Vintage Kelvinator freezer restoration

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89OctaneStang

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Then it was time to fix the broken lid... Did some fiberglass work to re-enforce it and bring it back to the original condition:

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89OctaneStang

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Then its time to lay on the main color, Guardsman Blue. The paint theme I went with was the old AC Cobra paint job which was one of my favorites... AC Cobra developed into the Shelby Cobra in the late 60's/early 70's if I remember right. Todays Mustangs have reversed the paint scheme with Guardsman blue stripes on white paint:

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89OctaneStang

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It was tricky getting the metalic paint just right... There were several attempts to get the tiger striping out. We learned that taking your time with even 50/50 overlay sprays and crossing over with light coats helped a lot! We even let it sit in the sun for a few minutes to help lay out the layers of paint. Not very experienced with painting but it seemed to work out in our favor, Thank God!!
 

89OctaneStang

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And that is how she sits now... Next is to finish all the cosmetic stuff like polishing the original chrome Kelvinator emblems, new wood inside ledge, new alluminum sill plate, refinishing the original hinges, new lid gasket, wheels and other minor stuff all in the next couple of weeks before I deploy overseas so I can atleast pour one brew off my new found friend! LOL, just to think... I got this off of craigslist two years ago for $10. $2,000 later and here are the before and after pics up to this point:

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89OctaneStang

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Thank you Mr. Alan Bergstrom (Solo Cup)! I am one happy Soldier right now and its not even complete yet!!!
 

Gear101

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Dude that looks really good, can not wait to see it with all the hardware back on it.
 

LoneWolfPR

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Holy cow. I wish I had the time and motivation for a project like this. That is an incredible transformation!
 

89OctaneStang

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So now I need to hunt down a really good seal for the lid. I need a thick seal about 3/4" wide and a 1/2" thick or so, that has some give to it to help seal some areas that just wouldn't come out straight enough for my liking. Any good suggestions?
 

89OctaneStang

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The goal is to complete this project within the next month and to keep the restoration cost under $200. Then I have figured about another $400 for the completion of the system to total $600 and about 48 man hours in time.

Now I know that might be a little more than you would generally put into a kegerator but this is a vintage freezer that will be completely restored. These freezers go for approx $3k online restored. In my opinion, it is worth it to say I have a completely restored vintage collector freezer as a kegerator! :mug:
LOL, I must have been smoking something funny back then because I was way off in cost and time. I could not even begin to imagine all the countless hours spent just sitting in the garage tinkering with everything to try and get it done right. But my wife sure let me know every weekend that I did have a family inside. LOL... But the Kelvinator was not arguing with me all that much so I was having more fun in the garage ;)
 

89OctaneStang

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Working on cutting the new pieces of wood, dry fitting them in place, drilling the machine screw holes, and polyurethaning for protection.

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89OctaneStang

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Next thing I messed up was the lid cover. Should have used more caution, less pressure on the drill bit and a block of wood against the painted side... oh well, guess I am touching up paint already!

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89OctaneStang

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Thought about finishing the lid insulattion off with some type of loose lay insulation to fill it the rest of the way but I had a few extra cans of spray insulation. So I decided to do it the hard way. Gonna have to shave it off smooth when it dries. Make sure you use caution and try to maintain any pre drilled holes. But if it comes down to it, I can always cut new holes in the insulation for the bolts and fluid lines.

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Gear101

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wow a little bit of that stuff goes a long way fast. can that be trimmed down with a electic tukey knife or maybe a low speed saws-all?
 

89OctaneStang

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I plan to carefully cut it away from the painted edge with a razor knife then use a blade from a saws all with bent ends to shave the rest off by hand. The canned spray foam is pretty easy to trim and mold where as the pour in marine insulation is a lot more difficult to cut. That stuff required power tools to trim...
 

89OctaneStang

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Here is the process of trimming it. Just finished and placed the lid cover on and its going to work great with a nice air tight seal.

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Reno_eNVy

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The paintjob is fantastic.

And great idea with the bent saws all blade!
 

89OctaneStang

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Just finished urethaning all the wood pieces really well and now working on cutting the new alluminum top. I think its going to turn out nice as long as it all goes well with the cuts.

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89OctaneStang

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This is the first piece cut and dry fit into place. Has a really snug fit so I think it will turn out good. Now if I can just make the other three pieces come out this nice then we will be good to go. The piece that I am cutting is just alluminum drip edge. I made a good choice on that buy!

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89OctaneStang

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Well we argued a lot, maybe cursed at eachother a couple of times... but the kelvinator and I finally came to agreement and this is what the inside sill looks like.

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89OctaneStang

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Okay, this was a suggestion by a neighbor to paint the letters. Any thoughts? Keep it or take it back off?

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Gear101

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That is one of the coolest projects that I have seen in a long time!!!!

"The final cost of the total build is limited to about $500. Any suggestions?"

I will let you make some money off of me and offer 525usd for it. LOL
 

89OctaneStang

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Cool, well then leave the letters painted it is! Neighbor just got off work and he thinks I should do more to the main kelvinator emblem so we will see what time offers tomorrow... I have to have the electrical and seal work done by Saturday evening for a BBQ the wife is throwing for my departure.
 

peterlonz

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You have picked a difficult task there but good luck.
I think the insulation will be entirely fibreglass which can irritate your skin so use protective overalls, gloves & eye protection. Fibreglass dust is harmful.
I also think the timber frame is structural so simply removing it will likely damage the strength & rigidity of the freezer. Replace maybe with a welded aluminium frame?
The best replacement insulation is polyurethane foam, possibly polystyrene foam will also do the trick.
Perhaps worth investigating whether you can foam in place with the "cavity filling hard setting foams" now available, but will need to foam only a a few inches at a time to avoid pressure build up.
 

89OctaneStang

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Ok, today we are starting with the seal for the lid. First thing I did was shave down the fiberglass to make an even smooth edge for the "e" type seal to seat as good as it can. Next I measured out the approximate length and it came to about 11 feet around the outside edge. I cut 12' off of my 50' roll of gasket. Tied the ends closed to try and keep the water out of the inside of the "e". Placed in a bath of HOT water and added a pot of almost boiling water from the stove. What I was told by antiqueappliances.com is that it helps to get it stretched around the corners better if the material is warm and relaxed. My initial plan was to lay it out across my black truck but it is cold and cloudy today so we had to improvise with a hot bath for about 30 minutes.

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