22 2008
Last Modified: Wed Apr 27 2011