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Thread: Refrigerator Panels - How to attach?

  1. #1
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    Refrigerator Panels - How to attach?

    I just was contacted about making some custom panels for the front of a refrigerator. (see photo) Has anyone here tried this? I was curious exactly how one would attach them to the appliance. Thanks!

    - Hutch
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Stickley craftsman built in refrigerator.jpg  

  2. #2
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    Silly me...

    I think I may have gotten things figured out. I just learned/realized that the models have to be designed for panels, which sorta takes away the confusion. I am used to building furniture, and have only recently been doing a little more kitchen/built-in work. Learn new stuff every day....

    The model of fridge that she is looking at is a Subzero brand, with side by side units to achieve this look. I think with appliances like that the installation becomes rather straight forward....thank goodness.

    Thanks,
    Hutch

  3. #3
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    Matt,

    No direct experiences, but why should that stop me, right? My understanding is that you buy refrigerators that are built specifically for the installation of custom overlay panels. They have instructions that you can download that show you how to install them. I looked at some of them, but they all mention a weight limit and that example you show probably exceeds it. Just google custom panel refrigerators and download their custom panel installation instructions and you will see, if you have not already done so.

    If your client is wanting this done on an existing refrigerator then download all the model info you can from the manufacture, so that you see what the door assembly looks like. All of this is just stating the obvious and you probably have already traveled down this road of thinking.

    And since I am free and easy with all this non-experienced info, I figured I might as well express how, I really dislike the look of the example you provide. Sorry, it is just too overwhelming for my tastes, but if we were all the same, life would be boring.



    Ok, I see you have figured all this out while I was slowly typing.
    Last edited by Bill Satko; 11-30-2012 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Slowness
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  4. #4
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    If the panel is for an existing fridge that's not designed for them, you might be able to make a thin panel and affix it to the fridge with either construction adhesive (which I would not recommend!) or with several magnes imbedded in the panels.

    Disclaimer: Never tried it myself, but have seen it done.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys! Indeed, the customer will definitely be buying two new panel ready fridges. But I definitely would be curious to see someone try to attach a panel to their "pedestrian" fridge. Imagine how many people would pay you to make their $1,000-$2,000 fridge look like a $7,000+ fridge! (That's about how much 1 SubZero costs.)

    - Hutch

  6. #6
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    Sub Zeros are a cake walk. You attach some brackets, the brackets go into some slots in the door. A couple of cap screws on the hinge side. Really simple. They even include a plastic template to drill all the fastener holes.
    Good luck figuring out how big to make the hole though. Their website blows. Best to just call and they'll email you exactly what you need.

    Some, are a fricken nightmare. The kind where you need washers to space a piece of 1/4" backer, and they slip into a slot are horrid to do.
    "Do, or do not. There is no try."
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  7. #7
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    Thanks Karl! The things you mention are great to know going into the bidding process. In more than one instance I have made bids that have seemingly been based on solid understanding of what's involved only to later realize I had gotten into something I wasn't expecting.

    - Hutch

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Hutchinson View Post
    Thanks Karl! The things you mention are great to know going into the bidding process. In more than one instance I have made bids that have seemingly been based on solid understanding of what's involved only to later realize I had gotten into something I wasn't expecting.

    - Hutch

    Just make sure you've got something solid to screw the brackets into. If its a big fridge, and you are using a 1/4" panel, you might want to grind down a piece of veneered mdf and use that as the panel. Or, make sure you can accommodate a large enough top and bottom rail to catch those screws.

    I hate the appliance fronts. Always a case of form over function, and they never function all that well.
    "Do, or do not. There is no try."
    -Yoda



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