Kegerator build: need help deciding how many taps

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Summa_Brewologica

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So I have a fridge I’ve been using for my kegs in the basement. So far, the kegs have just been in the fridge with one picnic tap between them. The most I have had, so far, is two kegs at a time in the fridge.

I got wife approval to convert it to a kegerator. It’s a side by side fridge with the freezer on one side and fridge on the other. If I kept the co2 tank outside the fridge I could fit four, 5-gallon kegs in at a time.

My issue is OCD in nature. I will be starting with one tap since I only have one beer fermenting right now. I am trying to decide between 3 taps total, or four. I honestly rarely have more than 2 beers on tap at a time but I figured it would be good to have the extra one or two just in case.

So, after the rant, the issue is: if I decide on three I can put one shank right in the middle of the door, for now, but if I expand to 4, I would need to offset the tap to keep things symmetrical for expanding.

If this were your project would you go for 3 or 4 taps?
 

grampamark

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If it’s a matter of dealing with OCD then you just have to make yourself happy. I have a 3 tap kegerator using a 1963 GE fridge with the freezer on the bottom. I put the shanks through the sidewall of the fridge on the side opposite the hinge side of the door. It just seemed more convenient to not have the liquid plumbing moving every time the door was opened, and there was no refrigeration plumbing in the sides of the fridge. I could add a 4th keg if I removed the shelving from the door, and that would upset the symmetry of my faucet layout, but I’m not OC.

I usually only have two kegs on tap at a time; I don’t seem to be able to brew often enough to keep three kegs online all the time, let alone four.
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Summa_Brewologica

Summa_Brewologica

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When I was using a fridge, that held four kegs, I had three on tap and one either carbonating or ready for moving to a tap when it became available.

My current keezer can hold up to ten kegs, but I only have six taps through the collar.
Ok this is a great point. If I did have a fourth keg, it would still have to carb. This is great. I didn’t even think of that part of it.
If it’s a matter of dealing with OCD then you just have to make yourself happy. I have a 3 tap kegerator using a 1963 GE fridge with the freezer on the bottom. I put the shanks through the sidewall of the fridge on the side opposite the hinge side of the door. It just seemed more convenient to not have the liquid plumbing moving every time the door was opened, and there was no refrigeration plumbing in the sides of the fridge. I could add a 4th keg if I removed the shelving from the door, and that would upset the symmetry of my faucet layout, but I’m not OC.

I usually only have two kegs on tap at a time; I don’t seem to be able to brew often enough to keep three kegs online all the time, let alone four.View attachment 745213
View attachment 745212
This, combined with Golddiggie’s pretty much seals it for me. Thank you guys. I, likewise, barely have time to brew. I guess if it really came down to it, and my OCD was bad enough, I could make five taps off the three and fit a small 1-2.5 gallon keg in there.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

Summa_Brewologica

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If it’s a matter of dealing with OCD then you just have to make yourself happy. I have a 3 tap kegerator using a 1963 GE fridge with the freezer on the bottom. I put the shanks through the sidewall of the fridge on the side opposite the hinge side of the door. It just seemed more convenient to not have the liquid plumbing moving every time the door was opened, and there was no refrigeration plumbing in the sides of the fridge. I could add a 4th keg if I removed the shelving from the door, and that would upset the symmetry of my faucet layout, but I’m not OC.

I usually only have two kegs on tap at a time; I don’t seem to be able to brew often enough to keep three kegs online all the time, let alone four.View attachment 745213
View attachment 745212
Do you have a manifold or are you using multiple regulators?
 

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I use a fridge. I can keep 4 kegs in my fridge, since i moved my co2 to the outside. As of right now, I only use picnic taps. I do not for see me adding taps anytime soon. I do have enough picnic taps to tap all 4 kegs if need be. Right now, I have 1 cider, 1 seltzer, and a Dead Ringer on tap. And on my gas side, I have 4 ports available to me.

For your OCD. my suggestion is for you to answer some questions.
1. How many kegs do you really want on tap? If you are wanting 4, where there is a will there is a way(as in brewing enough to tap 4 kegs).
2. Have you stuck 4 kegs in your fridge? I thought i would have plenty of room, boy was I wrong. I have a 18cft fridge with a top freezer, and had to remove all my shelving, including whats on my door. ( love my freezer, i keep my ice and all my hops in there, works great for my situation and what i want)
3. How do you carb your beer. i.e... in the fridge or out. if its in the fridge, then why not stop at 3, leave one spot open for carbonation? If you carb outside, then it is the question of how many flavors do you want to have.( refer to question 1)
4. how many kegs do you plan on having all together? ( i have 3 coke style covered, and 2 ball locks, that way I can have 1 keg empty most times).
5. if you have 2 taps, you can have 4 in the fridge, 2 carbing up and clearing more. I noticed in the 2 years that I have been kegging, by the time my keg kicks (3-4 weeks in the fridge) my beer is clearer than it was at 2 weeks.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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I use a fridge. I can keep 4 kegs in my fridge, since i moved my co2 to the outside. As of right now, I only use picnic taps. I do not for see me adding taps anytime soon. I do have enough picnic taps to tap all 4 kegs if need be. Right now, I have 1 cider, 1 seltzer, and a Dead Ringer on tap. And on my gas side, I have 4 ports available to me.

For your OCD. my suggestion is for you to answer some questions.
1. How many kegs do you really want on tap? If you are wanting 4, where there is a will there is a way(as in brewing enough to tap 4 kegs).
2. Have you stuck 4 kegs in your fridge? I thought i would have plenty of room, boy was I wrong. I have a 18cft fridge with a top freezer, and had to remove all my shelving, including whats on my door. ( love my freezer, i keep my ice and all my hops in there, works great for my situation and what i want)
3. How do you carb your beer. i.e... in the fridge or out. if its in the fridge, then why not stop at 3, leave one spot open for carbonation? If you carb outside, then it is the question of how many flavors do you want to have.( refer to question 1)
4. how many kegs do you plan on having all together? ( i have 3 coke style covered, and 2 ball locks, that way I can have 1 keg empty most times).
5. if you have 2 taps, you can have 4 in the fridge, 2 carbing up and clearing more. I noticed in the 2 years that I have been kegging, by the time my keg kicks (3-4 weeks in the fridge) my beer is clearer than it was at 2 weeks.
1) not necessarily how many I want but how many I might potentially have at a time.

2) stuck 4 kegs in there. No problem there.

3) I do carb in the fridge which makes me want to roll with three taps as per golddiggies post.

4) realistically probably 2 at most but that third one could be a nitro tap in the future

5) this is a great suggestion, as well.
 

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My current keezer can hold 8 kegs since I moved the C02 (20#) out of the keezer. Although I am able to leave the Nitrogen inside (smaller bottle on the shelf). I started with 3 taps through the collar but switched to 5 after about 3 months. I converted a chest freezer into my keezer.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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My current keezer can hold 8 kegs since I moved the C02 (20#) out of the keezer. Although I am able to leave the Nitrogen inside (smaller bottle on the shelf). I started with 3 taps through the collar but switched to 5 after about 3 months. I converted a chest freezer into my keezer.
I have a chest freezer I use for fermenting. I thought about using the fridge for fermenting and converting the freezer to a keezer but I like being able to use the freezer side of the fridge. So I’m rolling with kegerator, for now.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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you can always carbonate outside the fridge too. I would go with four taps. you never know when you will want to have four beers on tap.
I transferred a stout I fermented with a little pressure (spunding) to a keg a tad early and let it sit for like two months. I pulled a sample and put the spunding valve on just to check the pressure. It was like 10 psi which was just about perfect for this stout. All that was room temp. Not sure how chilling it will effect the carbonation. I haven’t wrapped my head around temperature relation to carbonation yet.
Point is, you’re right. Carbing at room temp is completely fine, in my book.
 

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If you ended up going with four, you could just do a triangle pattern with one at top. Or if you decide to do 4 now, do a diamond pattern. Spacing could be even with either to fill that need to confine to a defined shape.

Having said that, I have a 4 tap kegerator and have only once had all 4 operating and I think that was only for a few days. I utilize the space to accommodate 4 kegs more often than the 4 taps, but it is nice having that option.
 

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Do you have a manifold or are you using multiple regulators?
Don't know about anyone else, but I've been using manifolds since the start. I do have a dual body regulator for the CO2 bottle (20#) but only a single on the nitro mix (60 cubic currently, since the 20 cubic didn't last very long). I have each feed going to it's own set. When I was using the fridge, that was a three and four port manifold on the CO2 set (didn't have the nitro setup at that time). With the current setup, I have one manifold from each of the CO2 body (four and five ports) and two linked manifolds on the nitro mix (five ports total). While I'm not currently using one of the CO2 body feeds, I might at some point, so I'm leaving that all setup.

I'm using gas bulkheads through the keezer collar. I like those since it's easier to send the gas through and I didn't need to put larger holes through the collar for the gas lines. Even better if I go with gas lines that are a different OD at some point. Since all gas lines are using swivel nuts, it's easy to change things out. Liquid lines are MFL fittings from the kegs, to nut futtings to the shanks (not soldered/direct barbs onto the shanks).

While I'm currently using all 2.5 and 3 gallon kegs, the keezer is setup so that I can have eight 6 gallon kegs on the main section with another pair of at least three gallon kegs on the hump (I used 2x8 for the collar structure). I could make a shelf on the kegs in the main part and add another layer on top (or under) if I wanted to. Haven't needed to do that yet. I have kegs kick often enough to put one inside the keezer when a batch is ready for serving. The cans I fill go into another dedicated fridge now.
 

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Do you have a manifold or are you using multiple regulators?
Manifold vs regulator really depends on if you want to have multiple styles on tap that require different carbonation levels. If so, you’ll need multiple regulators. If not, just a manifold works.

I transferred a stout I fermented with a little pressure (spunding) to a keg a tad early and let it sit for like two months. I pulled a sample and put the spunding valve on just to check the pressure. It was like 10 psi which was just about perfect for this stout. All that was room temp. Not sure how chilling it will effect the carbonation. I haven’t wrapped my head around temperature relation to carbonation yet.
Point is, you’re right. Carbing at room temp is completely fine, in my book.
10 psi at room temp will be very under-carbed when chilled for ales and lagers. To reach normal carbonation levels at room temp you’d need around 30 psi at room temp. This equates to approximately 10 psi when chilled. To figure out your temp use the following chart. Get your serving temp, then go right to find your desired volumes of CO2. The colors assist with this. Once you find your desired volumes of CO2 follow the chart up to find the pressure you need the keg at. For example at 38 °F 2.5 volumes would require 11 psi.

If you want to carb at room temp you’ll need a second regulator that can be set at a much higher pressure. Do the same thing with the chart but for the temp of the room. Once you chill the keg connect it to a regulator at the desired volumes for your serving temp and bleed off any excess pressure still in the keg headspace.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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Manifold vs regulator really depends on if you want to have multiple styles on tap that require different carbonation levels. If so, you’ll need multiple regulators. If not, just a manifold works.


10 psi at room temp will be very under-carbed when chilled for ales and lagers. To reach normal carbonation levels at room temp you’d need around 30 psi at room temp. This equates to approximately 10 psi when chilled. To figure out your temp use the following chart. Get your serving temp, then go right to find your desired volumes of CO2. The colors assist with this. Once you find your desired volumes of CO2 follow the chart up to find the pressure you need the keg at. For example at 38 °F 2.5 volumes would require 11 psi.

If you want to carb at room temp you’ll need a second regulator that can be set at a much higher pressure. Do the same thing with the chart but for the temp of the room. Once you chill the keg connect it to a regulator at the desired volumes for your serving temp and bleed off any excess pressure still in the keg headspace.
So all that makes sense but does the regulator being in the fridge at the same 38 degrees change things?
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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No it doesn’t matter if the regulator is inside or outside of the fridge. The only thing that matters is the pressure supplied to the beer and the temp of the beer itself.
Thanks for this. Makes sense I’ve always carbed cold so I never really thought about it. Just set the pressure and let it do its thing. My goal wasn’t to carbonate, with the pressure thing. Just something I observed.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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I was really hoping to go nukatap but brewhardware has a whole package with an intertap faucet, shank, line, and disconnect for like $70 shipped. Piecing all that out on more beer is like $95 shipped/taxed with a nukatap. Would you guys go cheaper or get the nukatap?
 

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IME, having the gas bottle, and regulators, outside means you have more room for kegs. Plus it's easier to check pressure levels and adjust as needed. Less opening up the fridge/keezer means you keep the cold inside. It also allows you to more easily change out gas bottles, including going with larger ones, easily.

I'm also using no more than two CO2 pressures for my beers (ales and stouts/porters). I was using a secondary regulator while using the carbonating lid, but have since gotten rid of the lid, and just haven't gotten around to removing the regulator from the setup. I'll probably do that soon.
 
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I’ve been brewing less since I dragged home a project car that crowds my garage on the brewery side.
My beer fridge is a full size top-freezer & holds five 5-gallon ball lock cornies. All my pics are way back on my desktop, but could post some later. I have 5 taps, quite far to the right & close together. Makes it easier to open the door from left. Plywood shelf on the bottom raises “floor” above hump & still room for two drawers below.

I’m a big fan of CO2 in small paintball tanks. You can easily have two or more in the fridge just laying on top of the kegs or hanging beside on reg hoses. Easy to have kegs at different pressures for carbonating & serving. And you never lose a whole tank of CO2 if there’s a gas leak.

Carbing inside or out is fine. At room temp is faster. I make ales that are ready to drink in 5-6 days, then settle down & continue to get clearer & mellower. I cold crash overnight or up to 24 hrs then carb at 25-30 psi in fridge.

If you have plenty of fridge & tap space, carbonating good water or a fruit drink like lemonade is fun & easy too. I get my brewing water from a local public artesian well; super SOFT, 12-14 ppm Bicarbonate, single digit on everything else. Tested by Ward labs, so I know just what to add for brewing. Tastes & dispenses GREAT at 12-15 psi after liberal carbing. I like forward sealing taps that won’t gum up with beerstone. The only old style tap on the fridge is for water. If I have five beers on tap again, I will change it too.
 

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I was really hoping to go nukatap but brewhardware has a whole package with an intertap faucet, shank, line, and disconnect for like $70 shipped. Piecing all that out on more beer is like $95 shipped/taxed with a nukatap. Would you guys go cheaper or get the nukatap?
I have six Intertaps on my kegerator, they are great. No leaks, no gunk build-up.
Whatever you decide, be sure to get stainless steel and forward-sealing.
IMG_0616.JPG
 

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I was really hoping to go nukatap but brewhardware has a whole package with an intertap faucet, shank, line, and disconnect for like $70 shipped. Piecing all that out on more beer is like $95 shipped/taxed with a nukatap. Would you guys go cheaper or get the nukatap?
Based on all the glowing reviews I've seen here, I'd recommend you start with EVABarrier tubing and doutight push to connect fittings. I cannot personally vouch for it as I don't have it installed yet, however, I did just receive all the parts to upgrade my kreezer with EVABarrier lines and duotight fittings. I originally had all vinyl lines and barb fittings so upgrading now I'm basically buying everything twice.

Advantages are EVABarrier is much less oxygen permeable than vinyl so the beer in your lines doesn't become oxidized (and you get less oxygen permeating into your CO2 lines too). And the small ID of the hoses means you need only 4-5 feet to balance your lines not 10-12 as with typical vinyl lines. Plus push to connect fittings are much easier to use.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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Based on all the glowing reviews I've seen here, I'd recommend you start with EVABarrier tubing and doutight push to connect fittings. I cannot personally vouch for it as I don't have it installed yet, however, I did just receive all the parts to upgrade my kreezer with EVABarrier lines and duotight fittings. I originally had all vinyl lines and barb fittings so upgrading now I'm basically buying everything twice.

Advantages are EVABarrier is much less oxygen permeable than vinyl so the beer in your lines doesn't become oxidized (and you get less oxygen permeating into your CO2 lines too). And the small ID of the hoses means you need only 4-5 feet to balance your lines not 10-12 as with typical vinyl lines. Plus push to connect fittings are much easier to use.
Yea that’s the deal that brewhardware has going. It’s intertap with shank, ball lock disconnect, and all Eva/duotight tubing/fittings. I think I’m gonna splurge, though, and build it up on more beer so I can have the nukatap faucet instead of the intertap. For sure going with the evabarrier tubing, though. Anyone know why intertap has a special shank? I know you don’t have to get it and the faucet will work with standard shanks just curious if there was anything special about it.
 

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IME, resolving foaming issues is usually accomplished by having the right liquid line length (from keg to shank). It's better to go longer than you need than shorter. Longer just will mean a slower pour. Shorter can lead to excess foaming in your glass.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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IME, resolving foaming issues is usually accomplished by having the right liquid line length (from keg to shank). It's better to go longer than you need than shorter. Longer just will mean a slower pour. Shorter can lead to excess foaming in your glass.
In that case, what would be your faucet recommendation?
 

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Knightshade

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Yea that’s the deal that brewhardware has going. It’s intertap with shank, ball lock disconnect, and all Eva/duotight tubing/fittings. I think I’m gonna splurge, though, and build it up on more beer so I can have the nukatap faucet instead of the intertap. For sure going with the evabarrier tubing, though. Anyone know why intertap has a special shank? I know you don’t have to get it and the faucet will work with standard shanks just curious if there was anything special about it.

If I'm thinking of the thing...that I think you're referring to....I believe that shank just makes it easier to put a duo tight connector onto it. Which if you're trying to futz with lines and all that inside a tap tower...you'll appreciate...immensely.


I have no experience with a kegerator that doesn't have duotight/interap faucets, but I've been really happy with my setup. Really easy to switch out connectors for cleaning too.
 
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If I'm thinking of the thing...that I think you're referring to....I believe that shank just makes it easier to put a duo tight connector onto it. Which if you're trying to futz with lines and all that inside a tap tower...you'll appreciate...immensely.


I have no experience with a kegerator that doesn't have duotight/interap faucets, but I've been really happy with my setup. Really easy to switch out connectors for cleaning too.
I went with the nukatap faucet with a stainless shank and all the Evabarrier/duotight fixins. I’m excited. If I can make it look decent enough, I might be able to move it upstairs.
 

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I went with the nukatap faucet with a stainless shank and all the Evabarrier/duotight fixins. I’m excited. If I can make it look decent enough, I might be able to move it upstairs.

Does moving it upstairs = easier reach? You might find yourself definitely brewing more...or needing to brew more often if that is the case. 😜
 
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Does moving it upstairs = easier reach? You might find yourself definitely brewing more...or needing to brew more often if that is the case. 😜
Haha it might but really it would just be easier. The fridge I have is not bad looking. I think I have my wife onboard. I’ll make it happen.
 
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Is a spade bit fine? Or did you guys go with a hole saw? I assume it should be slightly bigger than shank diameter?
 

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I always thought 3 taps was plenty and would allow different beers. Combine that with a couple batches in bottles and you’re good. With 3 taps I always thought you have a lighter beer like a lager, a hoppy beer like a pale ale or an ipa, and a dark beer like a stout and you have all the bases covered. Then you can add Belgians or whatever you want in bottles.

I have a real 2 tap kegerator. Not a converted fridge. I’m the only one in my house who really drinks beer. And I don’t have friends who come over all the time. The only problem is when I get a beer on tap like I have now, a club brew barrel aged RIS that isn’t a frequent drinker. But 2 taps is good for me as things are now. Each person has to find what fits their needs.
 
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I always thought 3 taps was plenty and would allow different beers. Combine that with a couple batches in bottles and you’re good. With 3 taps I always thought you have a lighter beer like a lager, a hoppy beer like a pale ale or an ipa, and a dark beer like a stout and you have all the bases covered. Then you can add Belgians or whatever you want in bottles.

I have a 2 tap kegerator. I’m the only one in my house who really drinks beer. And I don’t have friends who come over all the time. The only problem is when I get a beer on tap like I have now, a RIS that isn’t a frequent drinker. But 2 taps is good for me as things are now. Each person has to find what fits their needs.
I’m in the same boat. I’m the only drinker and seldom have company. I guess its one of those things where if you go with two taps you’ll wish you had more but if you go with three or four you’ll never keep it stocked.
 

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Is a spade bit fine? Or did you guys go with a hole saw? I assume it should be slightly bigger than shank diameter?
Spare yourself some grief and get a carbide hole saw. Perfect holes in sheet metal, really quickly. I wouldn't use a hole saw meant for woodworking, it'll get ruined.

Yes, slightly larger. But it's really easy to enlarge the hole with a file, so if you already have a hole saw that's a bit small, you could use it.

You may also need a larger hole saw for the door liner (see photo post #26).
Since the door liner is plastic, no need for carbide teeth on that one.
 
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Summa_Brewologica

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Spare yourself some grief and get a carbide hole saw. Perfect holes in sheet metal, really quickly. I wouldn't use a hole saw meant for woodworking, it'll get ruined.

Yes, slightly larger. But it's really easy to enlarge the hole with a file, so if you already have a hole saw that's a bit small, you could use it.

You may also need a larger hole saw for the door liner (see photo post #26).
Since the door liner is plastic, no need for carbide teeth on that one.
Thanks for the heads up. I’ll splurge and get the carbine. Why does the door liner need a bigger hole saw?
 

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Living free in the 603
Thanks for the heads up. I’ll splurge and get the carbine. Why does the door liner need a bigger hole saw?
It doesn't. It all depends on how you want the inside end of the shanks setup. In my fridge, I simply had the nuts against the inside plastic. No issues. Later I removed the plastic and all the contours and replaced it with plexiglass. The nuts on the inside of the shanks would mate right up against that. Full insulation was still in use. IMO, you're better off keeping the full insulation/foam in the door than ripping it away.
 
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