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post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
So instead of cutting holes in my brand new (twice used) Smoke Hollow Electric to possibly fix a vent issue, I have decided to do a little project. I am going to convert an old Kelvinator Refrigerator into a smoker. I am driving down the Pueblo CO this Sunday to pick it up. A guy I found on craigslist was holding on to it for the same purpose but has since moved into an apartment on doesn't have the room for such a larger smoker. He is giving it away which is even better. It looks similar to the one in the pick and seems to be in pretty good shape. I am going to build a Temp Control similar to the one Cheech uses (thanks Cheech for the idea and pics). I am naming it WOPR from the movie WarGames - I am a huge computer nerd. I will keep everyone updated with posts and pics

I want to repaint the entire unit, any suggestions on which types of paint to use. I understand it needs to withstand higher temps , but can I get away with any of the Rustoleum (or similar) products in a spray can?
post #2 of 31
Thread Starter 
Also, if anyone in or around Denver is intersted in a barley used electric smoker let me know. Once I am done with this project I may not have a need for my current smoker so I may be trying to get it in the hands of a fellow smoker.
post #3 of 31
Good luck on the new projectPDT_Armataz_01_29.gif

Hey.. feel free to post that smoker in the brand new classifieds area of the forum if you like.

post #4 of 31
Keep us posted on your project. I am also in the process of converting a fridge into a smoker, See:

Intrested on how you do yours.
post #5 of 31
Ya know I am not sure that you need to paint it with high temp paint. The smoker/frig is insulated and the out side of the Wookie is cool to the touch.

My guess is regular appliance paint would work. The Wookie has regular house paint on the outside

Keep us in the loop
post #6 of 31
I agree with Cheech. On the "test drives" with my New Project, the outside of the unit was cool to the touch, while the inside was approx 140*.
BTW: Cheech,Got the burner, gonna do another "test drive" today.
Thanks, will keep the circle going.....
post #7 of 31
I think a nice Denver Bronco's theme smoker would look good. I have a friend that used regular paint on his frig smoker and it was just fine.
post #8 of 31
You can always grab a can of VHT (Very High Temperature) spray paint at your friendly auto parts store…guys use it for engine blocks and headers all the time. Being a graphics guy I think you should give it a flame job or maybe the gates of Hell entrance theme! WooHoo!icon_rolleyes.gif How about Ice blue metallic and frost the edges with bronze spray (popular mid 70’s custom car painting style!)
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
I looked in to some of the high temp paints and didn't see a lot of color choices. I'll just do a couple of test runs and see how hot the outside gets before I give it sme color. I have thought about the flame idea but i'm not so artistic and it just sounds like to o much work but it would look amazing.

I wanted to do it in a gray\blue color and put the letters WOPR on it just like from WarGames but I can't think of what each letter would relate to in smoking terms. Any ideas?

W.... O.... P.... R.... ?????
post #10 of 31
Pick any color and paint. Presently, doing a "test drive" on my fridge smoker, the inside is 171*, the outside is a cool 46*. Same as the current outside temp.
post #11 of 31


Wood Only Prepared and Reliable

Wood Only Peppered and Ready

Wood Only Pumped and Rightous

Wood Only Primed and Ready *** my favorite
post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
So here it is. After a trip down to Pueblo (1.5 hours each way) I finally am in possesion of the fridge. I did a little disassembly but did not take pics of that. Here is the only pic so far, I had to stop working on it because the sun is going down and I don't have a workshop. I did a little test sanding to see how my orbital sander would do, it will take some time but it will do.
post #13 of 31
jmastera -

That's a fine looking fridge. To bad you can't turn it into a kegerator.

post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 
I have a lead on another old style fridge. Not thinking my wife would like it sitting around the house so I may have to pass. But, it does work so it is very tempting.
post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
So I was finally able to work on the smoker yesterday after work for about an hour. I have not put any vents, top or bottom, onto the unit but I did throw the 1500 W hotplate (1000 l and 500 r). After about 35 minutes it was up to about 214 degrees internal temp. It looked like it was still going up but slowely. It was getting pretty dark and a little cold so I turned it off and I will continue this weekend.

Will adding vents to the bottom and top lower my temps or just take longer to heat up?
post #16 of 31
Thread Starter 
So I finally had time this past weekend and last night to work on the WOPR. I will get pics as soon as the paint is done but so far I have done the following.

Removed all plastic (not much) from interior as well as all rubber nubs from the rack pins.

Had to remove the door seal as it was cracked and falling apart, door seems to seal fine without it for now but I will replace eventually.

Sanded (outside) and washed entire unit. Inside of unit is in extremely good condition so other than the wash I didn't do much.

Removed interior light bulb connector and mounted blank wall plate in it's place. Drilled hole in wall plate for temp sensor that connects to temp controller (easier explained once you see pics).

Mounted temp controller, outlet and solid state relay to the inside of bottom drawer\storage compartment.

So far that is all I have done except for the test run with the hot plate. I ordered 5 expanded metal sheets cut to 12 X 24 which is a perfect fir for the inside of the fridge but they have yet to arrive. I still need to cut the whole for the stack and bottom airflow as well as a hole for the hotplate power cord to feed through. Hopefully I will get that taken care of this weekend.

Oh and back to what WOPR is an acronym for, I was thinking:
Working On the Perfect Rub
Deb - your suggestions were great but the wife thought of that one and it has to stick. If I get to build it, she gets to name it I guess.
post #17 of 31
Thread Starter 
So I got the wood pan for the WOPR today in the mail. Tossed it in with a bunch of mesquite and away I went for the first test run with the entire unit put back together. WOW this thing gets hot, god thing I got the temp controller. With both burners (1000 and 500) on high it was up to 270 at 35 minutes. I can't wait to give this thing a real go once it is complete. I may even give it a run this weekend on a Turkey even though it is not 100% complete. I'll get pics tomorrow before the sun goes down.
post #18 of 31
Didja get the vent holes cut yet? I would think with out some ventilation you might get a little creosote. Once the O2 is gone outta the chamber your wood burning/smoking is gonna stop too I'd think.. Guys correct me if I'm wrong here.

Btw that thing looks awesome. I wish have some more toys :)
post #19 of 31
Thread Starter 
Getting the vents cut is my next step. I bought a 3in hole saw but once I got home I realized the attachment I have for my drill doesn't fit the blade i bought. I need to get back to home depot to get the rights peice. I have also rethought the peices i will use for the vent so i am going to return some things and swap them out.
post #20 of 31
Thread Starter 
I imagine once I get the vents in i'll have a better burn. I did notice that within the first hour the chips were not only burnt to almost ash but they were glowing red hot. I am sure some of this is due to the amount of heat the burner was putting outt. Once I have the vents and temp controlled I think this thing will work awesome.
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