Wooden Chest Cooler

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Project by RickL posted 09-15-2013 03:01 PM 6810 views 14 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My neighbor asked if I could build this cooler for his sister’s birthday present with no instructions as to what he wanted for a design, so I designed as I built. It is rough 1x cedar for the chest, legs, and lid, the cooler is supported with 4 – 2”x4”s spaced evenly across the bottom and attached with pocket hole screws, the large panels as well as the top panel were built with pocket hole joinery.

The drain is attached to the cooler discharge with a piece of 5/8” tubing and connect to the valve with a pvc adapter. Some minor surgery on the cooler was required, removal of the handles, hinges mostly,and some slight modifications to the sides to square up the chest.

He picked a 5 day cooler approx 42”x18”x20” and the overall height with legs is 38”. Hope they ice down plenty of cold ones for the party. Thanks for looking.

-- Rick, Union,KY

12 comments so far

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4564 days

#1 posted 09-15-2013 04:38 PM

Nice looking cooler

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View Timthemailman's profile


335 posts in 3784 days

#2 posted 09-15-2013 06:05 PM

That is realy a nice looking cooler, Did you put a finish on it ? great job.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3875 days

#3 posted 09-15-2013 06:10 PM

This is a nice practical project and turned out great.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View hoss12992's profile


4178 posts in 2901 days

#4 posted 09-15-2013 06:12 PM

This is really cool. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3969 days

#5 posted 09-16-2013 12:19 AM

Nice! Our local Ace Hardware store had one for $150! And it was rough! The only redeeming factor was a drain built into the bottom. Yours is much neater! Thanks for sharing.

View Texasking's profile


43 posts in 2887 days

#6 posted 09-16-2013 01:36 AM

Love it man! I’ve built a few of these…they are fun!

-- Illegitimi non carborundum.

View RickL's profile


253 posts in 4949 days

#7 posted 09-16-2013 10:28 AM

Thanks all. Tim, no finish, will let Mother nature “finish” the cooler

-- Rick, Union,KY

View Skylark53's profile


2854 posts in 4069 days

#8 posted 09-16-2013 01:00 PM

This looks real good Rick. The cedar will age well. Send me a picture in 2 years. Nice work on a project they’ll be proud of for many years.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View CarterR's profile


86 posts in 3027 days

#9 posted 09-16-2013 02:13 PM

Great work. This looks like the ultimate addition to the grill!


View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 5106 days

#10 posted 09-16-2013 02:16 PM

Well executed.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View NickyP's profile


184 posts in 2731 days

#11 posted 09-16-2013 06:37 PM

Nice Job Rick. I saw this on Lomberjocks yesterday. I have a cooler that’s in great shape that’s taking up precious space in my workshop so I stopped at the lumber yard today and bought some inexpensive cedar fence slats for my version of this with a 2X4 skeleton. It will double as a table that I’ll make about the same height as my Weber kettle BBQ for setting the cow, pig, & chicken parts on for grilling. I had this project on the back burner. Thanks for posting it . . . it got me wanting to knock it out this weekend. And thanks for the nice design!

-- -- "Never underestimate the power of a kind word, a good deed, or a table saw."

View RickL's profile


253 posts in 4949 days

#12 posted 09-16-2013 11:10 PM

Thanks again everyone. Nicky, glad I could help getting you motivated, don’t forget to post your finished project.
Thanks Rick, hope all is well down in West TN.

-- Rick, Union,KY

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