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Old 04-23-2017, 09:11 PM   #1
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Adding flange to drop in fridge box

I recently purchased an Isotherm BI-53 drop in fridge box to mount in the summer kitchen of our Mainship 400. I posted a month or so ago about wiring, which I have now completed (it actually went easier than I expected).

Now it's time to install the box, and I've run into a bit of a snag.

Here is a link to the unit I bought. https://www.indelwebastomarine.com/i...bi-53-freezer/

I got it through WM, my local store does not carry it, so they had to order it. I paid $100 in shipping, so I'm not anxious to send it back.

My plan was to cut the correct size opening in the top (counter?) of the summer kitchen, seal the edges of the core with epoxy and drop the box in. The lid of the summer kitchen would close over it when not in use.

Unfortunately, there is no flange or lip around the box.

So now I'm kind of stuck. I'm thinking of adding a flange to it, maybe with aluminum angle iron? Starboard? My worry is that the outside skin of the box seems pretty thin, will sheet metal screws be secure enough?

Other option, I guess, is to build some sort of shelf inside the summer kitchen, but I'd prefer not to do that.

ANy thoughts?
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:44 PM   #2
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Mr. D. Hmmmm....When full of "product" you're possibly looking at 57lbs+ contents which may be upwards of another 30lbs to 50lbs. So, in the potential neighborhood of 100lbs. I think you are correct in suspecting the thin sheet metal may be too thin to allow simply screwing on a flange. How about a few strips of pipe strapping fastened underneath the unit and screwed to the bottom of the counter top to form somewhat of a cradle?



NOT the most elegant but...I'm still thinking...
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Old 04-24-2017, 06:26 AM   #3
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Good idea. Or maybe I could attach the strapping to the flange?

I'm considering taking it to a machine shop, as the top lip of the flange will be visible.
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:46 AM   #4
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I am sure you have already thought of it but, just in case, be careful drilling any holes in the fridge because of the cooling lines that are under the skin of the fridge.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:04 PM   #5
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I called Webasto today and spoke with their tech support. They said there is no pre made flange kit. He also told me that it was safe to drill through the outside skin near the top of the box as long as I don't drill through the inside skin. The lines on this unit run on the outside, as far as I can tell.

Next, I took it by my local machine shop to see if they had any ideas. He sent me to a sheet metal shop. The sheet metal guy said he could easily make a flange for it by bending it out of stainless and that he would then attach it to the box using stainless rivets. He felt like it would be very strong and wouldn't need a strap. I hadn't thought about rivets, but it makes a lot of sense.

His estimate was under $50, so I'm going to let him do it.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:28 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Mr. D. Simple, elegant and cheap. Win, win, win...Now about that cold sarsaparilla...
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougcole View Post
I called Webasto today and spoke with their tech support. They said there is no pre made flange kit. He also told me that it was safe to drill through the outside skin near the top of the box as long as I don't drill through the inside skin. The lines on this unit run on the outside, as far as I can tell.

Next, I took it by my local machine shop to see if they had any ideas. He sent me to a sheet metal shop. The sheet metal guy said he could easily make a flange for it by bending it out of stainless and that he would then attach it to the box using stainless rivets. He felt like it would be very strong and wouldn't need a strap. I hadn't thought about rivets, but it makes a lot of sense.

His estimate was under $50, so I'm going to let him do it.
Makes perfect sense, Doug. As extra support, if the design allows without interfering with function, supporting the bottom of the box can allow that structure to carry the weight, relieving the pressure on the flange.

How do most folks mount these boxes?
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:15 PM   #8
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I'm not sure how most people mount them, to be honest. I did some googling and found very little. Best I can tell, they build boxes around them. Still seems to me that some sort of flange or mounting bracket would be beneficial but I guess not.

There is not much of a flat space on the bottom of this unit. The compressor is mounted on the bottom and there is an angle on one side of the bottom. I'm considering some sort of "T" support made out of starboard. I may cut a piece of scrap 4x4 and wedge it underneath for a while to determine whats needed before I do anything permanent. I like the metal strap wrapped under the bottom idea as well. It would be easy to screw the ends under the top of the cabinet.
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