Building a Solar Dehydrator

By: Archer

Finally finished my solar dehydrator. Started it last summer, completed most it, then ran out of summer. Decided to finish it last weekend.

Initial tests showed that on a 85+ day the inside was over 125. I need to tweak it a bit, want to add a few more air holes between the heater box and the food box (engineering mistake here… ). I also want to paint some cans black and put them inside the heater box. I also need to use some type of cooking paper since I’ve learned that the aluminum grills sheets may react to certain foods. This is made from scrap wood I had and the plexiglas I picked up off of Freecycle.

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Dewalt Battery Recycled

By: HumeMan

After reading an article in last months Back Home Magazine about re-using dead drill batteries, I decided to try it for myself. Cordless drills are the great, but if you are unable to recharge them due to a loss of power or you are too far from an electrical outlet, you’re out of luck.

Taking a junk battery that no longer works, I’ve given it a cord, perfect for attaching to your 4wheeler or car battery. This battery no longer works. It’s worn out and can’t hold a charge.

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How to Bake Standing French Loaves from Scratch

By Cohutt:

Not much to it really after you do it once or twice

1 pack of yeast
¼ tsp sugar
1 cup of water +
3 ½ cups of unbleached bread flour
¼ cup rye or whole wheat flour
3 tsp salt

Proof the yeast in ¼ cup of hot tap water by stirring it with the sugar

Add the cup of water to this when it bubbles up some

Put flour in food processor with a plastic dough blade

Turn on processor and slowly by steadily pour the water/yeast mixture in until the dough forms a ball that runs around the bowl a bit.

Let it rest for 5-10 minutes

Check it- if sticky/wet feeling to the touch add a tiny amount of flour and run the processor.

Once it is soft to the touch but no sticky, turn on the processor and have it turn the ball 30 times – 30 laps. If you do much more the dough will overheat.

Let it rest 5 minutes then turn out on a lightly floured surface and pound flat, fold over, repeat about 30 times.

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How to Change Your Car’s Oil at Home – DIY and Save $

By Jon Martinez:

Changing your own oil is a good way to save money over the quickie lube places, and it is fast becoming a lost skill.

Fortunately, doing an oil change is not rocket science. I change my own oil at home and I’d like to share a couple of tips that have helped me to make this process easier and less messy.

Here is what you need to get started:

  • Motor Oil. I use 4 qts for my Toyota Corolla. It costs $20.42 for 12 qts at Sam’s Club, which comes out to $6.81 for each oil change
  • Oil Filter $4.39 at Advance Auto Parts
  • Filter Wrench I use the kind that fits onto a ratchet wrench. Get the right size to match your filter. You can also get a dedicated oil filter wrench at the auto parts store
  • Funnel For filling engine with new oil
  • Crescent Wrench or Ratchet set For removing the oil pan drain plug
  • Oil catch pan with spout For getting rid of the old oil
  • Empty plastic bottles With wide mouth for taking old oil to be recycled. I use old kitty litter bottles, but you can use any bottle or container you like.
  • Rag For wiping up spills
  • Ramps or Jack For lifting the car. I use plastic ramps, a lot of people prefer metal. Your call.
  • Jackstands or cinder blocks For safety- keep the car from falling on you. I should really use these, but I haven’t yet…
  • Large piece of Cardboard for protecting your driveway (optional)
  • Rubber Gloves for keeping oil off of your hands (optional)

After all of the one time purchases on this list, it costs me about $11 for each oil change. Cheaper than the $20 or $30 of the quick lube joint. And I don’t have to deal with pushy salesmen trying to upsell me air filters.

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