Use this solar food dehydrator to make dried healthy snacks for your next camping or hiking trip.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- 6 1″ x 2″ x 10′ pine boards (actual size of boards: 3/4″ x 1 1/2″)
- Sides — 12 14″ boards, 4 18 3/4″ boards
- Top and bottom — 4 14″, 4 11″
- Drawers — 8 14″, 8 10 3/4″
- Door — 2 20″, 2 11″
- 5′ of 48″-wide clean plastic window screen
- 4 2″ corner brackets
- 1 1 1/2″ hook and eye
- 2 2″ hinges
- About 110 1 1/4″ exterior wood screws
- Crosscut saw
- Utility knife
- Drill bits (for pre-drilling screw holes)
- Countersink bit (the drill bits and countersink bit will make the screws flush with the surface of the wood and help prevent the wood from splitting)
- 3/4″ spade bit (for ventilation holes in the drawer sides)
- Staple gun and staples
WHAT YOU’LL DO
1. Cut all the boards to length. All the boards are 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ so you only need to cut the boards to length.
2. Assemble the two sides.
3. Screw the top and bottom in place. (You now have a sturdy framed box.)
4. Drill the 3/4″ ventilation holes in the sides of the eight drawer boards, then screw the drawers together.
5. Build the door using the L brackets. Hinge the door into place and screw in the hook and eye.
6. Staple the window screen onto the top, bottom, sides and back of the frame. Staple screen to the bottom of the four drawers and the door. Your dehydrator is complete.
HOW TO SUN-DRY FOOD
This old-fashioned method of drying food requires heat from the sun and plenty of natural air circulation.
Get started by trying thinly sliced apples. The time it takes to dry the apples varies depending on the humidity in the air and the heat from the sun. At 70 degrees with dry, sunny weather, it takes about two days.
Cover your dehydrator at night or bring it inside to avoid dew getting on it.
For specifics on sun-drying food, visit these useful websites: