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mstang1988 08-20-2008 10:19 AM

Custom Stone Fridge/Freezer?
I want to build an outdoor kitchen and in the design I would like to have a fridge. I'm curious as to the cold insulating properties of stone vs a typical fridge and if it's worth the effort to convert an existing fridge to my application. Is there any other considerations that you can think of besides this? I plan to only store things like meats etc when I smoke or pizza doe for the pizza oven. Freezer might be an always on type deal.

Here are the plans:

cinder block filled with cement
cement foundation
exterior covered with field stone and mortar
insulating material (any suggestions?)
Fire Bricks making the enclosure
Create a flush seal using metal/etc and a rubber gasket
Glass door similar to those on wine fridges
Remove guts of existing cheaply purchased fridge and insert into logical place in stone fridge design

I think the firebricks would store the lack of thermal energy (cold) in much a similar fashion as it does with heat but I'm not totally sure.

I have a friend that I'm sure I could convince to help with the compressor/coil work as he owns an AC business etc. It might just take a few beers and some food.

Anything wrong with the plans or hopes?

toddj 08-20-2008 11:15 AM

Re: Custom Stone Fridge/Freezer?
I made a cooler using about six inches of this as the insulation.. I used the fill not the spray..

Tiger Foam | Spray Foam Insulation Kits

remember the condenser / evaporator need to be rated to deal with the great fluctuations of out door temperature.. a lot of units need to live in room temperature to work properly.

the stone needs to be fully isolated from the inside of the fridge or it will wick heat and never get cold enough. Think of a igloo cooler clad in stone. If you use fire brick on the inside I would use splits and make sure they were isolated from the outside world or they will also wick heat.

Find a used equipment dealer and scrap a unit with existing doors, tracks, and seals.

good luck

CanuckJim 08-20-2008 11:38 AM

Re: Custom Stone Fridge/Freezer?
Another consideration is the slab. It will eat up the cold unless the unit is properly insulated below as well.


dmun 08-20-2008 01:38 PM

Re: Custom Stone Fridge/Freezer?
I looked at one of those commercial pizza units with the condiment trays above a marble slab, with the refrigerated units below, and I wasn't convinced that it would withstand outdoor use. Check with your AC guy about this, he would know.

Any homebrew fridge would need to be fully insulated: I think enclosing a commercial glass door refrigerated unit, which are widely available used (think of all the restaurants and deli's that go out of business) with a custom stone enclosure would be a better bet.

SpringJim 08-20-2008 01:48 PM

Re: Custom Stone Fridge/Freezer?
Can you keep the door out of the sunshine? Otherwise insulate it well....maybe even a secondary door if in direct sunlight.

Also, make sure you have good airflow for the cooling unit, particularly for a purchased unit if you choose to insert one.

Have you considered one of the styrofoam block type building systems....basically two sided foam blocks with a reinforced concrete core. Would be structural and you can finish with stone or stucco...just another thought!

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