Help with cooler box build

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Forum topic by Razorburne posted 05-05-2015 02:57 AM 633 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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41 posts in 837 days

05-05-2015 02:57 AM

I really like the looks of the cedar cooker boxes I have seen being built (usually with dog eared cedar pickets). Only problem is any big box store near me doesn’t carry the pickets – they can be ordered and the shipping ends up doubling the price.

Can I use any wood I want ? I like cedar due to the looks and the natural defenses against the elements, but could I just as easily use standard untreated pine boards and then simply finish it with cedar colored deck stain, or Thompson’s water seal? OR, my local Lowe’s does carry dog eared fence pickets but they are pressure treated pine, not cedar – much cheaper and locally available. I haven’t used much pressure treated wood before and as far as I know I couldn’t stain it until it is completely dried out (is that correct?)

Any opinions on this would be a huge help as I would like to make the build soon before a scheduled backyard party so all help is appreciated.

3 replies so far

View bubbastinks's profile


20 posts in 783 days

#1 posted 05-05-2015 03:45 AM

You’ll want to use a lumber that is suited for outdoors. I’d personally stay away from pressure treated, I think you’d have a mess in movement issues. Lowes should have cedar in the lumber section. 1x material. Or 5/4 deck boards perhaps. Beyond that, is a number of hardwoods you could use.

View johnstoneb's profile


2104 posts in 1590 days

#2 posted 05-05-2015 12:08 PM

Any wood will work. I would stay away from PT also.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


13569 posts in 2036 days

#3 posted 05-05-2015 01:11 PM

If they have it, cypress is a great choice as well. Surprised you’re not able to buy an 8’ section of prefab’d fence from cedar. Maybe call a local fence Co. and enquire?

And as said above, I’d also be wary of using PT lumber for a cooler. Constant hand contact with that stuff, then putting hands in cooler water / ice, is not a great way to avoid ingesting all kinds of chemicals. Call me crazy, I’m sure it’s safe and all, but you know…

Redwood scraps are sometimes found; it’d be awesome as well, but new redwood is very expensive.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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