I've been thinking about doing this forever, finally got around to it.
Bill of MaterialsNesco FD-60 Snackmaster Dehydrator
($49.37 on Amazon.com
, free shipping with Amazon.com
Prime).Nesco LT-2W "Add-a-Tray"
need two @11.99 each on Amazon.com
, 23.98 total.
Insulation (optional), 0-$10Pocket Thermometer
(I used some white duct tape I had on-hand)
I personally spent about $90 on this project, YMMV.
, tape measure
(for optional insulation)Power drill and bits
(for optional thermometer)
Some sort of snips
(I used aviation/sheet metal snips, could probably use diagonal wire cutters or lots of other tools)
Ok. If you read the above and you're doing this, you've purchased the Nesco dehydrator
. Anybody who is aware of a certain ball oven product can probably spot the resemblance:
Now, how to make this ball-compatible? Being a sheet metal worker by trade, I had every intention of using the top of this thing and building a metal "oven body", but getting the thing in my hands I changed my mind. I will try to explain as I go.
Ok, for "reasons" I decided to use the included dehydrating trays in my build. The first thing you need to do is remove the rack or grid, I used tin snips
. Don't buy a tool to do this unless you just have nothing that will do it.
Now your trays are just loops. I didn't worry about the remaining grid bits on the edges, you can work them off if you want...
Assemble the trays on the bottom section and put a ball in there, crap it doesn't fit!!!
That's ok though, you read the bill of materials and bought the extra tray kits (you need two sets of two).
Snip the rack grids out of those and assemble. Now the ball fits easily. What you can also kind of see here, is that the inside "loops" are a little "shorter" than the outside loops, so the outside fits together tight but the inside loops have gaps in between. The dehydrator actually pushes heated air down in between the two layers of the trays, and the gaps act as diffusers to distribute the heat evenly. Pretty clever. Once I realized how the thing worked, I decided to use the trays rather than trying to fabricate something.
At this point you could install the top, plug it it, and you'd have a working ball oven. You'll want some sort of ball cup to hold the ball in the center of the oven, I used one of the centers from the trays that I had cut apart, works fine.
I decided to do a little more work though. I had some white duct tape on hand (true story!) so I started taping the bottom to the trays and the other trays to each other. I also taped shut the vent holes in the bottom, reasoning that I'm not really trying to "dehydrate" anything:
All taped up.
Seems like I skipped a picture, but I found some thin foam shelf liner at the local hardware store, figured it would work as insulation. I just measured and cut it to size, wrapped it around with the top off and taped it on there.
Wouldn't a thermometer be nice? Let's drill a hole...
to be continued...