If you want to build a food dehydrator, you do not need much more than time, some pieces of wood and patience. Making your own food dehydrator is not only a means to eating healthier, it is also a great survival tool because it allows you to preserve fresh produce while maintaining its nutritional value.
The various plans for building this appliance also provide you with plenty of options so you can create exactly what you want, whether that is a solar-powered device, a portable one or something to use in your home on a regular basis.
To build a food dehydrator, you must first gather your materials, which should include a piece of particle board that is one inch in thickness, several one by two beams, some pieces of plywood, a quarter inch thick, a fan and a screen wire cover.
You also need a few light polycarbonate trays, though you may substitute these with another material if necessary. However, doing so may not provide you with dried foods that are free from toxins or metals, low in acidity or properly dehydrated.
When you are making your dehydrator, you should keep a few things in mind. For instance, the trays can be any size but you have to build the frame and each row to fit their dimensions. Since you are building this based on your personal needs and materials available to you, the size and amount of wood required to perform this task is going to vary from person to person. If you want a dehydrator that is small, easy to store or portable, you are likely to use less material than someone who prefers a stronger, more durable appliance.
Once you collect these materials and your tools, you can begin to build a food dehydrator. Start by making sure your particle board is a few inches bigger on all sides than your drying trays, as this is going to serve as your base. If your measurements are accurate, go ahead and build the frame using the one by two beams. Connect these pieces to the plywood, which is going to serve as the sides and top of the dehydrator.
After you build the outer shell, use the remaining one by two's to line the inside, as these are going to hold up the trays, as well as provide additional support. Just remember to put the beams high enough so that the heating element, which is to sit on the base of the dehydrator, does not come too close to the trays.
Now that you build the box and set up the support beams for the trays, you can install the fan, which should not be larger than four inches around, as you do not want something with too much power.
Next, set up the porcelain lamp base with a ceramic heat coil of 600 watts so you have enough hot air to actually dehydrate your food. Secure the lamp to the base of the dehydrator and wire it to a standard three-prong plug or, if you like, you may attach it to a thermostat that can read up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cover the fan opening, which should be about six by six inches, with a screen wire cover and install a door with hinges, eyes and hooks to protect the dehydrator and retain the heat. Now, place your food on the trays, heat up the appliance and enjoy the fruits of your labor, as your lesson on how to build a food dehydrator is now complete.
If you want to build a food dehydrator, do not waste time getting started since the food you preserve today could keep you alive tomorrow, should a world crisis occur. For survival purposes, it may also help you to research other plans and keep them handy, especially those that instruct you on how to make a solar dehydrator.