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Author Topic: I want to build a dryer
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I want to build a dryer    (Posted Thu, Mar 1 '07 at 08:46 UTC)

Hello, this is my first post here,

I need very cheap system for drying various kinds of herbs. Since commercial solutions were too expensive I decided to make it on my own, so this is how it should look
I haven't yet decided on measurements, but I think it could be 10 ft (3 meters) high, and the base should be 3 by 3 ft ( 1 meter). A fan would blow air from the bottom, I think common household 200 W fan would do the job. These green shelves will be made of some plastic mesh so almost nothing could fall through. In real model there will be more shelves than on this virtual one.

This dryer can be build of metal sheets, plywood, even cardboard, and the main beauty of it is that you can start with just one and then build 100 (if you need that much).

But I've never actually seen a herb dryer. I saw some pictures only, and I'm good with physics, so desing of this model is based only on my theoretical knowledge. What do you think about it? How efficient will it be? How fast should air flow through? This dryer doesn't have a heater, it just blows (plenty of) cold air, could this be a problem? Air on the top will be more moist than air on the bottom, could this damage herbs that are on the top?

Re: I want to build a dryer    (Posted Tue, Mar 27 '07 at 03:21 UTC)

I thank you all for reading my post, but i would like to see some answer, any answer, please.

 inland empire
Re: I want to build a dryer    (Posted Tue, Apr 10 '07 at 06:49 UTC)

Looks like a giant food dehydrator like I see on the infomercials. Would that be too small for your operations? I bet Walmart even has one.

Mosaic gonna be a farmer soon!
Re: I want to build a dryer    (Posted Mon, Apr 16 '07 at 05:40 UTC)

I would think you need something to take the moisture out of the air. I don't think just blowing air through would do it, as with the size that you're proposing there's going to be a lot of moisture inside from the abundance of herbs. Unless maybe if it's in a small room that contains a dehumidifier.

Re: I want to build a dryer    (Posted Tue, Apr 17 '07 at 12:50 UTC)

Small - as I said one unit is small, but I can easily built as much as I need/can, I think that's better that build one big dryer, spend a lot of money, and then when you need bigger what will you do.

Humidity - I plan to put it in a large airy barn. Plenty of air flow though barn's walls, and I think that fan will make sufficient airflow, so that humidity will not be high (at least at bottom levels)

Re: I want to build a dryer    (Posted Thu, Apr 19 '07 at 08:26 UTC)

I own an herb farm in Tennessee, I dry and blend seasonings and teas for market by two methods. One being the commercial dehydrator, which is very efficient, just not big enough. The other is by hanging ...we have a special barn that we use for drying, you need good circulation and don't let it get too hot in the drying room.

The dehydrator is designed to dry them over a period of time by removing the moisture from the leaves, and still retain the oils for aroma and taste.

Good luck with your project...keep us informed as to how it goes.

Bea Kunz Sage Hill Farms EatWell-BeWell~ EatWell-BeWell~ Petersburg,TN. 37144
Re: I want to build a dryer    (Posted Fri, Apr 27 '07 at 05:51 UTC)

I looked at your design. Why don't you lay it down on it's side and blow the air over everthing instead of up through. I also think you don't need a strong wind as much as a constant one. If you put your unit on it's side you'll have much more surface area. I'd also suggest you think in terms of condensation. Are you in a very humid area? I don't know what you're planning on using as your building materials but you could think about using something to act as a surface to trap condensation, so your moisture isn't reabsorbed by your herbs. If you're going to use your airy barn, why don't you hang your herbs the old-fashioned way? I'd be curious to know how your drying box works. Your design looks a lot like a baker's cooling rack. They are already commercially available. Good luck.

Earth's Promise Farm
Re: I want to build a dryer    (Posted Tue, Jun 26 '07 at 07:40 UTC)
Re: I want to build a dryer    (Posted Fri, Oct 12 '07 at 06:32 UTC)

I think your dryer will work very well.

Several years back my husband made a food dryer almost identical to your design. We based the dryer size on some old window screens. Probably about 22x36 inches. He place the racks about 3 inches appart. The dryer held 8 screens. So the dryer was about 38 inchels tall The size was similar to a small washing machine.

The box was made of plywood with a swinging door on the front. We used a industrial bathroom heater fan unit and mounted it to the bottom of the box about 6 inches from the lowest screen. The3 vent holes on top and bottom of the side pannels and back wall were drilled holes 1 1/2 inches diameter I stapled insect reening over the holes on the inside to prevent flys from entering the dryer.

We used this for many years, and made dried apples, banabas and squash in Mass, onions in CA and dried mangos and mango leather in Hawaii.

Good luck with yours!

live in peace
Re: What is dryer    (Posted Fri, Nov 30 '07 at 11:02 UTC)

Sry im from finland and bad eng. lang. and thats why i asking it.

sry i dont understand that "handle"
Re: I want to build a dryer    (Posted Sun, Mar 2 '08 at 09:54 UTC)

Food Networks' Alton Brown on the show Good Eats made a dryer using a specific furnace filter. There may be something about it on their web pages.

Re: I want to build a dryer    (Posted Tue, Aug 19 '08 at 11:59 UTC)


I agree about drying horizontal instead of vertical. For 20 years I?ve used the same basic principle, but horizontally in an old school-bus. One whole side of the bus is strung with screen-suspending wires. It will hold over 75 screens that are 2x3 feet. I don?t need a cabinet since the attic fan PULLS air over the screens through the wind tunnel, which is formed by one big sheet of clear plastic that?s attached to the ceiling and weighted down on the floor when turned on. Heat / dehumidification sources are 3 dehumidifiers and an optional propane heater. It will dry anything. (It is parked in a barn so I don?t get any solar heat.)

I started with a couple vertical dryers (used grocery-store bread racks), wrapped with plastic (fans sucking ? not blowing). But there is not enough free air circulation. Fast velocity air circulating over the herbs is essential. 90-100 degrees F is perfect running temp.

Re: I want to build a dryer    (Posted Sun, Aug 29 '10 at 12:05 UTC)

I have tried several years to make it on my own way even i built one big with a traditional clay oven in the back and the oven just blow out well dont forget you musto to control moisture inside dont forget this is important

Aztecasplants herbs and salvia divinorum company from Mexico
Your health is in your hands    (Posted Fri, Sep 10 '10 at 06:34 UTC)

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The mask stays on hair 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water and mild shampoo.
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