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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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My Solar Dehydrator at Work Toplef10My Solar Dehydrator at Work 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

My Solar Dehydrator at Work I22gcj10My Solar Dehydrator at Work 14dhcg10

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My Solar Dehydrator at Work

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Post  newbeone 2/24/2017, 9:43 am

It's been so warm here lately ( I know You Northern People are tired of hearing that ) Smile It got up to 93* and my parsley was growing good, I dug out my solar dehydrator and put it to work .

My Solar Dehydrator at Work Img_2541

Excuse the mess I just got a load of Mulch.
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Post  sanderson 2/24/2017, 4:12 pm

Shocked Wow! Really nice.

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Post  trolleydriver 2/24/2017, 8:08 pm

@sanderson wrote:Shocked  Wow!  Really nice.

+1
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Post  CitizenKate 2/24/2017, 8:30 pm

@sanderson wrote:Shocked  Wow!  Really nice.
+1

Did you build this, or purchase it?
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Post  newbeone 2/25/2017, 11:10 am

I built it myself, I got the plans from a book called DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner, I think I got it at Home Depot, I've had it for two years now and it's been working good. The other day when I took the photo it was 92* out and the box was reading 117*. The book is published by Creative Publishing International.
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Post  ralitaco 2/25/2017, 11:32 am

Newbeone,
First, the woodwork looks really great and it looks like you stained it. Wow!

So what is the purpose of the dehydrator? I am guessing it is to quickly dry out your herbs for storage. So how long do they stay in there? I am guessing this is quicker than air drying.
Also, what is on the bottom? is it another layer of glass or plexi? Looks like you have vent holes on the side

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Post  sanderson 2/26/2017, 2:11 am

Do you dry other produce like sliced tomatoes, chopped garlic and onions, etc?

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Post  newbeone 2/26/2017, 6:50 pm

The bottom is metal window screen, and yes I like to take the small cherry tomatoes cut them half and dry them, they taste like candy, For Garlic & onions will have wait till  later this year when they mature.  
 I took some pictures and I'll try and describe the details I would copy the plans from the book but I feel that would be copyright infringement.
 The top is a single pane window glass, that determines the size of the box I bought mine at Habitat for Humanity, My box is 45"X 30" The front & back boards are 8" X 5/8", The side Boards are 6" X 5/8", The legs and braces are 4" X 5/8"            
 My Solar Dehydrator at Work Img_2542
As You can see there holes drilled in the sides are 1" with window screen stapled over them for the bugs, The back legs are  30" long the front legs are 22". For the inside I made wire trays from plastic covered wire mesh I can fit four trays at a time in mine.My Solar Dehydrator at Work Img_2543
For the bottom of the trays I bought some plastic Dehydrator tray netting off Amazon'
My Solar Dehydrator at Work Img_2544

Please Excuse the mess I just dismantled my seed starting table for the Spring Season and my garage is a mess. Now let me say this my set up works good for me down here my Day time Temps are running in the eighty's and ninety's, by May will be looking at 100*. So for people up north I don't know if it will get hot enough to work. For those who want to try I hope this description and pictures help.
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Post  newbeone 2/26/2017, 7:19 pm

Sorry ralitaco I missed part of Your Question! The purpose of the Dehydrator is to dry food and herbs for storage, I placed a load of Parsley in it at 11:00AM That day it got up to 93* it was ready at 5:00pm that day, but I got busy and didn't get to it until the next day. At my age at 5:00 pm I'm real busy! if You know what I meanMy Solar Dehydrator at Work Lol
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Post  ralitaco 2/28/2017, 12:24 am

Thanks for the info.
I am surprised that the bottom is screen and not solid, but I guess if it was solid, it would get too hot.
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Post  sanderson 7/21/2018, 4:00 pm

One of my "solar" dehydrators at work drying stevia and tarragon.  This is the first time I've used it since 2016.  It was too heavy for me to move on my own with the wood-framed trays.  Last fall, Ken made some "window screen" trays and it is much lighter now.  Next project is some of the garlic for flakes and powder. My Solar Dehydrator at Work Dehydr10

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Post  AtlantaMarie 7/22/2018, 6:15 am

That's BEAUTIFUL!!
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Post  stealthmayhem 7/22/2018, 9:31 am

That thing is a masterpiece.........Now I want one.
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Post  sanderson 7/22/2018, 4:18 pm

Free materials and energy for drying. Ken made it from scrap wood. The temps are in the 100s so it's perfect weather for drying. I do bring it in at night as the humidity is higher.

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Post  CapeCoddess 7/24/2018, 4:54 pm

Perfect there for a solar dehydrator...and solar oven....and..and....
Wink
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Post  sanderson 7/25/2018, 2:42 am

. . . and a solar powered bird bath and solar roof panels. Yep, we got those, what 4 years ago? Hey, if we are going to bake to death, might as well make the sun work for us.

So far, 19 straight days over 100*F with another 10 forecast.

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Post  Roseinarosecity 7/25/2018, 5:43 pm

I don't have a dehydrator.  I wish I had a smoker so I could smoke these Leutschauer Paprika peppers, but since the temperature today is 100 degrees F. under the shade, this is the best I could do right now.  Should they be in direct sunlight?
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Post  AtlantaMarie 7/26/2018, 6:57 am

If they were herbs, I'd say shade.  But I'd go with direct sun on these.  That's what a solar dehydrator would do....

And they're beautiful!!
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Post  sanderson 7/26/2018, 7:37 am

Rose, I would cut them in half so they dry both inside and outside at the same time. Or, at least cut them in half up to the stem since you are hanging them to dry. Then it won't matter if they are in direct sun or not. Two summers ago, I dried the same variety and made powdered paprika.

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