building your own walk-in freezer

Submitted by Ron on 10/22/05 at 9:41 PM. ( )

I've been looking into this and was wandering if anybody on here has ever done it, and if so would they recommend it. Thanks

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Saw one built in Broadus Montana (Powder River Taxidermy)

This response submitted by George on 10/22/05 at 11:55 PM. ( )

But I would warn you of one thing: It's gonna cost about the same no matter what you do and it's probably cheaper to buy those units that you can assemble as big or small as you'd like.

The guys in Montana built a shack of 2x4's, sheathed it with 1/2 sheet insulation and then covered it with CDX. They bought a freezer unit and installed it on top of the building, insulated lines and wired it. Then they came in and sprayed the insulation in betwen the studs and then covered it with the styrofoam sheets that have aluminum foil on both sides. Then came the biggest cost: THE DOOR. You just can't make an airtight door or get the attaching hardware with the safety lock. You have to buy that component and it is very expensive. By the time they were finished, I'd bet they could have bought the break down units the sell for less expenditures.

One I use every year

This response submitted by Dan Hudzik on 10/23/05 at 9:15 AM. ( )

Two brothers here made one using a small air conditioner. Not sure exactly how they made it or where they got all the stuff but I'll ask them. We can usually hang about 7 mature Illinois deer in there at a time. If thats what you are looking for let me know and I'll try to get some plans from them, cost for the progect and I'll ask them where they got everything involved. Good Luck, Dan Hudzik

Dont forget the floor

This response submitted by Mr.T on 10/23/05 at 9:25 AM. ( )

The floor needs to be insulated also with an air space below it so you do not freeze the ground under it. That would cause heaving and shifting. The aluminum walled units are 5 or 6-inch thick walls filled with foam, and lock together with tongue & groove. You can set them on a cement slab on patio blocks inside any room. These last forever, can be moved and sold or added on to. Perfectly air tight. A homemade freezer would be equal to what we call a haxitermist mount. You would be paying good money for the unit and door as George said anyway, so why cut corners with the rest of it? Check some units out price wise, buy the small unit and add on to it later. My 2 cents.

Dan, that might be a "cooler" but not a freezer unit

This response submitted by George on 10/23/05 at 10:07 AM. ( )

Air conditioners just don't have the get up and go to do anything like that. A/C seldom draw temps down below 60 degrees and that's still above the spoilage temperature. Freezer units have much larger compressors and condensors.

I can build a 8x8 unit

This response submitted by Ron on 10/23/05 at 10:35 AM. ( )

for about 3,000. 2000, for the unit a thousand for the box. The door is the one thing that throws me though. They are high if you have to buy one. The cheapest I can find a similar unit with a floor is around 6000 with shipping. And I will still have to build a housing around it to keep in theme with my house and shop, which are cedar.
I know people who have built thier own coolers, but I havn't spoken to anyone that has built a freezer unit. Maybe more trouble than its worth, sure would be nice to get rid of all these chest freezers. I run four of them and I figure running one 8x8 walk in shouldn't cost any more to run than all of these. Anybody ever done any figuring on running cost.
PS. George, I checked the archives just for you. Your old pal Ron.

I built one and still use it

This response submitted by JL on 10/23/05 at 9:53 PM. ( )

I built one 8X8 inside measurements and I use it mostly as a cooler but can use it as a freezer since it has a hot plate and a defrost timer which are essential if you use it as a freezer. Every refrigeration mechanic that sees it says it shouldn't work but it's been running for 20 years without a problem.I set the defrost timer to run for an hour in the middle of the night when temperature are the coolest. I built it out of 2x12 floor stringers and filled them with solid insulation I found in the town dump and covered the floor with pressure treated plywood.The walls are 8 inches thick framed with 2x4s built into 2 walls of staggered studs so there is no way to carry a temperature change through the wall except at the door frame. The ceiling is 2x12s like the floor but the walls and ceiling are insulated with blanket insulation.Outside sheeting is texture 111 exterior plywood. The compressor is a Coplematic unit I pulled out of a scrapped milk tank and I got the evaporator ( 2 fan and defrost plate, 220 power) from an old chicken processing cooler room.I got the door and frame from a scrapped beer cooler at the local college.Out-of-pocket money back then was about $500 to build.It will safely hold 5 moose or about 15 deer after they are skinned and quartered and I keep the temperature at 32deg. I'm sure that if you look around for the parts and use second hand lumber you can build one like mine for less than $1000.00. A paneled cooler will cost you about $3M to $5M depending on the size and cooling power. You can find these second hand for a lot less if you shop around. Hope this helps....JL

a good source

This response submitted by Alex on 10/24/05 at 12:48 AM. ( )

To buy walk in freezers are from the school board , down here they replace them quite often and sometimes they give them away, I have a 10X10 extra room I got from them for 100 dollars.

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