Homemade custom cooler?

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Homemade custom cooler?

Postby BillZ » Mon May 23, 2011 11:27 pm

I'm having trouble finding a cooler that will fit below my counter. The space is shallow. I need something that is no more than a foot high and a foot deep. A thought occurred to me that maybe I can make a custom cooler.
My thought is to make a wooden box to fit, put a plastic tub inside and insulate in between the 2 containers. The lid could be tricky but seems doable.

Has anyone done something like this?
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I have thought about it.

Postby tlcofomaha » Tue May 24, 2011 8:09 am

I have loosly planned a couple out in my mind. You could wind up with one of those EXTREME coolers if you use thick foam. As long as you get a decent seal around the lid it will work great. I knew a guy once that built a large cooler/box out of 2 inch styrofoam and covered it with fiberglass. I dont remember if it even had a lid but it would keep a keg cold all weekend.
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Postby slowcowboy » Tue May 24, 2011 9:37 am

mine is simaler going below the counter top but I found one that would fit. its just getting a box around the exsisting cooler and more foam insulation and getting turned into a built in ice box.

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Postby Arne » Tue May 24, 2011 8:19 pm

Some of the best coolers I've seen are made out of 2" rigid foam insulation... they hold ice for a very long time.
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Postby atahoekid » Wed May 25, 2011 12:11 am

I found an article on-line a while back about a guy who made a cooler out of epoxy and fiberglass for his boat. Sounds a bit more complicated than your idea or the foam board insulation idea but it was water tight

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Postby GPW » Wed May 25, 2011 7:29 am

Billz, you might want to check out the Foamie threads... we're building all sorts of things with foam ...Custom Cooler would be easy ... :thumbsup:
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Re: Homemade custom cooler?

Postby Dan242 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:51 pm

Bringing back from the dusty archive, first thread I could find,
I built a below floor storage compartment I think I'm gonna turn into a cooler. Its about 24" by 16" and slopes from about 10" deep to 16" . I have sheets of 3/4" styro, gonna layer them in, then sit a plastic tub and trim the top. There will be a gap, I am thinking of shooting in expanding foam to fill in the gaps, in couple of layers to let it expand. I have a ply wood lid that I will glue a layer of styro to to fit inside box, will be a flat lid all the way around with a thin rubber gasket to seal. Thinking 1.5 to 2" of foam most of the way around. Weight will be right behind the rear axle, down low, easily offset by a 5 Gallon jerry can of water on the tongue. Is there a better brand of expanding foam for getting the most expansion? Thinking this will be mostly to have ice in for drinks over a weekend, or maybe top off another cooler as needed. Not sure if I need a drain or not, maybe a small plastic siphon pump or suck it out with a straw (drinking water!) What say the Hive?
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Re: Homemade custom cooler?

Postby working on it » Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:20 am

I've just completed doing a similar project, by using two existing coolers, rigid foam, Great Stuff, foil duct tape, and EPDM foam tape. I was trying to use the composite? cooler (one Cube cooler inside a larger Cube cooler) to fit in the small space. Initially, I just used the larger Cube cooler, but it wasn't keeping my perishable foods cold enough for even a three-day trip, so I thought I'd try making it more efficient. I had mediocre results, but haven't given up, yet. Here's the thread : http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=68543
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Re: Homemade custom cooler?

Postby Dirtclod » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:57 am

Seems like a Great Idea and one of a kind.

In fact Timberleaf Trailers even offers one as an option:

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Re: Homemade custom cooler?

Postby Trebor English » Tue Jun 13, 2017 7:44 pm

I made a cooler. The outside is a 49 quart Rubbermaid tub. The inside is a 12 quart Rubbermaid tub. Between the two there is 2 inches of 1/2 inch polyiso sheet cut to fit. The 12 quart holds 10 pounds of ice and a 9 x 13 aluminum baking pan that sits on top. The food stays dry in the aluminum pan. The lid is 1 inch poly and the 49 quart lid. It keeps ice 7 (June) to 10 (January) days. Without the 9 x 13 pan it would be good for drinks for a weekend. Spray foam Great Stuff would be a lot easier, cheaper, and probably better insulation.
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Re: Homemade custom cooler?

Postby tac422 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:58 pm

I made a cooler out of 2" foam ...
details here :

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Re: Homemade custom cooler?

Postby PanelDeland » Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:14 pm

Order a Ham. From Honey Baked to be delivered. They come in a box with a foam cooler inside (lid and all). The problem is that the cooler isn't structurally sound and needs the box or it will break, but, building a box for the Styrofoam cooler shouldn't be a stretch for the people who build trailers. Just build a smaller one to fit the cooler if you have problems. BTW They also come with a handy reusable ice pack, for the sore muscles from building it and for keeping it cool.
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