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Old 10-24-2005, 07:59 AM   #1
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"How To" Food dehydrator... Anyone done this?

Hey guys,

Has anyone made their own Food Dehydrator? Just wondering if there is a way to make a Home-made one.

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Old 10-24-2005, 08:31 AM   #2
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Re: "How To" Food dehydrator... Anyone done this?

You're in SA, with the summer heat, I doubt you need one.....
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Old 10-24-2005, 08:34 AM   #3
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Re: "How To" Food dehydrator... Anyone done this?

Hehe, It doesn't get THAT hot here. But the serious bummer is that NOBODY and I mean nobody sells them here! It really sucks BIG time. So I have to settle for trying to make my own.
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Old 10-24-2005, 09:05 AM   #4
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Re: "How To" Food dehydrator... Anyone done this?

IMHO, unless you use enamel paints, the Q is "do you really need one?"
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Old 10-24-2005, 10:06 AM   #5
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Re: "How To" Food dehydrator... Anyone done this?

I considered it once. But never followed through. Just bought one instead.

My idea was just to build a box with a fan pulling air in, and have the whole thing heated by a light bulb of some sort. Not sure what type of bulb you'd have to use to get the heat up, but I was thinking that a halogen might do the trick. Tricky part would be finding the balance of air movement with heat so that it's consistent and predictable....

After I thought about it for a while, I decided it would be easier to just buy one.... (I realize they're not growing on trees in your area, but perhaps ebay is an option?)

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Old 10-24-2005, 10:34 AM   #6
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Re: "How To" Food dehydrator... Anyone done this?

ebay is not very big here in SA. I have never actually bought something from that place. Is it really legit?
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Old 10-24-2005, 11:33 AM   #7
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Re: Re:

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabbadude
ebay is not very big here in SA. I have never actually bought something from that place. Is it really legit?
Ebay is very legit, the problem is most auctions require the use of a credit card or similar electronic funds transfer and even a VISA card from South Africa cannot be used for online purchases from Ebay.

Before anyone starts, Paypal won't accept South African credit cards.
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Old 10-24-2005, 11:56 AM   #8
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If you want to build a dehydrator, a suitably built wooden box with a 4" PC fan, and a 40 watt incandecent appliance bulb should do the trick.

But then again, will it be worth it? I'm not sure how much I'd trust a dehydrator dryed finish- or more accurately, I'm not sure how much I'd trust it to speed up drying/outgassing time so that I could polish it out sooner.

That's when I usually build the engine/interior/underside, etc.
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Old 10-24-2005, 01:44 PM   #9
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Re: "How To" Food dehydrator... Anyone done this?

Has anyone else used a dehydrator? What have your experiences been like. Does it mess up the model?
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Old 10-24-2005, 02:03 PM   #10
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Re: "How To" Food dehydrator... Anyone done this?

I use a dehydrator routinely for all my painted parts, and it works wonderfully with all types of paints. It shortens the curing time by a factor of approsimately 8, which means enamels are fully (and I mean fully, no smell at all and very hard) in three days, acrylics in 2 hours, lacquers in 12 hours...). The bonus is that it protects the painted part from dust, even when running with the fan (I never had a speck of dust in any of the parts I put in).
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Old 10-24-2005, 02:18 PM   #11
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Re: "How To" Food dehydrator... Anyone done this?

The fact that dust doesn't get on the parts really increases my desire to get one. But tell me MustangMuscle, According to MPWR(Which I must say is pretty experienced) he feels that it might not be completely cured.

What's your feeeling on this? Have you ever had a uncured part?
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Old 10-24-2005, 03:49 PM   #12
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Myself and many friends have been using dehydrators for years w/minimum of problems and a maximum of satisfaction. As long as you keep the temperature from getting too high, they work wonders for speed-drying paint, glue, and putty. As for trusting the finish, I have never, ever seen anything bad happen to paint anytime after it comes out of the dehydrator. The only problems I've ever seen were a few bodies that warped because the inner temperature was too hot. That can be easily adjusted if you get more airflow into the dehydrator.

Alternatives to store-bought include the box/lamp idea above, putting the body inside the oven w/only the oven light providing heat. Dehydrators work by accelerating curing rates by 1/2 for every 10 degrees farenheight over ambient the dehydrator is. If you already live in a hot/dry climate you really won't need it. They're also great to warm parts and paints before spraying...if it's cold where you spray, at least having the paint and body warm while you spray and a warm place for it to dry makes a huge difference.
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Old 10-24-2005, 05:19 PM   #13
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Re: "How To" Food dehydrator... Anyone done this?

Where's the fire? What's the rush?
More haste, less speed blah blah blah
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Old 10-24-2005, 07:11 PM   #14
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My concern with using a food dehydrator has always been that while it's a great way of removing water, it may not be the best way to cure/outgas paint. They're not identical processes. For instance, paint finishes on model car bodies tend to be realitively thick applications . If the outermost surface is exposed to hot air, it may dry/cure faster than the layers below it. If this surface becomes imperiable, the less dry paint below it could then dry much slower, or not at all. This is the kind of thing that could lead to the finish cracking months later. Granted, this horror story is specuation on my part with regards to food dehydrators. I've never used a dehydrator to cure paint. But, this is the kind of thing that differential curing of deep paint can cause. Having not fully cured paint below an impermiable layer (especially when dealing with hotter paints, like laquers) is a nasty scenerio.

Obviously, some people have has good luck with it. As I said, I've never done it. This is a reason I'd be less inclined to try, but the real reason I haven't is that I've never needed to. I can always seem to easily set aside a body to cure for a week, while I work on the interior or engine- or another model. As klutz_100 pointed out, I've learned to fear haste in building....

Sorry to hear the S2000 is still giving you trouble. Looking forward to seeing it done!
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Old 10-24-2005, 07:34 PM   #15
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I can understand your concern, but realize that some of us have been successfully using them for years, and for more than just drying paint, that they've become invaluable tools in our arsenal. They allow a level of economy to your building that you can't put a price on. What price is your free time?

Some of us work better under a bit of pressure, and like to get a lot accomplished in a short amount of time. While the body is drying in the dehydrator, the other bits can be worked on during the same session in one evening, not simply over a week. If you've never done a "speed build" of a model, you may not realize how much the dehydrator fits the success of such models. It allows you to do more within a limited time. Same can be said for superglue used w/accelerators. That was another tool that greatly sped up my building pace. Allows me to build quicker, and spend more time contemplating other more tricky areas, like suspension settings and wheel locations that require more thought. Anything that can save you time in one area allows you to spend less time building, or more time on other areas. Done properly, your models will improve.

Also don't forget how real automobiles have been baked in the factory to speed up production. It's perfectly okay to bake paint at an appropriate temperature to speed it's drying. Catalyzed epoxy or urethane paints dry by chemical reaction, but that's not how model cars are generally painted and it's very dangerous stuff to breath.

A dehydrator speeds up drying. It speeds up drying of small parts, like taillights/lenses. It speeds up the curing of putty and primer. It speeds up the curing of decals, and if you're applying multiple decals which require a lot of painstaking time, this really saves time. It warms your paint/bodies before and after spraying.

Anyway, I'd be lost w/o the two things that really sped up my building, the superglue/kicker and my dehydrator. W/o them I'd feel like I was back in the dark ages, and my build rate would suffer a lot. I can't think of anyone who has bought or made a dehydrator that hasn't adopted it to the point that it hasn't become one of their most important tools. Seems like the satisfaction index for them is quite high.
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