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A couple of questions on a new build...

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Working on a 1950's fridge smoker conversion.  I want to use Roxul for the insulation but can't figure out which product to use.  Home Depot carries 2.  Roxul Safe 'n' Sound and Roxul Comfortbatt.  The Safe 'n' Sound they have in smaller packages but the Comfortbatt is only sold in pallets that cost around $475.  Is the Safe 'n' Sound ok or should I look for something different?


Also, my plan was to paint this red.  I planned on using epoxy spray paint but I can't find that in red.  If I would use non epoxy paint, will I regret it later?  Any other kind of paints that people use that have lasted?


A big thanks in advance!

post #2 of 26

As long as the Roxul is unfaced it will be ok!    Us a good enamel several light coats till it builds up good!  Make sure its for exterior!

post #3 of 26

Hello.  Just a thought about the paint.  I have a '50's to convert.  I have zero rust on mine.  I contacted my local body shop and asked about a good paint job with a clear coats.  Same as a good professional car paint job.  I was quoted £80; which should be about $80.  Even at $120 for a pro paint job that ain't bad.  Keep a good wax on it and it should last years.  Just something to think about.  Keep Smokin!


post #4 of 26

The Roxul website gives datasheets for both Safe'n'Sound (marketed mostly for sound deadening) and for ComfortBatt (marketed mostly for thermal insulation).  The Safe'n'Sound is 20% denser to improve it's sound deadening at the expense of thermal insulation.  Both are called non-combustible with 2150 degF melting points and since old refrigerators have plenty of distance from inner to outer spaces, either should work for your application.  


I agree to ask your local body shop (or Earl Scheib, etc) for a price quote.  Car paint lasts a long time with occasional waxing and you won't be driving this through any sandstorms.  Plus, they have oodles of shades of red to choose from.  


Make sure you post pictures when you're done.  This sounds like a great project.   

post #5 of 26

use the roxul you can buy a single bag of. youll need maybe 1/2 a bale for a smoker conversion. they all have a high fire rating, sound proofing doesn't matter.


I used Rustoleum / tremclad metal rust proof paint. sand to prep the surface and prune with metal primer. then I rolled my paint on. 3 coats of regular then if you want higher gloss then thin out the paint with paint thinner a little and apply. the thinned out paint will produce a high gloss that's easier to polish. its really tough paint once it fully cures. which can take several weeks in a warm garage to fully cure.


I used the tremclad red rust proof metal paint on my smoker and its very sturdy. holds up just fine in our warm summers and cold ass winters whether its inside or out.

post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 

Appreciate the responses.  Sorry for my delay - was away on vacation!


For the Roxul - I assume this is what I want?  This is from the HD website.  They have 3" and 3.5".

Roxul ComfortBatt 3-1/2 in. x 15-1/4 in. x 47 in. R-15 Fire Resistant Stone Wool Insulation (12-Roll)


I will try to get a quote to have a body shop paint it.  If I don't go that approach - if I do use good outdoor enamel should that hold up good enough?  I will put a cover over this for sure.  Also, would I need to put any sealer/clear coat on it?


I will post some pictures of the build soon.  I have been taking a ton of pictures so I know how to put humpty back together again!  I have everything apart and my next step is metal sheeting.  


Thanks again for the help.  This site is invaluable!

post #7 of 26

Lowes  sells it by the sheet if you don't need a whole pallet of it: 




Yes,  I think any exterior enamel will do the trick.  And you won't need a clearcoat.  

post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 

bill1, where I live (San Diego) Lowes doesn't carry Roxul in the stores and you have to order 3+ of the bundles/sheets online.


I think I will be going with http://www.homedepot.com/p/Roxul-Safe-n-Sound-3-in-x-15-1-4-in-x-47-in-Soundproofing-Stone-Wool-Insulation-12-Roll-RXSS31525/202531875 as this appears to be the only thing I can find around here.  I only plan on using this for sausage/bacon so I think this should be ok.


Thanks again for everyone's help! 

post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 

Also, I just called a couple of auto body shops about painting the fridge for me.  They told me it is not a CA law they have to use water based paints which are much more expensive.  They said it would be at least $1000 to paint my small fridge.  Looks like it is getting some spray paint!

post #10 of 26

Sorry about the Lowes runaround.  Guess I thought you might need 3 for 2 sides and a back with a few cut-offs for the door. They're in stock at my local Lowes, but yes it appears there's a min order of 3 even then.  That must be the way they're packaged so the pricing is a bit of a lie.  


What you found looks great.  Remember you only need it up against the inner (hot) surface; any old insulation can fill in outer (cooler) spaces.  


And too bad about the car paint restriction.  So if you temporarily trailer-mounted it, is it a vehicle then?  Or will they not put good paint on even a motor home?    Just curious.  What if you call it a "continental kit" for a big old Caddie?  (Sorry I just can't avoid a good thought experiment.)  


Seriously, you can get a good paint job with a Krylon shaker can.  If you haven't done it for awhile, practice on a couple sheets of scrap metal.  Too light and it's not shiny; too heavy and you get runs.  But my finger gives out after a single can.  You might want to get one of those pistol grip can adapters that spreads the compressive force over multiple fingers and gives some mechanical leverage to boot.  


Good luck.  

post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 

I tried some red enamel spray paint on one of the pieces and it looks really good.  It will definitely work out.  Thanks for the recommendations!


Next question - air intakes and exhaust.  The fridge I am working on is exactly like this one - http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/136427/crosley-shelvador.  I was thinking of putting 2 air intakes in the bottom left and right sides.  Do I need 2 and what size should I use?


Exhaust - planning on putting towards the top back wall.  What size do should I go with?  


I will be using this this Brinkman heating element - http://www.amazon.com/Brinkmann-116-7000-0-Replacement-Part-Electric/dp/B004W4U0K0


Do I need to get diamond drill bits to go through the enamel and metal or are metal hole bits ok?


Thanks again!

post #12 of 26

Those old Crosleys are simply beautiful!  You will have a wonderful time with this.  I'd certainly start with small (~1" size ) intake and exhaust holes (one each) and only move up from there.  The whole point of the great insulation plan you have is to waste little heat and little smoke.  You want intake down low and exhaust high.  If you run exhaust out the back you can't place the unit flush against a wall, but maybe that's not an issue.  


In fact I worry a bit you'll have TOO much heating power with that ~1500 watt filament from Brinkmann, designed for much more "leaky" smokers than yours.  If you're going to put a thermostatic controller on it (and at <$20 in parts, why not?) you might find the filament spends a lot of time "off" and so you won't be heating your smoker chip tray much.  Maybe consider  putting a "router speed control" (look it up on eBay if you don't know what I mean)  in series with that Brinkmann element so once things have heated up you can turn it way down so it's on more often than it's off (to produce steady smoke) just "on" is cooler than in the beginning.  


Alternately consider getting 2 (or 3) smaller filaments???   500-600W charcoal starter "hoops" come to mind.  That way the one that produces your smoke can be on all the time and you only thermostatically control the other one.  


Unless it's porcelain on that old 'fridge, you won't need diamond hole saws.  If you can scratch down to bare metal with a pocket knife, any sharp steel hole saw will do the trick.  

post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks bill1!


I believe the inner shell is metal with an enamel coating.  A magnet will stick to it.


I already purchased the Brinkman.  I was trying to use it on my 48" Lang Patio but I couldn't get it above 165ish.  I tried placing it in the reverse flow chamber and even inside the main dome.  Takes a lot to heat up something that large and having 1/4" steel.  I knew it was a long shot but I tried.


I will use my AMZN smoker for smoke so not worried about heating up chips.  I also have a Auber PID controller I will use for this...so I think I am all set. 


The main thing I am building this for is to smoke sausage and bacon.  The Lang, Large Green Egg, and Traeger are for the other smoking.  My wife says I have a problem with smokers...I don't think so!


With all of this, do you still think using 1" intake/exhaust is the best approach?  If I go 1", 2 on each side?  I see others using 3 to 4" exhaust and would like to do this right the first time.  Do I need a damper for the exhaust?  


I plan on getting pictures up this weekend.

post #14 of 26
I have built 3 refrig conversions all electric! All 3 in exhaust and 1 1/2 fresh air intake! U want a damper for controlling humidity when doing sausage! I use a single 1800 watt stove top element on mine! I have found with the size needs to be 220 to heat it if u r going to put much product in it!
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 

Did you use buy a pre fab'd exhaust or build one from pipping/different parts?  I am good on the air intake but still trying to figure out what to do with the exhaust.

post #16 of 26
I used 3 in flue pipe! Dampers for 3 in can be hard to find! Look at a older non chain type hdw store!
post #17 of 26
What r u going to use for controls?
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 

I have an Auber PID controller that I will hook up to the heating element.

post #19 of 26
Have u thought about a fan to even heat out so no hot spots and then works as a dehydrator also!
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 

I haven't thought about that.  Do you install it someone on the smoker or just set one inside it?  I also have a Guru that I suppose I could right to someone to what you mentioned.  Where would you position it?

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