I'm still trying to get caught up on the progress we made so far. This post should bring the build up through last weekend and I will have more from the work we do today and tomorrow.
This is what I was referring to in my last post when I said it is much easier to attach the frames to the panels and then assemble the frames together with the panels already attached.
Once we attached all the panels together we set it on the base. The one concern that I had been having since the start of this project was that there was still nothing holding the freezer in place. You could pretty easily slide the freezer forward and I didn't want to be moving the unit around in the future only to have things shift around. I solved this problem in the next step by adding a collar around the top and by screwing in spacers on the base to hold everything in place.
I will start out by saying that I wish I could go back and incorporate this internal collar into my original design. If we had planned for it then we could have made it look a lot better but 99% of the time the top will be closed anyways so it doesn't really matter. The idea for the collar came soon after we put the panels on the base because within 5 minutes I had already dropped something in the gap. I immediately realized that if I left a gap I would inevitably drop something important in there in the future and have to take the whole thing apart to get it. The added benefit of this collar is that it also completely eliminated the movement of the freezer coupled with the spacers at the bottom.
Once we completed the panels we cut a piece of 1/2 inch hardwood plywood for the top and began to lay out a prototype for the coffin box. Up until this point everything was pretty straight forward but once you have to start thinking about things like "where will my lines run", "how do I circulate air", "how far apart should my taps be", etc. progress really slows down.
One of the hard things to decide was tap spacing and height. Ultimately we chose to build a coffin 20" wide and have the taps 4" on center. I looked at several builds in the forums and ultimately decided to have the center of the shanks at 12" in height. It is very helpful to have all of these pieces in hand to get a good visual for coffin design.
Below is the completed prototype for the coffin. One of the things that I was battling with in this build was coffin depth. I am doing a tile backsplash with under mount lighting and when you add in the faucets, 4"+ shanks, 4" cooling fans and 1/2 inch foam insulation you end up needing a pretty deep coffin box. My coffin is about 11.75" deep and the faucets will extend out to about 13" which is half the depth of my table top. I think it will look pretty good in the end but one thing I might would reconsider in a future build is smaller fans. My fans are probably overkill and it would save me an inch or so to get smaller ones.