1955 Frigidaire

1955 Frigidaire Cycla-Matic

I bought this refrigerator on ebay for $10.00. It was located in Birmingham, Alabama. A friend of mine is a traveling agriculture equipment salesman. He was passing through Birmingham at the time I bought it and he picked it up and brought it to me. The fridge works, I used it during Hurricane Ike to preserve the vaccines from my clinic (I could not secure a generator from theft at the clinic, but I could at my house). As you can see, it has some surface rust.

Here is the inside.

I started the restoration this week, mainly because a local school wants to use it in a school play. They wanted to paint over the rust, but that would be an even bigger mess to strip off when I restore the fridge, so I decided to restore it now. I have an employee whose son works at an automotive paint and body shop, he is doing the work for me this week. I disassembled the fridge for him. See the process in the following pictures. First I took the door off:

Next I took the door shelf insert out, which holds the door gasket in place, exposing the insulation. The door gasket will have to be replaced.

Insulation removed and exterior door chrome removed and sitting inside the door. Notice the rust on the crosspiece. The bodyman is going to weld in a new piece.

Finally, I took off the plastic molding that covers the space between the door seal surface and the porcelin inner box. I'll post more pics as the work progresses.

Here is the box taken down to metal. This was painted with two coats of metal sealer, two coats of primer, and two coats of paint.

Here is the door with the chrome installed.

Here is the door insulation back in place.

Here I'm installing the door gasket. This was available in gray or light blue. I chose blue. I purchased the gasket from www.antiqueappliances.com. You can see the cross piece that had to be replaced. I made a patch panel and welded it in place. It is coated with sealer to prevent this from happening again. The original was untreated. There was also a 1 1/2" dia. hole in the door at this spot that had to be patched.

I took the plastic door molding to Sherwin-Williams and they color matched it for the toe panel and the two service panels. Here I'm painting the toe panel, which was originally gray.

Here is the finished product.

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Updated May 24, 2009