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Let me try again 1946 Servel natural gas frig

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

What i was wondering is if there is anyone who has used a 1946 Servel and turned it into a electric smoker. What should i be looking for as far as interior box goes. I have been reading and found that some people are really unhappy with there frig once they get it home and this one weights a ton (with the boiler in it) and i'm just trying to get ahead of the game....


post #2 of 11

You want an interior metal box, not plastic (don't think it was invented yet, lol!).  See if you can remove a panel or trim and peek inside and see what kind of insulation it has between the inner and outer skins, probably some kind of wool or batting; if so, pull on a bit of it and snag a piece and see if it lights easily.  If it does, you will have to remove it and replace it with a fire retardant material by very carefully removing either the inner or outer shell, so you can put it back together or re-skin it with another material (aluminum flashing, stainless steel, just not galvanized).

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks alot POPS i really apperciate the advice...........Have a great Christmas and maybe i will have a project to work on during the holidays




post #4 of 11

I would bet money it has rock wool.Do not get into it it makes fiberglass look nice .

Edited by michael ark - 12/14/11 at 6:51pm
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Mike ARK

If I need to remove it what is the best method or is it better to just add some nonflameble insulation to it. I have had a few run in's with fiberglass and we just dont get along.......

post #6 of 11

Rook wool is nonflammable.Just leave it .

post #7 of 11

with insulation removal...just be prepared for the worst and you'll be fine.  Gloves taped to a long sleeve shirt, face mask of some kind so you don't breathe in fibers.

Have someone else brush you off before removing the clothes & for God's sake if you're married don't remove the clothes in the house or you'll be sleeping on the couch - just sayin!





post #8 of 11

Rockwool is NASTY to work with

It's used to insulate boilers, so leave it in.


Remove all the piping and boiler.  This will definitely help with the weight.

These old Servel Fridges used "Ammonia" in them, so beware of the stink.  Make sure you dismantle the thing outside, so you don't burn your lungs with the Ammonia!!


A simple hot plate will work for heat.

Use a cast iron pan for chips

Hole for an intake and exhaust

Use a damper on each end to control the draft


There's some pretty good fridge builds on the forum






No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

I think you just broke my heart..............I was planing on a replacement element with a PID and a smoke generator but what your saying is i only need a hot plate

post #10 of 11

Nope, just a suggestion to get by

You can add a heating element and a PID

Heck, add anything you want

The Hotplate was just a way to get up and running, before you invested a lot of $$$


Some of the fridge builds I've seen o here are pretty cool!




No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

That's great news. I want to cold smoke which I never have done before and I was hoping this frig and the set up ideas i have gotten from this site and my own will make this new adventure even more exciting. Just the thought of tearing into this frig and putting what i have on paper into practice is a great filing....Thanks again for the advice........

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