This project all started after picking up an old end table at a garage sale for $5, I had been in the market for a table with interior dimensions that would provide enough space for a sixth barrel keg, a low profile coupler, a 2.5lb CO2 tank, CO2 regulator, draft tower and the components to raise the draft tower. This was a tall order considering most end tables dimensions can't accommodate all of these components especially after putting a compressor for the refrigerator inside. Fortunately this end table hit it out of the park and could accommodate all of these things. The next step was sealing all of the seams on the inside with bathroom sealant to make the inside as air tight as possible. This was a necessity since if air can travel freely in and out, it wont get very cold inside and warm beer is no fun... After this dried, I cut a hole out of the top of the table for the draft tower and cut a pair of drawer slides to use as the rails to mount the draft tower to.
Using a mini fridge I picked up, I slowly pealed the metal off the outside of the mini fridge and carefully cut out the main guts of the refrigerator and bent the condenser coils to fit onto the back of the end table (without kinking them). The compressor had to be placed about halfway inside of the end table, this made a small ledge for the CO2 tank to sit on and keep enough room inside for the keg and insulation. The only downside was that I had to build on to the back of the table to cover the compressor. The last step was to put insulation on the inside then screw on the evaporator panel to the back wall of the end table.
Other than using like a 100ft of insulated wire, the electronic aspect wasn't too difficult. The motor that raises and lowers the draft tower is a 12v motor that draws way more current that the Arduino can handle so I had to use a simple homemade H bridge so that I could change the direction of the motor. There is a touch sensor on the top and bottom of the rails that lets the Arduino know when to stop the motor and one touch sensor on the lock that tells the Arduino when the key is turned. The last component connected to the Arduino is the temperature sensor which reads out onto the LCD display on the front of the end table and refreshes every 6/10ths of a second. The compressor for the refrigerator runs in its own little loop outside of everything else using the temperature sensor that it was already connected to. The two computer fans on the back run constantly while the end table is plugged in. The last component housed in the back of the end table is the 120VAC to 12VDC transformer that I stole from a box of parts at my house. This provides power to the motor and to the computer fans and makes the end table look clean since only one plug is coming out of it. Unfortunately the Arduino runs on a pair of 9v batteries since I wasn't feeling ambitious enough to connect another transformer, instead there is a simple slide switch on the back which turns the Arduino on and off (9v batteries are expensive :/).
Draft Tower Elevator:
The draft tower is raised and lowered using a simple process: a motor turns a spool which is connected to some high strength, thin rope which goes over a pulley and is connect to the draft tower. The draft tower is guided up by the two drawer slides that were modified to fit inside the end table. The draft tower and all of the draft components I just ordered online.
Overall I have spent about 6 to 8 months working on this project and about $600, Which isn't bad considering most kegerators on the market today are about that same price, however, none on the market look like normal furniture and have the shock value of a draft tower that raises out of the inside (always entertaining to see peoples faces when it comes up). Hopefully you enjoyed reading about this project as much as I enjoyed building it!