Instructions for preparing Nylon trimmer line/ fishing line so that it can be extruded
Nylon absorbs moisture from the air. When extruded, the nylon will react with the absorbed moisture and create bubbles. It will also clog your extruder. In order to make Nylon line fit for extruding, it must be dried. I used a set up with a plastic container and a blow dryer. Here are the instructions:
1. Get nylon trimmer line. Here is a link where you can get it for about 2.50 per lb:
Make sure that the line you buy is sealed from the air. This will make it much easier to dry out later.
2. Do not open the nylon trimmer line until everything is set up! Breaking the seal will allow moisture to absorb into the nylon.
3. Get a plastic container big enough to hold your spool of trimmer line/ fishing line. It needs to have a top, and the container part needs to have no holes in it. Look for a container with vent holes in the lid (for microwaves). This will make it easier to set up later. I got mine at the 99 cents store. (pictures below)
4. Get a cheap blow dryer that has a low setting. You can find them at thrift stores for a couple bucks.
5. Cut a hole in the middle of the lid of your container, so that the blow dryer can slide into the container tightly. I tried to use an exacto, which cracked the plastic, and then I used a dremel, which worked much better. A perfect seal is not required (as you can see by my set up). The blow dryer should be able to stand up in the container without it tipping over.
6. If you don't have microwave vent holes, then drill some in the lid. Maybe 2 or 3 holes that are about 3/8 diameter.
7. Put a scoop of rice into the bottom of the container. This will act as a desiccant, absorbing any moisture given off by the nylon.
8. Put the Nylon trimmer line into the container. Try to get as much air space in between the strands of nylon as you can. This will help it dry. You might need to dry only part of your trimmer line and seal the rest and store it.
9. Stick the blow dryer into the hole and turn it on low. For recently opened trimmer line that has been sealed, this will probably take around 3 hours to dry. For trimmer line that is not sealed, it will take around 5-6 hours like mine.
10. Test if the nylon is dry by bending it with your fingers. It should be much stiffer than it was originally. Then feed it into your extruder to test if it bubbles. If it comes out smoothly with no bubbles, you are ready to go!
The extruding temperature varies with different types of nylon, with a minimum of 190 C and a max of 260 C. You will have to see what works for you.