Hello! First post here, and it's a big one. I wanted to wait until I had something substantial to contribute.
Last month SWMBO started bugging me about what I wanted for christmas, and one of the things I came up with was a mini kegerator. I had seen them at the liquor store and some of my favorite beers came in the 5L kegs (Spaten and Newcastle). But after shopping around it was going to be a few hundred dollars for the kegerator, adaptor for non-pressurized mini kegs, and the beer and it just didn't feel worth it. But by then I had the bug so I started reading up on fridge to kegerator conversions and stumbled on this site.
One thing led to another and I finally settled on building a collar keezer. I didn't like the look of a fridge with a spout out the front/side and the keezer can be expanded on, as you all have shown here in the forums. And more importantly SWMBO approved a keezer in the house.
Next came the research, lurking the forums for weeks reading all the threads I could find about keezers and collars and putting my plans together. From all the horror stories I read I decided to not drill through the freezer or make any permanent modifications to it (the SWMBO wanted to be able to have a freezer still if we wanted/needed).
I wanted a freezer 8+ cu ft. The collar would be 2x6 of pine with a 2x8 outer collar of red oak on three sides. The collar will rest on the freezer with some weather stripping for seal, the oak will overhang to keep it in place, and the lid will be hinged on top with its original seal. Then I'd put some taps in on the right side and mount a bottle opener and cap catcher on the left. I priced everything out, ran it by SWMBO, and started checking craigslist for freezers.
After about a week of trying and missing freezers for sale on craigslist I came upon a posting for a 23cu ft freezer for $150 the guy wanted to sell that day. It was much bigger than I was planning on, but it sounded too good to pass up! I met the guy that night and due to the condition (see pics) I talked the guy down to $120 and deliver for free.
So here it is as I got it
As you can see lots of rust and chipped paint and the lid is held on with duct tape :/ as much as I agree duct tape fixes everything, I wanted a more permanent and cleaner looking solution. I used goo off to remove the duct tape residue, liquid nails to attach the gasket to the lid, and clear caulk to attach the inner wall to the gasket. (unfortunately no pics, might edit some in tonight)
After I fixed the lid I sanded out all the rust, luckily it was all just superficial and came off completely, and coated it with black appliance epoxy. WARNING if you use appliance epoxy cover every square inch of skin completely, wear a mask, and use a huge drop cloth. I used rustoleum's spray epoxy and it's different than normal spray paint, there are a lot more fumes and it seems to blow around a bit rather than adhere completely to the surface. I painted it in my driveway on a drop cloth and by the time I was done and pulled up the drop cloth there was on obvious outline. It looked like there was soot on my driveway except for a clean rectangle where the drop was. I also had little specs of it all over my hands arms and face and it's very difficult to wash off. Anyways, here it is after painting it.
Next was the collar, 2x6 pine with butt joints and corner braces.
Here's a pic of it dry fit with the lid
Then I mitered the red oak and attached it, unfortuantely I only had a few clamps so I had to do it in steps. I just used gorilla wood glue and seems to be sticking fine. I didn't like the idea of seeing bolts or having to countersink and cover holes so I'm glad this worked out.
Now at this point I realized my pine was slightly warped so my perfectly mitered joints didn't fit pefectly after being clamped to the inner collar.
I used some wood filler to seal it up, hopefully that will be sufficient.
Here it is fully assembled, and then set on the freezer.
And that's where I'm at right now. Throughout my build I've been reading more and more on this site and I think you guys have convinced me to try home brewing. I'm probably going to get a kit.....after I finish the keezer though. One project at a time. Gotta keep the wife happy.