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The New Project Frigidaire

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

Haven't posted here in a while. I've had my hands full with my latest creation. Since the minnesota winters are brutal, i decided that i needed to upgrade my little chief to something that would be more of a year round machine. So, i decided to try my hand a building a fridge smoker. After combing craigslist for weeks, I found nothing along the lines of an old fridge. I was beginning to get depressed a little, as i really have the urge to make some sausage. Well, lo and behold, i find out that my uncle has a fridge that has been in his basement for 40 years, and didn't work, and he told me that if I would haul it out of the basement, i could have it. Jackpot. I just wanted to show you guys some of the things i have done with my build.

First off, I want to give special thanks to Dave54 for all of his help with the smoke generator ideas, as without him, this project would have taken me a lot longer, and I would have certainly screwed it up.

Anyhow, here's the build. First thing i did when i got it off the truck was cut off the generator and the freezer unit. funny how quick those things come off with a grinding wheel. :) So, those are gone from the pictures. Next, we realized that the whole barrier strip around the outside of the main chamber in the smoker was made of plastic. After taking out about a million screws to get those strips off, I realized that the inside of the fridge was all one solid piece of metal which was held in place with said plastic strips. I was hoping that the strips were just ornamental, but found out that behind the plastic was insulation. As long as i was ripping, I ripped out the rubber gasket around the door, and about a million more screws, and found out that that rubber gasket was all that was holding the main door panel on. No good. This was going to require more fabrication than i thought. Here's the pic of the fridge minus the inside.

With the inside out of there, i was able to pull all of the galvanized brackets holding the freezer in place off of the outside of the chamber, as well as all of the rubber grommets that held the racks in place and the lightbulb receptacle in the back of the chamber.

So, i was left with a bunch of holes in the case, and a door panel that was completely detached from the rest of the door. To fix this, I went out and bought some 5/16" x 1" stainless steel carriage bolts and washers. and plugged up all of the holes. Back in the fridge it went.

The next part was fabricating a replacement for the plastic strips that held the door and the inside together. I chose 1/8" steel strips, used the plastic pieces as templates, and cut everything to size with a chop saw and a saber saw. It actually looks like a dungeon door now. Here is the finished fabrication on the inner chamber.

The next part was the door. Without the rubber gasket holding it in place, the inner door panel was pretty floppy. I knew i had to fabricate something that would hold it down properly, so i used 1/8" steel strips again, and cut and fastened them and then bent them inward to get a nice tight fit on the inner door panel. Now, it is so tight, i doubt i can get it off again. Also, I mounted my homemade "smoke daddy" style smoke generator (Thanks for the plans Dave54!!) by using a 1" by 3" nipple, with collars on both sides. It got nice and tight with absolutely no welding at all. I also put a 1/2" x 3" nipple up higher on the same side to have a port for my thermocouple to go in. Then, with a 3" hole saw, i mounted a 3" aluminum stack out the top. (We also cleaned the inside from top to bottom for the pic)

Finally, We drilled a hole in the bottom and mounted one of the 1500 watt brinkman convertor burners in the bottom. Here's the finished product.

All that is left to do is to install some fiberglass rope gasket around the outer edge of the door to seal it, and sandblast and paint the outside of it. I plan on controlling it with a PID that I built from Auber parts. I can't wait for the first batch next weekend. I'll post more pics as i get them.

Thanks again for all of you who helped me with information. Setitandforgetitsmoker, and Dave54 are two that were really helpful, but there are many many more, and I'm grateful to all of you.
post #2 of 4
Looks awesome man, very cool. Can't wait to see that bad boy puttin out some smoke. I hear ya about the winters, man did we have a spell here the past few weeks. But Spring is right around the cornericon_mrgreen.gif.
Look forward to seeing your progress on this. Keep at it.
post #3 of 4
Great lookin build. Keep the pics coming!
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

thanks guys

You two have really helped me a lot out here too, both with recipes, and building tips. Thanks for the kudos. I am just burning to go back to wisconsin, where the smoker is living now (until it is done), and finish it and make that first batch. Once we have a successful run at it, I'm making 40 lbs of venison summer sausage for my cousin. I'm giddy. This smoking hobby is a sickness. :)
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