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-   -   GE 7 CF (FCM7SUWW) keezer conversion (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/ge-7-cf-fcm7suww-keezer-conversion-192208/)

TomSD 08-23-2010 12:12 AM

GE 7 CF (FCM7SUWW) keezer conversion
OK this is going to be the tool challenged, learn as you go, version of a keezer conversion thread. It will either be humorous or incredibly sad depending on how you look at it, lol.

This thread is mostly to document what I do for others to read cause I know I couldn't get enough of the keezer conversion threads when I was trying to figure out how I was going to do it. The more pictures and descriptions the better.

All my pictures will be going in my member gallery but will probably end up here too.

Anyway, here goes...

TomSD 08-23-2010 12:22 AM

I decided on the GE 7 CF (FCM7SUWW) after much forum searching and general web browsing for a couple reasons...

1) As confirmed by many this specific model holds 4 on the floor. You can also fit 1 more on the hump and a 10# CO2 tank if you build a large enough collar.
2) I needed something I could move around the house or out onto the deck so it needed to be small enough to handle doors and hallways and it needed to be on wheels.
3) I needed something small enough to fit in my house, lol. More accurately I needed something small enough to fit in the few spots I thought it should go.
4) I wanted reasonably cheap. I wasn't seeing anything I liked on Craig's list and I liked the idea of buying new for something like this but I still wanted cheap.

This unit cost me 215.33 delivered. That is hauled into the house and put right where I wanted it and all the packing taken away delivered. It fit perfectly in the corner I wanted to put it in and it is plenty small that it can be rolled around the house and outside once I get wheels on it. Like I said a perfect choice for what I needed.


TomSD 08-23-2010 12:49 AM

First out of curiosity I started pulling it apart the day I got it. Got to love buying something then going at it with a utility knife, screw driver and other tools before the sucker has even been turned on. :p

Popping off the hinges was no biggy. One screw on the top and bottom then the covers slid right off.
One thing to note though... These hinges are powerful and though they do lock in place I'd still stick a nail through the back of them just in case. I would imagine if dropped or hit the wrong way they could snap open. You can see where I've got a nail through mine... this stops the hinge from moving at all, which is a good thing.

The lid came off easy once the covers were off. 4 screws on the top of each hinge and the cover lifted right out.

The four bottom screws on the hinges only had to be loosened though. Once loose the hinges lifted right off.

With the lid off I turned it over only to find it had a huge bulge where the inside of the lid fitted down into the freezer. This bulge was filled with spray foam so there was no pretty way to remove it. After posting a thread here I found this easiest way to deal with this was to leave it and use a bigger collar to compensate.

So onto prepping the lid. Pulling back the weatherstripping reveals an overlap where the plastic lid extends over the bottom of the weatherstripping.

This was pretty easy to resolve with a utility knife. By pushing the knife through where the plastic bends up away from the weatherstripping I can avoid cutting the weatherstripping and make things easier when mounting the collar later in the build... that is the plan anyway. The plastic comes away in long strips without much effort as it isn't glued down very well and for the most part is just sitting over the weatherstripping.

Once the plastic is out of the way the weatherstripping will lift up and actually be quite a bit bigger than it appeared before. Lifting the weatherstripping straight up and away from the lid it is easy to cut underneath it ending up with one undamaged piece. My intent is to reuse it as it should be the same size as the collar once I finish it.

So for now I'm using my kegs with picnic taps from inside the freezer (thermostat in place already obviously) and just lift the lid off when I need a pour. Besides having to make sure the weatherstripping is in place when I close it this is functional for now.

TomSD 08-23-2010 12:53 AM

Got everything together and finally found some time so am actually working on it today. So far I have the base built and it up on wheels...

First off, like I said in the original post I'm tool challenged. I like to futz around and DIY when I have the time but I'll honestly admit I am not very good at it. Most of it is due to living in apartments my whole life and never having the room to do any decent sized projects. Well now that has changed. I own a house and I own power tools... muahahahaha.

The way I see it it is all about work experience. It is how I've pretty much lived my entire life. From the time I dropped out of high school to now I have learned everything on the fly so why do it any different now? :p

So the base... I drew it all out and planned to use joiners to make a squared up base but that went horribly wrong. First it was so very not squared up. I mean sure all four pieces went together but that last one took a lot of hammering and stomping on to get it to line up and even then it looked terrible.

Honestly though it would've worked and how it looked wouldn't have mattered because it was under the keezer but that was a moot point because I hadn't taken into account the space the side pieces would displace when cutting the cross pieces so the thing was a good foot too wide, lol. I really should've taken pictures but I didn't want to confuse any would be keezer builders if they happened apon this thread... well that is my excuse anyway.

Funny thing about that is after taking it all apart and deciding just to go with an over-under frame like I ended up doing I couldn't reuse the crossbars because on top of forgetting to account for the offset I also mismeasured them, bah!

I didn't bother to include some other Stooges worth antics that blew a couple hours but I think you got the point. The way I see it though as long as I'm having fun and learning something it's worth it. And boy was I having fun... I love laughing at stupid stuff, even if it is me doing it. Besides it isn't about the destination it is about the journey, right?

Once I decided to go a different route things got much easier. I salvaged my original front and back pieces and mounted the casters on them. So on to the actual base...

It is two 2"x6"x37" boards and three crossbars... they can be pretty much anything as long as they aren't too thick. Each one should be 20.5" long... I went with three but two would've been enough really. I bought a set of casters intended for some modular shelving Home Depot sells. 4 4" heavy duty swivel casters, 2 of them with locks, for less than 20 bucks. Add to that a 3/8" bolt kit and you got yourself some wheels.

I drilled a 1" (same as the shank holes will be) hole halfway through the 2x6s at either end, roughly 2.5" in from the ends. Then drill the rest of the way through (using the pilot hole the 1" left) using a 3/8" bit. Clean out the holes, drop in a washer from the bolt kit then push the casters in from the other side. Once the post is through drop a lock washer on then a nut and tighten everything down. It will seem to never tighten all the way but that is because the swivel is turning... at that point it should be tight enough though.


Once the two 2x6s are done you just need to put the crossbars on. I drilled pilot holes then screwed them down but nails or a nail gun or whatever would work. Just make sure it is square. If you do one on each side you'll have some wiggle room if you aren't squared up. Once you get two to a side in though you are pretty much stuck with it.


And we have a little cart, woho. I emptied out the freezer and moved it up onto the base then filled it back up again. Not very pretty but it will probably get some trim added to it before everything is said and done.


The other added benefit of the wheeled base is it adds another 6 inches or so to the height. That plus the ten inch collar will mean no bending over to pour a pint.

kmat123 08-23-2010 02:32 PM

Looking good so far. I have the same GE freezer that I used to make my keezer and really like it. I don't know about fitting 2 kegs on the hump though...

TomSD 08-23-2010 03:43 PM

I'm figuring I will need to put a support under the second one but don't see why two wouldn't fit up there. That is assuming I end up putting my 10# bottle outside.

TomSD 08-28-2010 11:55 PM


Originally Posted by kmat123 (Post 2232495)
Looking good so far. I have the same GE freezer that I used to make my keezer and really like it. I don't know about fitting 2 kegs on the hump though...

You are right... 4 on the floor if you really jam them and one on the hump. Not enough room to squeeze a second one up there. It is a lot tighter than I thought. Still works for me though... anything over 4 is bonus.


TomSD 08-29-2010 12:01 AM

Got the rest of the stuff I needed (hoses, clamps, a secondary regulator, manifold, etc) plus 6 more kegs so I can have some spares.

Spent a while cleaning them then running sanitizer through them. I really like the jumper idea I read about on the forums so made one this morning and it makes things so much easier.

Anyway here are the new kegs while I was cleaning them...

I should have time to get the collar started tonight or tomorrow.

TomSD 08-29-2010 10:47 PM

The mitered collar didn't work out. I would imagine it was a combo of my first attempt at mitering and my first use of Liquid Nails.
Oh well, read on and see the alternative I used. Leaving this in though as it is technically accurate I just sucked at it, lol.

OK time to get that collar together...

First things first I have no room to work with wood in my garage and am in no way a carpenter, lol. The one bonus is the house came with a solid old wooden workbench.

The upside of a bench like this is you can do whatever you want with the surface since replacing it is as easy as buying new plywood. This said I nailed down some scrap wood and clamped the wood to be cut to the scrap allowing me to cut right over the workbench.


My circ saw does let me cut at an angle though so I was able to do Miter cuts with relative ease. That said I still can't cut a straight line to save my life. Good thing Miter cuts are pretty forgiving as long as you aren't WAY off.


With all the boards cut it is time to square things up and get to gluing...


A cargo strap, some spare corner braces and clamps and I got everything squared up. I matched the sides up to get things looking the best I could then labeled them in case I had to take it all apart.


Once everything was squared up and ready to glue I pulled one side at a time, ruffed up the joining surfaces with a sanding sponge, smeared a layer of Liquid Nails and clamped it back together. Doing one side at a time kept everything squared up and made it much easier to get everything back together quickly after gluing.


After all corners are glued I checked alignment again, made sure there was no ooze on the outside of the joints and tightened the band down.


Now all I have to do is wait a bit for it to setup, add some bracing in the corners and get ready to add the shanks.

The corners aren't perfect, some worse than others, but I plan to paint it so some plaster filler and sanding and it should look fine.

NOTE: Through this entire process I have been careful not to let any glue get on the lid of the freezer. I am only using it as a base for my work and to ensure everything is lining up how I want it. I will be using simple silicone caulk to attach the lid as I want to be able to restore the freezer should I ever decide to upgrade to a bigger one or need a freezer more than a keezer (like that'll ever happen, lol).

TomSD 08-30-2010 02:01 AM

The mitered collar didn't work out. I would imagine it was a combo of my first attempt at mitering and my first use of Liquid Nails.
Oh well, read on and see the alternative I used. Leaving this in though as it is technically accurate I just sucked at it, lol.

Once it dried up enough I moved the band to the top and added some reinforcements to the corners.


Just bits of scrap wood Liquid Nailed into the corners should be enough to toughen it up some.


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