Solar Dehydrator

So, couple weeks ago I decided to make a solar dehydrator as a rainy day project. I went with a down draft style. I think It turned out pretty good, but I am kind of struggling with how to dial it in. I am starting out with just a black box for heat and draft. I’ve seen designs for cans, corrugation and painted mesh, but I want to get some base temperatures and drafts before I spend the time and modify it. I also have a solar powered vent fan from another project that I could add. The vent is also assisted by the shingle roof section, and I may change that. So, this is my setup before modifications. I am posting in hopes of getting some advice from people who have one themselves and have already worked things out.

I will repost the tweaked final design

Jewelweed

Jewelweed revisited

I think I should explain my take on jewelweed. Jewelweed neutralizes the chemical in stinging nettles but so does baking soda. However, baking soda does not grow in the woods, so knowing jewelweed comes in handy. Jewelweed does not treat the rash (or chemical burn) very well, which is not to say it does not help but there are better things. So if you can’t use use it fast don’t bother.

Almost the same deal with poison ivy. If you get poison ivy, wiping with jewelweed will get the oil off you. So would alcohol, gasoline, etc. but again, they are not in the woods. Unlike nettles though, once you have the rash a jewelweed poultice will stop the itch and help healing. You have to keep it on for hours though and it can take days.

The first four pictures are jewelweed (our hero.) To use it break open the stock and apply the slimy juice. Not rocket science. For poison ivy removal after accidental exposure scrub with juice. I actually just crush the entire plant and rub hard.

The next two pictures are two types of stinging nettle, a great edible plant but no fun to brush up against. I talk about foraging it in other posts. Jewelweed juice stops the burn right away–again, to use it rub it on the affected area.

The rest of the pictures are poison ivy and poison oak. Both have the same three leaf structure but poison oak has leaves that look like oak leaves where ivy just has a basic leaf. The first ivy pic shows it growing with Virginia creeper. Creeper has five leaves as opposed to to three, but it can grow with ivy so be careful. The last picture shows both ivy and oak growing together. Just a note, poison ivy and poison oak do not have thorns. Blackberry leaves can look like poison ivy sometimes, but has thorns.

Happy Hunting