Well this project came into life not because I planned it, but because of circumstances. Our neighbours, two doors from us, placed a fridge/freezer combination on the curb for rubbish collection a few months ago, and yes, the stingy bastard I am, thought I could fix this and resell it or use it myself. I had a fifty fifty chance of fixing the fridge, either the thermostat was busted (easy and cheap to fix), or the compressor was busted (too expensive to fix). Well as it turned out, it was the compressor.

So now I was stuck with a piece of rubbish a few weeks before we move. My wife was fuming because we had no means of disposing of it and I was too proud to put it back on the curb for rubbish collection. (I wanted my neighbours to think I fixed it! LOL) After a few days of deeeeeep thought, I came up with the idea of a food dehydrator. Yes, I saw a few of these conversions on the internet before and thought, well, I do have a food dehydrator, but it was small, now I have the chance of building a nice big one with loads of space for a lot of food to process!!!

Now, as a South African, we love Biltong (almost like Jerky but differently prepared) and Droëwors (dried sausage). This dehydrator is perfect for me to make my own Biltong and Droëwors on a bit of a larger scale. Also, living in Australia, it is difficult to get hold of Biltong and Droëwors and, IT IS BLOODY EXPENSIVE going at $60 a kilo!!!! So naturally, remember what I said about being a stingy bastard, I am making my own at a fraction of the cost.

Step 1: Bill of materials (BOM)

This conversion is pretty straight forward and I cannot give you exactly a list of materials to be used. To be fair, I will give a list but it may vary depending on the type of container you are modifying.

  • A few pieces of timber for the door frame
  • MDF (9mm) for the door and frame around the fan and air inlet
  • Various screws
  • Fly screen
  • Computer fans (at least 3) or a big extractor fan
  • 2 lamp holders (optional)
  • 2 75 watt globes (optional)
  • 3 electrical switches (optional)
  • 12v transformer for computer fans (not necessary if you use a 220v extractor fan)
  • Electrical wire
  • Latches
  • Hinges

The tools you will need is your basic workshop tools

  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Preferably a rotary cutting tool
  • Screw drivers
  • Mitre box or saw
  • Scissors
  • Side cutter

Please note that both these lists might not be entirely complete and you might need some other tools and materials but I know that is not a problem because we are all makers after all!!

<p>Dont you need a small heater to push in hot air and an exhaust to remove air and mositure instead of pressurizing that chamber</p>
<p>Dont you need a small heater to push in hot air and an exhaust to remove air and mositure instead of pressurizing that chamber</p>
<p>Briljant Willie. Ek gaan hom probeer.</p>
Sit fotos op as jy klaar is Flenters. Altyd lekker om Afrikaans te hoor.
<p>Ek sal definitief so maak ja. Daar is net te veel goed wat eers moet gebeur.</p>
<p>I also have this done.</p>
<p>Great work! Very useful for drying fruit.</p>
<p>Yes,every daythe bucketof apples. Especiallywith heater. The ventshould be doneon the side...Otherwise the rainfalls. But, as practice has shown, apples easier to dry in this way -&gt;</p>
<p>Costarus. That looks great! Here is an image of my dehydrator in full action with some sauges (Dro&euml;wors) in the making. Luckily mine is under roof so I do not need to worry about the rain. I might consider a few fans to the side as the bottom of the dehydrator does not seem to be that effective as the top part.</p>
<p>Wow! Cool! I, unfortunately, cannot beer in large numbers. But it looks really great! Hats off!</p>
<p>Please consider leaving the refrigerant and items containing refrigerant intact.</p><p>Many <br> of these, especially older, devices contain refrigerant which should be <br> appropriately disposed of. Just as an example, &quot;CFC-12 has a life of <br>102 years&quot; with a global warming potential 2400 times larger than CO2 and when it decomposes, the chlorine takes ozone with it. </p><p>References: </p><p><a href="http://www.wou.edu/%7Eavorder/Refrigeration.htm" rel="nofollow">http://www.wou.edu/~avorder/Refrigeration.htm</a></p><p><a href="http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/Refrigerants-Environment-Properties-d_1220.html" rel="nofollow">http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/Refrigerants-Env...</a></p>
<p>Chaseadam, thanks for the suggestion. I limited the amount of escaping refrigerant by closing of the tubes close to the compressor before cutting the lines. This limited the amount of refrigerant to that in the copper tubes and the rest stayed in tack inside the compressor. </p>
<p>What a great use for an old fridge!</p>
<p>Thanks @jessyratfink</p>

About This Instructable


293 favorites


Bio: I am interested in anything that I can build myself or fix myself. Anything means I make my own beer and spirits, do some wood ... More »
More by Willie Kruger: Sushi Maker Deshidratador de alimentos Dried Apple
Add instructable to: