[NAFEX] I want a fruit-storage cooler.

Dennis Norton dmnorton at royaloakfarmorchard.com
Thu Apr 6 13:39:37 EDT 2006

Another option for a cooler, depending on the size you want, is to purchase 
a refrigerated box off a wrecked truck like we did.  Well, we didn't 
actually purchase one from a salvage yard....we just took the one off our 
wrecked truck and set it on a frame we built from railroad ties.  Works 
great!  We set it next to our packing room and use it for cider storage.  I 
would guess that you could find one at a salvage yard somewhere pretty 

Dennis Norton
Royal Oak Farm Orchard
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Lon J. Rombough
  To: North American Fruit Explorers
  Sent: Thursday, April 06, 2006 9:44 AM
  Subject: Re: [NAFEX] I want a fruit-storage cooler.

  FWIW, the cooler itself is just a waterproof, well insulated room. If you 
feel like building it yourself, just build a freestanding shed with studs 
that are 2x6 or wider. Put it on a cement slab. Use foam slabs for 
insulation, and line the inside with marine plywood, and seal it with 
several coats of marine polyurethane or epoxy. Be sure to have the 
electrician wire it before you put in the insulation. You also need a small 
dry well outside for the drip line (condensation) from the compressor. If 
you can find a used cooler type door, that helps a lot, though you can get 
by with a heavy solid core door if you put good sealing around it. You can 
also have the inside of the cooler sprayed with foam insulation if you want 
extra protection.
  Then just have the compressor installed. The circulating fan is hung 
inside and a couple of holes for the lines from the compressor outside are 
drilled to allow you to hook it up to the fan. Seal around the lines with 
poly foam and you're ready to go. Just be sure the temperature doesn't go 
below freezing as this can make the soil under the slab freeze and heave it 
  -Lon Rombough
  Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at 
http://www.bunchgrapes.com Winner of the Garden Writers Association "Best 
Talent in Writing" award for 2003.
  On Apr 6, 2006, at 7:25 AM, Jwlehman at aol.com wrote:

  tanisgrif  wrote:

  <<Some people want a deck w/ a hot-tub; I want a fruit-storage cooler.>>

  Watch the papers. I've seen walk in coolers for sale by beer & wine 
stores. Seems they get them when more cold storage space is needed then 
later build a refrigerated area and sell the coolers. I purchased one such 
and have seen several others advertised.

  One thing to watch for, some compressors are "indoor compressors." The 
design uses a light weight oil that becomes too thick if the temp gets down 
to about 10 degrees and wears out quickly. The walk in cooler I bought was 
setting indoors in the rear of the store and lasted 2 winters out doors 
here. The new compressor was more than I paid for the entire unit 2 years 
prior.  Still, I only have $2,700 total in mine.
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