From what I have seen on the internet the drip tray seems to be a bit of an after-thought for many kegerator builders. Many simply roll out a bit of towel on the floor and do without for years. I thought I’d buck the trend and order my drip tray as one of my first tasks.
Stainless steel drip trays can be surprisingly expensive. Tiny 1-glass sized ones can be in excess of $100, and larger ones (suitable for my 3-tapper) even more so. No wonder people do without. But after reading a post on HomebrewTalk I was put onto Barproducts.com who do a 19″ stainless steel drip tray for US$18.50! Sure I was slugged with a fair bit of postage, but it still worked out very cheap.
The first step is to knock up a wooden surround for the tray to sit in. As a starting point I cut a base plate out of 12mm ply a few millimetres larger than the tray, then threw some 40x12mm pine DAR around all sides (mitering the front edges, of course).
Next to be made were some mounting brackets. Originally I had thought that the drip tray box would sit flush with the front of the keezer, but now that the taps are on it I realise that it will need to sit out by 40mm. The woodwork on the brackets isn’t exactly my best work, but I’m hoping that most of it will not be visible to a standing person and any gaps that are will be filled with filler.
On goes two coats of the same combination stain and varnish that I used on the rest of the keezer. And a few more coats of high gloss clear. I temporarily screwed the drip tray bracket to a spare scrap of wood so that I could varnish it both in the horizontal and vertical positions (with the aid of a bench vice). This allowed me to get to all the sides of the tray box and to avoid trying to paint upside-down.
And then there’s nothing to do but screw it to the keezer and slip in the stainless steel drip tray! The real test will of course be whether it can take the load of a full glass of beer, when someone inevitably uses it as a shelf… so to double check I’ve filled up my heaviest 500mL stein and it doesn’t budge a bit.
Now all that remains is a bit of plumbing took hook up the gas and beer lines…