Solar Dehydrator

Build a solar dehydrator
from a metal filing cabinet.


Solar Dehydrator
You Can Build


This simple dehydrator project
only requires a few materials.

This mobile dehydrator can
easily be pushed, or pulled
around with no strain to
the back.

A used filing cabinet make
good dehydrator, and only
require a little modification,
to turn it into a dehydrator.

Check at the local dump,
secondhand stores,
and the newspapers, for
a used filing cabinets.

The one shown in this
project was out near
the road with a free
sign on it, the people
were moving and did
not want to take it along.

Solar Dehydrator
Building Instructions

Cut out the bottom of the
filing cabinet drawers,
leave a one inch lip for
the trays to sit on.

Clean up ragged edges
with a file or angle grinder.

Dehydrator drawers
fruit dehydrator drawers

Cut a hole 10-1/2 inch by
7 inch hole near the
bottom on the back side,
to allow air to enter.

Drill a 7/16 inch hole
on all four corners to
start the cuts.

Place a louvered grill,
13 inches by 8-1/2
inches over the hole.
Place screen behind
the grill to keep out

There is no need for a vent
near the top of the cabinet,
as there is enough space
around the drawers to exit

Dehydrator venting
fruit dehydrator venting

If the dehydrator needs to
be moved, build a trolley
to move it about.

For this project a set of
bed irons with casters was
found at the free shed
at the dump.

Fabrication and welding
is required.

The trolley could also be
made of wood.

Dehydrator caddy
fruit dehydrator trolley

Build drying trays to fit
inside the drawers to
hold fruit for drying.

Trays for a legal size filing
cabinet is 13-3/4 inches
by 14-3/4,

Make the frame from 3/4
by 3-1/2 inch material.

Drill finger holes, 1 inch
from top, 3 inches from
ends, drill 5/8 inch, 1/2
inch deep.

Cover the bottom with
nylon screen and staple
into place.

Do not use galvanized
metal screen as it has
lead in the metal.

After stapling, nail wood
rails, 3/4 by 1/4 inch
thick on each bottom
side to keep the tray
nylon, away from the
metal, and provide for
some air movement
around the tray.

dehydrator drying trays


Paint the cabinet flat black
for better heating.

If the cabinet gets too hot,
open the top drawer slightly.

To dehydrate fruit, cut the
fruit into small equal sized
slices, spread the fruit evenly
over the surface of the
nylon screen.
Do not pile the fruit.
The dehydrated action
concentrates the natural
sugars, which gives the
fruit extra flavor and

Choose the fruit to hydrate,
do not use overripe or
bruised fruit.
Wash all fruit before

Fruit to dehydrate

Bananas, Apples, pineapples,
peaches, cherries, mangos,
blueberries, plums, and

Herbs and vegetables
also dehydrate well.

Dehydrating Food

Dehydrating food is one
of the oldest ways to
preserve food.

In the Middle Eastern region
of the world, grapes, dates
and figs fell naturally onto
hot sand and dehydrated

The people of that time
took note and started
dehydrating other foods.

Some of the foods were
seeds corn, apples, berries,
roots, meat, and fish .

They spread these foods
out on the ground, using
the heat of the sun to

In 1795, the French invented
the first mechanized

Dried food keeps well
because of the low moisture
Molds, yeasts, bacteria,
and enzymes that caused
food spoilage, require
moisture to grow.

Dehydrator Video


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Build a Dehydrator From a
Metal Filing Cabinet Plans,
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