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Dry It, You'll Like It

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Project by woodrookieII posted 879 days ago 2940 views 12 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

30 years or so ago The Mrs. requested a dehydrator for doing fruit leathers, jerky, and just general drying fruits and veggies. So I found this outfit called Living Foods Dehydrators and ordered their plans. Remember this was 30 years or so ago. Well, The Mrs. eventually wore the thing out. So I made her a new one. Called the same outfit to purchase the Warm Air Generator (WAG) and surgical screening for the trays. Used (geographical reference word removed here) Baltic Birch plywood for the box, and fine pine for the trays and tray supports, and brass furniture. The top, which slides to allow the rising moisture laden warm air to escape, is hardboard to resist the rising heat and I left the inside of the entire unit unfinished. I made a twin for one of the daughters-in-laws as she wishes to start drying stuff. The sides are 16” x 16”.

.....rookieII





19 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2174 days


#1 posted 879 days ago

Dehydrate and don’t be late LOL Wow that’s a big unit great job.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

2876 posts in 1682 days


#2 posted 879 days ago

Those dehydrators are great, I used my fish smoker to dry some Macintosh apples when my son was in Iraq-
Afghanistan, since fresh apples would not make it over there, and could not keep up with the demand from
the troops, for apples and buffalo jerky, then I forgot after he got out. Will have to check out your site, and get moving on making a good dehydrator for my own use. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View jaykaypur's profile

jaykaypur

3252 posts in 1005 days


#3 posted 879 days ago

Thats a great rig. Good job.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1290 days


#4 posted 879 days ago

Very nicely done!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2245 days


#5 posted 879 days ago

very nice build. was just looking at a fruit dehydrator a few days ago, nice to see a shop made one that lasts 30 years.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Martyroc's profile

Martyroc

2708 posts in 903 days


#6 posted 879 days ago

Really nice, I need to build one of those. 30 Years huh, that sounds like my schedule. Is this from a plan or of your own design?

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Woodstock's profile

Woodstock

226 posts in 1885 days


#7 posted 879 days ago

Ah this brings back some VERY fond memories as a kid with really bad allergies to artificial food coloring and flavoring that was in EVERYTHING back in the 60’s and 70’s. We made up most of our own foodstuffs for me to survive.

Let me let you in on a little secret. 1/4” thick x1”x2” blocks of cut (and the seeds removed) watermelon is WONDERFUL dried. Comes out looking like like thick rough construction paper. Better than candy. I used to catch you know what from my mom when I raided the dryer we had. Very little ever made it to the storage shelf. Pineapple/oranges and bananas are also good.

And we made our own jerky that is 1000% better than the stuff you buy shrink wrapped today.

(Ah nuts. Did it again. Now I’m hungry. Off to raid the kitchen…)

-Dave

-- I'm not old. Just "well seasoned".

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

1155 posts in 894 days


#8 posted 879 days ago

We were thinking about buying a large dehydrator. I found the dryit.com website but it is REALLY thin on details. No pictures or anything. What IS a Warm Air Generator? How much electricity does it use? How much screening would I need to build something like you did? Thanks!

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

1155 posts in 894 days


#9 posted 879 days ago

I found their home page (google took me somewhere else originally). I’m good – thanks. I would be curious how long it takes to do something like apples or other fruits in your dryer. I was considering a fan forced unit for quick drying.

View woodrookieII's profile

woodrookieII

211 posts in 1260 days


#10 posted 879 days ago

If you ask the folks at the website they’ll sell you the plans. That’s what I did 30 years or so ago. No need for plans this time tho.

Fan forced drying removes too much flavor and too many nutrients. Resist the urge for instantly dried stuff. Let the chimney effect do it’s thing and you’ll be very pleased.

Their book, Dry It You’ll Like It, is a fun/must read if you’re serious and a newbie to drying.

....rookieII

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

1155 posts in 894 days


#11 posted 879 days ago

We have a Ronco, but it’s too small and S L O W to do any volume. Is the WAG basically a heating element? I would consider building one just for the extra capacity. And I wonder if I could simply utilize the base of my existing Ronco, which is just a low temp element. I could even but a thermostat in there to maintain a constant temp.

View daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

1373 posts in 2511 days


#12 posted 879 days ago

Mediterranean Baltic Birch? Isn’t that an oxymoron? baltic birch is normally from Russia

I’d like to build a dehydrator but will probably make a solar model but is the birch selected for any particular reason?

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View woodrookieII's profile

woodrookieII

211 posts in 1260 days


#13 posted 879 days ago

Me and woodworker in the same sentence is an oxymoron for sure. :)

I selected the Baltic birch for is stability, it’s resistance to losing it’s shape.

....rookieII

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

536 posts in 1096 days


#14 posted 877 days ago

Well, I know nothing about US geography so I thought : I will shut up.

But as Daltxguy has made a comment…
After the dissolution of USSR, Russia as only a limited access to the Baltic.

You now have Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on the coast.
have a look at Wikipedia Baltic sea.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View daltxguy's profile

daltxguy

1373 posts in 2511 days


#15 posted 877 days ago

thanks rookieII – so any stable wood is desirable. I suppose this might be important because of the relative differences of temp and humidity on inside vs outside of the box?

Sylvain, I believe ‘baltic birch ply’ also comes from Finland. So, I wonder if the term is used more liberally now or refers more to the product or the source of a specific kind of birch which grows in that region. It’s probably not inconceivable that baltic birch ply now comes from china, too with the logs coming from somewhere else. But, I have never seen a birch tree in the Mediterranean

On the other hand, I grow a californian pine here in NZ as well as Australian blackwood and eucalaypts and north american and european trees here in NZ, so I suppose anything is possible.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

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