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View Full Version : Learning how to Dehydrate


Passingtime2
08-15-2008, 09:35 PM
This started out as just 4 stainless shelves that I had. I made the uprights from some 3/4" alum tubing with 1/4" bolts spaced to hold the shelves at an even distance from each other. I had 4 casters all the same size and they fit up inside the alum tubing. It was now rollable.

This worked pretty well with no power and just using the heat generated on the sun porch. We don't use our sun porch much in the summer, so I closed some of the windows to get it even hotter, and put the rack in there.

I used cheesecloth on the shelves to keep slices from falling thru, and a layer on top for flies. OK so now I know you can dehydrate with just heat.

I decided to speed up the drying time with a fan. I cut some smaller dia alum tubing and stuck them in side the uprights, on top. Then I bent some 5/16" round, 3" at a 90 on each end to make 'rails' on both sides of the top. This raised it so I didn't have to use the top shelf to hold the fan. I used some old refrigerator shelves that I placed on top of the rails, one at each end, with a void in the center. I placed a small 3 speed fan on top, centered between the refrig shelves.

Next came the black plastic. I save the protective covers that come on a pallet of wood pellets. I took one of these and put it on top of the rack, cut a hole in it to go around the fan, and hastily duck taped it in place.

Next I made some smaller shelves to actually put the slices of vegetable on. Now I can load them in the kitchen and place them on one of the 4 shelves. Now I don't have to load or unload in the heat.

This works pretty good. Not pretty, but I will refine it next spring.

All suggestions for improvement are welcome.
Attached Thumbnailshttp://www.tractorsandlife.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=454&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1218113953 (http://www.tractorsandlife.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=454&d=1218113953) http://www.tractorsandlife.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=455&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1218113953 (http://www.tractorsandlife.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=455&d=1218113953) http://www.tractorsandlife.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=456&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1218113953 (http://www.tractorsandlife.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=456&d=1218113953) http://www.tractorsandlife.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=457&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1218113953 (http://www.tractorsandlife.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=457&d=1218113953) http://www.tractorsandlife.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=458&stc=1&thumb=1&d=1218113953 (http://www.tractorsandlife.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=458&d=1218113953)
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Passingtime2
08-15-2008, 09:37 PM
Now that I know the dehydrator will work in a passive mode, I decided to go ahead and up grade it a little.

Removed all the black plastic.....

Installed (bailing wire) a $2.00, 1350 watt heater that I got at the Hospice thrift shop. I had to take the tip over safety out so it would work on it's side....It looks low but it's about 10" from the floor, and the floor did not get warm...

Covered the frame with a reinforced foil for fire proofing....

Installed a temp gauge.....

Made some trays out of some wood and plastic rabbit fencing to fit on the shelves......

Filled three of the trays with six avg size zucchini, sliced about 3/16" thick.....(used slicer/dicier...not the knife)

Sliced up one tomato for testing....

Took several sneak peeks......

At 135F degrees it took about 7 hours to totally dehydrate the squash and tomato....

Zucchini and the tomato broke up like potato chips after being dehydrated.....

These are the six zucchini after being dehydrated.......

WOW...this is fun!
Attached Imageshttp://www.netcookingtalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=81&stc=1&d=1218836048 http://www.netcookingtalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=82&stc=1&d=1218836048 http://www.netcookingtalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=83&stc=1&d=1218836048 http://www.netcookingtalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=84&stc=1&d=1218836048 http://www.netcookingtalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=85&stc=1&d=1218836048 http://www.netcookingtalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=86&stc=1&d=1218836048

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Deadly Sushi
08-17-2008, 02:48 AM
This is really fantastic!!!!!!!!!! :punk:
How much did you spend on the whole thing???

Very very creative!!!!

Passingtime2
08-17-2008, 09:32 AM
Now that I know the dehydrator will work in a passive mode, I decided to go ahead and up grade it a little.

Removed all the black plastic.....

Installed (bailing wire) a $2.00, 1350 watt heater that I got at the Hospice thrift shop. I had to take the tip over safety out so it would work on it's side....It looks low but it's about 10" from the floor, and the floor did not get warm...

Covered the frame with a reinforced foil for fire proofing....

Installed a temp gauge.....

Made some trays out of some wood and plastic rabbit fencing to fit on the shelves......

Filled three of the trays with six avg size zucchini, sliced about 3/16" thick.....(used slicer/dicier...not the knife)

Sliced up one tomato for testing....

Took several sneak peeks......

At 135F degrees it took about 7 hours to totally dehydrate the squash and tomato....

Zucchini and the tomato broke up like potato chips after being dehydrated.....

These are the six zucchini after being dehydrated.......

WOW...this is fun!
Attached Imageshttp://www.netcookingtalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=81&stc=1&d=1218836048 http://www.netcookingtalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=82&stc=1&d=1218836048 http://www.netcookingtalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=83&stc=1&d=1218836048 http://www.netcookingtalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=84&stc=1&d=1218836048 http://www.netcookingtalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=85&stc=1&d=1218836048 http://www.netcookingtalk.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=86&stc=1&d=1218836048

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I'm reposting this....I don't think the pics came thru

Passingtime2
08-17-2008, 09:34 AM
This is really fantastic!!!!!!!!!! :punk:
How much did you spend on the whole thing???

Very very creative!!!!


I've got $2.00 in the heater that I bought at the Hospice thrift shop. All the other stuff I had laying around.