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Old 12-12-2017, 04:13   #1
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Tips for rebuilding a fridge from the top

I am rebuilding the insulation of my fridge through the top.

I have already removed the old insulation (bottom was fully soaked, on one side 1/4 of the insulation was missing). Here is my plan: fair the box, cover with a layer of glass with epoxy for vapour protection. Use layers of Cryogel and finish with 1" XPS as the innermost layer. Laminate with glass and epoxy the inside. (Make a hole on the side for the lines, glue in an epoxy pipe). This way the insulation will be completely sealed.

Comments?

1. What kind of glue should I use for XPS and Cryogel?

2. How easy it is to work with Cryogel, what I should be careful of?

3. My understanding is that Cryogel is soft. At the bottom of the fridge I plan to use many layers of Cryogel and an XPS board on top. Would the Cryogel base layer get compressed? Would you recommend to install supports to hold the XPS board so the Cryogel does not get compressed (I know that this would be a thermal bridge)?

3. Any further advice or tips?
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Old 12-12-2017, 04:26   #2
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Re: Tips for rebuilding a fridge from the top

Almost anything works including good old 'liquid nails' construction adhesive. Rather than glass over the interior consider using a good PVC like traditional fridges. It's easier to clean, looks great, and goes in easily. We used Komacel but other PVC products work as well. You can heat and bend it over a form to match any bend; a few pieces glued in the corners can make a box that looks better than any commercial product. Check: PVC Sheet, Printing PVC Sheets, PVC Data Sheet Glue them with: PVC Sheet, Printing PVC Sheets, PVC Data Sheet
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Old 12-12-2017, 07:11   #3
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Re: Tips for rebuilding a fridge from the top

Cryogel/Aerogel , are pretty much the same thing , Cryogel has a foil backing . They have the same R value. Both products have the Aerogel product infused onto a thick mat . They do not compress easily, so I would not concern myself with any loss of performance from compression if you used it under an unsupported liner. You will have the liner anchored at the top I assume.

As for glue , thats more difficult. The Areogel is a powdery material , maybe you could use glue on the foil surface but the is no way you will be able to glue the bare mat .

This stuff is hard to cut and gets on every thing , make sure you wear a mask . Just imaging a mat infused with chalk , thats what it is like. It dulls blade very quickly so make sure you have a good strong sharp knife to cut it , be careful.

As for a liner , if you are doing a straight drop in , the same size as your opening. with no over hangs then thats easy , build it outside the box and slide it in .

You can go to our youtube site and check out our videos on building a lid with Aerogel .

Regards John.
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Old 12-12-2017, 14:27   #4
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Re: Tips for rebuilding a fridge from the top

Thanks John, the gluing of Cryogel is a little bit worrying. Will I be able to glue it to the side? and the top upside down?
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Old 13-12-2017, 09:27   #5
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Re: Tips for rebuilding a fridge from the top

Remember Aerogel is R10 per inch , it is sold in 10mm sheets , it takes 2.5 layers to get R10 .

What R value are you after? How much space do you have to work with , or how thick can you layer your insulation and still have room for the refrigerated space?

This is what I would do . Lay up your piece that is intended for the space inside your box , lay it up outside the box with the foil side on the outside of the total layers , sew it all together , glue the foil side to the wall inside the box . Glue the blue board to that , put in your liner.

Areogel in the entire box is challenging without removing the counter top.

Regards John.
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Old 13-12-2017, 09:42   #6
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Re: Tips for rebuilding a fridge from the top

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdEh Marine View Post
Remember Aerogel is R10 per inch , it is sold in 10mm sheets , it takes 2.5 layers to get R10 .

What R value are you after? How much space do you have to work with , or how thick can you layer your insulation and still have room for the refrigerated space?

This is what I would do . Lay up your piece that is intended for the space inside your box , lay it up outside the box with the foil side on the outside of the total layers , sew it all together , glue the foil side to the wall inside the box . Glue the blue board to that , put in your liner.

Areogel in the entire box is challenging without removing the counter top.

Regards John.
I agree. At a certain point, disassembling the cabinet itself is far less daunting than attempting to be a Houdini of insulation. A screw-up will cost you down the road and I think this is a job best done with 360 degree access...upside down...in a well-lit workshop.
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Old 13-12-2017, 13:35   #7
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Re: Tips for rebuilding a fridge from the top

Thanks for the tip, sewing is a great idea.

Space for insulation is very limited, on one side it is only 2" where I plan to go full cryogel. I understand that will give me R value of 20 only,, which is much less then recommended but I have to compromise. On the other sides I will have R value around 25.

Even if I cut out the whole cabinet top I would not be able to prepare the insulated box outside because there is not enough space above to slide in the fridge from the top. I may do a bigger whole if I struggle too much.
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Old 13-12-2017, 13:48   #8
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Re: Tips for rebuilding a fridge from the top

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Originally Posted by rotorman View Post
Thanks for the tip, sewing is a great idea.

Space for insulation is very limited, on one side it is only 2" where I plan to go full cryogel. I understand that will give me R value of 20 only,, which is much less then recommended but I have to compromise. On the other sides I will have R value around 25.

Even if I cut out the whole cabinet top I would not be able to prepare the insulated box outside because there is not enough space above to slide in the fridge from the top. I may do a bigger whole if I struggle too much.

Good that you did your math right and understand the 10mm Aerogel is not R10 .

What I have done to over come the low cabinetry thing on many tough installs is split the liner , slide it in one piece at a time under the overhang and glass it back together once in place .

You can see how low the cabinetry is .

Regards John
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Old 13-12-2017, 13:51   #9
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Re: Tips for rebuilding a fridge from the top

Thanks, another good idea, I can do that.
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Old 13-12-2017, 13:52   #10
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Re: Tips for rebuilding a fridge from the top

What kind of glue do you use with the foil? Anything special?
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Old 13-12-2017, 15:05   #11
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Re: Tips for rebuilding a fridge from the top

I made a fairly flimsy mold out of wood with a smooth finish, then had someone who was good with fiberglass lay up the liner over it. The plan was to tear out the mold, but he liked it so he reinforced it and added a tube to the bottom that allowed the use of air pressure to separate the two. I have been very pleased with the fiberglass liner.

In my case I installed the sheet insulation and the liner before putting on the counter top, and trimmed things out with teak. The top was cut out of the counter-top and framed with teak, 3" of foam installed inside with a flat sheet of fiberglass on the bottom (today I would use Starboard). It looks at least as nice as any factory job and the whole installation has held up very well.

I opted for a smaller interior and 4" all around (and 3" on the top) - I think it is more important to be efficient than have more volume (and I have less than 3.5 cu ft). Two inches seems pretty marginal to me.

I made a hole in the insulation and liner for the tubing and wiring, then sealed that. I have used PU sealant but that makes alterations difficult. It is also possible to fill the tube with foam out of a can, but again difficult to change. I am currently needing to pull out the old mechanical thermostat and replace with two thermistors for fridge and freezer (fan and evaporator) so I am interested in recommendations.

Greg
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Old 13-12-2017, 17:59   #12
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Re: Tips for rebuilding a fridge from the top

Any recommendations what glue to use for the blue foam?
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Old 13-12-2017, 18:20   #13
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Re: Tips for rebuilding a fridge from the top

Only a counter-recommendation. Home Depot sells a special (DAP brand?) glue for foam, in the insulation section. I used it when hyper=insulating my hot tub. FAIL. Not suitable for moist locations.
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Old 13-12-2017, 18:27   #14
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Re: Tips for rebuilding a fridge from the top

One thing I would do is cut the top wider. We built our fridges from scratch. We made them top opening. The openings were the size of the entire worktop, and it is so much easier to access than these little poky holes in the middle of a counter.

Fiddles around the edge, and large trays to work on that can be moved easily if I need access to the fridge in the middle of a job.
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Old 13-12-2017, 18:51   #15
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Re: Tips for rebuilding a fridge from the top

Camie 373 and 3M 77, spray bottles.

Many swear by gorilla glue, also pourable 2-part urethane or spray foams can be useful for filling small open gaps

but with all those you have to be very careful about expansion, can move pieces and makes a mess.

Watch temperature /humidoty specs for any adhesive.
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