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ZacAtakke 11-06-2012 07:23 PM

Another Keezer Project
Hello! First post here, and it's a big one. I wanted to wait until I had something substantial to contribute.

Last month SWMBO started bugging me about what I wanted for christmas, and one of the things I came up with was a mini kegerator. I had seen them at the liquor store and some of my favorite beers came in the 5L kegs (Spaten and Newcastle). But after shopping around it was going to be a few hundred dollars for the kegerator, adaptor for non-pressurized mini kegs, and the beer and it just didn't feel worth it. But by then I had the bug so I started reading up on fridge to kegerator conversions and stumbled on this site.

One thing led to another and I finally settled on building a collar keezer. I didn't like the look of a fridge with a spout out the front/side and the keezer can be expanded on, as you all have shown here in the forums. And more importantly SWMBO approved a keezer in the house.

Next came the research, lurking the forums for weeks reading all the threads I could find about keezers and collars and putting my plans together. From all the horror stories I read I decided to not drill through the freezer or make any permanent modifications to it (the SWMBO wanted to be able to have a freezer still if we wanted/needed).

I wanted a freezer 8+ cu ft. The collar would be 2x6 of pine with a 2x8 outer collar of red oak on three sides. The collar will rest on the freezer with some weather stripping for seal, the oak will overhang to keep it in place, and the lid will be hinged on top with its original seal. Then I'd put some taps in on the right side and mount a bottle opener and cap catcher on the left. I priced everything out, ran it by SWMBO, and started checking craigslist for freezers.

After about a week of trying and missing freezers for sale on craigslist I came upon a posting for a 23cu ft freezer for $150 the guy wanted to sell that day. It was much bigger than I was planning on, but it sounded too good to pass up! I met the guy that night and due to the condition (see pics) I talked the guy down to $120 and deliver for free.

So here it is as I got it



As you can see lots of rust and chipped paint and the lid is held on with duct tape :/ as much as I agree duct tape fixes everything, I wanted a more permanent and cleaner looking solution. I used goo off to remove the duct tape residue, liquid nails to attach the gasket to the lid, and clear caulk to attach the inner wall to the gasket. (unfortunately no pics, might edit some in tonight)

After I fixed the lid I sanded out all the rust, luckily it was all just superficial and came off completely, and coated it with black appliance epoxy. WARNING if you use appliance epoxy cover every square inch of skin completely, wear a mask, and use a huge drop cloth. I used rustoleum's spray epoxy and it's different than normal spray paint, there are a lot more fumes and it seems to blow around a bit rather than adhere completely to the surface. I painted it in my driveway on a drop cloth and by the time I was done and pulled up the drop cloth there was on obvious outline. It looked like there was soot on my driveway except for a clean rectangle where the drop was. I also had little specs of it all over my hands arms and face and it's very difficult to wash off. Anyways, here it is after painting it.


Next was the collar, 2x6 pine with butt joints and corner braces.


Here's a pic of it dry fit with the lid


Then I mitered the red oak and attached it, unfortuantely I only had a few clamps so I had to do it in steps. I just used gorilla wood glue and seems to be sticking fine. I didn't like the idea of seeing bolts or having to countersink and cover holes so I'm glad this worked out.


Now at this point I realized my pine was slightly warped so my perfectly mitered joints didn't fit pefectly after being clamped to the inner collar.


I used some wood filler to seal it up, hopefully that will be sufficient.

Here it is fully assembled, and then set on the freezer.



And that's where I'm at right now. Throughout my build I've been reading more and more on this site and I think you guys have convinced me to try home brewing. I'm probably going to get a kit.....after I finish the keezer though. One project at a time. Gotta keep the wife happy.

ZacAtakke 11-06-2012 07:27 PM

I'll keep updating on the build as I go, planning to have it done by december.

Phyrst 11-06-2012 09:28 PM

Wow. Amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do. Good luck on the keezer and in venturing into the wonderful world of homebrewing. Once you go there and make that first delicious batch, you'll never look back. :mug:

ZacAtakke 11-09-2012 02:48 PM

So the wood filler I had on hand turned out to be cheap crap, I've tried applying it twice this week and it keeps shrinking and cracking as it dries. I think I'm going to stop by the hardware store this weekend and get some wood filler putty. I've shopped around online and seen ones that come in different wood styles, e.g., red oak, mahoghany, etc.

Has anyone used stuff like this before? Recommendations?

ThorGodOfThunder 11-10-2012 02:03 AM

Are you using it for the corner gaps? If so you probably want to find some Zar Wood Patch. It comes in small tubes (think toothpaste) and tubs as well. Great stuff, comes in pine and redwood colors, can be stained, painted, varnished just like wood.

In the pic it looks like you are filling a pretty big area. Start by filling half, letting it cure, then filling the rest. The sample boards of the Zar patch I have at work have a 1/8" bead of the filler in some wood and it didn't shrink or crack, but you don't want to put on a single layer thicker than 1/8".

I sell a lot of UGL products at work (UGL makes drylok and zar products), and everything they make is great.

The black paint looks nice. If I were you I'd get mahogany stain and make the wood look classy as heck.

Rustoleum makes a pretty good chalkboard paint that you could use on the front of the freezer. If you have an artist in the house it can make for a really cool signboard right at the tap. They also make a dry-erase paint that is pretty cool, but its only white. You could get a piece of plexiglass and fasten it to the face of the freezer and use neon dry-erase markers for something a little more modern.

I wish I had the need for a project like this. I have two kegs and I never had both of them full at the same time, so I can't justify a keezer project.

I'm done geeking out over paint now. :D

ZacAtakke 11-11-2012 01:20 AM

Thanks Thor!

Yes it is on the corner gaps, like I said I mitered it perfectly but the pine was warped and it won't set right.

The widest point is 1/8 in.


It looks worse in the pictures, I promise.

Thanks for the complements on the paint, it was a pain to do but definitely worth it if you want something presentable and in the house. I would definitely recommend the Rustoleum appliance epoxy, you just need to prepare for it. Haha thanks for the tip on the mahogany lol, I actually have a can I bought last week, just been too busy to stain it, hopefully tomorrow I can get it on.

SWMBO liked the idea of chalkboard paint, I think I'm going to do like a 9in space below the collar with chalkboard paint. We're both artists so I don't think we'll have a problem designing some titles for what's on tap. The freezer also came with a metal rack that perfectly fits six packs so i'm sure we'll put some six packs in there and write out whats in bottle on the chalkboard as well. The plan is to have a wall mounted bottle opener on the left side of the collar with a cap catcher.


God, the more work I do on this keezer the more excited I get about starting homebrewing and kegging it. So much so that I'm definitely rushing this project ahead so I can move on to brewing. Much to the chagrin of SWMBO.

Hopefully I can get the collar filled and stained tomorrow. The hardware (tap, shank, fittings, coupler, co2 tank) is on the way and should be here next week. Fingers crossed this will be done by the end of the month.

ZacAtakke 11-14-2012 05:40 PM

Nearing completion already!

I tried to find the Zar stuff at the hardware store but the didn't carry, instead I got a small tin of Dap wood filler in an oak color. Took a few applications and drying periods but it worked great. Unfortunately I forgot to take any pictures of the corners but they blended in nicely. Then I applied the red mahogany stain.


Didn't have any natural light and my phone doesn't take the best lowlight pics, but you get the idea.

Still needs to be sealed, I'm picking up some spray semi-gloss seal to put on tonight.

Best news is that all my parts came in yesterday!


5# CO2 Tank
Johnson Analog Temp Controller
7ft Beer line
5ft Gas line
Dual gauge regulator
Stainless steel Sankey D coupler
Stainless steel 4in shank
Stainless steel Perlick faucet w/black handle

All ordered from Beverage Factory, except the controller, that was from amazon.

I figured I'd go stainless from the start rather than chrome and upgrade later. Same with getting the Perlick.


Soooo preeettyyy:cross:

Tonight I plan on sealing the wood, drilling holes and installing the faucet and temp controller.

After today all I need is a keg! Any suggestions?

ThorGodOfThunder 11-15-2012 01:05 AM

That looks great. The stain color is going to look awesome next to black and chrome.

eyedoctodd 11-15-2012 06:19 AM

Where did you order the 8000 towels from?

ZacAtakke 11-15-2012 04:55 PM

Here it is mostly put together. The hinges have yet to be attached.



It looks like I'll have to paint the gasket black, even with the lip of the oak it still shows in the gap.

As for the towels, they're not all mine. Long story.

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