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Creative uses for Broken Fridge/ Freezer Do you really need one?

 
rocket scientist
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Well in my opinion, Yes you do!
Everyone needs several!

Broken chest freezers buried in the ground in a shady spot make a fine root cellar!
Broken refrigerators have become home fish and game smokers since the first refrigerator broke.
Warm beer storage,   Rodent proof feed storage,  
With a vent pipe put in, they make a fine flammable container cabinet.
Put in shelves and you have a storage closet.
The list goes on and on!

There is a fine thread ongoing at the food preservation forum with a very similar subject name.
It is a very good serious discussion of the need or not for refrigeration.
With my warped sense of humor, I  badly wanted to post this on that thread...

As a grown-up big boy, I forced myself to not sully that thread and to get my smiles over here!


18f6b86bbb77fff6712d1648a1b7b8ce.jpg
Modified refridgerator
 
master steward
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I have a small one in my chicken coop, waiting for the doors to be repaired, to use for feed storage on bottom, & chicken first aid stuff, on top. Our search for more continues, so we can line the east facing wall (north wall would allow freezing in winter & south or west wall would be an oven, in summer) in 'the big garage' for root cellaring, another to beat up and drag out to a hidden spot on our land, as an emergency cache, still more to use as raised beds, with holes made, for drainage. I hadn't thought to use one as a smoker! I'll bet it wouldn't be too difficult to turn one into a solar dehydrator...
 
steward & bricolagier
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I knew a guy who used an old fridge for bookshelves, in looking for a picture to post, I found several neat things!
A bookshelf


Oooh, crafting supplies!


and on abusing other appliances, a microwave aquarium! Much better use of a microwave, in my opinion.
 
Pearl Sutton
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And on the reality side of things, I seal up old dishwashers and use them to store potatoes or onions. Lets me put a counter top on them.
 
Carla Burke
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Old dishwashers never die - they just become more storage! I like the racks for drying freshly cleaned fleeces, laundry, or herbs, too. And, the flatware baskets! Perfect for storing flatware in a cabinet, then move it to the table, for large gatherings, on the craft or workshop table, for tools,etc.
 
master steward
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We have a bunch of people who've started the "little free library" boxes and I always worried about them in our winter damp. The picture Pearl posted of a fridge as a library immediately made me think of using one outside for that!
 
Pearl Sutton
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Jay Angler wrote:We have a bunch of people who've started the "little free library" boxes and I always worried about them in our winter damp. The picture Pearl posted of a fridge as a library immediately made me think of using one outside for that!


That's an EXCELLENT idea!! :D
Can put more books in it than most of the little ones too. And paint it neat! Label it clearly, and paint it cute around the label.

 
Jay Angler
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Can put more books in it than most of the little ones too. And paint it neat! Label it clearly, and paint it cute around the label.


Many of the small libraries really only hold paperbacks. Have you any idea how many quality non-fiction books are languishing, unappreciated, in boxes! With a fridge library, you could not only have more books, but also have a shelf for tall, odd-shaped books - think non-fiction! (Can you tell I'm a fan of non-fiction books???)

And yes, absolutely paint it as creatively as possible - bright and cheery would go over well in our dark, dull winters!
 
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Another use if the compressor still runs is to convert it into a vacuum pump/small air compressor.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Solar dehydrator was listed, I always want more racks than will fit into a fridge. I accumulate racks out of fridges and ovens for solar dehydrating. They tend to be certain sizes, accumulate enough of  a size then a case for that size is easy to make. To me the cabinet part of the fridge doesn't lend itself well to holding a lot of racks, but I DO like the racks.

And I hope you are happy Thomas Rubino... I'm now eyeing the dead fridge in the neighbor's yard. I have NO SPACE for dead fridges! Bad Pearl, eyes off that fridge!!
 
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Jay Angler wrote:We have a bunch of people who've started the "little free library" boxes and I always worried about them in our winter damp. The picture Pearl posted of a fridge as a library immediately made me think of using one outside for that!



Our neighbor did just that. The rest of us supply books. Besides little fridge, is also a small pail with treats for dogs :-)
 
pollinator
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Old refrigerators and freezers make great worm bins after you drill a few small holes for ventilation ;
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:
and on abusing other appliances, a microwave aquarium! Much better use of a microwave, in my opinion.



I have a dead microwave I am trying to figure out what to do with it... Is this picture legit? The clock is on and the lights are on, meaning it is plugged in and has electricity running through it. And it looks like you could just open the door. But if you opened it, all the water would dump out with the fish. Are the doors water tight when they are closed? Did you cut off the top and put water in that way? Is the microwave on its side, with the door facing upwards, but the camera held sideways to make it look normal? So many questions. Not sure what I am looking at here.

How did you go about doing this?
 
Pearl Sutton
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T S Rodriguez wrote:
I have a dead microwave I am trying to figure out what to do with it... Is this picture legit? The clock is on and the lights are on, meaning it is plugged in and has electricity running through it. And it looks like you could just open the door. But if you opened it, all the water would dump out with the fish. Are the doors water tight when they are closed? Did you cut off the top and put water in that way? Is the microwave on its side, with the door facing upwards, but the camera held sideways to make it look normal? So many questions. Not sure what I am looking at here.
How did you go about doing this?



What you are looking at is a random silly picture off the net.
No, I would not do this. There are FAR more effective ways to build a fish tank.
I'm very against their use and I have not dealt with a microwave in any way, shape or form for over 30 years, and I don't know what I'd actually do with one if it was around, as it's not something I'd expect to ever think about.  
My apologies for my silly sense of humor misleading you.
:D

Thinking on it, I'd seal it airtight and use it to store something like seeds in to keep mice and bugs away. Or put it out in the garden to keep a set of hand tools in so they stay dry. I'm not a person who throws much away, but a microwave might get just flat tossed in the trash.
 
pollinator
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Pearl Sutton wrote: Thinking on it, I'd seal it airtight and use it to store something like seeds in to keep mice and bugs away. Or put it out in the garden to keep a set of hand tools in so they stay dry. I'm not a person who throws much away, but a microwave might get just flat tossed in the trash.


Round here it's rural and very wet and lots of neighbours use old microwaves as a post/mail box at the end of their drive.

Re old fridges:  I'm loving all the pictures of what Brits call the old "American Style" fridges with the rounded forms and lovely handles that give that re-assuring click when they close.  

I've not got an old fridge around these days as I had to part with it when I moved but I do have a lot of the glass and wire shelves from old fridges.  The glass ones make a decent portable mini green house and the wire racks - well, any number of uses eg. screwed up as shelves in a workshop, for drying greens etc.      
 
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We turned an old refrigerator into a germination chamber for starting seeds. I removed everything inside the refrigerator to make as much space available as possible. Then I sprayed sealant on the inside of the door which was a fiber-board after I took off the shelving layer. I found wire shelves at Menards. My hubby built a rack out of 1/2" pvc and cut down the wire shelves to fit. In the bottom I set a ceramic tile as a trivet and a crockpot of water. The crockpot is plugged in to an Inkbird temperature controller so it doesn't overheat the germination chamber. It is great for starting seeds in late winter/early spring. I can fit 14 10x20 trays inside. It needs cleaning out regularly to prevent mold.
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I love all these ideas! By finding useful ways to upcycle appliance's, It's helping with our huge waste issue that's distroying our planet.
Thank you sharing!
 
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Love all the ideas for old appliances,i wish everyone seen worn out items as useful new inventions!

Please keep children in mind with the older style freezers and fridges that have latching handles,they cannot be opened from the inside.Im sure most of the older folks remember signs and warnings of children playing hide and seek inside these appliances and suffocating.Place padlocks on them or remove the latching mechanism please!
 
pollinator
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Jay Angler wrote:We have a bunch of people who've started the "little free library" boxes and I always worried about them in our winter damp. The picture Pearl posted of a fridge as a library immediately made me think of using one outside for that!



Now I'm torn between donating my old (1940s era) propane fridge for a little free library, or using it for a UPS/FedEx drop off box (they don't like to drive the 2 miles of my ranch road), or a root cellar, or....
 
T S Rodriguez
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I was about 90% sure this was just an internet thing you had found, but in the odd chance that it really was real, I figured I would ask. My microwave is in the metal bin, going to the scrap yard.



Pearl Sutton wrote:

T S Rodriguez wrote:
What you are looking at is a random silly picture off the net.
No, I would not do this. There are FAR more effective ways to build a fish tank.
I'm very against their use and I have not dealt with a microwave in any way, shape or form for over 30 years, and I don't know what I'd actually do with one if it was around, as it's not something I'd expect to ever think about.  
My apologies for my silly sense of humor misleading you.
:D

Thinking on it, I'd seal it airtight and use it to store something like seeds in to keep mice and bugs away. Or put it out in the garden to keep a set of hand tools in so they stay dry. I'm not a person who throws much away, but a microwave might get just flat tossed in the trash.


 
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John Duffy wrote:Old refrigerators and freezers make great worm bins after you drill a few small holes for ventilation ;



I came on here to say that there’s a really neat freezer design into a worm composter from a plant gardener guy in Arizona. Cut the bottom and replace with mesh, raise up on blocks of sorts, add something to catch the liquid. Add a few tubes for breathing add the amounts of wet and dry for the worms and add some worms. Then he used some spare wood to frame all around the freezer where it looked like a wood box.
 
Sarah Pickering
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Greg Peterson of the Urban Farm - sorry I was too tired to remember his name yesterday
 
pollinator
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A good, waterproof appliance might make a tank for a hydroponic or aquaponic system. I hadn't thought of that, have been wanting a small 'pond' . . . I may just have to look for one.
 
Jay Angler
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There's a thread here: https://permies.com/t/136559/permaculture-upcycling/ungarbage/Fridge-building-block
I think William's idea of using them as building blocks to make a shed is brilliant - but you'd need a bunch of them! Ideally, a bunch that are all the same height, too. If some of them faced the outside of the shed, they could hold spare plant pots +/- small gardening tools. The ones that faced into the shed could hold all sorts of spare parts and tools.
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:And on the reality side of things, I seal up old dishwashers and use them to store potatoes or onions. Lets me put a counter top on them.


They don't rot on you?
I don't even keep mine in a drawer for fear of rot.

Jay, thanks for the props!
I've been thinking a lot about sheds lately and I keep coming back to using fridges, if only for the foundation.
A single fridge laid on its back can easily have a foot print of over 10 square feet.
Dug in, leveled, and filled with rocks and you have a very well anchored square corner to screw to and build on.

 
Pearl Sutton
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William Bronson wrote:

Pearl Sutton wrote:And on the reality side of things, I seal up old dishwashers and use them to store potatoes or onions. Lets me put a counter top on them.


They don't rot on you?
I don't even keep mine in a drawer for fear of rot.


They are in a chilly garage (not the super cold/hot one, the sort of temp controlled one) and we open them about once a week for a few hours to breathe (not at the same time.) Potatoes in one, onions in the other.
We check for problems and pull any right away if they are a problem. But I used the last of our 50 pound bag of onions bought last fall in late July. The last few got peeled and tossed in the fridge, but I think they did REALLY well!
Fun thing: To constrain the potatoes but still use the rolling bottom rack to pull them out, they are in a square laundry basket :D
The onions get put on the racks and I try not to stack them any more than I must, and use the stacked ones first. Keeps them all getting good air flow.

Any time either one empties, or I start having problems in it, I clear out the produce, and ozone it hard, then put it back in. I didn't have to do the onions until it was empty, so that wasn't a factor in their survival rate. I'm proud of the onions!!

:D
 
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Several people have mentioned free donation libraries in defunct fridges but I was wondering about a neighborhood dry-goods pantry. People could donate canned goods and dried goods for those in need without worrying about critters or weather. We've tried something similar in my area. It was popular and needed but storage was an issue. It didn't take long for the weather (wind & rain) and raccoons to get to it. This sounds like a very feasible solution. Thank you all for such beautiful ideas.
 
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