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What material for garage clothes drying rack?

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May 6, 2005
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What material for garage clothes drying rack?

I'm looking to making a DIY fold-down drying rack (basically 1 or maybe 2 rods) to hang my gear. Living in the PNW, super easy for stuff to get muddy and wet, regularly!

Some stuff I'll just hang to the rod from hangers, but others still definitely be just draped over it and whatnot (tents, snow chains, skis leaning against it, etc.)

I was defaulting to like a 1-1/2" or so wooden dowel/rod for the rod, but wonder how it'll hold up with getting wet itself? PVC pipe is hollow... not sure it has the rigidity? One minor idea I had for the pipe was to drill in holes every now and then, and then if I needed to i.e. drape something over it, could also get airflow through the pipe and to air out the "inside" of whatever is hanging on it... Then something like those steel poles/rodspipe, but are they themselves clean? I worry some oil or other residue that's on them would easily transfer on to my stuff?

Any material choice suggestions? The rod will ideally be approximately 65" long so a decent length... and while some stuff like a tent is quite light, a pair of snow chains I just rinsed off and want to hang dry are significantly heavier
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Feb 11, 2007
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I would go with PVC pipe, but wood rods could also work.. Pumping air through it probably isn't worth the trouble, unless you really need it to dry fast.
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Nov 17, 2012
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Toronto
Yeah, I'd get the big 4 inch white drain pipes from HD or wherever and drill holes in them if you can't get ones already drilled.

Plumb them together with some elbows and get a blower on one end. Would be good for drying out soaking wet motorcycle gear etc. (giving me some ideas).
[OP]
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torontotim wrote: Yeah, I'd get the big 4 inch white drain pipes from HD or wherever and drill holes in them if you can't get ones already drilled.

Plumb them together with some elbows and get a blower on one end. Would be good for drying out soaking wet motorcycle gear etc. (giving me some ideas).
I'm thinking the 4" would be overkill/bigger than I need? Certainly sounds bigger than I'd want...

My idea is it would fold up, and the "bar" would rest against the shelving, level with one of the shelves... so it sort of "disappears" and out of the way when not used, only minimally sticking out from the front of the shelving
[OP]
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engineered wrote: I would go with PVC pipe, but wood rods could also work.. Pumping air through it probably isn't worth the trouble, unless you really need it to dry fast.
I've never really worked with PVC, but some cursory google searching indicates that PVC pipe with 5.5' length will likely sag once weight is added (obviously I'd hang anything heaviest at ends with most support but yeah...)

I could look into added a support brace halfway through, but ideally would like just the ends...
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May 30, 2005
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Kaitlyn wrote: I've never really worked with PVC, but some cursory google searching indicates that PVC pipe with 5.5' length will likely sag once weight is added (obviously I'd hang anything heaviest at ends with most support but yeah...)

I could look into added a support brace halfway through, but ideally would like just the ends...
Most material spanning that long of a length will sag more or less. Since it's just clothes you're hanging, it's probably not going to break, so the sagging should be purely cosmetic. I'm not sure how well the PVC pipe and hot air idea will work, though. Sure it'll dry the part of the clothes near the pipe but anything further than that wont' really be helped by the heat just coming out of holes in the pipe, assuming you are hanging the clothes down and not across multiple pipes.
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Jan 25, 2007
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Kaitlyn wrote: I've never really worked with PVC, but some cursory google searching indicates that PVC pipe with 5.5' length will likely sag once weight is added (obviously I'd hang anything heaviest at ends with most support but yeah...)

I could look into added a support brace halfway through, but ideally would like just the ends...
I made a spray booth for the garage using 1.5” schedule 40 pipe that is 8’x8’x8’. It would def sag after 36” or so.

They make vinyl wrapped dowel which would work perfect. You would just need to worry about the ends. Not cheap, but nothing really is...

Or you could also put some Helmsman exterior wood finish on wood dowel and then its protected from basically anything you can throw at it. Upon reflection, this is the simplest and easiest answer

As for finding 65” dowel that wont make you broke, that one is way harder. Surprisingly the cheapest place for dowel around me is my local Cdn Tire (not Lowes, Depot or my wood supply store) but the larger sizes only come 48”
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Kaitlyn wrote: I've never really worked with PVC, but some cursory google searching indicates that PVC pipe with 5.5' length will likely sag once weight is added (obviously I'd hang anything heaviest at ends with most support but yeah...)

I could look into added a support brace halfway through, but ideally would like just the ends...
How heavy is what you plan to hang? You could support it with some wire if it's sagging more than you want. You could also just use tensioned cable if the ends can support pulling it pretty tight.
You could also insert something stiff inside it, like a metal tile corner facing.
[OP]
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engineered wrote: How heavy is what you plan to hang? You could support it with some wire if it's sagging more than you want. You could also just use tensioned cable if the ends can support pulling it pretty tight.
You could also insert something stiff inside it, like a metal tile corner facing.
I could maybe add some chain to the middle that could help prevent sag? Could make draping over larger items a bit annoying though.

I don't think, at a given time, there would be tooo much weight on it. Not sure how much my tire chains weight, but would like to hose them off then hang to dry to both keep them cleaner and avoid any rusting or otherwise

Hanging a heavier-weight insulated outfit maybe... probably not without further modification (already have separate boot dryer) but maybe attaching wet boots/shoes to hang... hanging a pair of snowshoes, microspikes...

The idea/goal is to keep this area as where everything wet+muddy goes until its clean(enough!)+dry and goes back to its proper storage spot
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If you're just hanging stuff, then just do a few retractable clothes lines.

Or some yellow nylon rope and some hooks for those heavier things. String them up when you want and let them hang/stuff them in a bag when you're not using them.

Tire chains I'd just hang on a hook on the wall of the garage or from a rafter after hosing them down.

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