Chest Freezer Collar

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SixFoFalcon

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I've been using a 13 cubic foot chest freezer for my kegerator. I can fit 5 cornies and a 30# CO2 bottle, plus a few cases of bottles on top of the "hump". :ban: Now it's time to take it to the next level and make a nice collar so I can stop opening the lid and using the picnic tap every time I want a draft beer. :mug:

My concern is in regards to the hinges on the freezer. They have gas-charged struts to keep the lid propped open, and they don't extend too far down the back of the freezer. I plan on using hemlock 2x4s for the collar. It seems that the back 2x4 will end up handling a good deal of the torque from the struts, and I'm concerned about twisting/warpage fo that 2x4 over time.

Has anyone done a collar install on a freezer that uses these strut-loaded hinges to hold the lid open? I'm wondering if I shouldn't double-up and use two 2x4s along the back edge.

Also, should I permanently fasten the 2x4s to the freezer with construction adhesive, or would that be overkill? Perhaps just a couple of brackets with sheet metal screws on the inside of the freezer would suffice for keeping everything in place?
 

Sea

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It seems to me that a 2x6 box, properly fastened together at the corners (I eveled the ends and screwed them together with 3, 3.5" deck screws each), will be stouter than the sheet metal screw hinge attatchment method that most chest freezers employ.

I'm still finishing mine up, but I plan on using four to eight angle brackets to screw the collar to the top edge of the freezer, with a healthy dose of weather striping in-between, and a thick bead of syliconized Latex caulk around the inside edge.

Goos Luck.
 
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SixFoFalcon

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As far as insulation goes, I was planning on using 6" wide panels of Celotex™ on the inside of the 2x4s. That way there is about 2" of overlap down into the interior of the chest freezer--enough to seal up any gaps, and insulate the wood, but not so much that it interferes with the cooling lines in the walls of the freezer.

I think you are right that the lumber could be even more robust than the sheet metal. Still, I've seen lumber twist up like crazy with sustained loads so I have to wonder if doubling up would be the prudent design.
 

david_42

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Like this maybe?



I have a double-wall collar and used latex construction foam between the walls. More pictures in my gallery.
 
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SixFoFalcon

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Nice setup! That's about what I envisioned. Those pics will come in handy as I finish designing everything. Did you put the struts back in the hinges, or just leave them out? Mine has some scary warning about not fooling with the struts unless you want to die or something like that. I figured I'd leave them intact. :eek:
 

Bobby_M

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Are you sure it's a gas strut and not a simple spring? Those in the picture are exactly like the ones on my whirlpool. There are holes into which you insert 10 penny nails to keep them from kicking back on you when you remove the lid.
 

scoates

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For what it's worth, I added a collar to my chest freezer. It's lightly insulated (2 layers of the mylar bubble sheet stuff), and no caulking between the freezer and collar, and only the stock stripping between the lid and collar.

When I added the collar, I expected a major inefficiency to kick in, but I keep a very close eye on my freezer's cycle, and if it changed when adding the collar, it was negligible. Before adding it (summer), the compressor was on for ~10 minutes every ~70 minutes. It was the same after adding.

Now that it's much colder in my house (-22ºC outside today!), the compressor is on even less (10 minutes every 110 minutes).

Eye candy:



S
 

Sea

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For what it's worth:

Average R-value of wood = 1/inch

Average R-value of rigid foam = 7.5/inch

That being said, the design of a chest freezer prevents most of the chilled air from escaping; cool gases fall though warmer gases.
 

david_42

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I didn't disassemble anything. Just unscrewed the hinge bodies from the back and lifted the cover & hinges right off. The collar is sized so the lower holes in the hinges line up with the upper holes in the chest.
 
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SixFoFalcon

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Well, that's the end of that project. I thought you had drilled new holes there, and by the frost patterns on my freezer, I also thought there was no freon line in that area. I was wrong. :eek:

So I'm in the market for a new freezer now, since this one no longer has any freon in it. :(
 

Jonnio

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might be worth checking your local home depot. I got a 10 cu ft magic chef on clearance for $170

Sorry to hear about your mishap
 

david_42

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Bummer! I drilled my old kegger, but it had the evaporator on the inside back wall and the condenser out in the open, so I knew I'd be safe.
 
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SixFoFalcon

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I'm trying to figure out if this thing has any use other than a big ugly storage locker now.

Sears has the replacement freezer I want (in black, which is a plus) but they want $60 for delivery! :mad:
 

kinison_fan

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If you have the time and patience to wait, keep checking craigslist.
I missed a couple of $50 chest freezers, then got one for FREE.

It was rusty and the lid had holes in it, but it ran cold and froze.
After a little fiberglass/bondo on the lid, sanding, adding a collar, and finally black spray paint, I've got an older but functional decent looking converted chest freezer.

I'm near Philly also-you can expand your search to: Lehigh Valley, Lancaster, Reading CL if you don't mind driving. I got my chest freezer out of the Reading CL, and a CO2 tank, regulator, shank and faucet for $20 out of the Lancaster CL.
 
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SixFoFalcon

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Yeah, this one actually came from a Craigslist ad (so at least I didn't ruin something that I paid full price on). Back then, I was fortunate enough to find a seller who was willing to deliver for an extra fee--99% of the ads are "pickup ONLY" which is why I'm in sad shape right now, needing a replacement ASAP.

Maybe something will pop up, but it doesn't look too promising right now. And SWMBO wants a shiny new black one rather than some old cast-off. Time to start selling some stuff on CL and see if I can generate the cash for a replacement!
 
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SixFoFalcon

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I ended up finding a Craigslister who was willing to deliver a freezer for a fee. The "new" freezer is much better than the "old" one, even though the old one was practically new and the new one is fairly old. :cross: But it runs quietly, and it doesn't seem to run excessively long cycles, so I think it's OK. I paid $100 for the freezer and another $30 for delivery (about 6 miles one-way) and I helped him load it up at his place and unload it at my place.

Anywho, the one I just picked up is better mainly because of the dimensions. I believe it is smaller in terms of cubic feet, but I can fit more in it because the kegs line up better and there is less dead space between them. So far I managed to fit 6 cornies, a 30-lb CO2 tank, plus a case of bottles, and I'm still able to use the hanging basket for miscellaneous stuff (sodas, mixers, juice boxes, V8 cans, loose bottles, yeast, etc.) The best part is that the bolt spacing on the hinges is about 3.75", so my 2x4 lumber collar should fit perfectly without having to drill. :D
 
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