The Gator-ator! Build Thread. (Lots of Pictures)
I have been meaning to pull a build thread together and after I had a few requests for one I decided to sit down and finally get it done. I will be posting a lot of photos. So without further ado here is my Jester Inspired Keezer. The Gator-ator!
A brief synopsis on materials used: The table top and the tap box are structurally 19/32 Plywood. Then we put a layer of Hardwood (Whitewood) over the tap box and on the trim. Then we finished the top with Granite tile. The tap box is anchored to the table top using t-nuts and bolts, then the table top is anchored to the freezer lid using t-nuts and bolts as well as liquid nails.
All straight cuts were done with a circular saw and all angled cuts with a miter saw.
Lets start with a look at the finished product:
Here is where we started. My wife got me the greatest Birthday present a 3 Keg Kit! Plus a freezer and a bank of regulators.
We then started with a single piece of 19/32 Plywood. In which we drew out the table top, plus the 4 sides to the tap box (Top, Left, Right, Front).
Cheers! Here's my wonderful wife saying "Lets get this thing started!"
We painted the freezer black using Black Appliance Epoxy
For wood working, First we built the tap Box, basically a rectangle
Here's what it looks like inside:
We then added a 1"x4" strip to the front of the tap box (To give us the space to put the lights behind the taps), though we don't actually have a photo of this step. Onto this we put our hardwood Skin all around.
From the back:
Then we attached our trim to the table top using Heavy Duty Wood glue and clamps. The tap box is just sitting on the top right now, its not attached yet.
Then we filled gaps with wood putty:
We assembled the Dolly out of 2"x4" skeleton and then attached the 1"x4" Whitewood to the outside:
Then we stained and sealed all pieces
Our wood was chosen based upon character! It watches you!
Next we drilled Tap Holes using a 1" hole saw:
Then we test fitted the Perlicks:
Now that they fit we can install the lights and do the wiring. We installed 2 rope lights, a blue light and an orange light. We will attach them to a Dimmer in a later step.
First we fed them through a (previously cut) rectangle hole from inside the tap box. We then wired them to each other using our wire kit from circuits 1!
Here they are with a test light:
Next we embedded T-Nuts into the Lid. 4 from the bottom side so the tap box can anchor to them and 6 from the top side so that the freezer lid can anchor to them.
Here is a close up of one:
Here is another shot, the 6 on top are to anchor to the freezer. There are 4 which you can't see embedded on the bottom for the tap box to anchor to.
Next we removed the lid from the freezer and removed the insulation from the lid. Then jigged out 2 holes in the lid and applied duck tape:
Then we applied liquid nails to the freezer lid and clamped and bolted the plywood top to it.
Then we put the insulation back into the lid and cut the holes through the insulation and plastic liner.
The next step was freezer assembly. First the freezer went onto the dolly and then we attached the lid back to the freezer.
Next we attached the tap box and shanks
Then we added multiple layers of foam insulation. Here is the layer with the beer line channel carved out (This foam was reused form a fermentation chamber in which I glued a few pieces of the foam together, thats why you can see brown glue traces).
Then here is what the last layer looked like. There is a hole cut out for the Dimmer. But this is pretty tight and when the back is screwed on it will be a tight compression fit.
Next we marked up the Granite and took it to Lowe's to get it cut. (Took us 3 trips to get all pieces to fit)
Then we glued the granite using liquid nails, silicone caulked it (used silicone since it was going to be on a moving surface we didn't want it to crack), and then sealed it. Here are a few photos:
While the granite was being cut we did the plumbing. First we JB welded 2 cabinet door hinges into the freezer body to hold the regulator bank. We then zip tied the regulator bank to these hinges.
Test fit, we can hold 3 kegs on tap plus carb one in waiting.
Here is a view of the plumbing on the inside:
Next we wired the dimmer switch. We cut the plug end off of the cord that connects to the rope lights and attached that end to the dimmer. Then we cut off an extension cord female end and wired to the dimmer so that we can use this cord to plug into the wall. Here is what it looks like:
Then we added the faucets, drip tray, Gator stickers, Bar Mats, and Pint Glasses to finish it up.
Here is the first Pint: (This was actually before we caulked the tile. So there is a noticeable line in the back splash granite.)
And the first pint in the Orange and Blue:
The Gator-ator in the Orange and Blue
And to complete the Jester Clone. Here are some extra photo scenes made famous by Jester and Red.
Man, after writing this thread it kind of makes building one of these look easy. It actually took about 5 months to really get started on the project and then about another 2 months to finish it.
You ruined it with all the Florida crap. Geaux Tigers!!
Great build! Congrats...
Go Gators! Love the Fightin' Gator on top, he's a bada$$
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