Ribbon Rack - Part 2

Several months ago I made a wall-mounted ribbon rack for Karrie’s new arts and crafts room.  She’s been making a lot of hair bows and selling them to people at work and on Etsy.

Here’s an example of some of the hair bows she’s been making.  You can check out all her new designs at her Etsy Shop - Bowtique Glam.

bowtique glam, bow, homemade bow, karrie, etsy

She has been making them in her new arts and crafts room we made a few months back.  Here’s a link to the arts and crafts room, a wall shelf, desk, cabinets and a ribbon rack.  

As you can see from this picture, she gets a lot of use out of it.
arts and crafts room, messy, bow, wall mount, bow organizer

But I guess a ribbon rack is kind of like a garage, no matter how large of one you have, you seem to be able to fill it up.  So that meant that I had to build second ribbon rack to hold all of her spools. 

Here’s a video i posted on Youtube where i go through and explain how i built the first ribbon rack.

The great part about building something a second time is that it’s much quicker and much easier.  The first time I built the ribbon rack I had to determine how big I was going to make it, how many spools it was going to hold, what materials I was going to use and what would be the overall shape.  Then there are the tricky things like how I would mount it to the wall and adding a gap so that different spools wouldn’t jam when they were removed.  

This time I didn’t have to do any of that thinking because it was already done.  I just went upstairs and read measured the one I already built.  I either threw a way or just misplaced the template I used for the side cutouts, so I had to make that paper template second time.  But once again that was really easy, I just held up a piece of paper to the side and traced it out.  Whereas the first ribbon rack took me a couple of weeks to make, the second one took me just three days.  It actually only took a couple hours but I had to wait in between the spackling of the corners and then waiting for the paint and polyurethane to dry.

I ended up building it exactly the same way as before, using 1”x6” pine boards and wood dowels.  I thought i was all done and was about to mount it to the wall I realized that the finish on the wood didn’t look the same.  That’s when I realized that for the first ribbon rack I did two coats of white paint and then two coats of polyurethane.  I had forgotten to do the polyurethane.  So I took it back downstairs and that took 2 more days of brushing on the polyurethane and waiting for
it to dry.
ribbon rack, wall mount

But when it was all done and I hung on the wall like before, hiding the screws in a counter sunk hole behind the dowels, it looked great.   Hopefully this will give Karrie a little bit more space on her arts and crafts table to work.

Up North Ice Fishing - Long Lake Michigan

Back in January, Karrie and I went up the to cottage for the weekend.  We decided that while we were up there, we should go ice fishing.

long lake, ice fishing, snow, lake, frozen, michigan, tipups

One of the main problems we had was me being unprepared.  I forgot that the spoon-bit ice auger was in our garage at home.  I forgot that i brought it home to dig some holes in the back yard and never brought it back to the cottage.  That meant that we had to chop the holes using the spud bar.
spud bar, chopping, ice, ice fishing, winter, cold

Usually that’s not a huge deal when the ice is 7” or 8” thick.  But it is a huge deal when it’s one of the coldest winter’s ever and the ice is over 13” thick.  It’s hard to tell from this picture but my fingers are touching the bottom of the hole and the ice is past my wrist.  and we still had a few inches to go.
ice thickness, winter, month, long lake, check, ice fishing

But we eventually got 3 holes chopped in the ice.  One for the tip-up and 2 for jigging.

Usually i just go and buy grubs to fish with but this time i took a bucket and went to the bait shop at the end of the lake.  I figured that if we wanted to catch a big pike or walleye that we needed to use minnows.  The guy there was great, he knew where the fish were being caught and at what depth.  I was surprised when he said that most of the pike were being caught in only 5 feet of water.  At our end of the lake that meant that they were only 20 to 30 feet off of shore.

Also he gave me 2 big scoops of minnows and grubs for just a couple bucks.  He said that he was going to change the tanks that day anyways.

So now it was on to the second problem.  I don’t go ice fishing very often and earlier in the year i took my new poles and homemade tip-ups to Katie and John’s cottage.

Here’s a link to back when i made the ice fishing poles and tip ups a back in 2010.
diy ice fishing poles, aluminum, pvc diy tip ups, pvc, one piece, simple, magnets
I figured that we would use them there before we would use them at our cottage.  I was wrong.  So that meant that we had to use our old stuff.  The night before i brought the sled and all the gear up the the cottage to work on.  That was a very smart move.  Usually i’m trying to untangle line and figure out what’s in the sled, all while sitting on a frozen lake and wearing gloves.  Working on things the night before i was able to get it all in working order.  That meant making an emergency duct tape repair on one of my oldest tip-up.  This simple design has always worked great.
simple tipup, easy to make tipup reliable wood tipups to make

So we got all set up the next day, chopped the holes and started fishing.  At first it was great, sunny and calm.  But after an hour or so, the sun went behind clouds and the wind picked up.  We don’t have a shanty or any way to stop the wind, so we decided to go up.
ice fishing on long lake, michigan, winter, month, chopping ice

But it was fun.  We’ll have to go again some time with the newer equipment and ice auger.

Playing Some Catch Up

I realize that it’s been a while since i posted anything on the blog.  I have a bunch of folders full of pictures from things i’ve been working on at home that i need to go through, sort and upload.  Then i have to write about all of them.  

Here’s a quick sample of what we’ve been working on:

 So far we are 1/4 of the way being done with refinishing our bathrooms.  We replaced the toilet, sink and tile in the first floor bathroom.

animated gif, tile, grout

And i just started on the floor tile in my bathroom.
animated gif, house, bathroom, tile, remove

Also we got new carpet from Home Depot.  The best part is that by using a Lowe’s 10% off coupon and buying gift cards online at 11% off we saved a bunch.
animated gif, carpet, remove, pad

Ice fishing at the cottage, i tried KAP (kite aerial photography) again, but this time i used the GoPro with some protection around it
kap, ice, kite, gopro

Again the kite crashed but the camera was fine
flying a gopro with a kite

I got a table saw off Craigslist.  I’ve only used it a few times but it’s been great.
craftsman table saw

Here’s one of the projects i used the saw for, a fold out case for my nail guns.
fold out tool case, nail gun

I was originally going to wrap the inside with felt but i ended up just painting it white.
adam savage wood box

Made another ribbon rack for Karrie.
second wood ribbon rack

There’s a lot more projects like this that we did, i just need more time to go through all the photos and write everything up.  I’ll have to find a couple of free saturday mornings when i can knock out a couple of posts.

Cheap Remodel Home Auction

Back a few months ago, one of Karrie’s friend was talking about how she got tons of great things for her home at a nearby auction.  She and her husband actually drove out of state with a truck and bid on several things for their house they are remodeling.  The company that ran that auction is called Peak Auctions.  Karrie said that that same company was having an auction here in Michigan at the Gibraltar trade center.  We had been planning on redoing the upstairs bathroom tile in our house.  Although we hadn’t planned yet how we were going to do it, or if we could do it ourselves, but we decided to go and see what kind of deals we could get.

gibralter trade center, auctions

After checking things out on the website we went into the Gibraltar trade center and found the actual merchandise to be pretty good.  Although we weren’t exactly experts since neither of us had actually been to an auction, let alone bid on anything before.  So we weren’t sure how cheaply we could get it for.  It was interesting to walk around before the auction began, taking notes on a sheet of paper for what we wanted to purchase. The first thing that we focused on was the tile.  Karrie’s friend told us about the weird way in which you had to buy things, although there was still some confusion.  As you can see from this picture all of the tile came inside of wood pallets.
peak auctions, gibralter trade center, tile, floor

On the side of each pallet was basic dimensions and total square footage. It turned out that when you bid, you are bidding on the entire palette.  Also you are bidding not on the total price but on the square foot price.   So for example the bidding started at around $.60 per square foot. I would say on average the tile work between $1.00 and all the way up to $10 per square foot for the fancy glass shower tile.  So if you won the bid on a specific palette for $2.00 sq.ft. and there was 500 sq.ft. on the palate, that meant that you owed the company $1000.  It was a little bit daunting seeing the big crowds and the auctioneer.
bidding at auctions, how to bid

It also moved quite fast at first, especially when you didn’t know what exactly was going on.  When the bidding began on the palate of tile we were interested in, the bidding ended before Karrie or I placed a bid.  We were a little bummed out, thinking we missed out.  But on the fly we didn’t know if buying 450 sq.ft. of tile for $500 was a good deal.

There were a few different pallets of the same tile we were interested in though.  And for one of the pallets Karrie noticed that one of the winning bidders kept checking his sheet of paper.  Karrie said it looked like he might have bought more than he wanted to.  She said I should go talk to him and see if he would sell us some of the tile he bought.   So i did and after talking with him it turned out Karrie was right. 

He bought close to 500 sq.ft. of tile at around $.70 per square foot and it turned out that he only needed half of that.  He agreed to sell us 22 boxes which totaled around 225 sq.ft. of tile. That was enough title to cover the tile and Karrie’s bathroom in my shower.  We bought it from him for $200.  Which turned out to be a great deal considering that if we bought 225 sq.ft. of that same tile at Home Depot it would cost over $1000.
travertine tile, auction, cheap

We were quite happy with how that turned out, and the auction continued to roll on.  They got to the area of glass tile and lots of people in the crowd were interested in buying that.  Some of that tile was going for $10 per square foot and lots of people were bidding.  So we figured we didn’t have a shot at getting any deals.  After what looked like they had sold the last box of glass tile, the crowd started to disperse.  But at the very end there was one stack of boxes left.  There was a little bit of confusion as the auctioneer started to shout out the prices, most people couldn’t see what was being sold.  Karrie happened to be standing right next to the auctioneer and bid $0.70 per linear foot on some glass tile.  The guy yelled “Sold” and somehow she ended up winning the bid and we got the perfect amount of tile for our bathrooms at a fraction of the price.  Again, these tiles sell for $5.50 at Home Depot, we got them for $0.70.
best deal on glass tile

Now we were feeling really good with what we had done.  We got the tile we needed to redo our bathrooms at less than a quarter the price than we normally would’ve spent.  And we got exactly the amount we wanted. 

The auction turned out to be a really great place if you are interested in remodeling your house.  There were large pallets of hardwood floor which were going for as little as a dollar a square foot, which is a really great price.  But again, the only downside was that you did not get to pick your quantity, it was whatever was on the pallet.  So for example, if it was 800 sq.ft. of hardwood floor, that you got for $1.00 sq.ft., you owed them $800.  But I would have to say that most winning bids were at least half of what you would pay in the store.
auction deal, how to remodel cheap

We watched the bidding continue as it went to cabinets and actual whole kitchens. I think that was probably the best deal in the whole auction.  You could buy complete set of kitchen cabinets which were super nice, for less than $3,000.  Considering that most kitchen remodel cost between $15,000 and $20,000, it was a great deal.

Another thing we were mildly interested in was chandeliers.  Although when the bidding started at a couple hundred dollars we decided to pass, we definitely did not need to spend that much.  
light, chandilier, lamps, fans, bulk

But we did end up buying a ceiling fan for just $30.  That part of the auction also was a little confusing but Karrie ended up bidding on and getting 2 ceiling fans.  She sold one to her friend at work for what she paid for it, so we ended up with one ceiling fan which we put in our bedroom.
warehouse price, cheap ceiling fans

Here’s a link to the fan we got and me installing it:  Ceiling Fan

Later in the day they started selling miscellaneous pieces of wood trim.  We just got done remodeling our family room and the crown molding and base board we purchased cost between $1 and $2 per foot.  At this auction winning bids for wood, not quite as good, was between $.20 and $.30, basically 1/4 to 1/3 of what it cost in the store.  I was very tempted to bid, knowing what a great deal it was, but since we didn’t need it and more trim meant more work for me at home, I decided to pass.  But for future reference it was nice to know of a place that had such a great deal.  This isn’t a picture of that trim, this was just a bunch of random pieces that sold as a group.
bulk wook, cheap wood, auction

Near the very end of the day the auction moved to bathroom fixtures.  They had a line of several different toilets and some of them were the real nice eco-dual flush toilets.  We needed a new toilet for our downstairs bathroom and I was interested in seeing what the final bid price was.  So as Karrie was checking out I walked to the back as the bidding was going on.  Some of the toilets had already been sold for between $100 and $130.   So I decided to get one and I ended up winning a bid on a very nice toilet for $110.  The whole process took about two minutes.  It took me longer to walk from one end of the floor to the other, to tell Karrie.  When i told her that i just bought a toilet she just said “Oh”

All in all it turned out to be a great idea going to the auction.  Everything we ended getting was way cheaper than if we had bought it in the store.  I’m not saying that everything in the auction was a great deal, some people were basically paying full price for the items.  But there was definitely some great deals to be had, especially on wood flooring, tile and entire kitchen cabinets and counter tops.

Here’s everything we brought home.
what to buy at auctions, home auction

Since the auction I’ve watched several videos and we are planning to redo the tile and toilet in the three bathrooms. That’s our winter project for this year.

Actual Civil Engineering Work ... well kinda

Actual Civil Engineering Work … well kinda

I got tired of tripping over the 2 gutter downspouts on the side of the house so i decided to make underground drainage. Here’s the first one on the side of the garage.
Step 1. Dig the trench. To go under the concrete i used an ice auger.
dig trench for roof drain, gutter, rain water

Step 2. Fit the pipeshow to install a roof drain, trench, gutter downspout

Step 3: Backfill with sand
sand backfill, roof drain, materials, pvc pipe, cap
10’ PVC pipe ——————————————- $8
10’ PVC pipe with drainage holes —— $8
cloth pipe cover ———————————— $6
drain cap ————————————————- $3
two 90 degree bends ————————— $2 each

I did buy two of everything for the drain in the back yard which, i haven’t finished yet because i had to chisel through the concrete and drill a lot farther with the ice auger.
The bad part is that my yard is all clay, which doesn’t let water drain. So i had to use sand to backfill around the pipes.

The 3 Year Drainage Project

The 3 Year Drainage Project

A project that i started back in August of 2010 was finally finished last week.  In May of 2010 i buried 20 feet of PVC pipe and connected it to my garage gutter downspout.

First Drain Project
 - This one turned out great and still drains the roof water today.  It turned out so well that in August of that same year i tried building it again at the back of the house.

Backyard Gutter Drainage
 - That’s when this project started.  Little did i know it would be this difficult.

Backyard Drain Continued
 - And then it kept going.  I still remember having to cut and chop my way through the tree roots.  Another problem i had was that in the backyard i don’t have as much fall from the house to the back of the yard.  There is really no place for the water from the gutter to drain to.

The reason that this project took so long was not because of the pipe.  It was a chore but i got that in place.  The real problem was with the concrete sidewalk slab.  I originally used a 2x4 and moved it out of the way to put the PVC pipe under it.  But for 3 years i could never get it back in place.  It was always crooked and i was meaning to get it aligned correctly. 

Then one day last month while I was out doing inspection, I decided that today was the day that I was going to fix it.  I was actually watching some guys pour a concrete curb, which is what gave me the idea.  I realized instead of messing around trying to reposition that old slab back into place I should just buy some bags of concrete and pour my own new slab.  So on the way home I picked up few bags of concrete.  Also I had two old bags already in the garage leftover from projects from earlier.

Immediately after getting home I went to the backyard with a sledgehammer.  A few blows and I cracked the old slab in half.  There was no turning back now.

how to break a concrete sidewalk slab, sledgehammer

After about 10 minutes of pounding I had the slab broken into movable pieces.

size of concrete sidewalk, thickness, how big

Since I have been working on that area for a while it was actually deeper than the 4 inches of concrete.  Also underneath the concrete was not compacted sand or gravel it was just top soil.

how to fix broken concrete, patio, crack

I knew I couldn’t just pour the concrete on the old topsoil.  So I got as much gravel as I could and compacted that in place.

fix, repair, base, concrete sidewalk, concrete patio

Then I figured that I was ready to pour the concrete.  I thought 5 or 6 bags would’ve been enough but it turned out that I needed around twelve 80 pound bags in total.

how much concrete do i need, quickrete, 80lb bag

Not that it made that much of a difference.  An 80lb bag of concrete only cost around $3.50.  Also my car can only carry 4 bags at a time or else my mufflers scrape all the way home from Lowe’s.

The whole process wasn’t too difficult but it always seems like i mix the concrete a little too watery.  Although that might’ve been a good thing because I was able to create a slope away from the house and toward the yard.

repair replace broken sidewalk section

Also I couldn’t forget to write our names and date at the edge.

how to write name in concrete, when

It turned out okay, maybe not perfect but at least there’s not a huge gap like it had been for the past three years.

fix a broken concrete patio

Gutter Drainage Again

The first drain pipe in installed by the side of the garage works perfectly. 1st drain pipe The second one i made doesn’t. 2nd drain pipe

There’s 2 reasons why it doesn’t work. First, all the soil in my backyard is clay, which doesn’t let the water drain. Second, is that my backyard is basically flat, which also doesn’t let the water drain.

So i tried extending the pipe another 10 feet.

assembling PVC pipe for drainage in the backyard, roof drain, gutter
Then instead of just backfilling the trench with clay i added, then compacted, logs and grass clippings.
more PVC pipe needed for roof drain, underdrain, trench, backfill, sandPVC pipe from gutter to backyard, better drainage I then put the dirt back on top of that. I’ll probably have to fix this again next year.

Homemade Welder Cart - Harbor Freight Welder

How to Install a Garage Door

 Fix Garage Door

When i bought my house several years ago it came with this old 1/2 horse power Sears garage door opener.  It worked, sort of.  The remote control was the biggest problem, sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.  For some reason whenever it got cold outside the garage door remote wouldn’t work.  The other big problem with the opener was that it was made before the days where little kids getting crushed was a concern.  There were no safety sensors and when you pressed the button to shut the door, it shut.  It didn’t stop for anything.  After installing my new opener i realized that there might have been an adjuster knob but i’m not sure there was one.  The final thing wrong with the old opener was that it was loud.  I tried spraying WD-40 on the gears and chain but when it was running the whole garage used to shake.  This is what the old garage door opener looked like.

Sears garage door opener, how to fix a garage door, old sears garage

So whether your garage door opener is broken or old, a new opener will make a big difference.  Here’s pictures and steps of how i installed my new garage door opener.  First i had to lower the old garage door opener from the ceiling brackets.  The Sears opener was really heavy.  Though i’m not saying that it was a bad thing.  Back then everything was made out of steel, which is why it lasted this long.  I’d be surprised if my new opener lasted as long.  

I had to climb up and remove 2 bolts, then lowered the opener onto a ladder.  After unhooking all the wires i then i went to the other end near the door and removed the cotter pin.  

how to fix a sears garage door opener, repair garage door, 1/2 hp garage door opener

 Craftsman Garage Door

After reading lots of reviews I decided to buya Craftsman 1/2 hp, chain drive, garage door opener.  It was a good combination of value and reliability, costing less than $145.  It came with 2 remote openers, an outside keypad, a wired button to open and turn on the lights and infrared safety sensors.

Here’s what the Craftsman opener looked like.

how to install craftsman garage door opener, 1/2 hp, craftsman garage door

Another company i was looking at was Chamberlain, but their garage door openers seemed to be more cheaply made.  More expensive openers used a belt drive and had battery backup.  They usually cost more than $250.   The belt drive is suppose to be quieter, for people who have rooms above their garages.  Typically if you live in an apartment or condo type of house.  I was never that bothered by the noise so i didn’t need the belt drive.  I guess the battery backup must be for the rare occasion when you don’t have any power but need to get your car in or out of the garage.  You could always just pull the cord and manually open the door though.  So that’s another thing i didn’t need.

The garage door motors also come in 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 horse power but for the size of my door i just got the 1/2 hp motor.  I figured it would work since that’s what i already had.  The new opener was about half the size and also half the weight as the old Sears opener.

craftsman assemble garage door, how to, garage door installer

This is what it looked like when it was all assembled.  I have to say that when i opened up the box it looked very daunting.  I was worried that i wouldn’t be able to put it together correctly, but it turned out to be much easier then i thought.  Just connect the arm to the opener, then attach and correctly tighten the chain.

video install garage door opener, how to

How to Install a Garage Door Opener

One big advantage i had was that this was not a brand new garage door install.  All of the brackets and holes were already in the right place.  So all i had to do was remove the old hardware and install the new ones.  Otherwise i would have had to do a lot more measuring and figuring out were everything went.  Also many people have to reinforce their garage door with some metal angle iron.  Mine was a dual wall door so it didn’t need reinforcement, i just mounted the bracket arm directly to the garage door.

Here’s the point at which i had the old Sears garage door opener down and the new Craftsman garage door opener ready to go in.

how to replace old garage door opener

This is what i was talking about when i said i had it easy.  These 2x4’s were already in place and the bracket was already mounted.  So i just removed the old one and put this bracket in the same spot.  I didn’t have to bother with the instructions for height and angle of door adjustments.

craftsman, garage door opener bracket, mount, wall, board, wood

After the bracket was attached i just had to lift up the arm and chain and connect it to the wall with the cotter pin.

attach rail to door, garage door opener, how to, spring

This is what it looked like before i attached the motor to the ceiling.  I needed the ladder for the front so i had to use a sturdy shelf to hold up the motor.

tips for installing garage door, how to, easy, video

Garage Door Installers

Getting to use the existing steel brackets was super easy.  Otherwise i would have had to locate the studs in the ceiling then cut, build and attach the frame.  But since it was already there i just yanked on it a bit until the holes lined up with the new Craftsman garage door opener motor mounts.  Then i just plugged it into the outlet that was already in the ceiling.

garage door opener ceiling mount bracket, make, metal

This is the new button that is wired to the opener.  The gray part is the open/close button and the bottom is for the lights. 

garage door opener button, wire, how to, switch, open, light

Since the old garage door opener didn’t come with safety sensors i did have to cut and attach 2x4’s to act as spacers.  There were options that these could attach directly to the door wheel track but i just figured that this would be easier and be out of the way.  These go on each side and will prevent the door from closing if their beam is interrupted. 

garage door opener safety sensor, how to mount to wall

The final thing i did was adjust the force and travel that the door closed with.  They were adjusted on the garage door motor with 2 different twist dials.  I had to watch a few youtube videos and use a bathroom scale to make sure it closed with the correct amount of force.

But that was it.  It was a fairly easy weekend project.  Now we can park in the garage without having to get out of the car and push the button from the inside.  And thanks to the big shelf i built in the garage, there’s enough space to fit a car easily.

Rustic Outdoor Cooler Stand - Wood Pallet


Another project that I started working on was a rustic cooler stand, which is made out of old wood pallets.  This is another one of those projects Karrie saw on Pinterest.  The cool thing about it is that it’s not supposed to look brand-new, using old wooden pallets it supposed to have that hand-built rustic look.  What’s also nice is that you can get wood pallets for free, so the project shouldn’t actually cost anything to build.

The first thing I had to do was get the wood pallets themselves.  There are lots of shops and stores that leave them out in the back for people to take.  At least I think they’re for people to take.  I ended up getting three or four pallets from behind Home Depot.  They had about 60 of them all stacked up.

One thing I would suggest is make sure you are picky about the pallets you are taking.  Here’s a picture of a palette that it didn’t even use. 

wood pallet cooler stand, rustic cooler stand, free wood pallet

The wood from this pallet wasn’t good enough, there were too many splits down the middle and the boards didn’t match up the other palette boards.  That’s one thing you have to consider is that with the mix match of different types of pallets you might end up getting boards that have different length, widths and thicknesses.  I should have spent more time picking out better pallets, that had consistent size and better quality.

I had already sketched up a few plans of what I wanted to make.  You can see all the different handle designs that i was thinking of.  Also how high to make it and whether or not to have it on wheels.

rustic cooler stand pallets, how to make a cooler stand out of a wood pallet

It turned out that Karrie didn’t like any of my ideas for making a handle, so she said she would pick one out.

Then i had to come up with a good idea the basic framework and how it all would all fit together.  I wasn’t sure about the exact fit but I figured it would kind of worked itself out as I went along.  I planned on making the frame out of 1x3 pine with a 1” gap all the way around the cooler.

plans, dimensions, size, make a wood cooler pallet stand,

The next thing I had to do was break the pallets down.  This ended up being one of the harder parts of the whole job.  I had to use my 3 pound sledgehammer and a crowbar.  The difficult part was that the pallets were actually put together really well and I had to remove the boards without damaging them too much. 

break wood pallet for boards, cooler stand, project from pallet wood

No matter how careful you are, there is going to be some damaged areas because of the nails that the pallets are to have in them.  But if you can get one good side of the board that’s all you really need.  The damaged part of the board can be put on the inside.

At first I broke down three pallets and thought that would be enough.  I didn’t end up getting every board from the pallets, I had to pick and choose because some of the boards were too damaged or to split in half.  I ended up having to go back and get another pallet because I ran out of boards to use for the legs and lid. 

coleman cooler, make cooler stand, bbq, grill, party

Here’s the pile of wood I thought that would be enough.  And next to it is the cooler that Karrie and I had bought a few months earlier.

I noticed that in a lot of these cooler stand plans people would remove the lid of the cooler and attach it to the lid of their stand.  Removing the lid like that and attaching it to the stand meant that the cooler could not be used for anything else.  Karrie and I didn’t want to do that, we wanted to be able to remove the cooler and take it with us for other things.  That’s why in my plans I designed it to have a wood lid which is separate from the cooler lid.  You’ll see what i mean later.

The first thing I had to do to get started is build a frame for the cooler to sit in.  I used 1x3 and 1x2 pine boards for this.  Once again I simply used glue and my new nail gun.  The 18gauge nail gun made work go by very fast. 

basic cooler stand frame, wood, build, make

Here you can see that I’ve made the walls of the frame out of 1x3’s and then used 1x2’s as the bottom supports to hold the cooler.  I hope it will be strong enough to hold the weight was the cooler is filled with everything.  And like i said earlier I made the frame slightly big so that we could reach in and lift the cooler out by its handles.

how to make a wood cooler stand from pallet

Here’s the finished inner frame.  You can see the gaps on the front and sides.  I sort of guessed on the height.  Not knowing how thick of boards i was going to use from the pallets.

outdoor wood cooler stand, rustic, pinterest

Actually when I was assembling it I didn’t have any wood glue left but I did have a tube of liquid nails.  That ended up being an advantage because everything took a lot of glue, there was lots of surface area. 

liquid nails, frame, wood boards, pine, nails

Once I finish the basic framework I started to attach pieces of palette boards to the sides.  Again i used Liquid Nails and the nail gun.

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Here’s what it looks like after the entire case frame was wrapped.  All of the nail holes you see were from the large nails used to assemble the pallets, not the small 18gauge nails i used.

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Next I wanted to check to see how high to make it.  So I set it on top of two milk crates to get an idea.  I figured that 36 inches high would be all right although I was planning on adding wheels to the bottom which may would’ve made it a few inches higher.

building a pinterest wood cooler stand

I ended up making it 40 inches high because I had a palette boards that were 40 inches long.  I figured I could always cut it down shorter at the end.  So I started attaching the 40 inch legs with more Liquid Nails and the nail gun. 

glue wood pallets, boards, cooler

Once again this was another project that I can imagine making without the ease and convenience of my air compressor and nail gun.  It would’ve taken hours and hours of either pre-drilling and using screws or hand nailing everything together.  Plus with the nail gun it only leaves tiny marks that people can’t see.  It’s a much cleaner look.

Here is a view of the basic frame and legs assembled.  The legs are just 8 boards, 2 at each corner, which make a corner.

free wood cooler stand, wood pallets

You can see other several layers of words starting with the 1x3 on the inside and the different pallets layering outwards.

how to build a cooler stand, free wood pallets, boards

Here’s what it looks like with the cooler inside.  It’s okay but the cooler would have to be raised in order for the lid to open freely when I the table surface.  That wasn’t a big deal, i just glued and nailed 2 additional 1x2’s in the bottom to raise it up.

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Next I used wood from another pallet to make the table surface.  I wanted to use wider boards so that people could set drinks on it if they had to.  Again this is why it’s a good idea to spend a little more time being picky when selecting the pallets to use.  Longer wood for the legs then wider boards for the table top.

my rustic wood pallet cooler design

After the surface was done I started to make the lid which would cover the cooler.  Again I used wood from a different palette which all had the correct thickness and width.

building a lid for my cooler stand

I left a few inches gap at the back just to make sure it would open up without catching the cooler lid.  Then I had to decide which direction to align the boards. I tested it with boards going horizontally.

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And then I did it with the shorter boards going vertically.

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I decided that the shorter vertical boards looked better.  So I put some glue on their edges and nailed them in place.

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 This is with the lid built and just sitting on top.  The 2 clamps are on there because the front board was a little warped and i was trying to get them to align flush with the edge boards while the glue was setting.

wood pallet cooler stand, pinterest

The finishing touches were to attach the bottle opener to one of the front legs.

bottle opener, wood pallet cooler stand

And then I had to figure out how to attach the hinges.  I never really came up with the correct way to do this.  No matter what I tried it seemed like there was always a gap or else the lid would not open up correctly. 

brass hinges, cooler, nails, lid

I figured it wasn’t that big of a deal the rustic cooler was just to be outside.  It turns out that there’s a small half-inch gap at the back which tapers down flush in the front.  But i doubt that anyone will notice.

how to attach the lid to the wood cooler stand

After Karrie and i looked at it we decided that it wasn’t very heavy and so wheels weren’t necessary.  But it would have to be shortened.  Like i said earlier, i only made the legs 40” high at first because that’s how long the boards were.  I used a hand saw and cut the final height down to 36” high.

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There was just 2 more things that needed to be done.  First was a quick sanding.  Nothing extensive, but i did use a belt sander on the surface to try and smooth that out since people will be putting drinks on it.  The second thing i had to do was add two more boards in the bottom of the rack.  The cooler was too low and the lid wasn’t completely opening all the way.  So these two 1x2’s raised it up just enough.

wood cooler stand, rack, water, leak

The last thing was to find the right handle.  One night Karrie and i went to Hobby Lobby and found these.  It’s actually a handle and bottle opener. 

old rustic handle and bottle opener, hobby lobby

We really liked the look of the handle and for another dollar, just bought the bottle opener too.  So attached the new handle and switched the original bottle opener i had with this one.  And the cooler stand was done.

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Here’s a closer look at the handle and opener.  They tie in with the rustic look of the whole thing.

free rustic pallet wood project, cooler stand

Here’s a view from the front with the lid open.

simple cooler stand pallet

One thing that i was worried about which turned out to be no problem at all was the lid.  I was thinking about all different ways in which i could stop it from opening too much, but it just ended up stopping itself. You can sort of see from this picture that with the wood lid open it stops when it hits the wood top.  Real simple and something that shouldn’t break.

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Overall i’m happy with how this turned out.  Also it went pretty fast since the rustic look doesn’t require tight joints and perfect cuts.  Just my kind of project.