Solar Dehydrator Plans

Build a solar dehydrator
from a metal filing cabinet.




Solar
Dehydrator



Solar Dehydrator
You Can Build


Dehydrator



This simple dehydrator project
only requires a few materials.

This mobile dehydrator can
easily be pushed, or pulled
around with no strain to
the back.

A used filing cabinet make
good dehydrator, and only
require a little modification,
to turn it into a dehydrator.

Check at the local dump,
secondhand stores,
and the newspapers, for
a used filing cabinets.

The one shown in this
project was out near
the road with a free
sign on it, the people
were moving and did
not want to take it along.

Solar Dehydrator
Building Instructions



Cut out the bottom of the
filing cabinet drawers,
leave a one inch lip for
the trays to sit on.

Clean up ragged edges
with a file or angle grinder.

Dehydrator drawers


Cut a hole 10-1/2 inch by
7 inch hole near the
bottom on the back side,
to allow air to enter.

Drill a 7/16 inch hole
on all four corners to
start the cuts.

Place a louvered grill,
13 inches by 8-1/2
inches over the hole.
Place screen behind
the grill to keep out
insects.

There is no need for a vent
near the top of the cabinet,
as there is enough space
around the drawers to exit
moisture.

Dehydrator venting


If the dehydrator needs to
be moved, build a trolley
to move it about.

For this project a set of
bed irons with casters was
found at the free shed
at the dump.

Fabrication and welding
is required.

The trolley could also be
made of wood.

Dehydrator caddy


Build drying trays to fit
inside the drawers to
hold fruit for drying.

Trays for a legal size filing
cabinet is 13-3/4 inches
by 14-3/4,

Make the frame from 3/4
by 3-1/2 inch material.

Drill finger holes, 1 inch
from top, 3 inches from ends,
drill 5/8 inch, 1/2 inch deep.

Cover the bottom with
nylon screen and staple
into place.

Do not use galvanized
metal screen as it has
lead in the metal.

After stapling, nail wood
rails, 3/4 by 1/4 inch
thick on each bottom
side to keep the tray
nylon, away from the
metal, and provide for
some air movement
around the tray.

Trays


Tip



Paint the cabinet flat black
for better heating.

If the cabinet gets too hot,
open the top drawer slightly.

To dehydrate fruit, cut the
fruit into small equal sized
slices, spread the fruit evenly
over the surface of the
nylon screen.
Do not pile the fruit.
The dehydrated action
concentrates the natural
sugars, which gives the
fruit extra flavor and
sweetness.

Choose the fruit to hydrate,
do not use overripe or bruised
fruit.
Wash all fruit before dehydrating.

Fruit to dehydrate



Bananas, Apples, pineapples,
peaches, cherries, mangos,
blueberries, plums, and
strawberries.

Herbs and vegetables
also dehydrate well.

History
of
Dehydrating Food



Dehydrating food is one
of the oldest ways to preserve
food.

In the Middle Eastern region
of the world, grapes, dates
and figs fell naturally onto
hot sand and dehydrated
naturally.

The people of that time
took note and started
dehydrating other foods.

Some of the foods were seeds
corn, apples, berries, roots,
meat, and fish .

They spread these foods
out on the ground, using the
heat of the sun to dehydrate.

In 1795, the French invented
the first mechanized
dehydrator.

Dried food keeps well because
of the low moisture content.
Molds, yeasts, bacteria, and
enzymes that caused food
spoilage, require moisture
to grow.


Dehydrator Video

Index



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Metal Filing Cabinet Plans,
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