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Thursday, 12 November 2015

My Homemade Solar Dehydrator

A few posts back I let on that I intended to make a solar dehydrator, like this one that I found pictured in Mother Earth News. (The instructions are there too)



Well now it's finished and has my first batch of rhubarb and apple fruit leather in it to try it out.
It took me a couple of hours to make - most of which was searching around here to find the materials - it cost me nothing! Yep, I had everything right here.

My home made solar dehydrator


Double layer of apple and rhubarb fruit leather
I used:
2 cardboard boxes - one long and narrow, the other a banana box type.
1 acrylic sheet, that Derek had previously saved from being thrown out when his work office moved (yay, score!)
Some duct tape to join it all and cover extra holes in the banana box
A blade to cut the holes at the ends of the long box
1 mesh window screen for the top of the box
2 cake racks
Some black weed mat, in lieu of black paint, which I was too lazy to do

The construction (typical of me who never measures anything) is a bit wonky, but hey, it works.
I tried the heat producing part out yesterday - wow, the hot air was pumping through there.

Ok, so it has only been going for a couple of hours, and I expect the fruit leather will take maybe 24 hours to dry?, but I'm all excited about it so I'm putting on here today. Then there will be an update next time - success or fail?!

Make Do And Mend

Don't you hate it when you buy stuff, and they have spent so long designing it to be ergonomic but it fails to actually function efficiently. I was on to my second bottle brush. With the first one the tip was too big to actually fit into a bottle neck, the second one I made sure would fit in - but it had such a fat handle (and was too short) that it would only reach halfway into the bottle, and we all know the bit that really needs cleaning is the bottom of the bottle.
Well I was not going to buy another one. I found that the brush bit just unscrewed, then I found a nice slim piece of bamboo, drilled a wee hole in it and screwed the brush tip securely into it.
Bottle brush - new bamboo handle, old handle next to it.


 Man, I felt like a winner! It doesn't take much to make me happy.

4 comments:

  1. I love your solar dryer! It's too humid here to do that but I have been thinking about making a solar cooker next summer as we do get plenty of hot sun for many months of the year. Good idea on the bottle brush handle. The bottle brush I used for my baby (who is now 30) is still going strong! And no, it's not ergonomically correct!

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  2. Drying the foods will allow you to use them in recipes and use them as great snacks to enjoy anytime. Drying green beans, carrots and potato's will allow you to use them whenever you need them you will no longer have to waste any of your harvest because you have a way to store it until you are ready for it. 06300 dehydro review

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  3. Excellent info... Anne!

    I haven't tried building my own solar dehydrator yet. But I may consider soon. Bookmarked it.

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    1. Hi Linda, I used to have one of those bought dehydrators, and I'm happy to say my home made one did the job just as well, although I didn't put as many layers in it. I hope you have success.

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