LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner
  • Please post in our Community Feedback thread for help with the new forum software! If you are having trouble logging in, please Contact Us for assistance.
Showcase cover image for Outdoor Cooler

Project Information

This cooler was a fun project to build, and a challenge. The cooler is about 20" x 15" or so, (I don't have the actual deminsions in front of me). Its made from rough cut cedar, has a foam and galvanized aluminum insert, cast iron hardware and a danish oil and waterseal finish. I made this for a christmas gift for my in-lays. they tend to entertain fairly often and thought they they might like something rustic to go with their house. I saw the idea at a store in Cloud Croft, New Mexico when I was in that area on business and thought this would be fairly inexpensive and easy to build. I was wrong in the end I probably had close to $140 dollars worth of material and several hours of work into it. I had never worked with sheet metal before and did not have a brake to bend the metal and had to make a makeshift one. (Thanks Dad for helping me with that). It worked actually really well and I was very pleased with the results. Working with the rough cut cedar was also a challenge, I'm used to jointing and surface planning all my stock perfectly flat and square on all four sides but with this project I wanted to keep that rough look on the outside. I used wider boards and ripped them lenght wise to remove any cuping, jointed the sides and glued up larger panels trying to match the grain. the biggest challenge was purchasing the cedar. for some reason, the few lumber suppliers I have in my area didn't have any cedar in stock. I ended up having to purchase the wood from a home center and that affected my price and selection. Anyway, like I stated before, this was a fun project and I'm hoping to do a few more in the future.

-Mike
Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40

Gallery

Comments

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,205 Posts
I always like looking at these. Fun project and well done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Thanks Ken, it was a lot of fun to make.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,592 Posts
Nice project. I wonder if you couldn't have just built the box around an ice chest? Just a thought.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
168 Posts
Cool project, looks really good. I have a brake and can weld aluminum but looks like cajunpen might be on to something, ha! Thanks for the share Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I've been thinking about making one of these with metal insert as opposed to the cooler/ice chest. I've just thought that it would look nice that way and I like the way your's turned out. What did you use for foam…and how well has it kept the cold in? I think the bottom is the most important place for insulation, but did you insultate and/or seal the lid somehow? I can't quite tell from the pictures. Thanks and nice job!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
That's really cool; love the design and it sure beats the look of a traditional cooler.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
324 Posts
I really like this. It's a "cool idea" and you really did a nice job on the project. It's a project worth stealing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Nicely done. This is a project that is forever on my "to-do" list. Like some of the other folks, I keep going back and forth about making an insert myself or just building it around an existing cooler. Mike, if you were going to make a SECOND one, would you do it the same way? Just curious. Looks great. Kudos!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Thanks everyone for the nice comments. Sorry the pictures are not better, I used my phone to take them and they didn't come out as clear as I would have wanted. For insulation, I used a 1 inch thick styrofoam sheet and wrapped it around all sides and bottom of the cooler. I bought it at Home Depot and it came in a pack of 6 sheets that were 24"x48", cost around 8 dollars for the pack. It seams to work pretty well I still have ice in it the next day. I used clear silicone caulk around the seams and where the metal attaches to the wood. I don't know how to weld (yet) so I rivitted all the overlapping seams on the metal insert. If I make a second one, I would weld the insert, I think it would look better than having the silicone sealant in the seams and obviously last longer. Also I would weld a drain system with a valve on it. On this one, I used a brass fitting and a threaded brass plug. It works but not exactly what I wanted. Also I think I would add a shelf on the bottom. Since making this one I've seen some online with a shelf and they looked pretty nice.
 
Top