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Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Above is a view of the front of the dehydrator showing the computer fan on the right to add more air into the unit, the electrical box mounted on top that the computer fan is wired through containing the dimmer switch to control fan speed, and the door which is simply a piece of plywood that slides up & down in wood grooves.

 

Below is a view of the wire racks & cookie sheets. I cover the inside floor with a couple layers of paper towels which handly soak up any drippings.

 

Above is a view of the backside showing a hole cut to supply air to the space heater.  Hole is covered with screen to bugproof inside.  Venting of moisture & excess heat is accomplished with holes drill on the top of the unit with screen added from the inside and venting is controlled by simply closing or opening pieces of wood attached with hinges.

is Above is a view of the inside showing the spaceheater in the rear with a piece of tin arching across it to project the heat toward the front more.  Also pictured is the cumputer fan bought at Radio Shack mounted on the side of dehydrator to help blow in more air when needed.   It's hooked up to a simple dimmer light switch to control the speed, and run into an electrical box mounted on top of the dehydrator, and then to a power cord to plug into the wall receptical.

 

 

 

Below is pictured the inside of the dehydrator showing space heater and wood rails for holding wire food racks and cookie sheets.

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This is one more image I felt was needed for clearity.
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Wow -- I'm totally impressed with this one!! Kudos to you!

If there were 10 trays and it was black on the outside, I'd swear it was the EquiFlow I bought 20 years ago.

What have you dehydrated so far?? I will be dehydrating lemon grass next.
wow, neat! .......you're one handy-man!
I've done carrots, strawberries, apples, bell peppers, bananas, tomatoes, zuchinni, & lots of jerky. What have you dried?

Lynn Shaw said:
Wow -- I'm totally impressed with this one!! Kudos to you!

If there were 10 trays and it was black on the outside, I'd swear it was the EquiFlow I bought 20 years ago.

What have you dehydrated so far?? I will be dehydrating lemon grass next.
Paul, I've dried most of the herbs I grow and many of the vegetables and fruits too. Most veggies that are dehydrated are used in soups or stews and I dehydrate for ease of preservation and storage. When I get overwhelmed with summer squash, they are cut for the dehydrator. lol Recently, I've dried apples, leeks, onions, basil, oregano, bee balm, squash, and lemon grass.

Some herbs and roots are dried for teas and also for natural dyeing. So many of these can be used fresh but during the Winters, it's not available fresh and dehydrated helps to prevent mold from occurring.

I also dry naturally, mostly when I'm dealing with bulk -- I'm getting ready to pick bundles of an Artemesia (herb, ornamental, dyestuff) and those will be hung in the greenhouse instead of dehydrating since I have so much of it to dry.

I recently learned that Rhubarb leaves are a natural mordant for dyeing so I plan to dehydrate the rhubarb leaves. Since the leaves are poisonous, I'll have to take a few extra precautions after they have dried like wet sponging the interior. I wouldn't want any dried rhubarb leaves going into a jar of another dried substance!!
What are you dyeing? Are you a weaver /spinner?

Lynn Shaw said:
Paul, I've dried most of the herbs I grow and many of the vegetables and fruits too. Most veggies that are dehydrated are used in soups or stews and I dehydrate for ease of preservation and storage. When I get overwhelmed with summer squash, they are cut for the dehydrator. lol Recently, I've dried apples, leeks, onions, basil, oregano, bee balm, squash, and lemon grass.

Some herbs and roots are dried for teas and also for natural dyeing. So many of these can be used fresh but during the Winters, it's not available fresh and dehydrated helps to prevent mold from occurring.

I also dry naturally, mostly when I'm dealing with bulk -- I'm getting ready to pick bundles of an Artemesia (herb, ornamental, dyestuff) and those will be hung in the greenhouse instead of dehydrating since I have so much of it to dry.

I recently learned that Rhubarb leaves are a natural mordant for dyeing so I plan to dehydrate the rhubarb leaves. Since the leaves are poisonous, I'll have to take a few extra precautions after they have dried like wet sponging the interior. I wouldn't want any dried rhubarb leaves going into a jar of another dried substance!!
I'm a quilter and have enjoyed dying cotton, linen, and some wools for years. (I used to have my own business dyeing fabrics too). I have done a bit of weaving but am really inexperienced at that skill. This year I purchased a spinning wheel (Ashford) and hopefully teach myself how to spin wool or flax. I work more with linen than with wool but appreciate both fibers.

There are so many plants that have the ability to color/dye cloth and I want to experiment with several that are not documented as dyestuffs. There's always some experiment going on here.....lol

Paul Lueders said:
What are you dyeing? Are you a weaver /spinner?

Lynn Shaw said:
Paul, I've dried most of the herbs I grow and many of the vegetables and fruits too. Most veggies that are dehydrated are used in soups or stews and I dehydrate for ease of preservation and storage. When I get overwhelmed with summer squash, they are cut for the dehydrator. lol Recently, I've dried apples, leeks, onions, basil, oregano, bee balm, squash, and lemon grass.

Some herbs and roots are dried for teas and also for natural dyeing. So many of these can be used fresh but during the Winters, it's not available fresh and dehydrated helps to prevent mold from occurring.

I also dry naturally, mostly when I'm dealing with bulk -- I'm getting ready to pick bundles of an Artemesia (herb, ornamental, dyestuff) and those will be hung in the greenhouse instead of dehydrating since I have so much of it to dry.

I recently learned that Rhubarb leaves are a natural mordant for dyeing so I plan to dehydrate the rhubarb leaves. Since the leaves are poisonous, I'll have to take a few extra precautions after they have dried like wet sponging the interior. I wouldn't want any dried rhubarb leaves going into a jar of another dried substance!!

Awesome! Great job. I wanna build one!

How did you wire the computer fan to the dimmer switch? And is the space heater also on the same circuit as the computer fan?

Paul Lueders said:

This is one more image I felt was needed for clearity.

Mr Paul,

Great unit! I built a drying unit for tobacco 2 years ago. It is the size of a telephone booth and I used a PID that had ramp and soak ability. I could put green tobacco in and 5 days later it was cured and smokeable.

I want to use it this year for dehydrating and your article doesn't tell us how hot or what type of cycle we are to use :)

We currently can and ferment and freeze as last option due to us being in hurricane area though we have been very lucky in the last few years and not had one.

Your unit is pretty well thought out and very affordable as well.

Do you use a humidity meter to know when to quit drying?

Thanks so much for posting and maintaining the post

Mike

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