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Monday, June 30, 2014

Build an Easy Solar Dehydrator, Coffee Can Bin, Grill Without a Grill

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543




"Attack another’s rights and you destroy your own."
-- John Jay Chapman


Building a solar dehydrator

This is so simple that it can be done in an afternoon.

DIY Solar Dehydrator

Most things can be dehydrated. It involves removing the moisture from food items to preserve them.

You will need…

  • A piece of plywood about 3 feet long and a foot wide
  • Two pieces of 2×4 as long as your plywood
  • Two more pieces of 2×4 as wide as your plywood
  • A piece of plexiglass to fit on top of your finished box
  • Matte black paint
  • Nails or screws
  • A drill bit to make really large holes in the 2x4s
  • A table
  • A box as wide as your plywood – can be wood or cardboard
  • Screen to fit on top of the box

Assembling the dehydrator

  1. Take your 2x4s and screw them along the edges of the plywood to make a shallow box.
  2. With the large drill bit, make 6 or 7 holes in one of the short ends. These will be vent holes.
  3. Paint all of this with the black paint.
  4. After the paint is dry, attach the plexiglass to the top of the box. (This is your air warming unit.)
  5. Prop up the air warming unit on the table with the vent holes on the higher end. Set the box on the table next to the air warming unit, with an open end up. Vent your air warmer into your box so the warm air will flow into the lower side of the box. It will look like a slide. This whole set-up should be facing full sun.

Using your solar dehydrator

Place anything you want to dry inside. Use shelves if you need more space. Place the screen over this and wait. If you position your dehydrator in full sun facing east or south in the morning, you could have dry material by evening. Western sun will dry material partially and will finish drying in the next day or so


Storage bin rack from recycled plastic coffee containers

My basement shop is filled with hundreds of small parts of various quantities and types. I build lots of different kinds of things, mostly from found or salvaged items.

 I noticed that my office was throwing away at least one, sometimes more, of these nice, sturdy, plastic containers every week. There had to be a good use for them, I thought. So I began collecting them.

 I found that the big box hardware stores wanted hundreds of dollars for their plastic storage bin rack systems. I didn't have hundreds of dollars to spend. At least not on plastic bins.

Step 1: Materials and tools needed

Materials needed:

·         Qty 21 - plastic coffee containers (rinsed out, unless you enjoy that stale coffee smell)

·         Qty 1 - 24" x 48" plywood sheet, 1/2" thick

·         Qty 1 - 1x6 pine board, 8' long (ripped into 2-1/2" wide boards, then cut to 48" long each. This will give you 4 boards, but you'll only use 3 of them)

·         Qty 30 - 1-5/8" coarse drywall screws (to hang the containers on and to attach the boards to the plywood sheet)

·         Wood glue

·         Paint (if you want to get all fancy)

More at:





My relentless search for useful things turned up these gems…


Do Some Grilling Without the Grill

The SolSource Solar Cooker is a 4-foot parabolic disc that reflects the sun’s ray’s onto one point: your skillet or pot, etc.  It can boil water in as little as 10 minutes or cook a steak in 20…never worry again about propane or charcoal.



Catnip Beats DEET for Repelling Mosquitos

Here’s a DIY Recipe to Use:

·         Rinse 2 cups stemmed catnip

·         Roll lightly with a rolling pin, then place a quart jar and cover with 3-4 cups of mild rice vinegar

·         Seal the jar and store in dark place, shaking once a day for two weeks

·         Strain

·         Spritz on your skin, in the yard or other places for which you want to be left alone

·         Avoid cats…


Convert an Old Refrigerato or Freezer into a Garage Tool Storage Center, use kitchen pot racks in your garage to hang tools…



Col. Littleton No. 11 Survival Belt

MacGyver would approve of this American-made belt…the band sneaks in 27 feet of 650 pound-per-inch parachute cord, which can be used for shelter, tourniquet or towline…



15 Things You Can Always Get for Free

On any given day, you can get something shiny and new without paying a dime. Here's how to get free stuff, both online and in stores.


You’ll always find good stuff at our store…


Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


P.S.  Please share this with others who might benefit


Got a News Tip or Resource to Share With the Poor Man?


A Shallow Planet Production

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