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Old 10-21-2014, 09:23 PM   #1
Oberon
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Default Hickory Keezer

The last time I bottled I was almost finished when I noticed mold in the spigot of the bottling bucket between the plastic. The beer turned out fine but while I worried about it I decided to start kegging.

I did some research here and decided on a Kenmore 7.2 cu ft 18702 because it could hold four ball locks and a 5 lb tank. I modified the thermostat to hold 38 degrees and went about deciding on a design.

I searched the internet for weeks coming up with a design I liked and used SketchUp to mock it up. I had never used SketchUp so had to do a bit of internet learning but I really enjoyed the process and was able to work out design issues before cutting any wood.

I settled on Hickory because I like the look of it but had no idea how hard it is. It machines like metal and dulls blades about as fast!

My friend has all the wood working tools we needed and between the two of us we can usually figure out how to do something without screwing it up too badly. This was definitely a team project.

It's not done yet but it's close and I feel confident that it will be done soon so I decided to post. I still have a few questions that someone might be able to answer. I'll post those below.

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Old 10-21-2014, 09:23 PM   #2
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This is how it stands today. The inlay will be patina copper. If there is enough copper left over the back splash will be patina copper too.

It is on casters so I will be able to roll it away from the wall to change kegs.



Some of the first boards cut. We paid close attention to the grain pattern though we did make one mistake when assembling (I'm not telling you what it was).



The tap board.



One of the sides. The insert is 1/4" hickory plywood. It's floating in a slot in the outside wood. The frame is glued and pocket screwed with biscuit joints to hold the alignment.



Pocket screw joint.



The box coming together. The back is just pine plywood. It will be against the wall.



The top being clamped together. We biscuit jointed the 45 degree joints. It was a serious pain to get those joints exactly flush.



The box on the base with the top and coffin sides. No trim or coffin top yet.



A closer look at the top of the coffin. That was an exercise in patience. There are a lot of angles that had to be exact and it took a whole lot of sanding.



A look at the freezer with three of four kegs.
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Old 10-21-2014, 09:24 PM   #3
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Old 10-21-2014, 10:45 PM   #4
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Beautiful workmanship!

One question: Do you have a way worked out to keep the beer lines between the keezer and the taps cold? If not the warm lines could lead to foaming issues.

Brew on

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Old 10-22-2014, 12:39 AM   #5
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Thanks. I'm planning on running the lines through copper tubes from the cooler to the taps. The copper will be in foam the entire run. I'm hoping there will be enough thermal conductivity in the copper to minimize foaming.

Anyone know how much copper needs to be in the cooler to keep 14" of beer line cool?

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Old 10-22-2014, 12:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oberon View Post
Thanks. I'm planning on running the lines through copper tubes from the cooler to the taps. The copper will be in foam the entire run. I'm hoping there will be enough thermal conductivity in the copper to minimize foaming.

Anyone know how much copper needs to be in the cooler to keep 14" of beer line cool?
I used type L copper coil (walls are a bit thicker than the cheaper refrigeration coil) in my kegerator. Taps sit about 10" above the fridge and the copper coil starts at about 6-8" inside the fridge and runs up to the shank (fridge temp is mid to high 30s). I ran one beer line through each piece of copper (I believe it was 3/8" ID copper). That got rid of my foaming issues.
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Old 10-22-2014, 01:12 AM   #7
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A work of art! Your friend has a very clean shop.

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Old 10-22-2014, 01:23 PM   #8
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I've not seen much hickory furniture, but that is gorgeous.
Did you put any sort of a finish on it?
Based on that, Hickory might just be up there with Walnut as far as my favorite furniture hardwoods.

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Old 10-22-2014, 03:36 PM   #9
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Looking good!

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Old 10-22-2014, 06:16 PM   #10
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My plan is to do oil based polyurethane over the entire bar, including the copper. I considered doing epoxy over the copper but want a more natural look. I actually spent the money on the epoxy so I'll have to find another project for it.

Walnut was my second choice. I considered doing a light stain on the hickory to darken it up a bit but the test piece I did lost the contrast between the dark and light wood so I decided to leave it natural with just polyurethane to protect it.

I opted for stainless Perlick faucets and I'll replace the standard black plastic flanges with stainless. The drip tray is 19" stainless.

I'm a little concerned about the MDF that I'm planning on using under the copper. MDF tends to swell when wet. It shouldn't get wet but if there is a spill it's possible. I'm going to do a test with MDF coated in polyurethane; if I can seal it enough to prevent water from getting in I'll go ahead with it otherwise I'll use plywood. Does anyone have experience with MDF on a bar?

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