Since moving to Atlanta I’ve had a laundry problem. My new apartment required a stacked washer and dryer. I’ve had a standard top loading washer and dryer for years. Naturally, I began surfing craigslist for stacked washer and dryers. To my surprise they were pretty cheap ~ $300. Then I got to the gotchas. Almost everyone I called said there was something slightly wrong with the machine. Usually they worked but needed a little loving care before they would complete the entire cleaning cycle. This was a mild annoyance since I knew I had a perfectly good washer and dryer sitting in my parents carport.
As a joke I mentioned to a coworker that I should just make a stacked washer and dryer from what I already had. I mulled it over for a bit and decided that I should think it over more. I was a little hesitant at first, thinking that I would probably be better off buying a stackable washer and dryer. I had lunch the next day and mentioned it to some more coworkers. After they poked and prodded me saying that it probably wouldn’t work I knew it had to be done.
I called up my Dad and told him to get his engineering hat on cause we were going to make a stacked washer and dryer. He sounded hesitant at first but I knew I could sway him. I sat down with a piece of paper and pencil and started working on a plan.
Most of the drawings on the left are me attempting to explain my idea to Dad. We usually are thinking the same thing we just say it differently.
The basic idea was to build a stilt system to hold the dryer above the washer. I went to Lowes.com and priced out weldable steel angle. It was ~$18 for 72 Inches. At that rate I was staring down a price tag of ~$100 in material.
I remembered that one of my friends had a ton of angle that he picked up from the flea market. I gave him a quick call and he said he had more than I needed and to come get some. That took care of the materials.
There really isn’t much to get to excited over it is more or less just angle and 4 1″ square tubes. I decided to put a coat of Rustolum on it to keep it from rusting real bad.
After we had the frame built we tackled the next problem. Since I’m about 5’6″ there was no way I could reach the controls on the dryer once it was elevated. Especially since they were on the back of the dryer in the traditional location.
My first thought was to relocate them to the front of the dryer. Quick and dirty style. Drill a hole in front where it will miss the drum and mount the controls. Sharpie some points so I know what settings there are. Naturally, Dad had a much better and more elegant solution. He wanted to just move the entire instrument panel to the front of the dryer and point them down. This was simple enough and would give it a more polished look. So that’s what we did. We cut the wires and spliced in extensions for all the controls. Since it was going to be elevated and there was a risk of the wires rubbing the rotating drum we decided just to run the wires on top of the dryer. The end result looks factory and dang good.
As you can see it works well and it doesn’t shake.