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Old 11-02-2012, 07:38   #16
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Re: Built a New Fridge

Great job and a result outperforming every commercial product

I also have a complete series of project photo's on-line and would have hoped you found that info as I often post about it here on CF. To help future DIY'ers find as much as possible, here is the photo gallery: Jedi refrigeration project

On the finish: I actually did the Awlgrip which is indeed inert epoxy after cure. But the prepping is exactly the same as what the OP did here so it becomes roll & tip the paint instead of polishing the epoxy. The real difference would be in how it holds up and I think it will be equal. What the OP actually did is create an epoxy based gelcoat which works great where the UV can't touch it.

Here's my box after the finishing coat of Awlgrip and installation of the evaporator; the top must still be epoxied back in:

ciao!
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:40   #17
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Re: Built a New Fridge

For everyone who appreciates the quality of the fridge build, you really should check out the surfboard thread.

If you missed it, you missed a beautiful piece of work.

my annual build thread- The Giant Squid | Swaylock's Surfboard Design Forum
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:06   #18
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Re: Built a New Fridge

This looks great. I'll be doing the same in near future, but I'm wondering what is the function of fiberglassing the box? Why not just epoxy coat the plywood?
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:27   #19
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Re: Built a New Fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by abh View Post
This looks great. I'll be doing the same in near future, but I'm wondering what is the function of fiberglassing the box? Why not just epoxy coat the plywood?
Just epoxy coating does not make it hard and strong enough. If you drop something in the box (like a frozen block of ice) then you don't want it to dent the box (which breaks the coating and leads to rot).

Note that I did it the other way around as the OP, glassing the plywood before building the box out of it. This allowed me to have an easier coating and sanding job which was mostly of the sheet. The only fairing and sanding after box assembly was for the epoxy fillets that hold the box together.
The negative of this method is that you use more materials and the scraps are expensive waste.

ciao!
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:27   #20
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Re: Built a New Fridge

Thanks all!


Quote:
Originally Posted by familycruisers View Post
I am contemplating this. I'm going to do the interior in stainless sheet metal. Should have been a pretty easy 6 or so piece fabrication? Did you consider it as a material over foam? Its how commercial boxes are made.
Stainless steel would be a great material to do a fridge box in. My problem it had to be constructed in place underneath the galley counter. I couldn't build it offsite and drop it in. You couldn't weld the joints in place without catching something on fire. I imagine any other way of joining the plates would be prone to failure.

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Did you consider AwlGrip as a possibility for interior finish? It is epoxy and seems really innert.
Good question. I talked to someone in the paint department of our local chandlery. He's a pretty knowledgeable guy. What he told me was that anything they sold (and they sell Awlgrip) was going to have too high of a VOC content to be used in contact with food. I took him at his word and didn't investigate it further. I probably should have. I was pretty skittish about off-gassing after hearing stories of gelcoat-flavored cheese so I immediately dismissed it.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:40   #21
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Re: Built a New Fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by abh View Post
This looks great. I'll be doing the same in near future, but I'm wondering what is the function of fiberglassing the box? Why not just epoxy coat the plywood?
Very good question. One that I asked myself more than once as I was hanging up side down in the box squeezing air out of the glass layup and picking epoxy out of my hair.

Like Nick said, I wanted the finish to withstand all of the impact of all the things I'm going to drop on it. I also wanted to ensure the joints in the marine ply were strong enough to hold what will be probably be over a hundred pounds of beer. And food, we put food in it too.

Another cautionary tale I heard was about a couple (friends of friends) who had some work done on their boat. The guy doing the work shut the battery switch off and then didn't turn it back on. The owners didn't get back to the boat for a week or so. When they did, they discovered the huge bag of shrimp they kept in the freezer was completely melted. Somehow the shrimp juice had seeped through a crack in the freezer box and had permeated the insulation. Now they have a boat interior that will smell of rotten shrimp until they rip out the fridge.

I wanted to be 100% sure that no water or shrimp juice would ever have a way of getting into the marine ply or the insulation behind it. I will sell this boat before I ever re-build that fridge again.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:59   #22
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Re: Built a New Fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Great job and a result outperforming every commercial product

I also have a complete series of project photo's on-line and would have hoped you found that info as I often post about it here on CF. To help future DIY'ers find as much as possible, here is the photo gallery: Jedi refrigeration project

On the finish: I actually did the Awlgrip which is indeed inert epoxy after cure. But the prepping is exactly the same as what the OP did here so it becomes roll & tip the paint instead of polishing the epoxy. The real difference would be in how it holds up and I think it will be equal. What the OP actually did is create an epoxy based gelcoat which works great where the UV can't touch it.

Here's my box after the finishing coat of Awlgrip and installation of the evaporator; the top must still be epoxied back in:

ciao!
Nick.
Nick, your install is bomber! The insulation on the top of that fridge box is outstanding. I did see your photos early on. I should have gone back to them. Had I known Awlgrip produced an inert finish, it would have saved me buckets of time. Live and learn.
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:16   #23
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Re: Built a New Fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by janders View Post
Nick, your install is bomber! The insulation on the top of that fridge box is outstanding. I did see your photos early on. I should have gone back to them. Had I known Awlgrip produced an inert finish, it would have saved me buckets of time. Live and learn.
Thanks, I had about the same experience as you so it's always nice when it is appreciated after all the hardship

The insulation on this box is a minimum of 6". The bottom is 10" and one side is 14". This box is a dedicated freezer. The other two boxes can be either fridge or freezer (normally one is fridge and the other is switched off but still cool through a 2" foam divider with the other box) and have a minimum insulation of 4".

Awlgrip is poison as h*ll when liquid, but inert after cure. We started using the box after a couple of weeks of curing and a good wash and result was 100%.

Good to hear you did find my photo's before

Here's the insulation of the top of the freezer; I just started cutting away the top opening.


ciao!
Nick.
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Old 14-02-2012, 12:56   #24
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Re: Built a New Fridge

I hope to be there before too long. Old box is gutted. I installed a layer of Reflectix taping all the seams as an initial reflective and moisture barrier. Now I am cutting foam to fit and will be gluing it in place soon.
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Old 14-02-2012, 17:19   #25
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Re: Built a New Fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by janders View Post
Nick, your install is bomber! The insulation on the top of that fridge box is outstanding. I did see your photos early on. I should have gone back to them. Had I known Awlgrip produced an inert finish, it would have saved me buckets of time. Live and learn.
I just got done with my fridge build.
I used sheet FRP from Home Depot.
Sure enough, it smelled like fiberglass when I shut the door for only an hour.
I set up a heat lamp to heat the interior for about 3 days so it could outgas.
It worked! The fiberglass smell is almost completely gone.

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Old 14-02-2012, 18:21   #26
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Re: Built a New Fridge

What did you use for seal or gasket for the lid?
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Old 15-02-2012, 10:35   #27
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Re: Built a New Fridge

Have any of you considered using ABS plastic to build the liner? A good friend of mine runs Annapolis Maritime Plastics and in brief converations he was suggesting that as a possible liner material. Can be glued together similarly to FRP and without all the off gassing issues. This is the same material I believe household fridges are lined with. Of course I would want to make sure it was adequately thick to withstand damage.
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Old 15-02-2012, 10:45   #28
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Re: Built a New Fridge

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Have any of you considered using ABS plastic to build the liner? A good friend of mine runs Annapolis Maritime Plastics and in brief converations he was suggesting that as a possible liner material. Can be glued together similarly to FRP and without all the off gassing issues. This is the same material I believe household fridges are lined with. Of course I would want to make sure it was adequately thick to withstand damage.
That's an interesting thought. I know pretty much nothing about ABS plastic. How do you adhere the joints together? How reliable and leakproof will those joints be?
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Old 15-02-2012, 10:48   #29
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Re: Built a New Fridge

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What did you use for seal or gasket for the lid?
The short answer is... I haven't done it yet. I have some household weather stripping I was going to use but I'm still looking for the right adhesive and I haven't found a positive locking latch that I like. But mostly, I've been putting off the gasket install because I'm tired of working on the damn thing.
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Old 15-02-2012, 10:58   #30
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Re: Built a New Fridge

I asked the same thing. Keith at Maritime Plastics said you assemble using solvent weld or something called Weld on 3 which I think is an acrylic glue of some sort. Im going to see him saturday and check out the material.

Another option I was looking at were these sheets from RParts: RParts.com - Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic - www.rparts.com

But they are not cheap.

Best bet may be to simply lay up a sheet of 1/4" plywood with glass like Nick did. Fair out the weave and shoot it with awlgrip or roll and tip. Then cut it up the sheet into the required pieces and stitch and glue together?
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