New Old Cooler Box

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Project by hotncold posted 07-21-2014 02:28 AM 3964 views 21 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been seeing these a lot lately and I just had to try one. We had an 80 quart cooler we use at work for various functions so I decided to “dress it up” this weekend.

All of the exterior wood used in the project was cedar fencing material (the dog ear kind) from the home center ($2.45 for a 5/8” x 5-1/2” x 6’) except for some 2” Mahogany banding that I used at the top of the “board and batten” siding.
I added some galvanized pipe for handle, a brass faucet for the drain and 2-1/2” casters on each leg.

The image transfer on the top was something that I’d never done before but I really think it added a lot to the project. It has the look of an old coke sign. It was finished with spray on shellac and a final top coat of spray poly to seal the ink.

Thanks for looking-

-- Dennie - Tennessee

16 comments so far

View lightcs1776's profile


4256 posts in 2428 days

#1 posted 07-21-2014 03:03 AM

Very nice. I’ve never seen one done, only old ones.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View robscastle's profile


7194 posts in 2978 days

#2 posted 07-21-2014 03:04 AM

Looks like a very nice job, good work.

A couple of questions though…

1. The most important one …..Why is it empty, and
2. How did you do the image transfer?

-- Regards Rob

View degoose's profile


7273 posts in 4128 days

#3 posted 07-21-2014 03:28 AM

Needs some thing… maybe some coke in it…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View hotncold's profile


788 posts in 2318 days

#4 posted 07-21-2014 03:48 AM

Very nice guys! It’s empty because I needed to let the finish dry! Sheesh! Patience!!!

Robert- The transfer was something I’d never seen before yesterday. It’s really quite simple and effective…ink jet printer on wax paper and rub it on using a plastic putty knife (or credit card). My printer “ate” the first attempt so I carefully cut the wax paper to the size of printer paper (8-1/2×11), found an image on Google that I liked and then you have to “reverse” the image using a photo editor (I used MS Paint). Print the image, place it on the wood (don’t let it slide around) and rub the plastic knife across as the ink transfers to the wood. Pretty cool!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View jeff's profile


1229 posts in 4239 days

#5 posted 07-21-2014 04:53 AM

Nice,I like the galvanized pipe handle…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View mbmattvt's profile


95 posts in 2684 days

#6 posted 07-21-2014 09:37 AM

Nice job.

How did you attach the drain to the cooler?

-- "There are three kinds of men. The ones who learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." --- Will Rogers

View 489tad's profile


3842 posts in 3785 days

#7 posted 07-21-2014 11:53 AM

Nice job. The print image adds a nice touch.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View hotncold's profile


788 posts in 2318 days

#8 posted 07-21-2014 12:37 PM

mbmattvt - attaching the drain was a bit of “trial and error”. First everything has to be removed from the cooler; handles, hinges, wheels (if any) and the original drain. Since I wanted to use the brass faucet with a 3/4” MPT connection, I had to enlarge the hole slightly. I used a round rasp and gradually made the hole larger until it fit. Then I experimented with different lengths and fittings of standard PVC fittings until I found what would “seal” the hole and reach the edge of the wood cabinet.

Sorry that’s not a better explanation but I suspect every cooler and every build will be different.

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View hoss12992's profile


4171 posts in 2667 days

#9 posted 07-21-2014 06:13 PM

That is awesome! Great job. Love the Coke logo on the top

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View JL7's profile


8773 posts in 3739 days

#10 posted 07-21-2014 09:41 PM

Really nice Dennie – that graphic on the top really finishes it off right…..well done!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View hotncold's profile


788 posts in 2318 days

#11 posted 07-21-2014 10:46 PM

Thanks for the nice comments (and the Daily Top 3). I took it to the office this morning and it’s been a “break room” hit all day!

JL7 – Jeff, I like the graphic as well and it was surprisingly easy to do…and my wife just told me that the “cheese slicer hardware” came in today so now it’s off to the shop to see what kind of damage I can do with those!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View DylanC's profile


206 posts in 3448 days

#12 posted 07-22-2014 01:47 AM

Another way to do the drain would be with a bulkhead or “through-wall” fitting. They are made for just this purpose and have an internal pipe thread for attaching a nipple or other male pipe fitting.

I really like the image transfer as a finishing touch. I’ll have to build one some day…Thanks.

-- Dylan C ...Seems like all ever I make is sawdust...

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3578 days

#13 posted 07-22-2014 10:58 AM

Way cool Dennie. I really like the old Coke sign.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View duckmilk's profile


4182 posts in 2098 days

#14 posted 01-11-2015 04:47 AM

Must…make…one!!! Thanks for the post, I’ll try it out. Hope mine turns out as well as yours :)

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View littleladywoodshop's profile


49 posts in 2085 days

#15 posted 04-08-2015 12:23 AM

Hi there Dennie, I made 2 of those last year (not quite as nice as yours) and have one in the works right now. I make them out of pallet wood. I put Coca cola signs and bottle openers (with a rare earth magnet to catch the caps) and I run a drain pipe from under the cooler to a brass faucet with 1 in PVC pipe. On one I put a Georgia Bulldogs sign and bottle opener and sold it in a week. I’m sure they get filled with beer and not coke.

-- Fail to plan and you are planning to fail. Ben Franklin

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