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.
- hand saw, scissors, utility knife, tape measure, hand drill
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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.