Saturday, May 17, 2014

Installing the refrigerator.

When I purchased our trailer, it didn't have the original refrigerator. It did come with a dorm style refrigerator which worked. Instead of trying to find a vintage fridge, I just decided to use the dorm styled one that came with the trailer. Since the new fridge didn't match the vintage look we were going for, I hid it behind the closet door. This also worked well with where I needed to install the a/c unit.

  Some of the tools I used was a angled drill, a roll of metal strapping. and tin snips.
                        I ran an electrical outlet to top of the cabinet for the fridge to plug into.
 Next, I needed to cover up the ventilation holes cut in the side of the cabinet. These holes are great to air out a closet but would let the hot air from the fridge into the living space of the trailer.

                                         I applied contact cement to the inside of the cabinet.
 Then applied contact cement around the outer edge of a spare piece of laminate left over from the kitchen counter. I made sure not to put the contact cement where you can see it from the outside of the cabinet.

Placed the laminate on the inside of the cabinet. You have to make sure it's where you want it. Once it touches, you can't move it.
                                                 Use a pressure roller to get a good bond.
Now the hole is covered up, and it matches the kitchen counter top. it also matches the overall color scheme of the interior of the trailer.
 Next, I added 2 - 1"x 3"wooden boards to both sides of the inside of the cabinet (running vertical up the side) to support the shelf the fridge will sit on. I spread some silicon caulk between the wood and the cabinet.

I attached the boards by screwing through the outside of the cabinet into the 1"x3" boards. The screws pull the boards against the inside of the cabinet and the silicon adheres it. This makes it very strong. I also used round head brass screws to make it look nicer.

I cut three 1"x3" boards to run horizontal from the left to right side. I attached these to the boards I'd just installed running vertical along the inside of the cabinet. I put one at the front, center, and back. Then I cut a piece of plywood to fit, laid the plywood on the horizontal boards, and attached. Making a shelf for the fridge to sit on.
This is the shelf installed in the cabinet.

This an expanded view with the fridge sitting on the shelf.
       To keep it from moving around while we traveled. I measured a board to fit on the side.
                                                           Cut it on my table saw to fit.
I attached one on each side of the fridge to keep it from moving side to side.
                                          Just to make sure! I ran a strap over the top .........

and attached to the cabinet and the fridge.

        I cut and installed a piece of plywood to separate from the side we hang or clothes.
I reinstalled the cabinet doors and a/c unit. I don't have a good picture showing the door where the fridge is installed. You can just see the bottom of it in this picture. You open the smaller closet door (mine has a mirror on it) and the fridge is hidden behind it.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Installing a/c: final installation of a/c unit and trim work

The above picture shows the side panel behind the installed a/c unit open for ventilation. I just have the vented panel propped open with a paint stick when using the a/c. The previous post showed how I installed the ventilation fans.

Now that the ventilation fans are installed, it's time to permanently install the a/c unit.  I centered the unit in the cabinet, tightened the furniture glides on both sides (these are pictured in an earlier post), and installed two pieces of wood across the top (pictured above). The two wood pieces keeps the unit from bouncing up and down.

Now I started working on the trim around the unit to make it look better. I had some scrap metal trim from my Grandmother's house. I put it around the edge of the cabinet.

This is a backed up view of the metal edge trim.

I plan to put a panel around the unit. I needed to install some wood strips in the cabinet to keep the panel from sliding around. I got some scrap pieces of the laminate and plywood I'm planning to use.

I use these scrap pieces to mark where to install the bracing to make sure there's enough space for the panel to slide in. 

I cut my plywood and make sure it fits around the unit.

This is a picture of the installed top and right side wood bracing that will be behind the panel. I had to take the right side brace back out and cut a 45 degree cut along the edge so that the panel would slide in easier. 

This is the piece of wood that will be behind the left side of the panel. I cut it at a 45 degree angle so the panel would slide in easier.

This is the wood brace for the left side installed inside the cabinet.

I used brass round head screws to attach the wood braces. This is the right side.

I used the same baby blue laminate for the panel that we used for the kitchen counter. I used contact cement to glue the laminate to the piece of plywood. Then trimmed the laminate with a router.

This is the right side wood brace I installed behind the panel. This picture shows the angle I mentioned cutting a couple of pictures back. I still haven't learned how to rearrange the pictures if I post them wrong.

This shows the panel slid into place. It's easier if you remove the front panel of the unit. To get the panel in, you slide one side in between the front cabinet trim and the wood braces installed inside the cabinet. Then, you bend the middle of the panel out and slide the other side in.

I measured and cut three pieces of birch stained and clear coated to match the cabinets.

I used brass round head screws to attach across the panel at the top, middle, and bottom. This gives it  more of a built in look and keeps the laminated plywood from bowing and warping. All the empty space behind the panel is needed to vent the hot air away from the unit and out the side of the trailer. To use the a/c unit I turn it on, flip the switch inside the closet (discussed in the ventilating the a/c post) to turn on fans for pulling fresh air in (through the top vent on the exterior side of trailer), open up the exterior panel behind the a/c unit, and turn on the fan installed behind the a/c unit that pulls the hot air out. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Installing a/c: ventilation to keep the a/c unit from over heating

(Sorry this picture is supposed to be after the intro but I can't get it to stay  there) This is the fan I installed directly behind the a/c unit to pull the hot air out.
After installing the a/c unit and drain pan, I began addressing how to vent the area the a/c unit is enclosed in. I knew I needed to prevent the unit from over heating. When you're looking at upper 90's, 100% humidity, and heat indexes well over a 100 degrees, your a/c better work. It gets HOT in Alabama! It took me a couple of times to get it right. First, I just stuck a fan behind the unit to pull the hot air out the access door. This worked okay, but the wood paneling became hot to the touch and it didn't cool well. Then I tried turning the fan around (to pull fresh air in) and put fans in a vent located directly above the access door (to pull hot air out). This didn't work at all. The compressor would kick off in about 15 minutes. Next, I set it up as described in this post. It works great! The wood panelling right next to the unit doesn't even get warm. And, it keeps the trailer  cool even in the upper 90's. 

Next, I drilled holes in the shelf the fridge will sit on. This is to draw fresh air in through the top vent (the vent above the access door). 

I installed two small fans in the holes. The fans air flow blows  down into the compartment where the a/c unit is located. I used fans designed to use in computers. Where I originally had them installed, I needed very small fans which would pull a lot of air. With the fans installed in this location, I probably could have used something different. I bought these at Radio Shack and they were expensive. 

This is the compartment where the a/c unit sits. You can see the fans at the top of the picture. When I had to redo the ventilation, I had to take the a/c unit back out.

This is the view of the fans from above. The fridge will sit here.

I moved back a little for a better view. The fridge will sit on the top shelf and the a/c unit sits on the bottom.

I had to add a piece of paneling to separate the fridge area from where we hang our clothes in the closet. I installed some wood strips in the closet to attach the panel to. This is the bottom piece.

If you don't have a right angle drill, buy one. I used mine more than my standard drill. I like the rigid brand because you can register your tools and get a life time warranty. The warranty covers the tool and the battery. The battery warranty is what makes the deal. 

This is a test fit of the panel. This is the inside of the closet. You can barely see the clothes bar at the top of the picture.

This is a picture of the same panel but from the other side. This outlet is for powering my fridge and the two small ventilation fans installed under the fridge shelf. In an earlier post (Adding a/c: running the power), I mention a yellow cable running to the top of the closet for the fridge. This is where it ends up.

I wanted to be able to turn the two vent fans under the fridge shelf on and off. In the winter it would cause cold drafts. This is a picture of a small outlet box I installed in the back of the closet for an on / off switch.

This is a picture from the other side.

I ran some lamp wiring (with a plug already attached) through the box.

This is the cover plate and switch I plan to use.

I wired the switch to the fans. You can also see where the fridge will be installed 

This is the installed switch in the back of the closet.

This is an exterior view of the vent located directly above the assess door to the a/c unit. I don't know what it was originally intended for. Mine was sealed off with a piece of plywood. You can see the wasp nests. This is wear the fresh air enters behind the fridge. I removed the plywood (and the wasp nests).

This an interior view of the above vent. I had a screen made and installed it to keep the bugs out.

Finished up wiring the two vent fans and the switch. I just followed the directions that came with the fans.

Here's bigger view. Please note: the fans are pictured in their original location.  There's a picture earlier in this post showing the correct location. The next couple of posts will address permanently installing the fridge and a/c unit.