Solar Dyeing

2016-05-11 12.22.13 It started so simply.  A few mason jars, filled with warm water, some dye and put out in the sun.  Then I added a dark metal pan for the base.  And stacked up some paving stones to make a wind shelter.  And aluminum foil for a collector & solar oven v.1 was born.

When it was warm & sunny, the set up gave good results.

2016-05-12 14.22.2420160512_143343

But when the wind picked up or the temps dropped, it didn’t.  (sorry- no picture of the sad yarn.  I threw more dye on it & put it on the stove right away)

Solar Oven v.2 was a black plastic storage bin, foil and a dry cleaner bag for a seal to trap the heat.  The wind took it apart before it ever had a chance.  Also, it seemed like the outside box was nice & hot, but the inside stayed cold.  Not enough light collection into the center.

Which led to some websites on designs for solar ovens.  I decided simple & durable were my main project guidelines.  Cheap would be nice too 🙂

Here are the pics of Solar Oven v.3 in progress.  It’s made out of basic pressure treated lumber & assembled using a circular saw, drill with bits & a screw driver attachment.


The lid is a simple piece of plexiglass that was precut to 30 x 36″ and supported by some 1 x 2 strips. It sits inside the box on rails to make a nice tight fit.


The day I got the wonderful idea to build a solar over, it was 68F and sunny.  The day we started building, it was 41F & raining.  Below are my not-approved for work gloves that I threw on when things got ridiculously cold!


We’re ready for spray painting things black, but we need the temps to climb first.

There may be too much space inside the oven for it to heat well. If so, I’ve got the start of a wonderful garden box!

More updates shortly.


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