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The Gibson, A pellet fridge project.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

So I recently picked up a few fridges to work off of, and decided to work on this Gibson first.  The plan is to use a smoke daddy pellet burner, maybe with either the gen-u-wine Jerry wood burner on top or a custom version. 






She's torn down for the most part, tubs out and now time to get all the insulation out and start on the bodywork to repair the rust damage down on the lower side.  Looks like I have enough space to fit the pellet pro in between the compressor bump and the door, nice and low in the fridge.



post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 

Update for the day:  Insulation is cleaned out.  Boy this junk was an absolute nightmare, thanks goodness for masks and gloves.  Plus side...  not a bunch of tar and junk to clean out.  Pellet pro ordered today, excited to get that one in!




post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Pellet pro has arrived.  Much larger than what I thought it would be but they did recently upgrade the hopper to 35lbs capacity.  This weekend is bodywork and real construction time.

post #4 of 13

Any updates on this?  Been thinking about building a pellet smoker as well so curious what challenges/successes you have run across?

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Not a ton of updates yet, spent some serious time working on the outside of the fridge repairing rust damage.  Hopefully by the end of this weekend I'll have most of the bodywork done and fridge in primer at which time I'll start mounting the hopper / exhausts etc.


Plans so far:

  • I'm thinking I will use 4" 6061 Aluminum pipe for the exhausts.  I'm planning on 3 or 4, gotta get the heat down and in GA during the summer, smoking meat starts at 100deg!
  • 120mm fan on a rheostat to add extra through the bottom
  • Extra smoke will be by a couple of items, I picked up a 12" AMNTS, a (formerly known as) Vortex smoker from Smoke Daddy, and/or possibly a custom jen-u-wine jerry style heat deflector above the burn pot.  I don't have space for the original, but I do have a big stinking thick piece of metal.
  • Door will probably be skinned in aluminum for ease of work and weight, unless I can find some stainless somewhere cheat.
  • Still need to buy door gaskets etc.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Status update time:


Got the majority of the bodywork done, and she's sitting in primer until all the fabrication is done.  Haven't yet decided on what I am going to use for an exhaust, nor how I am going to mount it, but that is all part of the fun, right?



Got the pellet pro mounted today.  Couldn't use the standard mounting points, so I had to drill out the nuts, and then used toggler anchors through wood on the back side of the outside sheet metal.  Had to remove the hopper assembly, but all is well and good.



post #7 of 13
Awesome...Keep the updates coming...
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

 I mounted a new box for the pellet pro controller so it wouldn't be quite so close to the floor. Got the box big enough for some future upgrades / planned projects.



Next, I mounted up all the conduit / outside boxes for the wiring.  Boxes will have a main power switch plus controls for the ventilation fan that will be installed for additional airflow in the cabinet. Boxes will also provide access to the interior for any hard wired probes.



Next was the shelving.  I have been looking at different options and kept looking not having much luck in finding anything that met my requirements, fit properly or was reasonably priced.  I don't have welding equipment and $700 for 6 shelves is the quote I received for someone to make them so I kept looking.   I found some masterbuilt shelves at Bass Pro as a complete accessory kit and after some measurements and planning figured out they were the answer I was looking for.  $30 for 2 shelves and 4 brackets.  I bought the 2 they had, and now that I have all the mounts done I'm probably going to order 2 more kits.




I used 6061 Aluminum to make the mounting risers for the brackets.



Because the shelf brackets were slightly longer than the tub, the front tube was mounted on 3/4" Aluminum angle and then mounted to the tub.  The beautiful thing about this mounting method is the square tube is now almost perfectly flush with the outside of the fridge so the flashing / metal between the outside and the tub will be practically flat.  I'll probably end up using a nice piece of 4" 6061 flat to connect them further bracing the front shelf mount.



Used a Kreg shelf pin jig, modified to fit the square tube to drill all the holes.




And the final product.  Fully adjustable shelves, nice smooth slides and the way they are designed even loaded up with meat they will not fall out or tilt too much if you slide them out partially.  Just about perfect I would say.





Now on to the exhaust and vent fans...

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Small update this weekend.  Finally bit the bullet, and got the exhaust taken care of.  Had a hard time deciding on what I wanted, where, etc.  I settled on a stock duct hood from Lowes.  It's standard 3.5 x 10 duct size so I'll have a ton of venting area, it has a spring loaded damper door to prevent critters from going back in the smoker when not in use and the price is reasonable.   I've got a couple of ideas for disabling the door during smoking, I don't want to rely only on the air pressure from the fans to keep it open.


  Going with the square duct also makes it significantly easier for cutting the openings in the tub.  The porcelain inside these tubs will put a hurting on some drill bits, and not dulling expensive hole saws is a plus.  




All mounted up, and some trim added around the inside .  I've pulled the duct back out to cut it flush with the angle aluminum.  Not required, my shelf brackets fit around it, but it should be a little cleaner when done.




post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
So I think my OCD is taking over. Angles for everything!
Just couldn't stand the sloppy holes around everything. On the final assembly everything will be sealed with high temp silicone as well.
Yes I have to remove the fire pot to put this thing in place, lol. Wish I had payed attention to the difference of the sizes between the cutout dimensions provided on the template for the pellet pro and the actual arm itself. Having a good bit of space around the arm is not problem with a single wall install I'm sure, but with the double wall of the fridge the space was unacceptable to me. While it may be insulated with fire resistant insulation, I don't want smoke penetrating into the cabinet.




post #11 of 13
Wow wow wow ....
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

So after some astute observations by others, and a little self reflection on my build, I decided to set all the control boxes and conduit inside the fridge wall.  So I started setting the boxes.



Next up was the control box.  Had to make an aluminum angle frame for mounting.  


And the cutout in the fridge for the control box.


Now to finish up the rest of the boxes and get all the conduit run!

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Finished up all the internal conduit finally, had a little bit of time!  All tied to gether like I want now.   One of the conduits drops down through the bottom and curves back in to feed the pellet hopper.  This ledge for the compressor area has definitely changed the way some of this stuff is routed, but I like the fact that this will have no wasted space at the bottom.  Definitely more cook area above.  





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