How to Build a Rustic Cooler — by Home Repair Tutor

What would you say to building a really awesome
looking rustic cooler for your next party? Hi there! I'm Jeff with Home Repair Tutor.
And I'm all in. I made one and I want to show you how to do it, too. And I think in the
end, you'll find it to be super awesome. So let's get started. You'll need about five to eight really good
palettes for this project. Then I highly recommend power-washing the bottom and the tops of the
palettes because it makes a huge difference in the appearance of the wood as you can see
here. I only used one saw for this entire project and that's the Dremel Ultra-saw. And
it has an adjustable foot on it, as you can see, which comes in handy when you have to
cut out the 5/8" thick slats in the palettes.

So, it made cutting out these slats super
simple and easy. And if you have to remove any of the nails or screws that hold the palettes
in place, you can use the Ultra-saw for that, too. Here's the cooler that I used. It was hanging
out in our garage. And I matched up the slats to see how they would look.

But the first
thing you need to do is remove all the hardware from the cooler — so any of the handles,
latches, etc. And if you have to, you can use the Ultra-saw to cut out the handles of
the cooler. So, remove the wheels as well and then, finally, the hinges. You can use the slats to make the legs of
your rustic cooler. In my case, I wanted them to be about 33" long.

So I drew a little mark
and then drew a line across the slat using my rafter square and remove any staples from
the edge that might cause my saw not to work right. I just used the Ultra-saw to make these
cuts. And then you can use either composite deck screws like these here. And these are
great because their heads go flush into wood. Or you can use outdoor wood screws. I used
the wood screws because they were one and a quarter inches in length. And my slats are
about 5/8" thick. So, that's why I used those. Apply wood glue to the edges of your slats
and then put them together at a 90° angle.

Pre-drill and then apply the wood or deck
screws. When you pre-drill, it prevents the wood from splintering. So I applied about
five screws to the face of the slats. And you'll need to build four of these legs for
the rustic cooler. Make sure to wipe off any excess wood glue. Place two legs on top of your cooler just
like I did here and measure the distance between them. In my case, I got 15½" but needed to
1¼" to that distance because the front and back slats are both 5/8" thick. So cut the
slats to size using the Ultra-saw and then lay your legs on the ground. Apply wood glue.
Stick your slat in between the two legs. Pre-drill and then screw the screws into place. Your
sides will look like this. Place one of the sides up against the cooler. And then two
slats: one in the front, so, flush with the front, and then another slat flush with the

This will give you the measurement for the slats that need to go in the front and
the back of the cooler. And then dry-fit that slat to see if it works. Again, apply wood
glue to the sides of the cooler. Pre-drill and screw in your decking screws, attaching
the front and back slats to the sides of the rustic cooler. And just keep doing this and
you'll stack the slats one after another. You can create a little shelf for the rustic
cooler. Dry-fit the plastic cooler into the rustic cooler framing and push it up so that
the top of the plastic cooler will sit flush with the slats you're going to use for that

Now I measured the distance between the two legs, applied wood glue, pre-drilled,
and screwed the slats for the slats for the front and the back into place. I also measure
the side slats that I'm going to be using for the shelf. Put it into place, pre-drilled
and screwed it down. And then, I made a flush cut using the Ultra-saw. And I'm really happy
with how this turned out. It looks great. You'll have to build the slats around your
plastic lid. Put two slats on the front and the back of the lid. Measure the distance
and cut a slat to size. Once you have that smaller slat, then you can cut the front and
back longer pieces. Again, pre-drill and then screw them into place. It's just a little
box and all I did was attach wood slats on top of it. So there you go, there's our little
box that goes over the lid. Now, the next step is to turn that over and then drill screws
through the faces of the slats into the lid. Now they'll hold the lid in place.

And finally,
turn the rustic cooler over and attach supports on the bottom. The last step and the final step is to apply
all the hardware. You can apply elevator bolts and T-nuts — and this is what a T-nut looks
like — to the bottom of the cooler so that you can adjust it up or down. Dry-fit the
T-nut on all four legs, draw a hole through the bottom of the leg, pound the T-nut into
place and then screw the elevator bolts in. So, again, do this for all four legs and you'll
have an adjustable rustic cooler. You can add the hinges to the lid. I measured
in five inches from the edge. Dry-fit the hinge, drew all the hole for the hinge holes
and then pre-drilled and screwed it down.

If you can find exterior grade hinges, I highly
using those. But mine turned out really great. I'm happy with that. The next step is to drill out the hole for
the drain. So I drilled out from the inside and then drilled a hole from the outside.
I used a 1¼" Speedbor bit by Irwin to make that hole bigger so that it would accommodate
the original drain size. So, here's the original drain and all I did was use a coupling, you
see here, and I screw that coupling on because it allows me to attach a ¾" brass drain to
it. So, I put the drain to the cooler in place and then I simply screwed on the brass drain.
It's pretty sweet right? It looks awesome. Adding a handle to the lid helps with the
opening and the closing of the cooler. You can add a little flare to the rustic cooler
by adding a bottle cap opener to the front.

And for me, I also added bottle cap receptacle
to the side where you can throw your bottle caps. Okay. That's it. That's how you build an awesome-looking
rustic cooler like this one here. You can store your beer in it. You can have an awesome
party. You can put kids' drinks in it if you want. But in the end, I think you have a really
awesome-looking party piece set. It gives you something to talk about at your next get-together. So let me know if you have any questions in
the comments. Thanks for watching the video. Remember, you can always click the thumbs
up button over on YouTube so that other people can watch this video. And you could also subscribe
in my channel by clicking the subscribe button. So, thanks again. Have a great day. Take care..

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