How to Make a Patio Cooler Ice Chest

hey there welcome to DIY projects with Pete I'm your host DIY Pete out in Bozeman Montana and today I'm going to show you how to build a cedar ice chest this is going to be perfect for keeping those drinks cool out on the patio this summer and it's awesome for all sorts of events like weddings barbecues graduations you name it let's go ahead and look at the tools and supplies you'll need for today's project for the main supplies I used a combination of cedar two by fours and six-foot fence pickets I used a fifty two quart cooler a couple hinges some handles a bottle opener some wheels so you can easily roll it around the deck and a spigot with a few attachments so that you can drain your cooler and for the main tools you want to pick up or borrow a drill some bits a speed square tape measure an optional Kreg jig a circular saw or a miter saw a table saw to rip down the fence pickets an orbital sander and oh yeah make sure you have some wood glue for the project alright let's go ahead and get started with today's project the first step is to remove the handles from the cooler so go ahead and use your drill to remove those then remove the drain plug from the cooler then remove some of the other hardware like the straps and hinges on the back of the cooler use a miter saw or a circular saw to cut the legs down to size remember to always measure twice and cut once now we'll attach the legs for each of the corners you can see when you add the two by fours together they form an L we're going to attach them from the inside so that you don't see the screw holes using a pocket hole jig this is called a Kreg jig but if you don't have a Kreg jig you can simply just pre-drill from the outside you're going to see the screws but that's okay but you can pre-drill and then put in some wood screws to set up our Kreg jig for today's project using one and a half inch stock there's three main adjustments on our Craig jig the first is this knob you'll loosen it and adjust the block to the one-and-a-half inch line then you can adjust the stop collar on the Craig bit so that this flat part of the bit is at the one-and-a-half inch line and then you'll also want to adjust this so that it fits the wood by turning it left or right to one and a half inches for the thickness of the wood put the bit into your drill tighten it and then we'll begin drilling our Craig holes you'll end up drilling about four pocket holes in each board and space them about six to eight inches from each other then repeat the process for three more of the boards that will be used on the legs then put your square Kreg jig bit in the drill and we'll attach each piece to each other using some two and a half inch exterior-grade screws and some wood glue just run a bead of glue down this side rotate the board line it up and set it into place then connect the corners to each other using two and a half inch screws you'll repeat this process for each of the four corners of the ice chest the next thing you'll want to do is measure around the perimeter of your cooler to see how long you'll want to cut the boards for the frame that's going to go around it once you figure out the measurements that are going to fit your cooler you'll need to cut the boards down to size then drill pocket holes on the ends of each of the shorter boards I did two on each and after this you'll want to glue each end and then attach using the two and a half inch screws and clamps do come in handy for this process then attach each of the four legs that you've already assembled I attach them from the inside using glue and then two and a half inch screws make sure to pre-drill if you're worried about any of the wood splitting then put in the screw once the legs are all attached go ahead and test fit two cooler to make sure that everything fits into place rip the fence pickets down to size on a table saw for the top of the ice chest then run wood glue around the perimeter of the base and attach using an air nailer or a hammer and nails I'm using a battery-powered Rio B air strike nailer which comes in super handy for projects like this measure to get an approximate idea of how far down the cooler supports will go then cut the support boards down to size drill pocket holes and attach them with two and a half inch wood screws remember you can attach the board to each other without using pocket holes as well and feel free to modify the plans as much as you'd like then put the cooler back in and slide the support into place make sure the cooler support is level and then tie it into each of the legs I used pocket holes in two and a half inch screws but you could run screws in from an angle if you don't have a pocket hole jig measure the distance for the cedar pickets siding and then cut it down to size using a miter or a circular saw I use full width pickets in the center and then rip the two outer boards but you could rip each board down to the same size if you'd prefer whatever floats your boat use an air nailer or a hammer and nails to attach each of the pickets continue cutting and ripping boards down to size and add cedar pickets to each remaining side this process goes really quickly then rip a picket down to two inches wide to use as trim horizontally on the top and bottom of each side attach using nails use a pen to mark where you'll need to drill a hole in the wood for the spigot and the piping to run through then drill a small pilot hole from the inside at the mark and finally come from the outside using a larger bit or a hole saw I picked up some piping and adapters in the sprinkler and PVC sections at Home Depot you may need slightly different lengths of fittings depending on the thickness of your cooler but that's easy to work with and use teflon tape on the threads before screwing them all together put the threaded coupler through the cooler and secure it using the plastic hardware that came with the cooler use a wrench to tighten it just a bit and then drop the cooler into the cedar base test out the hardware to make sure it's going to all fit together well I decided to cut a little square out of cedar picket to give the area around the spigot a little extra reinforcement thread the spigot on the pipe and then you can connect it using a couple short screws I left a little wiggle room to make it easy to remove the cooler if I ever needed to so to secure the cooler in the base I cut a couple strips of picket to use as shims to give the cooler a tight fit next we'll start making the frame for the ice chest lid first I place two by fours around the lid to figure out the lengths needed to give the cooler top a tight fit then I cut the two by fours down to two inches in height on a table saw and then I test fit them following that I attached the boards using pocket holes next place the cooler top in the frame you just made line up the outer frame of the cooler so that it sits flush with the wood frame the inner lip will actually protrude down farther than the frame so that it can connect and fit in the cooler when the lid is closed and use a drill to put a pilot hole through the wood and then use two inch screws to secure the wood to the plastic cooler top you'll want to use about two to three screws on each side of the cooler test the framed lid to make sure it fits correctly into the cooler make adjustments as needed if it is not fitting perfectly next cut a few fence pickets down to size for the top of the lid use a little glue and then evenly spaced the pickets in place attach using either a nailer or a hammer and nails add a couple hinges on the back side while the lid is in place drill pilot holes and then attach the hinges with screws then test your new lid to make sure that it opens and closes like it should add locking caster wheels to the legs if you'd like to be able to roll your ice chest around easily pre-drill and then attach using two inch screws before sealing the wood you'll want to do a quick sanding with an orbital sander to smooth out the surfaces and remove any slivers I'd also recommend removing any hardware you test fit earlier so the sealing process goes much quicker then finish your ice chest with the sealer or paint of your choice I like to use a clear exterior grade sealer from Minwax named helmsmen spar urethane it really brings out the natural colors of the cedar and it does a great job protecting the wood after starting to seal the project I realized it'd be really nice to have a shelf underneath the ice chest and so I cut a 2×4 down to a 2×2 I connected the boards and then added it to the piece to support the lower shelves I cut a few more fence pickets down to size to create the shelf nailed them into place and then finished sealing the piece let the first coat of polyurethane dry and then lightly sand the ice chest with 400 grit sandpaper to smooth out the surfaces wipe up any leftover dust with a rag and then apply one or two more thin coats of polyurethane using a clean rag drop the cooler in for the last time add the piping and then attach the spigot secure the cooler with the sealed shims that we made earlier this is going to prevent the cooler from shifting then attach the hinges handles a bottle opener and any other accessories you can think of to jazz up ice chests all right job well done fill up your ice chest and put it to good use this summer for the supplies list tools needed and plans head over to DIY P comm slash ice chest or click on the link below please subscribe if you enjoyed watching this tutorial and connect with me on facebook at facebook.com slash DIY projects with Pete all right thanks so much for tuning into DIY projects with Pete I hope you enjoyed today's episode now I wanted to quickly introduce you to a couple friends who are out here for a ski trip some business meetings and during the filming of this project I have Greg Hickman from mobile marketing engine Rick mol ready from Rick mulready calm and John Lee Dumas from entrepreneur on fire all upcoming do-it-yourselfers right guys yes all right best of luck with all your upcoming do-it-yourself project and Cheers in repose in Montana don't forget to watch some of the other videos on my youtube channel click on the left thumbnail to find out how to make a concrete patio table and on the right thumbnail to learn how to build a patio bar lastly please subscribe cheers guys you

As found on YouTube

Related Posts