Update: Full writeup available
Picked up a counter-high refrigerator today for a kegerator project. I would have preferred one of the all-refrigerator units such as the Sanyo 4912 or Danby 4.4, but I absolutely could not find one of them in Milwaukee. Wal-mart has the Danby available for free drop-ship but it’s $240. The Sears outlet center did have a Sanyo but it was really beat to hell and cost $190 on top of that.
I eventually decided upon the GE Clean Steel 4.3 (model number SMR04DASCS) as Sam’s Club had it for $140. The drawback to this fridge is that the freezer unit / evaporator needs to be bent down in order to make way for the kegs and draft tower lines. However I figured that because it was cheap it wouldn’t be such a huge deal if I screwed up that part. I did read an account online of someone cracking the refrigerant line while bending the freezer down.
However it turned out that bending the freezer wasn’t too hard. The weakest part of the assembly is the union between the evaporator and the line, so as you’re bending you’ll feel that part want to give first. I focused the bend on the line and avoided kinks or cracks.
Next up was replacing the door insert. I used big rectangles of HVAC panning primarily because I couldn’t find the whiteboard material that everyone else uses for this project, and because it looks kind of cool.
One piece wasn’t quite big enough so I riveted two of them together.
The last part was making a hole for the gas line. I used a 1/2″ drill bit to make a hole for my 9/16″ OD gas line in order to get a snug fit. I positioned it in the upper-right part of the back wall.
Without any trimming of the shelf supports two cornies just barely fit. The second one tends to stick out some but thanks to the removal of the door insert the door closes just fine.