Building a Food Dehydrator...Plans? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Does anyone in the forum know of a URL that would give plans for building a food dehydrator (electric not solar)? I thought I saw such plans online somewhere, but didn't save the addy. If anyone knows, please post. It doesn't seem as if it would be all that hard to build. Any thoughts? We thought we would try building our own. We figure it's better to get used to making our own neccessities now, as we think that's what we could be forced to do in a little over a year anyway. Thanks for any help in advance. Bobbi

-- Bobbi (, November 18, 1998


Hi, Bobbi,

I bought a Mr. Coffee dehydrater at the Walmart store in town, but you could buy it on-line at

Just search on food dehydrater. I can't imagine being able to build one for much less than it costs to buy one at this price. It works great, and the fan cuts drying time way down. I figure after TSHTF I can put the trays in the car (will still get hot in there on sunny days!) and dry stuff in there.

Good Luck!

-- Arewyn (, November 18, 1998.


Super K Mart has 3 different designs from 30 to 80 bucks. The 30 buck one has a fan etc. Can't build one for that and they DO WORK, QUITE WELL>


-- Chuck a Night Driver (, November 18, 1998.

Related to dehydraters, see the discussion on Vacuum Sealer is the URL.

The Tilia FreshSaver (aka FoodSaver) is an excellent complement to a dehydrator, and I was just using it last night on all kinds of food and packaging including dehydrated apples and bananas, pasta (poke a hole in the original bag before placing it into the foodsaver bag), dehydrated hummus mix, rice mixes, soaked and sprouted almonds, tea bags, chocolate bars, hot chocolate mix packets, coffee, filters, etc. The boxes containing dehydrated mixes get all crunched up by the vacuum process but it doesn't hurt the product.

Tilia is at and even though this is a 'future' (under construction) website, they have a link to DejaNews with a newsgroup discussion search on 'FoodSaver' so you can read the latest chatter on this topic (there is an entire newsgroup on the subject, Also they have an 800 number and a link to an online source with photos.

-- Jon (, November 18, 1998.

The most important part that you will need is the screening upon which you place the food while it's drying; it needs to be food grade (like no galvanized window screening). Search the web and local merchants for that, then you can make 'screens' by making a frame and stapling the screening to that.

You'll need a framework in which to slide the screens, unless you are lucky enough to have a large amount of horizontal space in which to lay them out. If you measure the thickness of the screen after you've made it, then allow another small distance between screens for air circulation, you can build a frame with 'teeth' on the inside that will hold the screens in place, spaced nicely.

If you need more info, e-mail me directly; I have a non-electric (goes in a warm spot or the oven) dehydrator, and I'll be glad to help you make your own.

-- Karen Cook (, November 18, 1998.

I realize you are interested in building an electric dehydrator, but thought I'd pass along this address in case you (or anyone else) is interested in buying a solar dehydrator. (

-- Bill S. (, November 19, 1998.

Look for the book, Dry It You'll like it by Gen MacManiman. It's a reprint of a 1977 book, and a food drying classic. It has plans in the back for the food dryer they designed. (we built one from their kit, but gave it away 10 years ago...darn!) The dryer has 7 shelves, 2' x 2', plywood box on legs, heated with lightbulbs. It worked.. good for drying quantities of food. I checked and they have it listed, 6.95 + handling, and 4 to 6 weeks wait..I think this is what you are looking for. (I just found a copy in a used bookstore... great recipes! Good luck..

-- Suzanne (, November 19, 1998.

Just checked the book, and they don't mention the lightbulb heating system, but make some other suggestions (we had one of the first ones)

-- Suzanne (, November 19, 1998.

I am looking for a set of plans for a electric food dehydrator to. Please send me info also. Thanks for your time

-- Howard mims (, March 05, 2000.

i am also looking for plans to build a food dryer

-- peg harless (, September 23, 2000.

I'm also looking. for the plans to build a home made dehyradtor as a part a of scout plan. thanks.

-- patday (, October 07, 2000.

I am also looking for plans to build a electric food dehydrator. I have apple trees and want to dry apples as well as make jerkey. If you've come up with any plans, I would appreciate you forwarding them to me as well. Thanks Walt

-- Walter R. DeRosia (, May 03, 2004.

My neighbor built an electric food dehydrator several years ago. When he died his son gave it to me. I would say you could replicate the design for under $30...maybe less depending on how big you want to make it. The one I was given has about had it, and I'm going to build a bigger one. If you want to know how i'm doing it, I'd be glad to mail you the plans for a couple of dollars. Email me if your interested. I might put my design on my web page at a later date.

-- John (, August 09, 2004.

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