DIY : Making a Solar Dehydrator – Rami James – Medium

ClickClackClunk is an ongoing online experiment in therapeutic woodworking as a way to escape from the day-to-day stresses of development work. If you’d like to read more about why, click here.

Here I make the box for the Solar Dehydrator.

I’ve been wanting for a while now to make a solar dehydrator. We have all sorts of fun things growing in the garden now and I’d like to make sure that nothing goes to waste. For preservation I have two options: jams or drying. So, let’s make something to dry stuff in! How hard can it be?

If you’d prefer to watch the video:

The Window

I used pine slats from an old bed for the window and sides of the box.

The window was joined with lap joints. I set the tablesaw to exactly half the height of the wood and chopped it out by running the wood over the saw until it was smooth. It took a long time to hog these out. Professionals use a saw with a long arbor and a dado stack to make stuff like this go fast. I have no such luxury.

Maybe next time I’ll make a jig and do this on the router. Maybe that is faster.

Lots of glue and clamps later it was square and solid.

I also took my router and inset a groove for where the glass will go. I still have to find a piece of glass that is the right size (53cm square).

The Box

I wanted to use box joints on the box itself. This was my first frustrating attempt.

This was my bazillionth frustrating attempt. I eventually got something passable by creating a small jig to “hop” over the width of the saw blade.

It didn’t go well. I have decided I do not like box joints. I should have just done this by hand.

These god damned thing didn’t mate and I threw out all this work.

And I decided to just make small wooden brackets for the corners and get on with my life.

It’s ugly. I don’t care.

And then I screwed on some scraps for the bottom.

And some handles and a place for the back hinge to lay flat on.

What I learned this week

I learned that I can’t be so blase about complicated stuff like box joints. I see them used online all the time.. and I thought it would be easy. I’m sure that there is a better way to do this than I did.. but I can’t think of it yet.

I keep butting up against a behavior of mine where I try to do the most complicated solution that I can think of instead of what is quick and easy — and likely to turn out nicest. I want to push myself, but I think I also have to find a way to get comfortable with so-so solutions.

Next week I’ll be making a simple stand for this to sit off the floor. I also need to deal with ventilating the box, since I was told that is critical in not “cooking” the fruits and vegetables inside.

Thanks for reading!


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