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Cowboy Cooler

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Project by Heath posted 04-07-2010 09:05 PM 16382 views 31 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I built this “Cowboy Cooler” for my sister and her husband for Christmas 2009. I first saw one of these as a mass produced unit at a local sporting good store. I thought it was a really neat item, but way overpriced. After that, I started seeing them pop up at road-side vendors and flea markets and such.

Except for the side handles, this was built entirely from broken down pallets. The ice chest is an Igloo brand I purchased at the above mentioned sporting goods store. It didn’t have a drain, so I bought a cooler drain there as well and connected it to PVC plumbing coming out the bottom and over to the spigot. The Native American silhouette and bottle opener were purchased from a vendor at a local festival.

I didn’t follow any plans. I had a rough idea in my head of what I wanted to do, started with the ice chest and just built around it.

-- "I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it." - Pablo Picasso





13 comments so far

View Cozmo35's profile

Cozmo35

2199 posts in 1784 days


#1 posted 04-07-2010 09:09 PM

Best looking pallets I have ever seen!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1863 days


#2 posted 04-07-2010 09:23 PM

great recycling of pallets

Dennis

View jm82435's profile

jm82435

1281 posts in 2490 days


#3 posted 04-07-2010 10:47 PM

Great project. I especially like the bottle opener and the rustic quality of the recycled pallets.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View Jason's profile

Jason

655 posts in 2257 days


#4 posted 04-07-2010 10:51 PM

Does the bottom of the cooler simply sit inside or are the sides attached to the cooler?

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

View Heath's profile

Heath

32 posts in 2228 days


#5 posted 04-08-2010 12:18 AM

Thanks for the compliments, guys.

Jason, the cooler sits on a shelf. The cooler is not attached and can be pulled out but it is a nice tight fit.

-- "I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it." - Pablo Picasso

View RexMcKinnon's profile

RexMcKinnon

2593 posts in 1943 days


#6 posted 04-08-2010 03:14 PM

There should be one of these beside every BBQ in existence.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View knapster's profile

knapster

39 posts in 2223 days


#7 posted 04-08-2010 07:37 PM

i agree! :-)

-- jk

View Dave Price's profile

Dave Price

90 posts in 1723 days


#8 posted 04-24-2010 04:33 PM

that is very cool, i need one of those

-- Dave Price , Roswell New Mexico

View Leonard5's profile

Leonard5

374 posts in 1441 days


#9 posted 03-17-2011 05:26 PM

Nice job. There is definetely some nice hardwood in some of the pallets.

-- Leonard H.

View grogg's profile

grogg

1 post in 1365 days


#10 posted 03-27-2011 09:52 PM

How did you attach the cooler chest lid to the top? I think I will make one for my son in law.

Harold

View Heath's profile

Heath

32 posts in 2228 days


#11 posted 03-28-2011 04:05 AM

After building the basic box (minus lid), I turned it upside down with the cooler in it to make sure the top of the cooler and the top of the box were even. Then I put in the “shelf” against the bottom of the cooler. Then I turned it right side up, put the lid on the cooler and just build the wooden lid around it to fit and added hinges. Then I just glued the cooler lid to the wooden lid. I don’t recall what kind of adhesive I used.

-- "I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it." - Pablo Picasso

View CWChandler's profile

CWChandler

6 posts in 956 days


#12 posted 05-10-2012 08:03 PM

Amazing job! My girlfriend has me to make one of these for her and I just happened to pick up a truckload of pallets today thinking I could find something to do with the lumber. The only downside is that she has asked me use tin on the inside and NOT use an igloo cooler. Thanks for sharing!
CWC

-- CWC

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

389 posts in 2198 days


#13 posted 02-21-2013 02:36 PM

totally cool!

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