It took a massive amount of effort, but I successfully bent open the casing on an old minifridge with a pair of vise grips. On the fridge I was dealing with, the heat exchanger lines were made of copper, so there was less concern about easily busting a line. I was then faced with what to do with the foam insulation around the lines. This I attacked like a hungry rat with a serrated steak knife. Probably not the smartest approach, but once I got started, I couldn't help myself.
Upshot, it was $20 well spent on craigslist, and the thing still runs/cools just fine. Now all I need is foam insulation board and a temp controller and I'll be (hopefully) temp-controlled in no time.