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Bar Top Keezer Build

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jlindborg

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I thought I'd post some pics of my just-completed keezer. I didn't find a lot of examples of what I was wanting to do when I was planning this, so maybe this will give some folks inspiration. I was looking to build something bar-height (42"), with a large finished bartop surface with room for 6 bar stools around 3 sides. I wanted this to be free-standing, and wanted it to be the centerpiece of the basement renovation. I think we nailed it. Let me know if there are any questions, comments, observations.

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jlindborg

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It started out life as a 10.2 cu ft freezer we got on clearance at Menards. I went with a 2-part collar. The lower collar (2x4) remains attached to the freezer, the upper collar (2x6) will hing. Bar top is attached to upper collar, with insulation all around. This gets me to my full bar height (42+ inches), gives me a fixed collar to mount stuff to, and allows the shanks, taps, beer lines to swing up and out of the way.

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jlindborg

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Collar stained, couple coats of poly, and drip tray shelf attached. I've got a drain kit attached to the drip tray, will drain it into a collection bucket. Don't expect many spills, but want to be prepared. I wanted the drip tray low enough that I could fill growlers without any issue (have problems trying to do that on the small kegerator I have upstairs).

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jlindborg

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'Live edge' wood slabs delivered from the Black Hills. Found a guy on craigslist who makes regular deliveries from a lumber mill in Rapid City SD to Minneapolis. It's three slabs of beetle kill ponderosa pine. He cut and planed everything, I glued, sanded, and stained. The beetle kill portion is the outer layer of the trunk, which gives it a bluish tint. That portion of the wood is much softer that the heartwood, and takes significantly more stain. Which is why the finished product ends up with such a color contrast (but that's what we were aiming for).

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jlindborg

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Bar top finishing in progress. I used several coats of danish oil (the first coat used the walnut tint, the following were just 'natural'). It took several coats to get the softer, darker wood to actually seal up (was like a sponge). I used several coats of poly on the underside to seal things up (since it acts as the keezer lid), and went with a 2-part epoxy resin pour for the bar top. I believe this pic is after the first flood coat and before the second. I used a quart kit for the seal coat, and a gallon kit split in two batches for the flood coats. Had a couple mosquitoes decide they wanted to be a permanent part of the bartop, but otherwise the pour and cure went great.

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jlindborg

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Here's some shots of the internals. I used 3/4 inch foam insulation on all the internal surfaces. That's a bed lift kit from Camping World that I had picked up on clearance that does a great job (I estimate this monstrosity comes in at around 150 pounds). I've got room for 5 kegs on the floor, and other on the hump if I wanted to. If I needed to I could move the co2 outside of the keezer and make room for another keg, but I like keeping everything self-contained. I've got an old PC muffin fan mounted in there for recirculation.

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BrooklynTom

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Great idea. I am sure others will copy. I will on my next kezzer. Quality work. :mug:
 

TxBigHops

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This is so freaking, ridiculously cool! I have been putting off kegging because I don't really have a good place in my home to locate a keezer or other kegging option. BUT... We have been thinking of replacing our breakfast room table with a bar height table. Well... why the heck not put a keezer underneath??? Going to show this to my wife tonight and we'll see what her reaction is...
 

BrewinSoldier

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That is absolutely awesome as can be. You have some woodworking skills my friend.

So one question, how heavy is that bar top? The way it is mounted, unevenly, does it tend to tip, especially if whoever is sitting at that end puts there weight resting on the table?

I would love to build something like this for my first house purchase. Maybe even change it up just a tad and put a tower coming up through the center so everyone could have access from the seat to pour another beer. Lol
 

LJvermonster

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That is absolutely incredible! Gotta ask, how much was the top? I was looking at decorative wood for my upright fridge kegerator panel and it was going to be $50-60 for a simple 14"x14"x1/2" block.
 

fxdude

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My girlfriend will be thrilled that we can finally have a dining table instead of the bar we have where a dining table would normally go!
 

duder1982

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I don't come here often, but what brought me here was the thought of building a Keezer. This my friend has got to be one of the nicest ones.
 

Dayglow

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Wow, that is an incredible looking build. Beautifully done sir!
 

pretzelb

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Is there a bucket under the drip tray for the drainage? Where is the electrical hooked up to?

Looks amazing. I'm guessing those seats will be like the adult version of musical chairs - people will swarm to fill them in.
 

EcuPirate07

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Do you even wood work bro? :D that is disgustingly gorgeous. Looks like something that should be on homes of the rich and famous out in Montana at a hunting mansion.
 
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jlindborg

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This is so freaking, ridiculously cool! I have been putting off kegging because I don't really have a good place in my home to locate a keezer or other kegging option. BUT... We have been thinking of replacing our breakfast room table with a bar height table. Well... why the heck not put a keezer underneath??? Going to show this to my wife tonight and we'll see what her reaction is...
My wife was a HUGE driver in this project turning out the way it did. When I was first sketching this out a year ago, I was planning something a bit simpler. But she was pretty adamant that if we do this, we do it right. She was the one that pushed to do a live-edge slab top, and found the bar stools she wanted to use. Life is good when SWMBO is happy!
 
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jlindborg

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That is absolutely awesome as can be. You have some woodworking skills my friend.

So one question, how heavy is that bar top? The way it is mounted, unevenly, does it tend to tip, especially if whoever is sitting at that end puts there weight resting on the table?

I would love to build something like this for my first house purchase. Maybe even change it up just a tad and put a tower coming up through the center so everyone could have access from the seat to pour another beer. Lol
Before I assembled the top, I weighed the upper collar and the three slabs (just stacked them up on a bathroom scale). It came in just over 120 pounds, and that was without the danish oil, poly, resin, insulation, and all the hardware and components. My conservative estimate is that it came in around 150 pounds.

I was worried about it being cantilevered too much (the guy at the lumber mill cut the slabs about 7 inches longer than I requested, because he didn't want to cut through some nice knots; and we agreed). I had assumed I would need to attach some clasps to lock the upper and lower collars when they were closed. But after I got things assembled and those door hinges attached, it's solid. If I put my full weight on the back edge (the edge I was worried about), the lid barely moves.

I was also worried about the lift cylinders (from an RV bed lift kit) forcing the lid open, but that's not an issue. I have to lift the lid several inches before the cylinders start to provide any lift. But once it's about half way open they really kick in (actually hard to close it once its open).
 

back2u

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Beautiful wood work, and a great project to enjoy with friends! Thanks for sharing.
 
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jlindborg

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That is absolutely incredible! Gotta ask, how much was the top? I was looking at decorative wood for my upright fridge kegerator panel and it was going to be $50-60 for a simple 14"x14"x1/2" block.
When I first started sketching out this project, I was thinking I would just use a couple slabs of plywood, with a veneer on top, and wrap it all with bar rail. Then I started pricing bar rail (bit of an eye opener). My wife was the one that suggested going with a live edge slab. I decided to scan craigslist to see what I could find, and there was a guy running a lumber mill out of Rapid City South Dakota who made regular deliveries to Minneapolis. We looked through the photos of the beetle kill ponderosa pine slabs he was cutting, and decided that would be perfect. Ended up costing me $304 for the book-matched slabs (about 45" x 66"), all cut, planed and ready to join, delivered to my front door. That's about what I would have paid for plywood/bar rail approach I had originally planned. We're very glad we went this approach.
 
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jlindborg

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Is there a bucket under the drip tray for the drainage? Where is the electrical hooked up to?

Looks amazing. I'm guessing those seats will be like the adult version of musical chairs - people will swarm to fill them in.
I've currently got a 2-liter pop bottle hidden in the decorative can; I've got a larger bottle I'll be inserting in there at some point. For now, I just want something to collect the rinse water I use to clear out the drip tray. For the electrical, I've got a drop cord covered by a safety cover (don't want any tripping hazards). You can see things a little better in this photo.

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