Build your own cooler?

Yankee

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2015
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26
Location
North of Seattle
A couple years back, I built a large insulated box to haul quarters in. I just couldn't justify dropping several hundred dollars on a Yeti or equivalent. i used insulation board from Home Depot and built the frame out of 1/4" plywood and 2x2"s. The wife referred to it as the coffin, which wasn't too far from the truth.


I'll upload some pics of the original "coffin", but I'm planning a rebuild with different dimensions to fit in the truck bed a little better. At any rate, rather than use insulation board, I'm wondering whether the R value of the two part foam mix would be higher? I'm thinking that's what Yeti and other high-end coolers use? In the meantime I'm gonna go grab some picks of the coffin.
 

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Olbadae

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Aug 5, 2014
Messages
88
Location
Minnesota
Last year I used reflex tex insulation to wrap my 110L cooler. I made a wrap that went around and a 3 layer bottom. Sides came up to the top of the cooler then I had a top that was 2 layer and a slip fit overlapping the sides by about 10 inches. It kept ice much, much better then my buddies yeti at a fraction of the price....


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archer wapiti

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Joined
Sep 12, 2015
Messages
437
Location
New Mexico
I call mine my elk coffin. It's insulated with two layers of 2 inch foam, which is surrounded on all sides by plywood. I used ca. 5/8 plywood (overkill, but what i had lying around) on the outside, and luaun underlayment on the inside. The inside is coated with 2 ounce glass and West System epoxy. It's huge, heavy, and not very practical to move, but it does keep ice a long time.
I've got another one that I'm going to make with no wood, just the foam with glass and epoxy on all surfaces. I'm not sure about anchoring hinges (if I want them) or latches, might do a removable top, which can be preferable in some situations. The biggest problem becomes storing these things!
 

TexanSam

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
186
I've been toying with the idea of making my own as well. I was just thinking 2 inch styrofoam lined plywood box but then fiberglassed over

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KJH

Senior Member
Joined
May 10, 2016
Messages
515
I saw a homemade cooler last year in North Dakota that some guys from Maryland had for transporting their frozen waterfowl and pheasants back home.

It was somewhat similar to what was shown here but it used 2" foam and 1/4" paneling on the outside and inside. Then they had it sprayed with bedliner thick so there were no holes of joints to leak. Apparently the bedliner made it really rigid and strong. The lid looked like it fit tight somehow and latched down with 2 buckles. It looked bulky and heavy as hell, but the guy built it to fit around the wheel well of his pickup so it saved some wasted space. I wish I would have asked how much it weighed.

I should have taken a picture because I'd like to replicate it someday. I suspect that after you sprayed it, it would end up costing more than the roto-molded coolers that are on the market so that's what stopped me so far.
 
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Yankee

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2015
Messages
26
Location
North of Seattle
Ideally, the interior would be a food-grade/acceptable plastic material as I'd rather not have the liner leaching who knows what into my meat. My current coffin works well, but is a little too big- the wheel well definitely causes lost space.
 
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