solar dehydrator plans (simplified)

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#1 Thu, Jun 16, 2011 - 12:21am
treefrog
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Xanadu, FL
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solar dehydrator plans (simplified)

to make a four foot square solar dehydrator, you will need:

half sheet plywood (4' x 4')

16' 2 x 4

4' x4' sheet of plexiglass or similar clear plastic

4' x 4' hardware cloth

assorted nails or screws

small can of flat black non - toxic paint

common carpentry tools

cut the 2x4 into two pieces 4' and two pieces 3' 9" and nail to the plywood forming a shallow box with the plywood as the floor and the 2x4's as the sides.

drill three or four one inch holes in each of two opposite sides.

cut the hardware cloth to fit inside the box.

paint the inside of the box black, and allow to dry.

drive four small finish nails on the top edge of the 2x4's - one at each corner, leaving a half inch sticking up.

position the plexiglass over the box and mark the positions of the nails on the plastic with a magic marker. drill a hole at each mark. large enough for the nail with a generous margin. 

lay material to be dried one layer thick in the box, cover with the plexiglass and put it in the sun. prop it up about 30 degrees to face the sun. the sides with the holes go at the top and bottom.

the sun's rays will warm the box and the air in it. the warm air will dry out the material you are dehydrating. warm air rises. this is what the holes are for. the warm moist air leaves through the holes at the top , drawing fresh air in the bottom to be warmed up and to take up more moisture. the hardware cloth is to keep the material off the bottom of the box so air can circulate, at least a little, on both sides.

simple, easy, cheap. no?

the dryer can be any size you want, but 4' x 4' is easy to handle.

Edited by: treefrog on Nov 8, 2014 - 5:07am
Thu, Jun 16, 2011 - 10:31am
Pax Argentum
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Silverton, CO
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Simple, easy. Thanks for

Simple, easy. Thanks for sharing. Pax

Thu, Jun 16, 2011 - 12:45pm
steeled
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very nice, will add to my

very nice, will add to my list of things to make~thanks

you get as good as you give
Thu, Jun 16, 2011 - 8:56pm
crashjp
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hardware cloth

What is hardware cloth, never heard of it, how long does it take for jerky? can you post a pic of yours?

In the absence of light, darkness reigns supreme.
Thu, Jun 16, 2011 - 10:08pm
henry
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Yakima, WA
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Hardware cloth

Wire mesh 1/8" 1/4" or 1/2" squares. You can buy it at the hardware store.

Thu, Jun 16, 2011 - 10:22pm
Adventures
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Another cheap dehydrator

1) 20 inch box fan, 3-4 pleated furnace filters same 20"x 20"(Not fiberglass) 1 bungie cord to hold the filters on the fan. A dry climate or 2 days of less than 20% humidity. Don't place in direct sunlight.

I dried some Roma tomatoes like this after sprinkling with some Kosher salt and stored in olive oil, did some beef jerky after a smoke. If you are drying or processing food never use table salt. Go with Kosher, pickling or sea salt. Save the Iodized salt for the table salt shaker.

Fri, Jun 17, 2011 - 10:07am (Reply to #4)
treefrog
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Xanadu, FL
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crashjp

crashjp wrote:

What is hardware cloth, never heard of it, how long does it take for jerky? can you post a pic of yours?

how long for jerky? lots of variables... how thick is it sliced? what's the weather (sunny/partly cloudy)? humidity? temperature?

sorry no pic. i'm a dinosaur, i use film photography

treefrog land and cattle co.

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