How to Make A
Food Stockpile That Never
(Ever!) Spoils


First, you'll need these parts, or similar:


  • 1x box of 100 ½" screws
  • Sandpaper
  • Electric drill
  • 1x 1" wood bore
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Handsaw


  • 4x pieces of 25.6", 2x2" wood
  • 2x pieces 20.5", 5.9x2" wood
  • 2x pieces 23.6", 2x2" wood
  • 1x piece 23.6", 5.9x2" wood
  • 1x piece 20.5x23.6" plywood

Solar Box

  • 2x pieces 51.2", 5.9x2" wood
  • 2x pieces 7.9", 2x2" wood
  • 1x piece 23.6", 5.9x2" wood
  • 1x 51.2x23.6" exterior grade plywood
  • 1x 27.5x51.2" (70x130cm) polycarbonate sheet
  • 1x black spray paint

Dehydration box

  • 2x pieces 19.7x27.6" plywood
  • 1x piece 23.6x27.6" plywood
  • 1x piece 22x24.4" plywood
  • 1x piece 26x22.8" plywood
  • 14x pieces 21.6", 0.5x0.5" wood
  • 14x pieces 19.3", 0.5x0.5" wood
  • 14x pieces 19.6", 0.5x0.5" wood
  • 2x 1½" brass hinges
  • 1x 20x22" insect screen

Now, we can start the base of your cabinet.

To do this take your four pieces of 25.6" wood and secure them to the narrow sides of two 20.5" pieces of timber.

Then fix your 23.6" cut of wood between the "legs" of your dehydrator.

Next, take 2 pieces of 23.6" wood and secure them to the opposite end of your frame in line with the top and bottom of your unit to ensure a gap like so.

Then take your 20.5 by 23.6" cut of plywood and fix it to the base of your frame.

Mark points at 6.5" intervals along your frame's sides and bore 3 to 5 holes in them to help with air flow...

And sand down your structure.

Next, to build your solar box, take your 51.2" pieces of wood and rest them against your frame.

Then place your 7.9" timber against them to act as a mark.

The angle should be around 20 degrees.

Once its cut, fasten your 7.9" piece of wood to the frame's end and screw your 51.2" timber to the top of the unit.

Then, fix another 23.6" piece of wood, with holes bored into it, to the bottom of your frame before attaching your last 51.2" timber to the top of the unit.

Next take your 51.2 by 23.6" cut of plywood and secure it inside the bottom of your "ramp".

Your next step is to build your dehydration chamber.

To do this take your 19.7 by 27.6", 23.6 by 27.6", 22 by 24.4", and 26 by 22.8" pieces of plywood and construct a cube with your screws.

Your unit's top should be a bit larger than the box itself.

Just be sure your final side includes hinges like those seen in the video.

To build your shelves - next - link your 14 pieces of 21.6" and 14 pieces of 19.3" wood into rectangular shapes like so.

Once you have all 7 frames fitted together you will need to secure your netting.

To do this simply eyeball the size and cut what you need before securing your net with staples.

It should be tight enough to bounce a coin on.

Then screw your 14 remaining 19.6" pieces of wood to the inside of your box at 3.4" intervals to act as a support.

At this point you can also paint your frame black to help it absorb the sun's heat.

Then staple insect-proof netting to the inside of your frame to cover the holes before securing your polycarbonate screen to the top of your solar box.

Your solar dryer is now ready to use.

Simply fill it with whichever food you wish to dry and let the sun do the work.

Once dried your food should last for 5 years - unspoiled - if stored properly.

This is just one of the many projects we'll share with you in the coming weeks and by no means the best.

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Mark Johnson

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