How to make a food dehydrator – A Sun Dryer, consisting of two screened frames, one inverted over the other (Fig. 654), supported on a rack (Fig. 656). The vegetables to be dried are spread out upon the screen wire of the lower frame, and the upper frame covers them and protects them from flying insects. Crawling insects can be kept away by standing the legs of the dryer-rack in tin cans filled with water (F, Fig. 653).
Excerpt from the book: “Carpentry & mechanics for boys: up-to-the-minute handicraft” by Hall, A. Neely (Albert Neely), Publication date 1918 / Publisher Boston: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co.
Make the pair of screened frames, first, then the rack of the right size to accommodate the frames. Figure 655 shows the dimensions of side strips A and end strips B, used for the frames of the author’s dryer shown in Fig. 652; and Fig. 657 gives the correct dimensions for legs strips C, and connecting crosspieces D and E of the rack. If you make the frames of different proportions than these, you can figure out the length dimensions for the crosspieces of the rack after the frames have been put together.
Figures 653 and 656 show how the rack members are assembled. Set crosspieces D 4 inches below the tops of legs C, so the upper screened frame will come even with the tops of the legs. The frames rest upon crosspieces D, and crosspieces E and the upper ends of legs C hold the frames in place.
Before covering the frames with screen-wire, give them and the rack a coat of green paint. Galvanized screen-wire is better than Japanned wire for covering the frames. Two yards of wire 24 inches wide will be required. Stretch the wire tight over the frames, and after tacking it in place, cover its edges with the narrow molding used upon window and door screens. Fasten this molding with brads.
Fig. 653. — Cross-Section of Sun Dryer Shown in Fig. 652.
Fig. 654. — Screened Frames
Fig. 655. — Frame Strips
Fig. 656. — Dryer Rack
Fig. 657. — Rack Strips
Instead of screening the upper frame, you can glaze it.
Glass intensifies the sun’s heat, and thus speeds up the drying process. But if you do glaze the upper sash, cut openings in the side edges of the frames to permit a free circulation of air over the vegetables.
Besides serving as a dryer, this apparatus can be used in the Fall as A Rack for Ripening Tomatoes that have been picked green to save them from frost.