First of all, I wanted to say that I am not very handy, so I really mean that anyone could do this project. The only thing I didn't have to buy or borrow to complete this project was a drill. This being said, this project was incredibly fun and easy to do. Surprisingly easy. So, if you're like me and you're worrying about freon lines and ruining your fridge, take the golden advice: Relax, Don't Worry, Have a Homebrew. This is going to be a great experience that will serve you (no pun intended) for years to come.
Now if you're like me, even though you've researched it online and heard countless times that the Sanyo 4912 has the freon line running straight across the top of the fridge 7" in from the back, you're still a bit nervous to drill. Put your mind at ease. Make a paste using 50/50 rubbing alcohol and cornstarch (cheap and easy.) Remove the top of the fridge (there are three screw holding the plastic top on in the back and four holding it on in the front of the fridge. Take this plastic top off to reveal the metal top beneath. Here's the plastic fridge top removed:
Using a BBQ brush or some other form, 'paint' the top of your fridge with the solution. Your fridge should be off when you do this. Plug it in and after about 5 mins. or so you'll notice this:
Notice the white blob in the middle of the fridge. This is the freon line. As everyone has stated, it's about 7" from the back of the fridge. No worries! The exact center of the fridge (as located on the bottom of the plastic fridge top) is almost 9 3/4" from the back of the fridge. This is almost enough clearance for you to drill a 5 inch hole (although I wouldn't recommend doing this.)
Now that you've located the freon line and have removed the top, it's time to prep the top for the wooden support. Now, you can either drill four screw holes through the fridge in addition to the big hole for the lines, or you can forego drilling more than one hole in your fridge and instead anchor your tower entirely to the wooden support. I decided, after research, to go with the latter. Other brewers have found anchoring into the wood alone is very sturdy and has caused no problems.
The next choice you'll need to make is whether to go with the 5 inch or 8 inch square. You'll notice a diamond-within-a-diamond pattern on the underside of the plastic fridge top. I would definitely recommend going with the full 8 inch piece of 1/2 inch plywood. Lowes even cut it 8x8 for me, so I didn't need to cut it myself.
Now, you need to remove the plastic 'fins' from the center square in the middle of the plastic top of the fridge. I used an exacto blade at first to score the fins and then wiggles the plastic fins back and forth until they broke off. Then I had an idea. I got a hammer and a putty knife (for drywall) and 'chiselled' the fins off. This was incredibly quick and easy to do. I much prefer it to the exacto knife:
Now drop that 8x8 inch piece of wood into that square and, voila, a perfect fit:
Part II to follow...