DIY Solar Drying Rack

Whether you live in a sunny, hot climate, or a slightly cooler area, you can dry your own fruits and vegetables without expensive, complicated appliances. Building a drying rack is easier than you may think. Below are all the tools, materials, and steps you need to build your own solar drying rack. Feel free to change the dimensions based on the window you have available to you.

After building, remember to add a thermometer and keep a close eye on the temperature. Make sure your drying rack stays between 95 and 145 degrees. Leaving this ideal temp zone will lead to spreading bacteria on your produce. There’s no limit to what you can dry! Some of our favorites have been apples, bananas, tomatoes, and peppers.

Get more self-sufficiency projects in Step-by-Step Projects for Self-Sufficiency.

Drying rack parts laid out and labeled.

Tools & Materials

1″ spade bit (2) 1 × 4″ × 8′ (1) 1 × 8″ × 8′ (1) 1 × 6″ × 8′ Eye protection
Circular Saw Stapler 1¼” deck screws Building a Solar Dryer Drill
Staples Insect Mesh—fiberglass 287⁄8 × 34¾” Window sash 1½” galv. finish nails Brad nails
Eye and ear protection Work gloves


Key     Part              No.    Dimension        Material

A         Front/back    2       3⁄4 × 71⁄2 × 343⁄4″   Cedar

B        Side               2       3⁄4 × 51⁄2 × 271⁄8″   Cedar

C        Leg (tall)       2       3⁄4 × 31⁄2 × 30″    Cedar

D        Leg (short)    2       3⁄4 × 31⁄2 × 22″    Cedar

E        Brace            2        3⁄4 × 31⁄2 × 24″   Cedar

Steps for drying rack

Attach the wider boards of the frame.

Assemble the box. Attach the wider boards for the frame by driving screws through the faces of the 1 × 8″ boards into the ends of the 1 × 6″ boards. There will be a difference in height between these pairs of boards so that the window sash can sit flush in the recess created.

Staple the screen to the frame.

Install the mesh. Staple the screen to the frame. Then tack the retainer strips over the screen to the frame with 3-4 brad nails per side. Trim off the excess mesh.

Build the Stand.

Build the stand. Attach each 24″ board to a 30″ board (in the back) and a 22″ board (in the front) with 11⁄4″ deck screws. Then attach the finished posts to the frame with three 11⁄4″ deck screws in each post.

Drill holes for ventilation.

Drill three 1″ holes for ventilation in each 1 × 6″ board equally spaced along the length of the board, leaving 5″ of room on each end for the posts. Staple leftover insect mesh behind the ventilation holes on the inside of the frame.

Slide the window sash into place.

Finish the project by sliding the window sash into place.

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Step-by-Step Projects for Self SufficiencyGet ready to be self-sufficient. Whether tackling the garden, raising animals, learning more about alternative energy, or bettering your storage and preservation, Step-by-Step Projects for Self-Sufficiency is the perfect starting point.Step-by-step instructions and photos will guide you through how to make over 60 complete projects. After all, DIY projects are more fun (and generally easier) when you approach them with helpful aides and tools you made yourself.

Projects in this new volume include:

-A portable chicken ark

-Two types of beehives

-Solar cookers

-Firewood storage

-A potato growing box

-Hoophouses and greenhouses

-Raised planting beds

-Rain barrels

-A cider press

-Compost Bins

-Drying racks