Keezer Build

I was able to get a fairly large, not sure of the exact size, chest freezer on Craigslist the day before we started moving back in early May. Heck, it was not only a great price, but the people delivered it to me and hung out a while having a couple beers when I told them what I was going to do with it. :)

Anyway, today I finally got the chance to start my build. I am trying to do it as cheap as possible, within reason. So I am using scrap wood and all to do this. Because of that, parts of it probably wont look that nice, until I finally give in and either skin it or paint the freezer itself (as it is white now with a lot of rust spots that will need sanded and treated before painting). That, more than likely, will not happen right away.

Today I got a later than planned start, so I wasn’t able to get much done. My first thing was to remove the lid. I have read several posts on the internet from people that have done keezer builds, looked at their pictures/videos and wouldnt you know it, the freezer I have has hinges nothing like those others. There was no place to put the nail or drill bit to hold the hinge in place.

Sooooo, I decided to make my own hole and drilled it myself on each hinge. Took me a while to get to the point to decide to drill, but it appears that its working just fine.

After taking the lid off I had to remove the seal and the inside plastic molding (with the light). Due to my huge hinges I couldnt do a standard keezer collar, so I decided to use my buddy Scott’s design and make the collar lift up as well. I really like his design better, but it seems like a big PITA to get done, compared to the other design. No looking back now! :)

Next I took some scrap plywood that I had, cut the 1st piece to fit as close as I could and then the 2nd piece was pretty close, but there is a small gap there (if you can see it from the pic you have amazing eye sight). I will fill that gap with silicone eventually. So I used liquid nails around the edges and then screwed it down tight with some 1 1/4 inch exterior screws. That baby seems to be super tight now.

Since I needed to let the liquid nails cure for several hours, I called it a night. The next morning I got up and set to making the 4 cuts I needed on the 2×6′s to make the collar itself. 3 cuts were easy breezy, but wouldn’t you know it, I forgot to charge my battery pack over night and it went dead on me 1/2 way through the 4th cut. I needed to run to Lowe’s anyway, so I put the battery on the charger and off I went. When I got back with what I needed, the battery was fully charged and I finished my cut.

I then attached the collar to the lid that had the liquid nails cure over night and was ready to rock. I used 2 different kinda of brackets to do the job… only because it’s what I had. :) I then measured and cut the holes for my 4 shanks/taps.

As I was looking at the collar, I just didnt liked it. I honestly sat there thinking that I was going to have to skin the entire keezer to get it to look even remotely decent. Then I remembered a video I watched online of a guy that built his with an outter collar. It acted as a skin to cover the main collar, and looked pretty darn cool! So this is what I decided to do and when I went to Lowe’s earlier I picked up some 1×8 red oak. Of course no matter how many times I measured, I still blew a cut and had to go get another piece (I would have needed to anyway because my measurements were off by a hair, I needed another board). So, once I got the 3 pieces cut (because I’m not gonna put a piece against the wall, nobody will see that side anyway… if I eventually decide I just have to do it, I can then), I clamped them on to hold them in place…

Since I had already cut the holes for the shanks/taps in the original collar, I needed to make sure that I was cutting them in the same exact spot. What I did was, using a spade bit, I started cutting from the inside out. I didn’t want to complete the cut because I didn’t want to take the chance of some of the wood breaking off, like it usually does, on the outside. So I cut just enough to get the tip of the spade bit to come through the oak and I went to the other side to finish the cuts (notice the dots in the line off to the left of my bit 3 and 6 inches away).

Holes complete… :)

I then attached the red oak to the inside collar using 1/4x4inch bolts with washers and nuts. I did this cause in that video I saw, I liked the look. :) Could have just as easily screwed these on and looked at the tops of the screws as well… but I like this look better.

Once I was done with bolting on the red oak, it was time to test it on the keezer body. I can tell you this, man it was a TIGHT fit! My cuts arent 100% perfect and I am sure that is a big reason why, however, I was able to fix that by adding a shim between the hinge and the collar. It fits snug now :)

A look with the lid open… This is before I added the shim to the right side, so if you look close you can see how it is uneven, and thus made the whole thing really tight/tough to close.

The next step was to silicone the gaps and the brackets on the inside of the lid heavily. Once it dried and set up I hit it with a couple thick coats of poly to seal it really good.

I then brushed on some wood conditioner to the oak… and let that sit for 4+ hours to soak in.

After a not so quick run to my LHBS, I brushed on my 1st coat of stain. Gonna let it sit a few hours and hit again later.

After at least 1 more coat of stain, I will cover it in wipe on Polly. Let that sit and hit it with one more coat of Poly.

Next up was installing freshly cleaned shanks/taps and beer lines. I still have to sand the actual unit itself and paint it, but its functioning now, so the paint can wait. Thinking I will paint the lid chalkboard black and the bottom white so I can put stickers and magnets on it that can still be read good.

Anyway, he is my partially done, yet functioning, Keezer :)

The beer is flowing…

P.S… yes that is SUN in Washington State lol :)

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