Refrigeration box manufacturers?

I enjoyed the recent article by Steve D’Antonio about refrigeration (State of cool Issue 138, May/June 2004). My question involves the refrigerator boxes themselves. Some of the boxes in the photos appear to be professionally made. Can Steve D’Antonio suggest manufacturers who make iceboxes —either prefabricated or customized?

Rick Parish lives in Minneapolis.

Contributing Editor Steve D’Antonio responds:

I’m sorry to report that not many folks offer packaged or off-the-shelf icebox units. Some of the photos you saw, of the stainless-steel units, were ones we designed here at the boatyard then had fabricated by a metal shop. Others are custom fiberglass/gelcoat units that were made here on a mold using FDA-approved gelcoat.

The one exception to this rule, and some of the photos were representative of this system, involves the use of Glacier Bay’s (www.glacier vacuum panels. These can be formed into a box of virtually any shape or size. The panels are made to order using your templates. While this system is expensive, it works exceptionally well, a near perfect vacuum being an excellent insulator.

I have seen some folks use a polyethylene box or tank (the latter with top cut off) as the box material, to which insulation and a lid is then added. Tanks are available from Kracor ( as well as other tank suppliers. If you use a water tank, then you know it’s FDA approved and safe for food.

By Ocean Navigator