Does anyone here have Fridge Chamber experience??

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By Dr. Cubesis III (Newbieshroomer) on Thursday, December 20, 2001 - 11:05 pm:

Well tonight I go to pick up my new Freezer!
It's HUGE!!! about 7 foot tall and 4 feet wide.. It's bigger than my damn bathroom BUT I can lock virtually EVERYTHING up in one place now.. * whew *
Just tired of being worried that my bedroom walls are littered with terrariums... All it would take is a family member visiting or the landlord using her key to get in to shut off my alarm clock....
Bad Juju...

So I am way ahead of schedule, wasn't expecting to have such a stroke of luck and come up on something so perfect for my needs... Having a truck certainly does have it's perks :)

Not sure how to go about converting the freezer though....

I Imagine I would have to pull out the motor and everything else I don't need...

Geez... I am picking it up TONNIGHT and would like to get started on the conversion asap... If anyone has any advice please throw it my way....

I thought I was doing well with my 20 gallon
and my styrofoam... Once again, thanks to The Nook I am headed into yet another " Mad scientist " creation...


By Nan (Nanook) on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 05:07 am:

Ain't this hobby fun?

By Dr. Cubesis III (Newbieshroomer) on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 05:50 pm:

Yep, Sure is!!!

Haven't been this involved since playstation 1 came out!! * grin *

But really, I need some help... Turns out the freezer wasn't really for me at all, but a foaf of mine.. I myself have decided to trot the straight and narrow so I don't get into any trouble. No cultivating for me any more. I took all of my previous mycology stuff and threw it all in the trash...

But my foaf however, is not giving up, and in a message relayed to me from him thru a mutual aqquaintance of another friend, * whew * he still has questions and would not like this thread to die quickly :)

To begin, he has decided not to cut the freezer up
if he can help it, because though he inherited it free, he discovered that the freezer cost $700 new. So he will try to work around that if he can. Freezer works fine, shame to completely ruin it.

Freezer is about 6 foot tall, about three foot wide. Inside on a light it reads " commercial Freezer." Freon is actually passed thru the racks themselves so the whole unit is already completely sealed.

In the bottom, there is a drainage hole, Tonight my friend told me that his friend plans to get some tubing and wires up thru that hole for humidity/air exchange and light, though there is already a 25w light present and he plans to make use of it.

Any Ideas?? Any experience with this?? Anyone??
Wait a minute, Xazia uses a fridge i think....
I will talk to her,,, Help MY FRIEND out here though, he had no idea his good fortune was going to be so terrific as of late and has not had any time to research this large fruiting chamber.

Peace out all!

By Bob Smith (Maliki) on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 07:19 pm:

Well I think the first thing i would do is to take a trip to the hardware store. Once there i would look for a small electonic thermometer that has indoor temp and outdoor temp as well as a humidity gage , the humid gages arent exact but they are ball park within 5%. The reason for two temps would be the mushies like to germinate at higher tempretures then they like to fruit in , so now youve established that you need two partitions in the frezzer each one of these then needs some type of thermostate to controll tempretures you can use two line level thermstates or you can get a dual zone controll modell . Now to power these the light inside the frzer will be utilized pick up one of the screw in plug fixtures , ya know the one the light screwes into the end of and you can plug things into the sides. Theres your power suply inside the fridge . I would divide the top half of the frezzer off as long as thats where the light is for the incubation chamber as it can be dry heat ..good for eletrical....better then wet anywho..... I would use a heating pade for heat in the in the top if nececary and a light in the bottom , both would only be on very litle as frezzers are well insulated. as far as humidity use a humdifier deffanetly becasue of the size ......Just a few ideas from me ...for your foaf

By Dr. Cubesis III (Newbieshroomer) on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 07:40 pm:

Thank you very much bob,

EXCELLENT advice, I am printing it for my friend
right now so he can read your VERY detailed response later this evening, where he will be switching from the cleaning of the freezer, to the actual modifications. Thanks a bundle Bob, I owe ya one.


By Patrick (Valence) on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 09:57 pm:

I don't know how big the drainage hole in the bottom is but I'm guessing it is fairly small. So for air exchanges I would use some kind of forced air. I would also run this air through a hepa filter. ( use a hepa vacuum replacment filter) As far as using the light bulb as a power source, you run into two problems...First a 25W doesn't draw that much current through it. If you start plugging stuff into it you will overload the wires. I don't think that this is fused so you might create a fire hazard. Second, unless the freezer has an off switch. For the light to work it has to be plugged in, which means that it will be freezing. Not what you want. You can always get a door hole drill bit (the metal door kind) and make a hole around the drainage hole in the bottom. Later when you might want to use it as an actual freezer. you can find a rubber plug to put in the bottom. Makes just a larger drainage hole. If you do this make sure you use a grommet around the hole so you don't cut any electrical wires....

By Dr. Cubesis III (Newbieshroomer) on Friday, December 21, 2001 - 10:45 pm:

"Not what you want. You can always get a door hole drill bit (the metal door kind) and make a
hole around the drainage hole in the bottom. Later when you might want to use it as an actual freezer. you can find a rubber plug to put in the
bottom. Makes just a larger drainage hole. If you do this make sure you use a grommet around the hole so you don't cut any electrical wires...."

I am getting EXACTLY the kind of advice I was looking for... THe hole in the bottom is PERFECT.
I probably would have gone in thru the back being thickheaded and heavy handed... Perfect.

Man, that solves a lot of my right problems off the bat. Make the drainage hole bigger... Geez, so simple, yet so... elegant!! *LOL!!*

Thanks PAtrick!

By Dr. Cubesis III (Newbieshroomer) on Saturday, December 22, 2001 - 01:57 am:

Since My buddy has a lot of learning to do about his fridge, he has asked me to post to this thread from time to time to try and help someone else someday, maybe.. LOL!!

Anyway, he wants to replace the seal, and was wondering how doors on cold units seal so very nicely... Turns out there are magnets in the doorseals... Hmm, had no idea.

Wonder if that could be modified for terrarium use.... Might be worth it with a glass terrarium....



Thinking I can make

By Hatcher (Hatcher) on Saturday, December 22, 2001 - 05:50 am:

Man, you guys like to get elaborate! I kinda like my two ten-gallon units tucked in the closet, a couple of blankets and they disappear. Hold 15 cakes each, temperature-controlled by Zoo-Med under-tank-heaters and rheostats, reptile stuff. Your local pet store is a great resource. But I admire the vision!

By Bob Smith (Maliki) on Sunday, December 23, 2001 - 05:01 am:

Psssttt Dock the reason they seal so nice is most form a slight vacum when closed and the magnets im sorry i wasnt explict before and theres a safe bet that the wires for the light are at least 14 gage wich has no problem with 120 volt and 15 amp service the wattage has nothing to do with the wiring the wattage is relavant to power or light output thats it. since US code says at least 14 gage for any thing that carrys line level wich is 120 your safe against fire hazard. The larger hole in the bottom is a good idea thogh and use a cool mist humidifier as it runs constantly and therfore gives constant gas exchange for the frezer................with the drain at the bottom of corse......

By Joe Mamma (Madscientist) on Sunday, December 23, 2001 - 05:37 am:

You can buy the magnet door seals at Home Depot. Run about 30 bucks for 8 feet.

By Cbee (Cbee) on Sunday, December 23, 2001 - 06:40 am:

All of that is great advice! This is what I would do with a freezer. First I would drill a secondary hole in the back of the unti, which can be sealed up if wanting to use for a freezer. second I would hook up a cool mist thru that hole, using 1/2 or 3/4 inch garden hose or pvc piping, All preference, id se the 1/2 - 3/4" pvc. Attach a valve if you like to have more control. Second, on your fruiting chamber drill a hole 1' or so (one foot) from the base. Attach a filter of some kind. Fridges and such have excellent seals so A humidifier may not have enough power to force stale air outa the chambers. Use the hepa filter described aboe, maybe 1/2" hole or so. Run this humidifier 24/7. For a light I would open up the electrical circuits (Ive worked with eletrical before tho) and disconnect the refrigeration unit but keep the light connected, and disconnect the switch to turn it on/off. For heating, I would prolly use an fish tank heater in a suitable container in the mid of your fruiting or your incubation chamber. I dont think you will need any heating int he fruiting chamber. the little light on 24/7 will heat it cause it has a great seal. So basically all the holes you drilled was the one for the tubing from the humidifier. Make sure that there is no low points in the tubing as water builds up and plugs humidity output. Ive learned my lesson with that, That is why id use pvc if i was you, looks much more pro too. For the incubator, just seal off a section with plastic or wood that is painted to prevent rotting in a high humidity environment. I would use professional grade poly plastic wrap. (comes on big roles) attached to the fridge by silicon or something similar. Wood would prolly be the best bet but youd have to drill the side of the fridge. If it has a center rack use it and just cover with poly plastic and silicon all the air gaps, then add an extra strip of that magnetic stripping on the frint of the shelf to add sealant. Then in this second chamber put a fish tank heater for sure, drill a small hole in the back of the fridge. what you may also use is the element on the back of some of the old fridges, altho i think that only works with the refrig. part of the fridge working. So thats it from me, if ya need to ask anything about what i said, ill check this post later..

Peace, and I hope your foaf creates his dream terrarium

By Dr. Cubesis III (Newbieshroomer) on Monday, December 24, 2001 - 07:01 pm:

zzzI just wrote a huge reply updating what is going down with my buddies project. like a half hours worth.... Jesus.

Ok. I will just give the specifics of what I wrote in short, as I am WAY to upset to write it all again......

* Thank you Chee for the further details, I am printing this thread ( again LOL! ) and will make GREAT Use of your advice :)

Bob, Dude, You set me straight on the elecrical, I shoulda kept it simple, spent hours on tube lighting only to discover it is to hot,, Started to melt the duct tape.

Hatcher, My friend is experimenting with dung, straw, rye grain, seed/brf mixes and has 4 boxes of quart canning jars that are going to need a home SOON, thats not counting his pints and half pints... His hobby has become a three month long obsession, not just a hobby.... :)
And as for the damn vision... LOLOLOL!!!
My buddy wanted a freezer, but wasn't going to get one for quite awhile. This fell into his lap, the vision followed shortly :) I'll bet in the same circumstances you would prolly do the same thing :)

* Shroomery has NO large fruiting chamber threads. There is almost nothing there regarding large chambers. My friend discovered he was pretty much on his own, to his surprise.

* Tried the tube lighting ( lights sealed inside rubber in LONG tubes ) Didn't work. He bought
a lot, and anything more than a foot or two will probably be way to hot... Gonna haft do something less elaborate...

BOught magic sliders, now the INCREDIBLY heavy freezer is a breeze to move and work with.

* Confused about perlite/humidifier. My buddy has only used perlite though he has great humidifiers available. His humidifiers are nice, but he doesn't quite understand the concept for it keeping mushies healthy. He built two terrariums
linked to a humidifier and threw 12 cased pints into 6 baking pans... So far, only one mushie has popped it's head up, and the perlite seems to work so much better... I guess he just needs to keep experimenting and learning...

But 20 gallon tank had three cakes with a brown mold on them, more than twenty cakes in tank.. Not good at all.... Probably from old perlite...

*Unclear as to how the hepa filter and the humidifier work in conjunction.
Geez... I gotta go... Wish I had time to chat
but I have been derelict on my x-mas shopping, and need to drop yet more cash so people will know I care....

Thanks all. I will have a complete update on wednesday, and if my friend am not to paranoid between now and then, he will include pictures of all his crap, ie: postive pressure box, Hepa glovebox, All three terrariums including the custom styrofoam that turned out very trick, the freezer, his massive collection of colonized jars that he doesn't know what to do with, and the best of all, the mushroom toolbox, his favorite project so far....

My buddy needs this freezer going asap... He has contams starting in his biggest fruiting chamber, His other newer chambers with the humidifier seem to be stalled... and has TO MANY much colonized substrate to work with as of about a week from now... Hey... By the next post my friend will have made his initial holes and prolly a lot more to... See ya then :)

By Cbee (Cbee) on Monday, December 24, 2001 - 11:43 pm:

I would love to see some pics of the finished product =) hope your buddy can get some pics

By Dr. Cubesis III (Newbieshroomer) on Friday, January 04, 2002 - 09:35 pm:

Hey Cbee...


Pix are done, but my friend is to paranoid to develop the film!! Got some great advice in the general forum though... Think pix will be arriving shortly...

By Doc Thirst (Doc_Thirst) on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 08:29 pm:

This guy I met at the John Ashcroft Religious Right Rally told me that he was blessed with a ton of space and pretty big wallet to fund an expansion, but wasn't sure what route to take. He is considering makeing a "tower" of sorts with several shelves that would be fed from behind using an ultrasonic, but is really having a time imagining what the finished product would work like, not to mention he would like to avoid a hinesight is 20/20 situation. Furthermore rumor has it that he is good friends with a master Glaser that can do great things with glass. All this being said, I told him that he should get some imput here from the masters, but alas he is shy.

Given these limitations (or lack there of) has anyone ever seen/created/dreamed up a set up that might give him an idea of what to make. I really like the 4 shelf design posted here a couple days ago that utallized the Martha Stewart mobile wardrobe, but he is a bit obsessive compulsive and wanted a more permanate structure. So I guess I will leave it at "If you could set yourself up however you wanted (within' reason) how would you do so?"

By Dr. Cubensis (Shroomzilla) on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 10:05 pm:

Consider a large freezer/fridge.

inconspicuous. already perfectly insulated,
shelves already in place ( you will need one with wire shelves )

If your friend is buddies with a master glaser,
and you can have a giant " dream terrarium "
custom made and placed somewhere it would never be seen by anyone who mattered, then by all means go for it.

In fact, look in the paper, you can always find them cheap. That way, starting with a large fruiting chamber, when your friend steps up to glass, he will already know what he wants.

There is not a lot of experience here with large fruiting chambers. My friend built one. And there
are facets to them that don't exist with a smaller chamber.....

Good luck

By Doc Thirst (Doc_Thirst) on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 10:32 pm:

Thanks for the quick reply!

He thought about a fridge, but there were a few problems/questions he foresaw with this, perhaps some insight will help.

First is the fact that it IS a large fruiting chamber and and it might be difficult to seperate into smaller units. It seems advantagous to seperate the fruiting chambers to avoid putting all your eggs into one basket so to speak. From what he understands, contams are not that big of a problem during this stage, but it never hurts to be too careful.

Second is the idea of having to actually cut the fridge to allow for power and, if external, importing the mist. Im no craftsman so I might be mistaken, but cutting holes in a fridge seems a bit tough, isn't there freon and stuff in there that could be dangerous?

Lastly, a new delima of temp. would come into play. Sure it would look nice and inconspicuous in a garage, but it shor does get cold out there. Not sure how hard it would be to add heat. Perhaps if you heated the freezer to the desired 80+ degrees the bottom fruiting chamber would maintain a high enough temp, not sure how much heat/cold transfer exist from a fridge to a freezer.

From one Doc to another, what do ya think?

By Dr. Cubensis (Shroomzilla) on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 11:26 pm:

TO divide his commercial freezer my friend has separated out the bottom shelf, there is a small warm light there and thats where incubation takes place. the rack above the bottom shelf has clay, ceramic tiles layering it. holds the heat. On top of the tiles sites the large " casing " container.
which is basically a container that is meant to hold flat cakes and such, above that is the invitro stuff ( invitro stuff also sits in the door nicely as the door already has ridges so the jars can breathe well ) the casing container is a large metal stainless bain like you would see in a buffet, only a very large one. Think it was made to hold rolls cause it has two levels and a clear plastic lid 4 inches tall. works nicely for fruiting almost 4 square feet of cakes.
so the third shelf holds pints invitro and the forth shelf holds quarts. Up top in a specialized
plastic sheeted area ( the whole top ) sits the triple beam, the dessicant chamber and stainless surgical tools for the hobby sealed in a quart jar.

The secondary terrarium is a 20 gall glass exclusively for cakes.

As for the temp. these units are UNBELIEVABLY insulated, like they were made for cultivating mushrooms. My friend uses only a nightlight in the bottom, pipes in his humidity via humidifier stashed in bottom of freezer, so it sounds like freezer is running. It sits at 75 degrees exactly with the humidifier on, and the SMALL light running. A nice meat freezer will have a lock already installed, my friends did.

If you are in a REALLY cold area, a heat pad taped to the top should fix that. Might need a rheostat.... but it would be ideal. Heating a large glass custom terrarium and creating humidity would be a power drain, and much tougher than a fridge. Anyway, continue your research, I've provided you with some food for thought, chew on it, and if you have additional questions, i'll be around :)

Think before you make a move, you are really not ready to do this unless you have all your ducks in a row.

By Dr. Cubensis (Shroomzilla) on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 11:29 pm:

oh, almost forgot. the trick is, you don't
want to humidify the entire fridge. not dripping.
Messy, heard bad stories....

Compartmentalize, picture the various chambers you need, then picture them set up in your head... Sketch it out...

As you experience and experiment you will see things you hadn't thought of before.


By Dr. Cubensis (Shroomzilla) on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 11:40 pm:

OOps, forgot a question * sigh *

My friend has two holes cut in his, both in the bottom. One is for the humidifier in, which is piped in by 3 in tubing to the top where it ends in a wand with around 18 nozzles on it to spary the chamber hith fresh moist air. Freezers fridges are basically steel, with a hard foam insulation in between. Use a metal cutting bit designed to cut holes in metal doors, will run ya about ten bucks.

The second hole is the drainage hole, widened two inches, is a thin filter ( not a hepa, thinner than that ) for air to exit from. the cord for the light travels thru this hole. It really is great,
looks, sounds, like a working freezer. Inside it
contains everything needed for the life cycle of a mushie, from birth, to weighed out and ate up..

Both of these holes could easily be sealed, thus turning the chamber back to it's original purpose, freezing.

Ok, spent enough time with you. Now you can't say no-one held your hand tight enough. Research, explore, design, innovate and enjoy.

By Doc Thirst (Doc_Thirst) on Friday, January 18, 2002 - 03:33 pm:

Awesome ideas man, thanks a bunch for the help! My friend told me that he has been dreaming/planning the "perfect" setup for as long as he has been doing the hobbie...cant wait to make his dream a reality!

By Dr. Cubensis (Shroomzilla) on Friday, January 18, 2002 - 05:24 pm:

By quote: (Quote) on Friday, January 18, 2002 - 05:58 pm:

nice info, dr. cubensis.
it helps to have hands-on knowledge
instead of just theory.
thx for sharing.