Starting my first build

Discussion in 'Fridge/Freezer Builds' started by hammer56073, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. hammer56073

    hammer56073 Newbie

    Hey everyone,

    I'm starting my first build. I am a hunter who really wants to start making my own products. I have a friend who has been smoking for many years. He built a permanent smoker in his back yard and smokes on a regular basis. He is really good at it. I was talking to him about what I could do to start making my own products. During the conversation, he said "too bad you don't know someone who has an old fridge". I suddenly realized I do know someone with an old fridge: my dad. I called him up and he was glad to get rid of it as he hasn't used it in several years. 

    It is a 1949 Coldspot fridge. I intend to use propane for my fuel source, as my friend uses it and he really thinks it's the best. I have scoured  this site and learned the pros and cons of gas, electric and charcoal. I still decided to go with gas. That way I can travel with it if I need to (unlikely) and use it if it's raining without worry. That and the fact that if I need help or advice, my friend is most used to the propane.

    The first pic is of it at my dads house. I took a few trim pieces off in this photo. I then took it to my garage to work on it. I'm in south central Minnesota and it was COLD (like 15 degrees) when I started on it. My garage is not heated, and after a couple of hours my feet were going numb. I got the trim, compressor, coils and freezer out of it. Then I took out the insert. It has a goofy shaped opening that I am going to get help with to seal it up. I have a pic of that as well.

  2. hammer56073

    hammer56073 Newbie

    Next I told my neighbor what I was doing and he wanted to help. He has a heated garage so we moved it over there. There we finished stripping the fridge and taking the insulation out. That left us with the black tarry sludge from hell. The following pics are of us (my neighbor in the pic) using a torch to melt the bottom from the outside and using a scraper to scrape the thickest part of the tar off. Then we used paint thinner and naptha to clean the rest of the goo off. It took just over 3 hours to get that crap off. What a nightmare!

    When we were finally finished with the tar/sealer I took another pic. Tonight I took the fridge and insert over to another friend of mine who owns a metal fabrication company to see if he had some ideas on how to seal the goofy opening at the top of the insert. He seemed pretty excited about the challenge. He told me to leave it there and he is going to work on it. It pays to have good friends!

  3. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    Looking good!!! You are well on your way to processing the fruits of your hunt!
    Keep Smokin!!!
  4. backwoods151

    backwoods151 Newbie

    Very nice!
    Just curious what type of propane burner you are gonna go with. I built a fridge smoker over 10 years ago,I smoke hundreds and hundreds of pounds of venison sausages every year. I used the burner from and it's worked good for this long. After all these years I'm gonna convert to electric right after the holidays, I want more of a control with the temp and not have to baby sit the burner all day. I'm sure the burner systems have come a long way from the system (needle valve) I have so curious to see what u are gonna use?
  5. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    I see that this is your first post, Please stop by Roll Call and introduce your self so everyone can give you a propper SMF welcome.
    Keep Smokin!!!
  6. hammer56073

    hammer56073 Newbie

    Hey Backwoods,

    I'm going to use a burner that was a sideburner from an outdoor grill. I have one already, but I haven't tested it to make sure it works. I got it from another friend. He said he never used it, but it's old. Hopefully it will work and, hey, it's free!

    I checked out the C-burner from and really like the design and apparent ease of set up. I think I'm going to take the brownie pan idea for mounting flush with the bottom of the fridge insert. If for some reason my sideburner doesn't work, I might go for the c-burner.

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