I'm a hands on learner, so I knew that if I wanted to learn about the draft serving process the best thing to do would be to build one for myself.
I finalized the design
I found a nice deep freeze one for around $80 off of craigslist
it is a not an inexpensive project so between my daughter, food and brewing supplies it took me while to save up enough to even get the collar built and I knew I wanted at least three taps on hand when I started.
Last weekend (10/16 and 10/17) it was time to get a move on at least to the point of having it usable. I figure in December I'll add the forth tap and skin it.
First step is lid removal, I'd seen some recommendation of using a nail to keep the hinges shut, this is important as I at first used small nails. once I had removed the bolts the hinge had enough force to put a 90 degree bend in it and it was not easy to get it to reset from only half way opened. Also I decide I wanted to attach the collar to the lid vs the wall. I did this so that when all the hoses and taps are in place they can be lifted away to have better access to the kegs. I also added a good 7 inches with a collar that I would have to lift a keg over.
Next I decided I wanted to save the seal gasket, so I removed the tabs holding it on which also connected the plastic piece to the top which I knew I would want removed to attach the collar to.
Next came attaching a piece of scrape plywood I got at home depot for 51 cents (probably the cheapest thing on the entire build) to the lid. I attached it with exterior screws and a tube of Liquid Nails. I found the 2 inch clamps at home depot for 99 cents each. in retrospect 2 more would have been prefect
While the lid was drying I started on the collar, I bought a 10 foot 2X8 and had them cut it into 2 41 inch boards and had them split the reminder in half which came to be 19inches each. I cut an inch off each of the side boards (should have only taken off 3/4 of an inch oh well) and screwed it together.
tossed the lid on quick to get a sense of how it would look and make some markings
Next I attached the collar to the lid with lots of brackets and screws
here it is bracketed up with the seal back on. I took a tube of mold resistant exterior seal and sealed everything up. I also grabbed a can of exterior polyurethane and put on three costs to seal the wood
The lid and collar are back on and it opens. To reinforce the hinges I sandwiched the wood at the hinge between 8 6 inch plates you'll see it in a bit