Introduction: Apple Drying Rack Tower

Picture of Apple Drying Rack Tower

In this Instructable I will show you step by step how to make a drying tower to hold rectangle drying racks.

Dehydrator List of tools:

1/16" Drill Bit
Framing square
Small square
Safety Glasses
Mitre' chop saw or back saw and mitre box
Wood saw
3/16" drill bit
Screw tips for drill extention- hex and or Phillips/cross tip
Tape measure
Tin Snips
Chalk Line/chalk
Caulking gun or small tube of caulk

Bill of Materials:

Sheet rock screws- 16 ea
#8x3/4" screws, or hex head self taping screws
1-1/4" sheet rock screws-12
Hinges
Foam gap filler
1 sheet 1/4"x4"x8" plywood or other siding material
8'x2'panelized roofing clear or other clear sheeting
2-2'x18" min pieces of galvanized or other sheet metal (for solar collector and heat shield inside)
12 ea 1"x3"x8" spruce for framing and rails for racks
2 ea hinges for door
Hinges screws
Door latch
Netting to keep bugs out of openings
PVC pipe (optional)
Caulking-small tube
3 porcelain light fixtures pull cord
3 octagon electrical boxes
Electrical wire
Wire connectors
Light bulbs
Plug
Wire nuts
Switch box
Switch
Switch plate

Step 1: Side Wall

Picture of Side Wall

First you will need a 4'x8' sheet of 1/8 inch thick plywood.

Step 2: SIde Supports

Picture of SIde Supports

Next its time to cut your side wall support braces.

1. Cut two boards that are 38" long and sqare at the ends.

2. Cut two more boards that are 30 5/8" at there longest point. Next you need to cut the top of the boards off at a 20 degree angle.

3. Cut two boards that are 41 1/4" then cut off a 20 degree piece from one end, then cut of a second 20 degree piece perpendicular to the first cut.

4. Cut the last two boards 42 3/4" inches long and cut off a 20 degree piece from the top.

Step 3: Mark Walls

Picture of Mark Walls

Next you are going to need to lay out your boards as shown in the first image so that you can mark around them. The forth picture shows what the measurements should be and what the wall will look like when you cut it. Now that you have your board marked cut out your wall you will need two of them.

Step 4: Screwing on Support Beams

Picture of Screwing on Support Beams

Next you will need to screw the support beams to the side of the wall. These supports should be on the out side and face away from each other.

Step 5: Back Supports

Picture of Back Supports

You now need to cut two boards that are 24" long and screw them to the top and bottom of the back.

Step 6: Front Supports

Picture of Front Supports

Now cut two more boards that are 22" long and screw them to the front. You will need to screw them from the side.

Step 7: Roof

Picture of Roof

You now need to cut a piece for the roof from a piece of PVC roofing cut it 4 feet long. We used tin snips to cut the roofing.

Step 8: Front

Picture of Front

Next you need to cut a second piece of the PVC roofing for the front. Cut it 32" long.

Now you need to screw the roof and the front on.


Step 9: Door and Floor

Picture of Door and Floor

Next cut out a piece for the floor it should be 24"x38 3/4"

Then cut out a piece for the door it should be 24"x42 3/4"

Step 10: Runners for the Racks

Picture of Runners for the Racks

You will need to to cut 4 pieces of a 1"x4" board 35" long.

Then cut the boards in half.

And drill a hole in both ends of the board 3 1/2" from each end.

Step 11: Legs

Picture of Legs

Next you need to add legs to your drying tower if you place each of the legs in a pail of water then bugs cant crawl into your tower.

Cut 4 legs that are 12" long and cut from a 1"x4"

Then mark out a square and draw a line at a 45 degree angle.

Drill two holes one on each side of the diagnle line.

Step 12: Door

Picture of Door

You now need to cut four boards to screw around the edges of the door that was cut out earlyer.

The boards need to be cut from a 1"x4"

The first two should be 18 15/16"

The second two should be 42 5/8"

Now screw the boards to the door.

You can add a latch to the middle of the 42 5/8" board.

You will need to to miter out a section of the door so that you can screw the hinge on flush to mount the door to the tower.

Step 13: Solar Heater/Collector

Picture of Solar Heater/Collector

Start with a 2'x18" piece of galvanized or other sheet metal and paint it flat black on both sides.

Step 14: Bend the End

Picture of Bend the End

You now need to bend one end of the metal at 30-7/8".

Step 15: Heater

Picture of Heater

You now need to cut 5 more boards.

2 should be 30 7/8" and be cut from a 1"x4" board
2 should be 30 7/8" and be cut from a 1"x2" board
and the last 1 should be 14 1/2" and be cut from a 1"x2" board

Drill two holes in either end of the 1"x2"s it doesn't matter were you drill the holes but make them around 3"s in.

Now screw thought the black side of the metal and into the 1"x4" boards you should screw them in at about 4". they should be flush with the metal, do this to both sides. Now black your 1"x2" boards to the top of the metal and screw them thought the holes and in to the black side of the metal.

Now screw a 20"x30-7/8" board to the 1"x4" boards.

Step 16: Solar Heater Cover

Picture of Solar Heater Cover

Now you need to use whats left of your roofing and screw it to the top of the solar heater. We cut a piece off the front to make up for what we needed to cover the heater. Then we cut it to the correct width.

You should have two pieces of roof left you will use them and some wood to cover the front back up later.

Step 17: Cover the Front

Picture of Cover the Front

You now need to cut two boards to screw to the front. You can see the dimensions in the picture below. Now screw these boards so that they are flush to the bottom and side of the tower.

Now screw the two pieces of plastic to the front.

Step 18: Foam

Picture of Foam

You now need to fill all the cracks and gaps with clauking and Great Stuff(foam in a can).

DO NOT seal the cracks on the top of the roof this is were all the moist air leaves from.

Comments

domamir (author)2015-12-28

I would not use "Great Stuff" to do the sealing. I would use the strips that are made for sealing and supporting the material on roofing. On the front, put the lower part under the top part. That way any rain stays on the outside.

seedgal608 (author)2009-01-11

What do you use for drying racks? Any suggestions for how to make them with food friendly material? Thanks

domamir (author)seedgal6082015-12-28

Use cheesecloth to cover the drying frames. It is used in cheese making.

We used black plastic mesh which isnt the best, but was easy to get. As far as something safer I cant really think of anything sorry :(

medusaorange (author)2008-08-24

Can you dry anything else than just apples in it? I am looking for a dryer that would dry apples, few other fruits, and herbs.

Ya you can dry anything with this thing, but I wouldnt try drying meat in it unless its a really hot day or the meat might spoil before it drys, but I dont think that will happen, but better to play it safe.

haha I am a huge fan of jerkys, but I would not try to dry meat. =D Thanks for replying and posting the instruction!

Sure thing glad someone can learn from it.

firetool (author)2008-08-15

Dear Mindstormmaster1 I would like to know What kind of temps that it reached and held. It is a great design, I would love to try to build one. I was wondering if the material you used to cover the top and side. Does it give of any fumes that you know of when heated?

I believe it reached in the low 90s mid 80s and stayed there most of the day. The "top and side" material was designed to roof houses so I would think that it wouldnt give off any fumes. Everything we dried didnt taste plasticy or anything so ya I think its safe. If you do build one please let me know and send me pictures. Also if you need help with anything let me know I would be more then glad to help in any way I can.

ITChE (author)2008-07-19

This is a really nice instructable, you clearly put a lot of thought into the design. Thank you for sharing this with the rest of us. I'm thinking of building this but I am also going to send it on to some friends and family who do a lot of drying too.

mindstormmaster1 (author)ITChE2008-07-19

If you make one please send me pictures. Thanks, Ethan

Bongmaster (author)2007-10-16

An i Rack? O.o (well it is Apple)

ChipUser (author)2007-09-27

Nice instructable. I was thinking of building something on these lines (but much smaller). I was not planning for a solar collector/heater of this kind but was thinking of using metal for the lower 1 foot of the tower walls to act as heater/collector. I was going to add a solar powered fan to force the circulation. That may help with a smaller tower as there is less of a chimney effect. My browser shows some odd characters in the Bill of materials. You may want to take a look at the formatting of that. What are you using for the trays - the mesh bottom part? Do you think some kind of down facing strip near the top vent will help prevent water from getting in in case it rains? Have you tried a dryer working on convection alone (without a transparent roof/front)?

pluralmolecule (author)2007-09-26

This is a nice set up, but in a pinch, you can also set up your drying racks in an old car in the sun with a couple windows cracked.

You could, but I don't have an old car laying around. Ethan