Giving old appliances a second life with simple tweaks

blender-light

Cruising estate sales can be a total crapshoot – sometimes you find a goldmine, other times nothing but junk. [John Ownby] recently found a sleek-looking old blender at such a sale and decided to take it home. The chrome plated base and fluted glass immediately caught his eye, but he didn’t buy the blender so he could make mediocre frozen drinks – he wanted a lamp instead.

The conversion was fairly simple, requiring him to gut the machine of its moving parts including the motor and blades, replacing them with a small incandescent candelabra base. While his modifications themselves are not groundbreaking, taking them a step further would make for some really cool (and functional) retro house fixtures.

Indulge me for a moment, if you will, and imagine swapping out the simple incandescent bulb for some LED strips or even EL wire. Replace the blender’s cap with a small speaker, and you can use several of these together as retro-looking surround satellites.

We can definitely get behind his reuse of the blender, which would have otherwise likely ended up in a landfill. It’s great to see solid, durable appliances given a second life, even in ways which were never intended. Have you rescued anything from the trash heap like [John], or do you have other ideas for your fellow hackers who might come across similar goods? Let us know in the comments.

Comments

  1. j0z0r says:

    I rescue things from Goodwill alla time. I like the vintage or retro looking old stuff. I have a 1940’s radio that I want to make into a web radio, but haven’t had the time. A few things I have turned into lighting

  2. Chris Atwood says:

    Yes, the author of the blog has interesting ideas about the lights. Essentially turning in into a disco dance blender. But, no this hack did none of those things. Its just a frickin nightlight. Can we please get some real hacks around here?

  3. fartface says:

    I have turned old Color Mac’s into fish tanks, a huge console TV into a lizard habitat, and my favorite was turning a 1972 VW bus into a camper towed behind, another 1972 VW bus. I got a lot of cool doubletakes on the highway with that… Lived in it on campus for 2 years before they discovered that I was living free in the parking lots (several poles had outlets for Xmas lights, I’d plug in for power) I miss college and being “wierd” for the sake of being wierd, althouh I saved thousands instead of wasting it on stupid things like rent.

  4. N0LKK says:

    Wonder if the radio in the back ground is a genuine all American 5, or a transistorized modern day reproduction Cabinet? Blender turned lamp is interesting, but like many counter space is at premium.

  5. zacdee316 says:

    It would be fun to build a stereo amp into the casing of an old (Unfixable) radio. Especially if it was based on a old Vacuum tube design.

  6. Hirudinea says:

    Blender, lamp, hacking? Does anyone smell Home Made Lava Lamp!? (Just put it away during parties, don’t want people chuggin’ your project.)

  7. Kevin Gunn says:

    Waring Pro blender — those should last FOREVER. Gorgeous workmanship, too. I love the lamp from blender idea, but the blender itself was a great value unless it was dead. Like I said, though, great kitchen lamp!

  8. M4CGYV3R says:

    Mediocre? You take that back right now.

    Blended fruity alcoholic deliciousness is anything but mediocre.

  9. Anonymouse says:

    “Indulge me for a moment, if you will, and imagine swapping out the simple incandescent bulb for some LED strips or even EL wire. Replace the blender’s cap with a small speaker, and you can use several of these together as retro-looking surround satellites.”

    That would be a tragedy. What it really needs is fire.

  10. Black Soap says:

    How about frosting the glass?

  11. HomelyPoet says:

    Persistence of vision display using the original motor?
    Myself, I would have added either an electron emitter from a telly and sealed the chamber full of a noble gas and mirroring the base and half mirroring the top [electron emitter attached to the motor, satellite reflections anyone?].
    Or, Magnatometre from microwave oven attached to motor, radar.
    Looks swell, anywho.

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