It's a glove dryer which hangs on the edge of your fridge to save space.
Dishwashing gloves are great: they protect your hands while you wash dishes... but if you sweat into the gloves, they get damp on the inside, which can make them awful smelly things. That's not so great.
The obvious solution to this is to make a glove dryer... and... since the sink is often near the fridge, and the wall of the fridge is otherwise poorly utilized space, putting the dryer on the side of the fridge seemed like a good idea.
While I didn't do much design - this was a project I figured out as I implemented it - I'm quite happy with the form factor and overall design, and there's a couple construction tricks I think you'll like even if you don't have any reason to make one, so let's get started.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Some waterproof and corrosion resistant tube. (2X 12.25" thinwall ½" pipe)
- An air source. This is a fairly high-pressure application by fan standards, so a centrifugal blower is appropriate.
Further, because we want to move a fair amount of air and keep the noise acceptable (not too high-and-whiny) a fairly big one would be best, and because I find it easier to provide 5V DC power than anything else, I went with this one:
DC 5V Brushless Blower Cooling Fan (Affiliate link)
A power source. I have a pile of obsolete (non USB) cellphone wall-warts which work splendidly for providing fractional-amp 5V DC; check your local thrift store, they probably have some too.
A bit of wood (2.25" x 0.75" x 3.5") to make the tube mounting block.
A bit of thin plywood (5.5" x 15" x 3/16") to make the backboard, which holds everything together.
Some strong magnets (2X ⌀3/8" x 1/8" neodymium) to hold the assembly to the fridge.
Hot glue, epoxy, or other void-filling adhesive to mount the tubes to the tube block and pot some electrical connections.
Little bits of solder, flux, wire (24 AWG solid), wood, rubber (PVC textured conveyor belt), screws (2X 2" #8, +nuts) to complete the project.
- A hacksaw
- A flat file
- A rat-tail file
- Drill with drill bits (including a 3/16", and a sheetmetal cone)
- A vice
Step 2: Make the Backboard
- Using a saw, cut the backboard to size. Given the size of my gloves, my fan, and my intent for the tube mounting block, this was 15" x 5.5".
The taper at the top and radii at the bottom are optional - they are only there because of the history of the scrap of plywood I used to make this project - but they do look cool.
- Mount the magnets. You could epoxy them directly to the backboard, but mounting them in holes drilled into a thin (~1/8") scrap of wood is also very strong, even if you only use hot glue.
- Make the "fridge edge hook" - the triangular piece of wood above the magnet mounting block which hooks over the top edge of the fridge and keeps the assembly from sliding down the side - from a piece of wood thick enough (about 1/4"+) to completely bridge the radius on the edge of the fridge.
- Put some rubber feet on the back of the backboard, at the bottom, to prevent it from sliding around and scratching the paint on the fridge.
I cut 3/8" circles of material from some textured conveyor belt (McMaster 5994K4) and then glued them on. This stuff makes excellent feet, though the texturing is a bit pointless with plugs this small..
Step 3: Make the Ductwork
- Layout the grooves to be cut into the piece of wood to make the tube mounting block.
Mark the edges of the groove on the top of the part, and the bottom and approximate profile on the front (and back, if you'd like) of the part.
The divergence of the tubes is determined by the desired distance at their tips - I went with 6" center-to-center to make room to put the gloves on them, but this is a fairly arbitrary measurement.
The groove was designed to receive the PVC tube at its midpoint.
- Cut the ½" PVC pipe to length, with one end flush and the other at the angle that the pipe enters the tube mounting block.
- Drill some holes in the end of the PVC pipes (2X ⌀3/8" THRU) parallel to the plane of the backboard, perpendicular to the pipe, and two inches from the end..
In my experience drilling PVC like this - especially thin PVC - you'll need to start with a small bit and slowly work your way up, or it the bit will grab and split the work. To save time, if you have one, you can use a conical sheetmetal drill bit; they work very well for this application.
- Remove most of the material in the groove with a pair of hacksaw cuts.
- Remove the rest of the material in the groove with a rat-tail file or similar implement. Test-fit the PVC pipe as you go to make this a good fit.
- Temporarily clamp the tube mounting block to the backboard in its approximate final location, and provide a shim at the end of the tubes to keep their separation from the backboard constant along their whole length.
- Put a bunch of adhesive in the bottom of the groove and press the tube down into it, making contact with the bottom of the groove and the distant shim. Leave a small portion protruding past the end of the tube block.
- When the adhesive has cured, unclamp the tube mounting block from the backboard and move it to the vice; carefully file the protruding pipe flush with the end of the wood.
- Glue the tube mounting block to the backboard in its final location.
Step 4: Electrical Work and Fan Mounting
Mount the fan to the backboard:
- Maneuver the blower fan into its final location, flush with the ends of the pipes and the tube mounting block.
- Mark the backboard with the location of the blower mounting holes.
- Drill the mounting holes (2X 3/16" THRU), and use bolts and nuts to attach the blower to the backboard. Cut the excess bolt off flush with the end of the nut.
To finish, connect your fan to your power supply. In my case, the fan came with a female 2-pin power connector, so I simply terminated the wall-wart in two bits of wire and then plugged those into the connector. This is easy and, if someone were to snag the power cord, would (and has) simply unplug from the fan, rather than pulling the whole thing down.