Instructables

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:




 
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Step 1: Remove bottom

Picture of remove bottom
  1 - Cut out bottom of animal cracker container.

Step 2: Frame pieces

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  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

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

Step 4: Stand

Picture of Stand
5 bolt container to support.jpg
  4 - Attach container to stand. Bottom of container should be elevated to allow free entry of dry air.

Step 5: Attach screen

Picture of Attach screen
7 staple screen to frame.jpg
  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

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11 put screen under lid.jpg
  6 - Ventilate cover with holes and screen.

Step 7: Place frame in container

  7 - Place screened frame in container.

Step 8: Dehydrate

Picture of Dehydrate
12 place in sun.jpg
  8 - Place food in screen.
  9 - Place dehydrator in sun.