How To Make a Rustic Party Ice Chest From Wood Pallets

pallet cooler complete

Yup, it’s getting colder and wetter, and DIY warriors are retreating behind closed doors for the winter. The LAST thing you want to do is curl up on the barcalounger and remain in a vegetative state ’til the thaw. How about a fun garage project to keep you engaged, limber and rewarded with a cool, new addition to the yard for when the sun comes back out?

This actually really is a fun project (well… minus the breaking-down-the pallets part, but it’ll keep you warm) and the effort is well worth the pleasure and admiration you’ll get for your labors. So, without further ado… the Vintage Ice Chest!

Cost:

Because most of the materials will be coming from (hopefully) salvaged pallets, the expense should be minimal. If you don’t already have one, you should pick up a 48-qt. cooler.

pallet

Materials:

  • 5 reclaimed pallets
  • Wood glue
  • 1 box 2″ wood nails
  • 1 box 1½” wood nails
  • 2 large hinges
  • 1 qt. polyurethane, non-glossy

circular saw

Tools:

Time:

  1. Finding pallets
  2. Pallet breakdown – 45 minutes per pallet
  3. Assembly – 4 hours approx.
  4. Use cooler – Every shindig, ’til sunup

Once you’ve dismantled your pallets, sort your wood: the heavy 2×3 supports, the 30” wood slats (will vary). There are an average 6 boards per pallet side. Choose the pieces you want to use for the front. As you see here, ink-stamped pieces were chosen. Using pieces of various shape is best to give it that rustic look.

pallet cooler - openpallet cooler - closed

OK, you’re ready for the fun part, putting it together! This is where I pass you on to Instructables.com, and “miamitreasure,” who shows us how to assemble our classic pallet ice chest cooler. Also, check out these other pallet wood projects on Instructables!

 

If you’re missing any tools or supplies for this awesome project, don’t forget to swing by Harbor Freight where you’ll find just what you need at low, low prices!

Top 5 Must-Have Items for Thanksgiving from Harbor Freight Tools!

Harbor Freight is of course known for their wide selection of tools, but many of you may not be aware that Harbor Freight carries some great cooking tools as well—and at prices that put the “thanks” in Thanksgiving. Here are five must-have items to help make your Thanksgiving dinner the best ever.

 

5.

Cutting Boards

2 Piece Cutting Board Set

Cutting boards are an absolute must for any kitchen and these boards offer several advantages over traditional wood cutting boards. The 2 Piece Cutting Board Set from Harbor Freight comes with two boards: 13-3/4” x 10” and 15-7/8” x 11” respectively. They’re made from super-tough polypropylene, making them more resistant to knife cuts compared to wood, heat resistant up to 260° F, sanitary, odorless and non-toxic. With an integrated handle and slim profile, these boards store easily and are quickly accessible for most food prep needs.

2 Piece Cutting Board Set, item# 69459

 

4.

Ceramic Knives

 

6 In Ceramic Knife

3 in Paring Knife

Among other things, ceramic knives are ideal for slicing and dicing vegetables as they keep a razor-sharp edge but are lightweight, which means less fatigue when prepping large amounts. Compared to brands you’ll find at specialty kitchen stores, Harbor Freight’s ceramic knives with ergonomic rubber-coated handles are a lot less expensive yet every bit as functional.

6 in. Ceramic Chef’s Knife, item# 98186

3 In. Ceramic Paraing Knife, item# 98183

 

3.

Stock Pots

stock pot set

Stainless steel stock pots can cost a fortune—but not at Harbor Freight. Check out their 4 Piece Stainless Steel Stock Pot Set. The set includes 6, 8, 12 and 16 quart pots, each with a matching lid. The mirror finish of the stainless steel offers some decorative flare in the kitchen while providing the ultimate in utility when cooking up side dishes, soups, sauces, etc.

4 Piece Stainless Steel Stock Pot Set, item# 60624

 

2.

Electric Food Slicer

Electric Food Slicer

Thanksgiving isn’t just one meal, it’s several meals of leftovers and few things are better than fresh roasted turkey sandwiches. That’s where an electric food slicer comes in. Harbor Freight’s model features a serrated stainless steel blade for producing thin slices of meat, cheese or bread. Dial the thickness from 1/16” to ½”. A sliding tray keeps hands away from the blade while the safety switch prevents accidental starts.

Electric Food Slicer, item# 69460

 

1.

Cast Iron Cookware

Cast Iron Fyring Pans

Despite all the advancements of alloys and non-stick coatings in cookware, there is simply no substitute for tried-and-true cast iron. Go from the stovetop to the oven without worry. Nearly indestructible, cast iron is ideal for browning meats and vegetables. Once seasoned, cast iron is nearly as non-stick as those high-tech offerings on the market today which can sell for ten times the price! Harbor Freight offers 3 Piece Cast Iron Frying Pans with built-in pouring groves.

3 Piece Cast Iron Frying Pans, item# 44707

 

Harbor Freight wishes you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving – bon appetit!

The $55 DIY Fancy, Functional X Desk

x desk diy

Owning a miter saw brings with it a world of opportunities for DIY home repair, home improvement and building projects that can add so much to your home. Take, for example, a treehouse or playhouse for the rugrats, a new deck for the patio or adding crown molding to the house– all for so much less than if you had someone else doing it. As one becomes comfortable with their miter saw, it soon becomes the most used power tool in their arsenal. 

Chicago Electric has an excellent 12″ miter saw (#61969) with a number of useful features: double-bevel so you don’t have to flip your work over and reset cutting angles; sliding compound so you can cut larger pieces; laser guide for more accurate cuts. And this best-selling unit can often be found on sale at Harbor Freight at a much lower price than you’ll find elsewhere.

miter saw 12 blog

Recently, this X Desk project caught my eye. Here’s a great example of a doable miter saw project, even for relative newbies who want to spread their wings, for a very approachable price: $55 in materials. I found it on Ana White’s site, a source for so many inspiring DIY projects. She re-posts a plan shared by Whitney from Shanty2Chic, but I chose to reference Ana’s site for its graphics. I also like how folks who follow her example post their creations on her site with all kinds of variations and added ideas.

What You Need

Materials:

5 – 2×4 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×4 @ 8 feet long
2 – 2×12 @ 6 feet long OR 4 – 2×6 @ 6 feet long
2 ½” wood screws for countersinking
2 ½” PH screws

 

Before You Start

  • Take the time to read through the whole article before you start mobilizing.
  • You want to make sure you’ve got a good working area, including a clean, level surface.
  • When you pick out the wood, make sure all the boards are straight.
  • Always pre-drill your holes before attaching the screws.
  • Use glue with finish nails for a strong, solid hold. Wipe excess glue off the bare wood so you can stain it.
  • ALWAYS exercise workshop safety!

Here’s a diagram of the X Table with the dimensions. If this looks like a project you might be interested in pursuing, take a look at Ana White’s plan. It’s extremely detailed and easy to follow– and the graphics are awesome!

Check out Ana’s site for other projects as well, and make sure to visit Harbor Freight Tools for all your tool needs!