Hidden fridge in bar - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-02-2006, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Hidden fridge in bar

I've got a bit of design issue I'm stuck on. I'm building a back bar for a client and he wants a compact fridge built into the unit with a cabinet door front (so it's hidden). I've found a company that sells the trim packages that mounts the cabinet door to the fridge (frigodesign.com).
I'm wondering if it would look odd not to have a toe kick? My problem is that if I design the cabinets with a toe kick, the fridge can no longer set on the floor, so it will have to be inside it's own cabinet. The fridge is 34" high, so until I add the counter thickness, cabinet thickness and a toe kick, my overall height is about 40". This is a little higher than a normal counter height. Do think this a problem, or should I maybe just avoid the toe kick?

Thanks.

--Darrell
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-02-2006, 11:13 AM
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For a bar area and considering your conditions I would eliminate the toe kick. The other option would be to put the fridge in the corner where the cabinets meet the wall and then just run the toe kick up to that cabinet and then transition to a full height cabinet. I think that would look better but I don't know where you were going to put the fridge.

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-02-2006, 12:40 PM
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Well here are some unorthodox options. Don't get stuck thinking you are stuck with that fridge. Ask the customer if it would be okay to go smaller. Since that will probably be a no, ask them if it is okay to go taller, on the counter. Not to 40" but to accomodate the smaller fridge they said no on. A little smaller fridge a little taller counter.
I know my wife is making me install higher counter tops because she has to bend down for convential 34"ish hieght counters and it kills her back. Are your clients taller?
Counter height have been going up in years past as peope realize it is okay to buck the nowm and save their backs.
Prividing you can't do either or both of these, can you use the wall cavity for setback? If you do you are going to have to consider options for removing the condensor heat from the enclosed space, but you are going to havce to do this anyway to do a first rate job and not walk away knowing their compressor may lock up in a few months or a coupke of years.

There are otherideas but without seeing the layout I hesitate to waste the time tyoing without seeing what is what.
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-02-2006, 01:04 PM
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I was giving you those ideas based on my own desire to install bar fridges inside the cabinet. But another idea, fridge still inside cabinet that just hit me, is if the fridge does not extend too far out past the cab faces, is to build a boxed door instead of having to extend cabintet sides out into the walk space. i think it would look better as long as it wasn't so far that it would be a knee-knocker.
You could also keep the toe-kick this way as long as you can resolve the height issue.
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-02-2006, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys. Here's a picture that the HO gave me to show me the style he wants. We're going to put the sink on the left side and the fridge will go on the right. The right end will butt up against the wall.
I just noticed that the sample pic doesn't look like it has a toe-kick, but I'm still going to incorporate one if the height isn't too high.
Tex, the depth of fridge is fine (23"), so it will be completely concealed in the cabinetry, I was just trying to figure out the toe-tick issue. But thanks for the heads-up on the venting, that had skipped my mind. I think I'll leave the back off the fridge cabinet and leave a 1/2" gap that runs the whole way up the back of the bar. The bar doesn't go to the ceiling, so the air won't be trapped. Do you think a 1/2" is sufficient?

Thanks again.

--Darrell
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Last edited by Big Dave; 12-02-2006 at 07:27 PM.
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-02-2006, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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P.S.
and why did my picture show up as a link as opposed to being an imbedded pic? What do I need to do differently?
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-02-2006, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C&D Woodcraft View Post
P.S.
and why did my picture show up as a link as opposed to being an imbedded pic? What do I need to do differently?
I don't know. I tried to fix it with what I knew and it still didn't work.



I think that the problem is trying to link to the picture in your gallery instead of putting it on an image hosting site like I did and linking from there.

Do one thing at a time, do it well, then move on.
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Last edited by Big Dave; 12-03-2006 at 07:04 AM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-02-2006, 11:38 PM
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I'm wondering if the pic problem is relative to the number of posts a person has made. Just a guess...
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-03-2006, 09:35 AM
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C&D, it depends mostly on how the manufacturer decided to design the condensor coils. Some of the newere ones have them bunched up in the compressor compartment with a portion of the coils running in the evaorator drip pan to evaporate the water that came from the defrosted ice, IF it is a frost free type fridge. Most of the small ones are not. FF is higher$ but well worth it in my book. Trouble-Free is spelled f-r-o-s-t f-r-e-e in my dictionary!

1/2" is not enough if the coils are attached to the back of the fridge. read the manual. You would think the fridge manufacturers give youy the minimum clearance requirements and add a little for liability, but according to my dad who owns a HVAC and deals and services appliances as well, he is real big on sondensor clearances for those little things saying that the manufactureres don't add any leeway.

Try it out and see how it performs but if you can add a little exhaust fan (they are cheap and quiet) to throw the heat out underneath the fridge through a little chaseway you can make -you can design it to throw the air out the front of a grilled toe - kick. ideal would be to have the fan at the top of the space abd throw it out the top but that is usually not copacetic to the architectual requirements. :-)
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-10-2006, 03:57 PM
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By "toe-kick" do you mean the runner board that often sits below the door level on bar & kitchen units?

If that's the case we had the same problem in our kitchen - albeit with a dish washer rather than a fridge. We handled it by having a normal door with the kick board attached to the door and swinging out with it.

This wasn't a particular craftsman design - just a regular kitchen - but the same design could work.
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