Monday, September 12, 2016

Progress on the freezer and refrigerator

Deena and I decided that we should go ahead and re-insulate the original icebox to make a proper freezer and refrigerator out of it. We installed a Cool Blue cold plate unit in it a year or so ago and it has worked great. But with us heading down to Cabo San Lucas and the Sea of Cortez we knew we needed to replace the insulation with something that has more R valve than the insulation that was installed in 1975. We knew it would be a big project and would take some time but we were up for the challenge. I had hoped to be able to save the fiberglass insert but soon figured out that I would not be able to without having to tear out some of the cabinets. We did not want to do that so we decided we would make a new insert out of fiberglass ourselves.....that soon changed.

I had to remove the copper lines.
The cold plate was mounted on the settee side of the icebox. This caused condensation on the outside of the icebox.
This is the original icebox with the divider I put in when we installed the Cool Blue refrigeration unit.
Cutting with a Fein tool.
The start of removing the liner. It was harder to remove than I thought it would be.

Starting to make progress!

You can see the foam was not really in all the cracks.

Finally removed the liner and was able to see exactly how the insulation was on the bottom. Not much and just a mish mash of foam pieces.

Here Deena is cleaning out the icebox shell. There was mold on the foam and it was wet.

All painted and clean. We tagged the hull so it would be a surprise for the next owners. You can see I made templates of the sides to see exactly how big I could make the new liner and still get 2.5"- 3" of insulation in.

More patterns for the two drop in boxes. I would leave 1" space between them for insulation to go between the frig and freezer.

The insulation I used was 10 mm Spaceloft and it has a radiant barrier on it. It is rated about R4 for the 10mm (3/8") thickness. I needed to get the highest R value I could in the 2 1/2"- 3" of space available. With 3" I can get I was shooting for 3" of space with the new liner. Just a side note that the insulation is dusty and it gets everywhere. It does not itch but it does dry out your skin and feels "sticky" but it isn't. It is hydrophobic so it does not absorb water. After a day of working with it water would literally run off my hands under the faucet. It does not itch so that is a big plus! A big thank you to the guys who got the insulation for know who you are!

The roll of spaceloft. (248 sq feet)
Here I am laying out patterns and cutting the insulation.

I ended up with 7 layers on the three sides. 9 layers on the hull and bottom.
We were planning on building a fiberglass liner to go in the box. But I could not build a support system for it and get the space I needed for the liner and keep the box the same dimension inside as it was. So Deena suggested we do it in stainless steel. It would look better and be easier to clean. So stainless steel it would be.

I drew up the two liners and PPC, the company I used to work for made the stainless steel liners for me. They did a great job and everything fit as planned. I must say it was difficult getting the liners in as it was a very tight fit. At one point I was standing in the frig liner getting it to fully insert to the bottom insulation. Thank you PPC for the liners and other items you made for the boat. I really appreciate it!

The liners before they were installed. The one on the left is the freezer section and goes near the hull.
A minor modification was needed and I sealed all the seams with aluminum tape just in case.

The liners in place and ready to trim out. You can see all the cloth Deena put up to try and keep the dust from the insulation off of everything.....nice try....we still are cleaning dust from some places!
I installed the cold plate on the bottom this time. There is over R32 below it and it gives us more room.

I ran 12 volts to the frig section shown here and 12 volts to the freezer also. We had a small battery fan in the frig before that helped keep the temps pretty even through out the refrigerator section. I figured I would run a small 12 volt computer muffin fan instead of replacing batteries every two months.
 On the lids I used 3" of urethane foam  glued to the plywood. I then covered the under side of the lid and foam with fiberglass cloth with epoxy. Then they received 2 coats of white paint.

I decided to use 3" of urethane foam for the lids. I cut lids out of plywood then sealed them with epoxy.
We thought were were going to go back to wood tops for the lids.  Deena saw some glass accent tiles in Home Depot and bought a couple to see how they would look. We thought they would look very nice and be more functional than wood as she could set hot pans on them if needed. We decided we would trim the tops of the lids out with wood and put the tile in the middle. I re-used some handles we had. We mounted them on the lids then laid out the tile.
The freezer door is on the left. You can see the handles in the location they would be mounted. 

You can see the tile laid out on the removable door behind the stove. We made this door larger than it was before for ease of getting the pots and pans out that are stored back there. We were getting excited about the tile as just this little bit laid out looked promising!

Deena laid out the tile ahead of time so once we laid the adhesive down we could just lay them in.
All the doors grouted but not yet cleaned.
The finished product turned out much better than we thought it would. We knew it would look nice but WOW it looks REALLY good. Not too bad for our first tile job! Check it out below.


In the picture above you can see one of the two baskets that sit on shelves in the frig.
All in all a great job if I say so myself!