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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well it's just about finished.



Here are the wall studs going in



A close up of where I had to add hangers and additional pieces to nail the tops of the walls in . I wanted more support than just the 2x6 joists for nailing point, so I hung a row of 2x6's on hangers 90* to the original joists.



The walls fully insulated with one layer of 2" and one layer of 1 1/2" foam board insulation for a total of 3 1/2"



More Foam



Picture of the interior



The exterior view without the door. Note the cutout for the AC unit. Still need to order the thermostat to control the temp. I want the option to control at both 50-55** for crabs and 40* for deer.



The exterior view with door installed



The rough cut corners where the wide gaps were filled with expandable foam.



Door also built to 3 1/2" thickness.

A couple of views that were not shown included the complete siliconing of all seams and corners fwith silicone caulking. The interior walls and ceilings have been coated with 2 coats of exterior grade semi-gloss paint. I still need to do 2 more coats to really seal up the OSB, That SH___T is super porous.

I still need to order the thermostat and run a temperature check, but that 's trivial. Air output was 45* just running on the floor of the shed, trying to cool 80* air.

Also in order is the hanging points for 2 deer and cutting the side panels to seal in the AC unit. Not sure how to run the condensate as Crabslayer mentions below. The drip pan does dot have a drain built in. I may rig up a pump system with a recycling bucket of water to drip some water on them. Don' know yet, but humidity is a must. That's the big reason the multiple coats of semi-gloss paint to help seal the walls.

Overall interior size was 4'x5' and costs are around $350 for all materials, except the framing fo rthe outside walls which were already there. That does not include the cost of the free AC unit or the $30 thermostat. I also need one more gallon of paint.

Now we just need some warm weather to see how the crabs like their temporary accomodations.
 

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Nice job Chris. It looks like you have a cut out for an air conditioner. Just be sure to have the condensation rerouted back into the cooler to keep the crabs from drying out.
 

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Looks good Chris. Nice work. Thanks for sharing the pics.
 

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The stench is hard to get rid of. Be careful how long you leave anything perishible in there.

Mine is all concrete, outside, 12'x12'x8', a true walk-in, if something stays in there too long, it's bad news. Even after many bleachings, it'll still reaks

Good luck, Jim E.
 

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Nice looking job but
jime is right on about the stench, most fellows with crab coolers that I know have them standing alone & away from the house .
,it only takes one dead crab and the smell will drive you out,
I hope that thing is not attached to your house,
you should have a way to hose the interior out ,and a drain to carrry off the foul water,,when the smell gets too bad
 

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Use a couple of plastic cement mixing containers (the black kind from Home Depot) for a few $$$. Set your baskets in these to catch your crab drippings. This way they can be removed and cleaned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
RJ- It's in the shed

Crabslayer- Iwas thinking a couple of bottoms 6" or so from some old 55 gallon trashcans to catch the yuck.

The floor is concrete, painted with epoxy garage paint and can be scrubbed with the wood on the bottom fully coated and sealed with silicone and paint.

I am hoping the multiple coats of paint and limited use and weekly ventings will help keep it relatively odor free.

It is not intended for long term use, just the once a week at most overnight storage for crabs in case I or my neighbor want to crab in the evening and hold them until the next day.

Also to be able to hold a deer or two in the early fall for a day or two until I can get to it instead of paying the butcher $70. Again, nothing long term.
 

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Nice looking job. The only problem is, as stated above, the smell and the ability to wash and air it out if necessary. It looks like it's on an outside wall, perhaps you can cut a "scupper" to the outside in case you need to rinse. Also, if it is on an outside wall, I would move the a/c unit to that wall. The heat build-up from the unit will be substantial. Having it inside the shed will add to the problem and could cause the unit to ice up and quit cooling on the really hot days, just when you need it. Also, if the unit is on the outside wall, you could use the unit to circulate outside air, on fan only, when the box is empty to help air it out (door closed).
As for the condensate drain pan, just drill a hole in the bottom where the water lays and put in a clear plastic tube, run the tube where you want. (I just let mine drain on the ground, you can seal it in place anyway you want, I just used electrical duct seal). I've never had the need to add moisture to the box (I've kept crabs in there for 5 days without excessive loss). The biggest thing to remember is to direct your a/c air flow to the ceiling and AWAY from the baskets of crabs. Direct air flow on them is what really drys them out.
 

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Looks great. Seems like it ought to stay pretty chilly in there. You could sheath the OSB with that white shower-stall plastic stuff they sell at Lowes or HD. 4x8 sheets. Would save you from having to paint all the OSB on the inside, and you could hose it off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mikie

I am hoping that with the overall shed design, there is an outside window directly behind the AC unit on the wall as well as a barn style loft over the cooler area (Roof of the cooler filled with 7" of roll insulation and then covered) that goes from 2' high to around 4' at the peak that has a ridge vent in it. On average the shed stays about 5-10* cooler than outside temps. The floor area up top is not solid and has several large gaps where the plywood was laid aorund the trusses and were not cut to fit and help to vent the lower area.

I am hoping that if need be I can open the window to relieve excessive heat build as well as the attic space to store the hotter air that can eventually escape through the ridge vent. In theory it should work, but we'll see.

I have thought about adding some type drain to let water out.

In all honesty, odor is one thing that I hadn't considered in the overall plan of things.

What would the thought be to add some small vents top and bottom to provide for a constant air exchange. Not big enough to compromise the cooling effect, but just big enough to let air flow through by process of warm air rising and cold air settling???

The door does not have a perfect seal due to my carpentry skills and that may actually provde unintended, but beneficial air flow.
 

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I, personally, wouldn't try to install vents. You're already asking an air conditioner to perform above and beyond its' intended purpose, and I doubt that you could vent enough air to take care of the problem. Try it the way it is and see what happens, if need be change it later.

I had to move my a/c because originally I had it on the opposite side which happened to be close to my central air unit. There was just too much hot air in that area from the two units running at the same time. Your unit is going to have to be able to cool itself or it will ice up solid and quit cooling.
 

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That's a really cool project you have there Chris:yes: and for what you're asking from the box....a day here or there to just keep crabs or deer fresh.....I don't foresee a problem.
It would be a little different if you were using the box everyday to store catch....but you're not, so it's not an issue.
Something to set the bushel in(catch the "drippings") and a wet towel overtop and air not aimed directly on the critters.....only other thing is a small drain for water runoff when you have to wash it out.

That thing is cool:thumbup:

Tony

PS....if wonder if that thing could double as a smokehouse.......they do have electric smokers don't they.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Tony

If you like that, and want a cheap large capacity smoker, I built one of those too that works great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As long as it's not below freezing, the heating element I have in it can't keep up with the cold, I either need one to run off of 220 or I need to add another 110 like I have. I just wait until it's 40* or more when I can.

Got about $125 invested and I can do 50 # of bologna, although the biggest batch I've made to date is 32. The smoked jerky is to die for. Even did 2 16" bluefish in it last year that were quite good for a first try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
UPDATE

I finally fired it up last night to temperature check it and here is what I found.

1. Outside temp 82*
2. Inside shed temp 78*
3. Turned A/C unit on High/Max cool at 6:00 PM and the air output was very warm coming off of the fins, very normal.
4. Checked at 6:30 down to 62*, output from fins still warm.
5. Checked at 6:45, down to 55*. Output form fins cool, shed temp.
6. Checked at 7:00, still at 55*, output from fins still cool.

I think this: The A/C unit on it's own is only capable of cooling to 55* before the comressor shuts off from the thermostat and the the circulating fan keeps running. This is the difference between the hot and cool radiant heat off of the fins. The compressor had shut off and was no longer dissipating the warm air.

To test further to look at maximum cooling, I am going to take the thermostat out of the loop and just run the A/C unit constant to see how low the temperature will get. I realize that 50-55 is desirable for crabs, BUT I also want a little cooler for deer. If I can get the temps down to 40* (My target) then I will order a separate thermostat to control betwen 30-70* or somewhere around that.

The A/C unit will output 45* air when just running on the floor of the shed pushing 80* air through. The results should be better once it starts pumping the 55* through.

I will post when I can test further.

BTW, Sunday when it was 85* outside, the shed was around 80 and at 4:00 in the afternoon the inside of the cooler area was still probably 5* cooler than the shed temp from the air that had been trapped from the NIGHT BEFORE. Not bad.
 

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Chris; Get one of the thermometers that has a probe to put into the air flow (like they use to check car a/c's) - whatever temp is coming out of the duct is the "theoretical" max temp the unit can produce. The thermostat is keeping the air temp from going any lower. The unit blows the same temp air all of the time while the compressor is running (with minor variations due to the incoming air temp). You need to set the thermostat's range lower. On the older, mechanical t-stats, there were upper and lower limit adjusting screws inside which can be played with to get your desired range - and your temperature knob will still provide the "fine tuning". If it's a newer, electronic type, you're own your own, I don't know anything about those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Mikie

It is an older unit but the way the thermo is configured it has 2 pressure plates that rotate and as you rotate it, the plates are set at an angle until they reach their max presure. If I remove the limiting screws it will go back to the first position resulting in the least amount of pressure and the highest temp settting.

(
with minor variations due to the incoming air temp).
This is why I think I can get the Temp lower. When trying to cool 80* air I get 45* output. If I get the air inside the cooler down to 55* I think based on your statement and my assumptions that I could get 40* as an end result with a different thermostat.
 

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You won't know until you try. Make sure you keep the "outside air vent" closed so you're only re-circulating the cool air.

My walk-in is 6' x 8' with a 6' ceiling, with a 5000btu a/c. It'll go below 40*. Cold enough for anything I need to do - including keeping a deer for a couple of days.

Oh, and get yourself an indoor/outdoor thermometer - mount the thermo on the outside and run the probe through a hole to the inside and attach it to the wall about midway up the side. You won't have to open the door to check the temp and you won't lose that refrigerated air!!
 

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Nice cooler, You might want to check with your local butcher about 40 degrees for deer i have 3 shops that process deer around me and all say without a doubt it needs to be 34 degrees to be safe

Again great job on the cooler i think im gonna build 1 now
 
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