• 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.

    Download a cut list for How to Build a Cedar Ice Chest

    Steps:
    1. Make the Frame for the Box Bottom
    2.Install the Slats for the Box Bottom
    3. Attach the Side Slats for the Box
    4. Make the Corners for the Box
    5. Install the Cap for the Box
    6. Lay out the Cuts for the Feet and Brackets
    7. Make the Cuts for the Feet and Brackets
    8. Build the Leg Assemblies for the Base
    9. Install the Leg Assemblies for the Base
    10. Rout the Lid Rails and Slats for the Lid
    11. Install the Rails and Stiles for the Lid
    12. Add the Lid Slats for the Lid
    13. Locate the Drain for the Cooler
    14. Add the Batten and the Drain Hole for the Cooler
    15. Install the Drainpipe for the Cooler
    16. Attach the Lid to the Box
    17. Add the Hardware
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      The joinery is simple, but the lid requires some router work.
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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