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CGVT 07-11-2012 12:04 AM

Keezer: I guess it's my turn
I finally started to get serious on my build.

A couple of months ago, I found this for $60 this at a garage sale.


It's a 5 cu ft Magic Chef. It has a nice small footprint and with a collar still easily holds 4 ball locks and my 5lb CO2.

I built a collar out of some old oak table leaves, insulated it with styrofoam and covered that with some cheap plywood. You can see my high tech clamping system in the picture and in the background you can see the Haier freezer I bought on CL that died before I started to build it

I put that on top of the freezer and was using it with a picnic tap for quite a while until I decided to get moving on it last weekend


I couldn't decide what I was going to use to cover the freezer but finally decided that I would cover it in 1/4 oak plywood and then trim it out around the collar and lid. I also decided to use the plywood to cover the collar so everything matched and lined up better. This is what I have done so far...


Compressor vent


I replaced the cheesy worn out wheels that were on it with two inch casters. I'm not sure but I think I am going to keep the CO2 outside so that I can swap it out with my 20lb tank if I run out

I'm doing everything with hand tools-circular saw, skill saw and drill so things are a bit sloppy, but I borrowed a miter saw to do the miter cuts on the trim pieces and I am going to cover the edges with corner molding.

So far so good

BeardedIdiot 07-11-2012 12:11 AM

Looking good! I'm checking craigslist daily for chest freezer deals, but everyone around here seems to be incredibly greedy. Haven't found a decent sized one for less than about $150, and right now my budget is about a third that.

Keep us updated!

Copbrew133 07-11-2012 12:31 AM

It looks good so far. I may be talking out my arse, but I thought if you cover the sides with material there had to be some sort of a gap for cooling and air flow. Am I wrong?

wubears71 07-11-2012 12:40 AM


Originally Posted by Copbrew133 (Post 4241194)
It looks good so far. I may be talking out my arse, but I thought if you cover the sides with material there had to be some sort of a gap for cooling and air flow. Am I wrong?

That is true since the coils are inside the chest walls. However that looks like 1/4" plywood which won't impede heat transfer too bad.

CGVT 07-11-2012 12:43 AM

The cooling coils on this freezer are on the back, but even if they weren't I wouldn't worry about covering the sides with 1/4" plywood. There are a couple of threads on here where people have done the same and their keezers are still working after 4 or 5 years. I have a friend that is an AC+R guy. He laughs and says that the compressor life that you might lose is not worth the hassle of over engineering. The R value of 1/4" plywood is <.31.

Copbrew133 07-11-2012 12:47 AM

Gotcha, like I said I wasn't sure, just thought I'd bring it up just in case, rock on sir.

BeardedIdiot 07-11-2012 12:58 AM

Just curious, how are you attaching the plywood to the fridge? Are you using construction adhesive and just gluing it to the skin, or are you nailing/screwing it? Thanks,

CGVT 07-11-2012 01:16 AM

I'm using Liquid Nails construction adhesive on the skin of the freezer. I don't have any clamps so I laid it down on the plywood... I am going to try taping the side panels to hold them in place so I don't have to turn the freezer on its side again. I glued and tacked the plywood to the wood on the collar.

CGVT 07-16-2012 03:28 AM

Made a little progress on the keezer this weekend.

I broke down and bought a couple of bar clamps at Home Depot for $14 each. In hind sight I should have gotten two more. Only having two makes for some long delays while I let the Liquid Nails dry.

I got the plywood skin done. I could only clamp one side at a time...


I decided to go with 2" oak for the trim on the bottom of the collar and around the bottom of the keezer. I am going with 4" around the lid so I can overhang the collar to cover where lid and collar come together and I can leave enough of a lip on top so that it covers the edge of the tile that I will put on the it.


I attached the bottom piece of trim to the compressor cover and drilled it out from the back so that I can use the old mounting screw holes to keep it in place (hard to see in this picture) the compressor cover and bottom trim piece will come out in one piece.


Now that I'm kinda rolling on it, I hope to trim out the lid tomorrow after work.

CGVT 07-23-2012 02:35 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Attachment 69349

I got all of the woodwork done. I decided to go old school on the finish and use shellac and paste wax. This is with two coats of shellac. I plan on hitting it with some fine steel wool before I put another coat and then again before I wax it

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