Monday, January 28, 2008

Mod My Fridge!

So if you were around last summer for the refrigerator posts, you may remember that I was leaning towards modding a panel front refrigerator as the most cost effective way to get a stylish fridge. After some regular Craigslist watching, $400, and the manual labor to haul it home 30 miles, I'm now the proud owner of a 5 year old, cabinet front, counter depth, GE fridge similar to this one.

So what's a steampunk homemaker to do with such a thing? It probably isn't the obvious first thing, but I've started by buying gauges on Ebay.

I liked the irony of having a heater gauge on a refrigerator.

This one is actually a working fridge thermometer -- if I get the probe sensor inside, I'll actually get the internal temperature on the outside.

This one is just a pressure gauge, easy to find on eBay.

Gauges for Milliamperes and Microamperes

Beyond the obvious "buy cool stuff" part of it, I think the actual first step is going to be finding/fitting/cutting some brass sheets to replace the cabinet fronts with.

I'm not the most artistic person, so I'm a bit worried about the whole "design something that looks good" aspect of this project. I'm taking inspiration from this Kohler ad, the Steampunk Treehouse, and Roger Wood's Klockwerks.

I'm soliciting ideas -- what else should I do with it? Do I go overboard and cover the entire front or should I take a more restrained approach? Any ideas for how to cover the black plastic of the water dispensor and the black handles that run the length of the doors? At this stage of the project, I'm open to any suggestion, no matter how crazy. Bring it on.


Bossnass said...

I envision a "water gauge" handle to open the door. Something like this, arbitrarily stolen from the first google image search.

It might be feasible to hook up some sort of tachometer to the compressor motor. Functional gauges would be amazing.

postholedigger said...

There's a new spray paint that's especially for plastics. You could maybe find one that looks leathery and do the black in that.

Sara said...

I love the "water gauge" idea (need to figure out where I could get one of these...) The spray pain seems more feasible/easier...

Jeanie said...

can't wait to see this fridge! i love your gauges! Are you doing this yourself?

what about putting some kind of tap handle or older style button to dispense water, instead of plastic? even a porcelain knob like one off the end of a victorian hook... and if you made it look like leather you could attach brass rivet heads around the edges.
or you could do polished wood veneer (buy and glue on thin veneer)with a brass edging. there are some beautiful grains.


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