Sometimes it is cheaper to not make something yourself

Though I will be the first to agree it is much more fun to make something homemade, but in my case this weekend I was better off just making a purchase. 

I am growing plenty of herbs this season and want to dry some for convenient use during the cold season.  I got the idea to make my own herb dryer.  The basic design was to make several one foot squares out of cheap 1” by 2” lumber and attach some window screen stapled to each.  Then simply stack as many as needed on a base which consisted of a couple CPU fans and heat source (actual heater coil or light bulb)

In the end my projects was going to cost about $15, which was a great improvement over the $200 price tag on a non Ronco infomercial food dehydrator which requires rotation of trays due to uneven heating.

In an attempt to kill a little time with my two daughters while I know my wife was taking a nap at home I was drawn in by a Garage Sale sign in the distance and found this beauty for the low price of $10.


For those in the food dehydrator circuits this is an original Equi-Flow 7010 and after plugging it in appears to still work great given dark wood construction, I am guessing it just a few years younger than I am.

Time to play with my new toy…

16 Responses to “Sometimes it is cheaper to not make something yourself”

  1. Ragnar Says:

    Lucky bastard! (Meant in a nice way, obviously!)

  2. Cassandra Says:

    That looks just like the dehydrator my parents had when I was a kid. We used to make fruit leather that could take your teeth out, but we liked it. Now I’m wondering where it ended up. And here’s a tip – if you dry onions in that thing, your whole house will smell like onions for days!

  3. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Ragnar, I have seen the Ronco versions and kicked myself for passing on them then. Now glad I waited.

    Cassandra, doing my drying int he garage. Though that could end up being worse might take months for the smell to go away.

  4. Jessica Says:

    What a great find! I would love to get my hands on one of those. I might take a stab at making one of my own since we might have all or most of the materials on hand… I’m not very handy though. We shall see!

  5. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Jessica, one variety I have heard of is take some furnace air filters (would go for the ultra cheap ones from some place like Walmart) lay herbs between layers and attach a box fan to one end secured with a bungie cord. Don’t even have to be a little handy for that one πŸ™‚

  6. meemsnyc Says:

    What an incredible garage sale find. NICE!!!

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  9. Becca Says:

    My neighbor picked one of these up at a garage sale. I borrowed it and dehydrated 3 dozen eggs in it this week. Do you have a manual for it? I wish it had a temp. guage. I used parchment paper folded up about 1/3″ on the sides to pour the blended eggs on. Worked like a charm. Would like some sort of trays to use with it for liquids that are more reusable. Also dehydrated 4 pounds of strawberries in it and our garage smelled heavenly. They taste awesome crumbled up in granola or added to oatmeal.

  10. Rachel Says:

    Any advice on how to use it?

  11. Rachel Says:

    Any chance you found a manual on how to use it? My grandfather found this same one in a storage shed and sent it to me. But no instructions! Excited to try it out but would feel more comfortable with directions.

  12. Denise Says:

    My dad also bought one, a 20 tray unit at a garage sale and gave it to me. It has some thin sheets that kind of look like parchment paper, but it believe they are plastic, I know nothing about dehydrating and not sure what the sheets are for, I wish I could find a manual.

  13. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    I never found a manual either, though I what I did was look through an online manual for another manual to determine what temperatures each measurement on the dial were for (Low = X degrees, High==Y degrees, etc) I did this by placing a meat thermometer in there turn it one to a setting let it go for a few minutes write down the number and moved to the next interval. I personally let it run at the lowest setting…only time I can think of to go at higher temps if I was trying to make yogurt or something (have not tried yet)

  14. Karen Holland Says:

    I have a small pamphlet that tells a little. I bought mine new probably 35 years ago. The sheets are called flexalon.. Teflon like sheets for making fruit roll ups. I have been searching for them and a few replacement trays. No luck so far.

  15. Uncle ED Says:

    need the control switch and thermostat
    otherwise it is good

  16. Charles Holland Says:

    I purchased a 7010 in 1977.
    Some sheets that are a different size but would work.
    Much less expensive than the originals.
    I made some from drafting Mylar. Probably hard to find now that most drawings are done with CAD.

    Dehydrator Sheets-fits Excalibur
    (Search on

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