Introduction

How to Build a Cedar Ice Chest
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Ready for a cold one? Not so fast. It will taste even better after you build this beauty for your deck or patio. We sized it around an off-the-shelf 50-quart plastic cooler. Made of cedar, the box features a brass spigot to take the heavy lifting out of draining melted ice, a stainless-steel continuous hinge for the lid, and a classic bottle opener right out front, sparing you that frantic hunt for a way to open your frosty beverage. Follow along as This Old House contributor Christopher Beidel, owner of Pernt, a handmade-furniture company in Brooklyn, New York, walks you through the simple step-by-step process of making your own classic cooler.

Pictured: Lumber: Grade A or better 1×4 western red cedar, about $1.50 per linear foot, from kuikenbrothers.com. Cooler: Igloo Ice Blue MaxCold 50, about $65, from igloo-store.com
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    Tools List

    • 30-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • bar clamps
      Long and short bar clamps
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • 1/8-inch bit with combination countersink
      -inch combination countersink bit
    • straight edge
      Straightedge
    • circular saw
      Circular saw
    • router
      Router with a ¾-inch straight bit
    • multi-bit screwdriver
      Screwdriver
    • 1/8-inch twist bit
      -inch twist bit
    • spade bit
      1-inch Forstner (or spade) bit
    • adjustable wrench
      two adjustable wrenches

    Shopping List

    1×4 cedar Get eleven 10-footers.

    Igloo Ice Blue MaxCold 50 cooler with threaded drain plug. Go to igloo-store.com

    1½-, 1¼-, and 2-inch deck screws

    -inch brass or stainless-steel screws for the lid slats

    ½-inch brass spigot

    ½-by-3-inch brass nipple

    ½-inch brass double female connector

    29-inch brass or stainless-steel continuous hinge

    Brass or stainless-steel gate handle

    24-inch brass or stainless-steel sash chain

    Wall-mount bottle opener

    Teflon tape

    Double-sided foam tape