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OT: Ever made your own ice chest?

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  • OT: Ever made your own ice chest?

    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?

  • #2
    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.

    [edit] Ok, I exaggerated slightly. I got curious and actually weighed it. It weighs three pounds.
    Last edited by Evan; 08-05-2006, 06:32 PM.
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    • #3
      Evan can make anything from aluminum. I would expect that from you.


      • #4
        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>


        • #5
          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.

          EGO partum , proinde EGO sum


          • #6
            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.
            North Central Arkansas


            • #7
              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.

              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.
              Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


              • #8
                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.

                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.
                Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
                I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
                All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only


                • #9
                  I have one like you mentioned..


                  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 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.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tattoomike68
                    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........



                    • #11
                      I'm sure he can whip up some gold-anodized AL in no time at all!


                      • #12
                        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.

                        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                        • #13
                          But you're gonna need a Flux Capacitor, capable of at least 1.21 Jigawatts output.
                          Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


                          • #14
                            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)
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                            It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


                            • #15
                              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>
                              Murphy was an optimist