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View Full Version : OT: Ever made your own ice chest?



mochinist
08-05-2006, 05:55 PM
So yesterday me and my parents went and checked out the new Cabela's that just opened here in Phx, really cool store, I had always wanted to go to one and I could easily spend a small fortune in there. Anyways to the point I was looking at their outfitter ice chest that cost like $359, it was pretty big and was made out of molded plastic and I assume had a ton of insulation since it will supposedly hold ice for like 7 days in 100 deg heat.

Making it myself I would probably spend a alot on supplys but still like you guys alot of the time it is more fun and satisfying to make something yourself if you can do it for a reasonable amount. So how would you make it? What kinda foam would be the best insulation, maybe that stuff you can buy in home depot to fill gaps when you install a window?

Evan
08-05-2006, 06:26 PM
I made this one back in the early 70s. It's from .032" 2024 alclad aircraft aluminum and put together with solid aircraft rivets. It weighs about a pound and you can stand on it. The lining is usually 1" pink styrofoam board sealed in place with clear silicone caulk, I need to replace the lining. The aluminum reflects heat and helps to keep it cool. This has been used constantly for many trips and excursions. I have taken it canoeing many times as it is squirrel proof and bear resistant plus light weight.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/icechest.jpg

[edit] Ok, I exaggerated slightly. I got curious and actually weighed it. It weighs three pounds.

tattoomike68
08-05-2006, 06:44 PM
Evan can make anything from aluminum. I would expect that from you. :)

HWooldridge
08-05-2006, 08:18 PM
The cooler companies use an equivalent to the liquid foam product called "Great Stuff" by one maker and sold under various names by others - it's the stuff sold in HD that you mentioned. If I were making one, I'd either use the sheet foam that Evan referred to or the self-foaming product. If you are building a big one, I'd recommend at least 2 inches between outer skin and inner shell.

My grandfather made a few from 1/4 plywood and balsa wood for internal structure but they weighed more than 3 lbs...<LOL>

HTRN
08-05-2006, 08:36 PM
Mochinist, look around for used ones, particularly on craigslist - I recently got a 128 quart Igloo cooler for nothing. If worse, comes to worse, you can buy a large igloo(124 quart, I think) for a hundred bucks.


HTRN

ulav8r
08-07-2006, 11:39 AM
Use polyisocyanurate foam, it has the highest R value of the readily available rigid foams, or did at the time I became familiar with it.

lynnl
08-07-2006, 01:35 PM
My family didn't have a refrigerator til I was about 10yrs old.
Back then the Ice Man ran a regular route in our area and once or twice a week would deliver ice in big blocks. Of course we'd often run out of ice before the next delivery. Man, we were in high cotton whenever we had ice to put in the ice tea for dinner on a hot Alabama summer day.

I can remember Dad finally making an ice box to prolong our ice supply. He made a wooden chest, about 4 X 4 X 3 (ft) outside dimensions with tin roofing liner and filled the cavity (about 3" thk) with sawdust. It was kept in a cool (relatively speaking) area of the house, and would keep the ice much longer. ...don't recall just how long, but we seldom ran out after he made that.

Oh yeah, we'd also pack loose sawdust around the ice inside the chest. So when you wanted to chip off some ice you had to brush away the sawdust. Sometimes you'd still have little flakes of sawdust in your ice tea. What we call "fiber" nowadays. :D

Prior to the ice chest we just stored it in a tub, covered w/loose sawdust.

Ah yes, the good ol' days! Hope I haven't bored you, but I enjoyed recalling the memories.

PTSideshow
08-07-2006, 01:44 PM
The sawdust is a very good insulator for the between the walls of an icehest. Check out this place they sell all kind of interseting stuff for the farmer grower ect. they will sell to anybody. they have the foam insulation kit in what looks like the old freon 12 bottles that you can fill any void one shot. they also have a number of different kits for foaming the plastic they sell for walls is great for clean up.
http://www.teksupply.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreCatalogDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=10001&division=TekSupply

They make a aluminum plastic sandwich corragated sheet used in the sign bix comes in natural and baked on colors one or both sides. great stuff can't come up with the names other than one was called alumencore.:D

bob101
08-07-2006, 02:17 PM
I have one like you mentioned..

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0020842516027a&type=product&cmCat=search&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&QueryText=cooler&N=4887&Ntk=Products&Ntx=mode+matchall&Nty=1&Ntt=cooler&noImage=0

Yes it will keep ice for 7-10 days depending on the temp outside but it will keep ice here in Texas in the summer for 7 days and hardly even melted in WY while out there hunting....

Be careful what you build it out of...one like this is so big that if you build it a tad heavy you're not gonna lift it even while empty. This one isn't easy to pick up and once it's loaded in the truck or trailer - it's there till you take everything out and drain it.

Just for clarification this isn't your normal 120qt cooler you get at wal-mart. It's totally sealed with a double gasket when closed and the sides are about 4" plus thick.

RPease
08-07-2006, 02:35 PM
Evan can make anything from aluminum. I would expect that from you. :)

How's he do at making "gold" from aluminum???? ;)

If'n he can do that..........well......I'll send up all the aluminum scrap he wants........he can keep half the gold.......just send me the other half.........LOL

No wait.............his "process" for gold to aluminum is probably more expensive than the gold itself.........Just my luck........;)

;) .........Rodg

Todd Tolhurst
08-07-2006, 02:42 PM
I'm sure he can whip up some gold-anodized AL in no time at all!

Evan
08-07-2006, 05:45 PM
How's he do at making "gold" from aluminum????

Well, first I'll need to build an accelerator. A big one. I have the plans around here somewhere...

Ahhh. Here we are.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/accel.jpg

lynnl
08-07-2006, 06:02 PM
But you're gonna need a Flux Capacitor, capable of at least 1.21 Jigawatts output.

Your Old Dog
08-07-2006, 08:26 PM
If I were going to make one on the cheap I'd have to use the Pink 2" foam insulation at Home depot and duct tape it together and then wrap it in sufficient duck tape to hold it together. I'd "dado" the lid and push it on for a good seal. If it didn't work the way I wanted it to I'd go for the coat hanger for modifications :) (actually for about $6.00 they have aluminum foil duct tape in 50 foot rolls)

ASparky
08-07-2006, 08:40 PM
Quote "But you're gonna need a Flux Capacitor, capable of at least 1.21 Jigawatts output."

If the cap is a problem, go for a cyclotron. Then all you need is a lot of juice from your edison. And a pretty heafty vacuum pump, but that wouldn't be so hard.

Oh and if you or your Edison have problems with the power needed, throw me a million or so and I will do a research program to generate the juice, can do a really really plausible scenario, and it might actually work, but no results guaranteed. <grin>

Evan
08-07-2006, 09:26 PM
There actually is a transmutation path from lead to gold. I forget the sequence but it has been done in the lab. It only costs several million per microgram to make too. There is a lot of energy in that little bit of matter...

Joel
08-07-2006, 10:12 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v186/JoelinTX/IceChest.jpg

darryl
08-08-2006, 03:38 AM
I've made a couple out of foam board. I don't know if there's a difference between the pink and the blue styrofoam- I did one in each. I simply used cellophane packing tape to hold the pieces together. One I still have, and the tape is still holding fine after more than ten years. There's no outer skin, no handles, no hinge for the top. I dadoed the parts so they would press fit together, and the packing tape is more than capable of holding it all together. Made from 1 1/2 inch thick foam, and keeps it's cool longer than any of the store bought ones we've used.

Part of the trick is to make all corners absolutely airtight. I did not use any glue, silicon rubber, calking, - nothing but cellophane tape. I wouldn't use duct tape for this as it gets to be a crummy looking sticky mess.

In my case, the jury's out on the use of polyurethane foam- I have no idea if it's insulating value can match that of pink or blue styrofoam, or white for that matter. I haven't ever used white for these coolers because I didn't feel it had the strength to hold up- maybe it would have. I think the white being the lightest and with closed cell would have the highest r value- just my thoughts.