Monday, June 2, 2008

How to Build a Dehydrator

The modern day household resolves around the kitchen, as you well know. A nutritionally balanced kitchen will be stocked with fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, grain products, and canned goods. In order to store the perishables in our kitchens for as long as possible, most people will freeze their extra meat and vegetables and can only really enjoy fresh fruit during certain times of the year when these fruits are in season. But freezing food is costly and a little wasteful because of the electricity it uses. It also leeches vitamins from frozen foods. There is another economical and ecologically friendly option: a dehydrator. A simple household dehydrator can be used to dry fruits and jerk meat. This guide will show you how to make your own electricity-free dehydrator.

Things You’ll Need:
Black Paint



Tape Measure


Paint Brushes

Mesh Screen

Cloth Screen

4 Small Hinges

Chop Saw


Wood Glue

Duct Tape


1-1/2 inch Screws

1/2 inch Screws

2 Foot by 2 Foot Plywood

2 Foot by 3 Foot Plywood

2 Foot By 2 Foot Plexiglas

2 Foot By 3 Foot Plexiglas

Staple Gun

Building A Solar Dehydrator
Step 1:
Measure out and cut two three foot lengths of 1x4 using the chop saw.

Step 2:
Lay down the 2 Foot by 3 Foot length of plywood and apply a thick line of wood glue to its edges long ways. Affix the two 1X4s to run parallel to each other and standing on their sides, so that they stick up four inches from the plywood.

Step 3:
Carefully flip over the piece of plywood and drive three 1-1/2 inch screws along each edge so as to fix the 1X4s firmly in place.

Step 4:
Flip the plywood back over so the 1X4s are facing you, looking like a trough with two sides missing. Apply the black paint into the interior of the trough.

Step 5:
On one of the open sides of the trough divide one of the 2 foot sides into three equal lengths and affix a hinge with the 1/2 inch screws to each of the two interior dividing lines. The other ends of the hinges should be hanging free from the box.

Step 6:
Use the 1/2 inch screws to affix the 2 Foot by 3 Foot piece of Plexiglas atop the two pieces of 1X4. It should look like a rectangular box with the two smaller sides open to the air.

Step 7:
Measure out a 5 inch by 2 Foot rectangle of mesh screen and cut it out with the scissors. Use the wood glue to paste it to the open end of the box, the end without the hinges. Stretch it out tightly and use the staple gun to hold it in place. Set the box aside.

Step 8:
Measure and cut 4 pieces of 2X4, each should be 2-1/2 feet long. Lay down the 2 Foot by 2 Foot piece of plywood. Put wood glue on one of the ends of each of the 2x4s and press them to each of the four corners of the plywood.

Step 9:
Carefully flip over the plywood so that it is standing like a rudimentary table. Drive 1-1/2 inch screws through the plywood and into the 2X4s to hold them tight. Three screws in each leg in a triangular pattern give the table the most stability.

Step 10:
Measure and cut three lengths of 1X4. Two of them should be two feet long. The third should be 2 feet and ten inches long. Put wood glue along three of the four edges of the table. Press the 1X4s into the glue on their sides so as to leave one side of the box open.

Step 11:
Flip the table over onto the 1X4 and affix them by driving 1-1/2 inch screws into each other three sides. You'll have to put the screws more toward the middle of each side because of the table legs at the corners.

Step 12:
Stand the table back up on its legs. Hook the box with the hinges to the open side of the table and connect them by driving 1/2 inch screws into the open hinges. The long box should stand at an angle from the table, with the mesh lower edge against the ground.

Step 13:
Screw the remaining hinges to the corners of one side of the 2 foot by 2 foot piece of Plexiglas. The hinges should be affixed so that when the Plexiglas top lays flat against the table, the hinges will be closed or pressed together. Screw the remaining ends of the hinge to the top of the 1X4s to make a lid. The hinge of the lid should be where the side of the box is open to the air.

Step 14:
Line the interior of the table with sanitary cloth mesh or cheesecloth and seal the gap between the box and the table with duct tape. You're done.

No comments: