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Old 10-04-2011, 01:06 PM   #1
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Default How not to cut a hole in a Vintage Fridge for a tap

So I've been wanting to build a ferm chamber and add a second tap to my existing kegerator, but my tendency to over engineer everything has become a problem. I designed a great ferm chamber with multiple zones, but when I priced it out it was about 400 bucks, not what I am prepared to spend at this moment.

Anyway, started trolling CL and ran across this vintage 1954 Frigidaire made by General Motors. It needs a ton of work, but I started breaking it down last night. $50 bucks got me the fridge, a very clean miller keg, and there was a surprise in the door. See pics below. The last one is a pic of what one in decent shape looks like.




SURPRISE!!! apparently the best way to cut a hole in the fridge was to use an axe and bury this Perlick single tap tower in the door with foam insulation!







I got pretty far breaking it down then the SWBMO came out to see what I was doing. I think this project just got shelved for a while

Well, at least I can call around to see what media/soda blasting will run me

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Old 10-04-2011, 01:38 PM   #2
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There is a DIY sandblast shop in Plainwell, MI that will probably run you about $50. They have a room large enough to put a car in. You don a suit and have at it with Walnut shell media.

I think a guy did a 65 Mustang for less than $200.

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Old 10-04-2011, 01:40 PM   #3
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Wow, that is one way to tap the door. It gets a silver medal for most creative use of a draft tower. I like the old school look of the fridge though, keep updating on progress and how you are going to address that door rip.

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Old 10-04-2011, 04:12 PM   #4
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I don't understand. Did you buy this as a crazy kegerator, or do that damage yourself? Why are the guts of the fridge hanging out from a tether on the ceiling? I can't bear to watch the carnage anymore. "Heeeeerrrrre's Johnny"

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Old 10-04-2011, 04:44 PM   #5
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I bought the beast for $50 bucks, it came with the keg and the surprise perlick draft tower. It runs, and the only thing I'll have to replace is the inner door, door handle and door gasket. I think I have a source for the door handle and gasket already lined up, and the inner door I'll fab out of acrylic or sheet metal.

The guts were hanging from the ceiling so I didn't kink the copper line for the freon. Only thing left for deconstruction is taking the compressor and guts out of the bottom, I think I only have a couple bolts left, but I want to get a piece of plywood to strap the copper to so I don't kink the lines.

I've always wanted a vintage fridge for my kegerator, and I'm always up for a good project.

The biggest challenge is going to be repairing the door. I think I'll cut the messed up part out square and add a new piece of sheet metal on the inside and tack it in several spots. From there I can bondo the door and smooth it out. With the sheet metal being pretty thin, but not as thin as now days, I doubt I can do a full weld, but time will tell.

Oh yeah, I figure worst case scenario I'm out some time, and I can sell the keg and draft tower to get my $50 back.

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Old 06-08-2012, 03:17 PM   #6
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OMG! That's the same make and model of the one I just bought! Nice to see what the innards of the door look like. Would you like to see what the original looks like?
I got this one for $100 on CL. Hoping to make a nice, retro kegerator out of it--but not with a hidden tower! Was the door's inner shell already gone when you bought it? Any new progress on yours? Thoughts on mine?

img_0585.jpg   img_0587.jpg  
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Old 06-08-2012, 04:39 PM   #7
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Hi

Double check your gasket source before you go very far on one of these vintage fridges. Replacement gaskets often go for a *lot* of money if you can find them at all.

Bob

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Old 06-08-2012, 04:44 PM   #8
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That fridge looks very familiar. I painted mine red. I have used it for fermentation and cold crashing...they are quite small inside...good luck w/ the project.

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Old 06-08-2012, 05:32 PM   #9
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Haha - love the hole for the tap. That is some handy work.

I am guessing the person who made that hole did so after drinking that free keg you saw in the refridge

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Old 06-08-2012, 05:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
That fridge looks very familiar. I painted mine red. I have used it for fermentation and cold crashing...they are quite small inside...good luck w/ the project.

Great looking fridge, wilserbrewer! Did you take the chrome off, or mask around it? How was the lettering attached?
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My Projects:
Vintage 1954 Frigidaire Kegerator Build

ON TAP!: Vanilla Porter, Hoppy Wheat
Primary:
Secondary:
Bottled:
--Beer:
--Wine:
Kegged:
--Saison
Drinking:
--Beer: Rye IPA, Irish Ale, Saison, Doppelbock, Winter Warmer, Bavarian Dunkel, Honey Brown Ale
--Wine: Spanish Rioja, Chocolate Raspberry Port, NZ Sauvignon Blanc
Up next: Winter Warmer, English Ale, and maybe DFH 90 Clone
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