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Old 09-09-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
shogg
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Default GE 5.0cf Keezer/Bar Build

Well here goes with my first post after a couple of months of lurking.

I'm posting a writeup (well mostly just pictures) of my bar build in the hope that it's useful for someone else out there. After a little Craigslist swapping (another story entirely) I ended up with a GE 5.0 cu. ft. chest freezer that I wanted to use as the basis for a keezer.

The design criteria for the keezer were:

  1. Has to be something the Mrs. will be ok with being in the kitchen/breakfast nook.
  2. Should provide extra counter space for preparing non-beer drinks
  3. Extra storage is always a plus
  4. Shouldn't require any major tool purchases (so circular saw, drill, and driver it is)
  5. No fancy material purchases (just what I can get at Home Depot fairly cheaply)

I got the OK to proceed after showing the wife Jose's build here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/keezer-build-5-0-ge-fridge-wine-chiller-274938/ (cheers man, I owe you several).

Base frame
As you can see the basic structure is made from cheap 2x4 wall studs and 1x6 pine planks held together with right angle brackets and liquid nails. I put the whole thing on 2" casters (you can see 4 in the pictures, I added another 2 in the middle to make sure the frame didn't bend under load).

You can't see in any of the pictures but I also used some 1x6 wood to create a collar for the chest freezer. Since there are literally hundreds of excellent writeups of how to do this I'm going to save myself the typing.







Siding and staining
The side panels are all 1/4" oak faced plywood which is simply glued to the back of the frame making the frame a kind of exoskeleton (both structural and decorative). The bar top is 3/4" oak faced plywood and the shelf is 1/2" oak faced plywood.

Here's the materials laid out next to each other:


And here it is all assembled and with one coat of stain:


To stain I'm using General Finishes Java Gel Stain to match my kitchen cabinets. Two coats of stain followed by 5-6 coats of General Finishes high performance topcoat should give me a nice enough finish.












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Old 09-09-2012, 10:59 PM   #2
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Kegorator Components
I ordered all the kegging supplies from Kegconnection who offered the best price I could find for a 2 tap tower setup with Perlick's and a dual pressure regulator. Ordered online on Tuesday lunchtime and it was waiting for me when I got home from work on Wednesday.

The general idea is that half of the bar opens up to reveal the keezer while the other half is fixed. The opening half is simply attached to the keezer lid with lots of liquid nails and the bolts from the tower.



In order to securely bolt down the tower I removed some of the insulation from the lid and cut a small piece of wood to sandwich the thin metal lid between.



[IMG]http://www.homebrewtalk.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=75106&stc=1&d=13472310 94[IMG]








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Old 09-09-2012, 11:06 PM   #3
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[B]Temperature Control[B/]
I bought a STC-1000 "All-purpose Temperature Controller" on Amazon ($25 shipped).

I simply spliced the cooling relay into an extension cord and left the heating relay disconnected.

Final Pictures
And here's what you have been waiting for, the finished article:








I'm happy with how it turned out and, more importantly, so is the wife. The whole thing is on wheels so I can easily pull it out to load in kegs or to adjust the temperature. The freezer can actually be removed from the rest of the bar. You can see how I left the back of the frame open in the early pictures and the freezer just sits on the bottom frame and is held into place by a few scrap pieces of wood.









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Old 09-09-2012, 11:45 PM   #4
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Looks good. Have you tried fitting carboys in it? I'm looking to keep my keezer (the 7 cut ft model) off fermentation duty by getting a 5cu ft model, but am unsure whether it'll hold 2 carboys.

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Old 09-11-2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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Love your build. Simple but great looking. This is about what I had in mind for mine. Did you attach the lid of the freezer to the bar's countertop or is there a gap between the two? That's the biggest design problem I'm running into

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Old 09-11-2012, 02:56 PM   #6
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The lid of the freezer is glued to the bar top on the right side. This means I can just lift up the bar top and it hinges on the freezer hinges.

Getting that built was the most nerve racking part. What I ended up doing was putting the freezer in place and building around it so the surrounding frame was a few millimeters higher than the keezer lid. Then I put globs of liquid nails on the freezer lid and pressed the bar top down onto it. After a few days the LN dried and was able to fill the gap.

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Old 09-11-2012, 03:12 PM   #7
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Thanks. I'm not looking forward to that part. We'll see how I decide to tackle it. I'll keep you posted if you'd like



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