Magazine article Sunset

Solar Food Dryer Hangs Up, Folds Away

Magazine article Sunset

Solar Food Dryer Hangs Up, Folds Away

Article excerpt

Drying fruits and vegetables couldn't be much simpler than with this easy-to-build solar food dryer. The three-tiered dryer is made of wooden frames fitted with nylon insect screening, providing a 1-1/2-inch-deep drying space from nylon cords; when not in use, it folds compactly.

The dryer shown here was designed and built for about $10 by Sara and Carl Tighe of Tempe, Arizona. To build one like it, you'll need five 8-foot-long 1 by 2's, 4-1/2 feet of 36-inch-wide nylon screen, one package each of #6 tacks and 3/4-inch brads, and 28 feet of 1/4-inch nylon cord. You'll also need a hammer, saw, and rill.

Cut the wood into 24 pieces, each 18 inches long. Make half-lap joints in each end of the wood (see diagram). Assemble frames as shown; check for squareness and nail together with brads.

Cut screening into six 18-inch squares, fold the edges under 3/4 inch, and secure with the tacks, starting at the center of each side of the frame and working towards the corners. …

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