Project – How to make a rustic cedar ice chest / cooler box!

In this video I show you how to make a wooden ice chest / cooler box out of 10 (not 8) cedar fence pickets.

Full plans available on my website.


This plan is based on a 52 QT Igloo cooler.

Purchase full plans with cutlist, material list, and cutting diagram here:
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Music by Dan-O at
Licensed under a Creative Commons license:…


  1. Jeremy Valdez on November 10, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    What size ice chest is this?

  2. K. Texas on November 10, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    This project is nice if you have all the equipment

  3. arok oner on November 10, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    Great video just bought the plans can’t wait to start this also one quick question when putting the legs on what side goes up??? I mean the 3 in side does it go on the long side facing out or on the short side of the cooler?? Thanks always great to support your fellow woodworker

  4. Pinche Gordo on November 10, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    how good is that skill saw and do you recomend it?

  5. Eric Ortega on November 10, 2020 at 6:38 pm

    I went to your website but I didn’t see the free sketch up file or the download button. Can you please provide a link?

  6. Jeffrey Mackey on November 10, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    At 10:35 thru 10:40 minutes, you show 3 extra boards inside the box bottom, and they look screwed down. no where in the downloaded plans are they mentioned. Do I need to leave these in for the final product? Thanks

  7. Carlos Barba on November 10, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    I made 2 of those before I see the video, I just saw your video to see the technic and I want to say, good job ,my have wheels that’s the only difference!!

  8. Jacob Picard on November 10, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    Asking because I just got a router and router table but don’t know anything about the bits to use.

  9. Gil Maal on November 10, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    super sir

  10. herbsu43 on November 10, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    Three questions/comments: why untreated pine?, Why drywall screws? Why no WP glue?

  11. Julius Weathers on November 10, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    Where do you get your wood? Your materials looks a little more sturdy than the cedar fence pickets I’ve seen at the home depot.

  12. Steve Anderson on November 10, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Is the 52 qt. Igloo Family cooler the only one that fits this particular model? My Igloo cooler is a 50 qt. but the side were too wide to fit inside once I’d built it. So now I’m waiting game for the 52 qt. model to arrive. I tight be important to clarify WHICH Igloo these dimensions fit.

  13. Thiago Locatelli on November 10, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    how wide were the boards? 6 or 8 inches? and how long (pre cut)?

  14. THOMAS C on November 10, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Very nice. I made one out of pallet wood and an old glass front cooler.

  15. Sislertx on November 10, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    dang…once.again I have shop envy.

  16. Darrel Hall on November 10, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    I made this cooler with your plans. As usual I had to screw one thing up, like I do on everything I do.
    I assembled the legs wrong so I had to make a fifth leg. I guess I have a start on my next one.

  17. John Swenson on November 10, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    How long do you recommend letting the pickets dry out? I’d really like to build something like this. Thanks in advance.

  18. Fabio Silva on November 10, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    Bom trabalho.

  19. Steve Ward on November 10, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous job. I see here that you say 10 pickets, on the video you say 8. Also, it looks like you use 6′ pickets, is that correct. Without a doubt, nicest cooler box on here, can’t wait to build a couple of my own. Great gifts for outdoor enthusiasts.

  20. Jim Gleason on November 10, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    I used the 48qt Marine cooler from Igloo. Fits fine but I had to add a couple of boards on the bottom side to make it line up properly with the lip. About an inch too short but everything else is on point.

  21. JRAM BASSN on November 10, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    You’re going to chop your Hand off 😫

  22. HuntsvilleHunter - Formerly SoCalHunter on November 10, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    I love the New Yankee workbench…I built 2 for my wood shop.

  23. Jose Sosa on November 10, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    that was a great job now I am going to make one thx to you and your easy steps on you youtub
    thx for that man

  24. George Maltsiniotis on November 10, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    DiyPete’s Chanel ripped off this idea from you

  25. Michael Pack on November 10, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    I had excess pallet wood, pickets, styrofoam coolers that came with Christmas gifts and a 35 year old bottle opener. Thanks to your video. My excess is almost gone. I posted a pic on your Pinterest page.

  26. Francisco Saca on November 10, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    bad ass bro good job

  27. Debbie Perkins on November 10, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    Love the tutorial. I went the other day to buy my supplies to do this with a mid size broken fridge, bout 26" tall, not the mini. Almost had a heart attack! 189.00 for everything, of course, I over figured. Wasn’t using fencing, which is a great and much cheaper idea. ‘Will be making a return trip to the local hardware store. I am using cypress left from a remodel at our house. I have watched this video numerous times and will tweak my cooler. Thanks for the tips, I may keep it here and not take it to the beach (Dauphin Island, Alabama) for my kid and friends to use. 🙂 Wish me luck! I am a budding builder, I LOVE power tools!!!

  28. Jacob Picard on November 10, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    What router bit did you use??

  29. Dylan Mckale on November 10, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    Because I got a nail in my finger

  30. Franks DIY on November 10, 2020 at 7:07 pm just made a new video and added your link as to were I got my ideas . Thank you

  31. Jason Need on November 10, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Cant seem to find a 52 quart igloo.. Maybe the 48 will work with out changing the dimensions??

  32. Greg Roberts on November 10, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    Your fence-block that you set up at 1:20 is so simple that it pisses me off that I never thought of it. Smart move, and great video.

  33. John john Oj on November 10, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    i,m in houston tx ur in cal, i see. use to live in la many moons ago.

  34. MJ Forever on November 10, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    What size spacer did you use on the bottom shelf boards and boards that are the bottom of the main box?

  35. Indigo Dragon71 on November 10, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Idea use an old absorption refrigeration unit and make a cooler. Using a drip system and operate it off calcium carbide. An emergency cooler for when the power go’s out. A crazy idea yet it would work right? 😊

  36. Chaka Giangrosso on November 10, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    can i make this without using a table saw?

  37. jmac05r1 on November 10, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    why use nails for the bottom base boards rather than screws? Im always confused when to use nails vs screws?

  38. Burntsider on November 10, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    Good project. Well presented.

  39. Rogério de Sheva on November 10, 2020 at 7:18 pm


  40. Gregg Nobles on November 10, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    i build this cooler this weekend but i want to add casters. how would you do it since the legs are so thin?

  41. MrPanthers23 on November 10, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    are the 10$ project plans in pdf? does the supply list include the plumbing items needed. if the plumbing items are listed, is it the version that doesn’t leak that u made a second video on? thanks. love the project.

  42. LittleShop OfSawdust on November 10, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Is that a Norm Abram inspired work bench? Pretty cool!
    By the way, if you haven’t already done so, you can get one of the Ryobi "One" System batteries and put it into your drill. It lasts MUCH longer and has vastly more power.

  43. Robert Laster on November 10, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    I went to your site and could not find the free plan for this project,

  44. THERESA GUEST on November 10, 2020 at 7:22 pm


  45. Marty Gilpatrick on November 10, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    12:43 Those miter joints are killin me right now! Yes, it is an outdoor piece but still…

  46. DEDEE FIFTYONEFIFTY on November 10, 2020 at 7:25 pm

    I would’ve liked for you to have opened the cooler at the end of ur video. It’d have been nice to see how it worked and also to see the box drain at work. Love the video tho ❤️

  47. MIKE MADIGAN on November 10, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    Answered my brain fog for the jamb nut on the inside of the drain line
    ,, thanks

  48. SAUKEN 15 on November 10, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Beautiful job! I’m not critiquing or anything like that but why didn’t you make the box wider and add at least 1" of insulation all the way around for additional days to your ice etc? Unless your area doesn’t require that I understand but I live in the northeast and 90 degrees and humid is the norm in the summer or even worse if someone lives in the south.. Anyhow Beautiful job you are a skilled craftsman and I was just wondering! I did subscribe to see more of your builds! Also I hope you didn’t take this as a negative comment as it was not meant that way!

  49. Frank Wheeler on November 10, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Just built this box with the plans offered on the website for $10. A few tips in case you want to try it:

    1. I purchased the $10 plans off the website but the plans could’ve been a bit more detailed as I found I needed to watch both the video and follow the plans very carefully.
    2. The measurements are very specific so when you’re picking it your cedar boards they need to be high quality and have no curves. I bought a few boards that had some arc to them and it definitely affects the look of the box. The box on the video looks like it had perfect cedar boards – I wasn’t so lucky.
    3. The directions on building the box for the lid are nonexistent. I had to play with both the cooler and the lid to make sure that the lid fit properly into the cooler – none of this is in the plans or in the video ( never showed how the lid worked in the video but I suspect it did not fit completely into the cooler.
    4. Total cost of wood, cooler, hardware and nails/screws was about $150.

    Thanks for a great project. My box came out great and it took me about 8-10 hours to complete. I’m a true beginner so I probably spent a lot more time on simple stuff (the 45 degree angles on the box frame for example). But it is a great project and it looks awesome. Thanks !!!

  50. devin THOMAS on November 10, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    The router sure does make it look neatly finished
    nice project
    Thanks for sharing your skills