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Build a solar food dehydrator

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

Use this solar food dehydrator to make dried healthy snacks for your next camping or hiking trip.



  • 6 1″ x 2″ x 10′ pine boards (actual size of boards: 3/4″ x 1 1/2″)
    • Sides — 12 14″ boards, 4 18 3/4″ boards
    • Top and bottom — 4 14″, 4 11″
    • Drawers — 8 14″, 8 10 3/4″
    • Door — 2 20″, 2 11″
  • 5′ of 48″-wide clean plastic window screen
  • 4 2″ corner brackets
  • 1 1 1/2″ hook and eye
  • 2 2″ hinges
  • About 110 1 1/4″ exterior wood screws
  • Crosscut saw
  • Ruler
  • Utility knife
  • Square
  • Drill
  • Drill bits (for pre-drilling screw holes)
  • Countersink bit (the drill bits and countersink bit will make the screws flush with the surface of the wood and help prevent the wood from splitting)
  • 3/4″ spade bit (for ventilation holes in the drawer sides)
  • Sandpaper
  • Staple gun and staples


dehydrator-11. Cut all the boards to length. All the boards are 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ so you only need to cut the boards to length.


dehydrator-22. Assemble the two sides.



3. Screw the top and bottom in place. (You now have a sturdy framed box.)



4. Drill the 3/4″ ventilation holes in the sides of the eight drawer boards, then screw the drawers together.



5. Build the door using the L brackets. Hinge the door into place and screw in the hook and eye.


dehydrator-66. Staple the window screen onto the top, bottom, sides and back of the frame. Staple screen to the bottom of the four drawers and the door. Your dehydrator is complete.



This old-fashioned method of drying food requires heat from the sun and plenty of natural air circulation.

Get started by trying thinly sliced apples. The time it takes to dry the apples varies depending on the humidity in the air and the heat from the sun. At 70 degrees with dry, sunny weather, it takes about two days.

Cover your dehydrator at night or bring it inside to avoid dew getting on it.

For specifics on sun-drying food, visit these useful websites:

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7 Comments on Build a solar food dehydrator

  1. I plan to make a dehydrator and use it all summer.

  2. Ldshadowlady // January 8, 2016 at 1:05 pm // Reply

    i gonna make a video about this

  3. This is great. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I made this and have yet to use it but am ready and waiting

  5. scout grandma // May 20, 2014 at 4:50 pm // Reply

    A great useful project for my grandsons. And a great gift for grandma the gardener

  6. referring to the sides, top, bottom drawers and door. I see how big they are supposed to be, but those numbers that come before the measurements, are those referring to the number of each piece needed?

  7. solor hydrator

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