Free, Green, Solar Dehydrator

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Introduction: Free, Green, Solar Dehydrator

Why Dry: Preserve fresh fruit/vegetables/meat/fish/prepared food that is surplus to current needs,  and increase calorie density (reduce weight for transporting, backpacking, camping).
Why Solar/Green: Reduce carbon footprint
Why Free: Costco Kirkland Disney animal cracker container too nice to discard.  
Other leftovers used:
   - 30" of molding, mine was about 3/4" square
   - 7.5" x 18.5" piece of window screen
   - 4" diameter piece of window screen
   - glue, staples
   - (4) nuts and bolts, mine were 2"
   - scrap lumber, my pieces were 40" of 1/2"x3" and 5" of 1 1/4" x 1 1/4" recycled plastic.
Tools used:
   - hand saw, scissors, utility knife, tape measure, hand drill
STEPS:




Step 1: Remove Bottom

  1 - Cut out bottom of animal cracker container.

Step 2: Frame Pieces

  2 - Cut frame sides, my inside dimension was 6 5/8" square, I cut off corners so it would sit lower in the container.

Step 3: Assemble Frame

  3 - Assemble frame, gluing seemed easier than nails or screws.

Step 4: Stand

  4 - Attach container to stand. Bottom of container should be elevated to allow free entry of dry air.

Step 5: Attach Screen

  5 - Staple screen to frame. I placed some staples across frame joints to add mechanical hold to glue joints.  Screen wraps all away around so top screen supports product and bottom screen keeps insects away.

Step 6: Modify Cover

  6 - Ventilate cover with holes and screen.

Step 7: Place Frame in Container

  7 - Place screened frame in container.

Step 8: Dehydrate

  8 - Place food in screen.
  9 - Place dehydrator in sun.

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    18 Comments

    Mira no quisiera echar a perder tu invento pero sabias ¿que con el calor el plastico bota un veneno? mejor que el frasco sea de vidrio! :D

    ***Translation***
    I don't want to spoil your invention, but did you know that when it is heated, plastic becomes toxic? It would be better if the container were made of glass.

    yes, it's scary to use plastic under the sun. it becomes toxic

    I'm not sure but maybe plastic canvas screen from a craft or hobby store would be preferable over window screen. I like this little portable dehydrator. Thanks for sharing.

    Great instructable

    Combine with karalalala Granola Bars recipe !

    Could add an ant killing strip where the solar container is hung to prevent intruders

    I agree, glass seems better but might as well reuse these plastic containers as we head into the post-petroleum age!

    do you put the bottome back on?

    I think I might try this same principle with an unused aquarium I have. We have an electric dehydrator. But my wife fusses at me about electricity consumption whenever I use it. Think I'll try this and then finish off with the electric if needed.

    Hi, can I dehydrate meat, or fish using that ting? Wat abou the bacteria?

    Sounds like a great idea, I'm just concerned about using a plastic container for heating food. Maybe I can use an old glass container instead (like a pasta sauce jar)? What do you think.