Inexpensive wasp covers for vent covers

Discussion in 'My Favorite Mods, Tips, Tricks (and Blunders!)' started by bondebond, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    I was working on adding 12v fans to my highwall pup's refrigerator to help with air-flow because the gas-absorption refrigerator really struggles to stay cool on hot days.

    After installing the fans, I noticed that even so, air wasn't coming out nearly as well as I expected (especially based on the first PUP I have done this to).

    After examining the vent covers, the screening that the manufacturer used really constricts airflow. It is similar to screening used for windows. It keeps the wasps and dirt daubbers out, but it is just too restrictive, IMO.

    I noticed some disposable "grill toppers" in the grill accessories section in Walmart yesterday. They are made of expanded aluminum and come three to a pack. Being aluminum, they will not rust and are quite durable. This seemed to be perfect for making new grates for the refrigerator vent covers. Pictures below.


    The original screening.
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    The screening removed.
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    The disposable grill toppers from the store.
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    Cut to fit. These were very easy to cut with wire cutters. I had to use galvanized wire to attach one section to the next in order to be wide enough for the vent cover.
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    Doing the dry fitting.
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    Gluing and clamping. I used Shoe Goo because that's what I had on hand. I've tried hot glue previously and but that doesn't last on smooth plastic surfaces.
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    While I was working on the vent covers, I wanted to do something about the discoloration of the exterior plastic. I didn't want to paint them like I did a couple of the other exterior plastic pieces. These have been exposed to the outside most of the last six years, so I started with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which I thought would remove maybe some of the oxidation and surface blemishes. It's one of my favorite things to use. That worked a bit. Lots of elbow grease.

    I figured I would use my favorite cleaning product, L.A.'s Totally Awesome, and see what that would do. As soon as I sprayed it on, the grime just spilled off. I used a sponge and went over everything but it almost wasn't necessary. Below is a side-by-side comparison. The one on the left was after using Awesome, the right is untouched.

    [​IMG]


    You can see the grill topper through the vent slits in the picture above. This is only visible if you bend over and look up through the vent when they are installed. I supposed I could have painted them white before installing them, but that's just a bit too much, for even me.

    I spent less than $4 on this mod and the toppers should work for anything else that needs a screen to keep wasps out of it.
     
  2. 01YZF6

    01YZF6 Dothan, AL

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    I hope that works well. it looks good though !

    I have an uncle that raises honey bees, and let me tell you, then can get into extremely small orifices quite easily.
     
  3. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    I may change this up a bit if I can find something in between this and the window screening. Maybe a second layer put down at a 90 degree turn if the pattern matches well enough. But I probably won't because of the following.

    My most immediate concern, though, is a camping trip in two weeks - and maximizing the efficiency of the refrigerator. I do think these may be too large for long term storage, especially if outside. I may fashion some removable covers for when in storage, and just pull them off for field use. I've done similar using the neodymium magnets from old hard drives. They would only need to keep the removable covers on during storage. The PUP stays in the garage most of the time anyway.

    Nothing has been able to keep the spiders out, regardless. Well, at least I haven't tried any spider-proofing methods yet.
     
  4. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Looks like it'll work to keep larger bugs out. You sure it'll work for wasps?

    I hear ya with regard to air flow restriction when using window screening though. Still, some ventilation is better than none and you can always use 120 mm fans for a fridge fan mod.
     
  5. 01YZF6

    01YZF6 Dothan, AL

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    I like the idea of adding a STORAGE cover for it...
     
  6. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    I do already have a pair of 120mm fans in place along with a better bafflle. That's what started me looking into this. After installing the fans, the difference in airflow with the vents on and off was startling.

    For the vent covers, I'm really thinking stupid/simple. Just some plastic cut to fit over and held in place with magnets will do the trick. I have scads of magnets.
     
  7. bobber128

    bobber128 Member

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    Not 100% about hornets, but bees will go into holes less than 1 cm across. I'd suggest going to your local hardware store and buying 1/8th inch hardware cloth. It's pretty cheap, I think last time I bought some, it was about $1 a yard, which would be plenty to cover your vent holes. This should give plenty of air flow, but will keep the critters out, including mice/ hornets, bees, etc.....
     

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