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Old Soda Machine Conversion to a Kegerator

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 I recently started kegging my homebrew and the time had come to buy or build some type of kegerator or keezer. I decided to try and convert my old 1970’s Vendolator soda machine that was collecting dust in the corner of the basement. I had quit using it a few years ago since my kids are grown and gone. I thought this would make a great kegerator because its industrial cooling system is already thermostatically controlled in the right temperature range, the machines are made to disassemble quickly for ease of maintenance and they are designed to handle the elements so it can be used inside or out.

The only parts that needed to be removed were the glass soda access door, the can dispenser mechanism and the feeder shelves. I had to build a stand that was strong enough to hold 2 full ball lock kegs above the evaporator but minimize the restriction of airflow from the recirculation fan. I welded up a stand out of 1/2 inch angle iron and tack welded expanded metal mesh under the base. To mount the taps I cut and ripped a 2x6 inch piece of poplar to fit the area where the glass soda access door was. I then put 2 lag bolts through a piece of 2x4 and screwed and glued it to the back of the poplar board. I drilled holes for the lag bolts in two pieces of leftover angle iron and screwed on a couple of nuts to pull the poplar board into the machine and hold it against the door seal. Next I drilled the holes for the taps and mounted the drip trays. I stained the poplar to match the faux wood grain of the metal coin mech door and then applied 3 coats of polyurethane before the final installation. Lastly, there wasn’t enough room inside the machine for the CO2 bottle so I mounted it on the back. I like this configuration better anyway because it’s easier to keep an eye on bottle and tap pressures without having to open up the machine, plus the regulator is not subjected to the cold and of condensation possibly forming in the gauges. I drilled a hole through the back of the machine just large enough to fit a 1/8 inch brass pipe nipple through it. I used silicone sealer to seal the pipe in the hole and attached a 90 deg fitting on the outside. I screwed on 1/4 inch hose barb fittings on both ends. Then I installed a 2 port gas manifold on the inside and tubed everything up. I painted the machine, put it on wheels and installed a couple of handles on the back to make it easier to move.

I’ve had the kegerator running for over a month now and it works great. I haven’t found anything that I would do differently so far.


Currently the machine is set up for a wedding we are hosting soon. The lighted sign is easy to modify for whatever I am serving and the background color is just colored cellophane and easy to change as well.


Holy cow. Amazeballs. That thing is awesome!

Cool use of an old machine!  Nice job!


Pretty cool. Nice job !

Nice modification.


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