Sunday, August 15, 2010

No Longer Topless!

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures as I was attaching the base. There wasn't much too it actually. I'll try my best below to describe the process.

First thing I did was unplug the freezer, then with the help of a friend we tipped it on it's back, then propped up the bottom a few inches. Would have liked to turn it completely upside down, but was worried about compressor oil and refrigerant issues being even worse than usual when tipping a freezer (or fridge).

Then, again with the help of a buddy, we lined up the base with the freezer bottom and tapped it into place. Was much tighter than anticipated, but we got it on with a little "hammer persuasion". Between how tight it fit and gravity I decided not to bother using any screws to hold it on. I was worried about hitting a line with screws anyway.

After any tipping or moving it is extremely important to leave the freezer (or fridge) unplugged for a little while to allow the compressor oil and refrigerant to settle or you can completely ruin your freezer. How long really depends on how far your freezer was tipped/moved and for how long. I left mine unplugged for a couple days to be safe and because I had no immediate need for it.

Before attaching the bar top I taped down a piece of floating floor underlay. I figured this would help even out any imperfections in the freezer lid and make for a nice snug fit.

Next I placed the bar top on the freezer lid and centered it up to allow for about a 1/4" clearance on sides and front. I'd like to say this was tricky, but it turned out some minor imperfections in my freezer lid trim allowed me to place it tight on frint and left side and still got perfect clearance on all sides. This made opening the freezer lid and screwing from the inside much easier as it pretty much stayed in place by itself.

As you can see from this inside pic I used six screws and large fender washers. The acrylic inside of this lid was pretty sturdy and the inside insulation was pretty stiff so there was not too much worry of denting it in. The screws were just long enough to go through the lid and into the bar top without piercing through the top. That's a wadded up garbage plugging the hole temporarily.

I then used the same hole saw to drill down through the lid using the bar top's hole as a guide. Getting through the freezer lid's metal skin was tough using the wood hole saw but since it was thin it didn't damage the bit very much. As soon as the center guide bit pierced the inside acrylic I stopped and drilled up from the inside so as to make a cleaner cut on the inside. This trick is a good idea when drilling any material with a hole saw.

It was about this time that my kegerator kit arrived from I must say again these guys are great. As much as possible was already connected and put together saving much work on my end.

Since my freezer had now been sitting for a couple days I was immediately able to plug it into the Freezer to Fridge thermostat thingy (bottom left of above pic) and get the temperature dialed in. I used a thermometer in a glass of water in the freezer to compare to the thermostat setting. The glass of water is necessary to get a true reading since the air temperature can vary too much with opening of the lid. Got her dialed in to 38F (3.3C) within a day with only a 1 degree variance between the thermostat and my thermometer.

That's all for now. Next time I'll show the mounting of the tower, the CO2 Tank, and the force carbonating of my first batch of home brew.

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