Ice chest Air cooler - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 26 Old 07-25-2010, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Ice chest Air cooler

How to make an Ice Chest Air Cooler


I started with an Igloo 40 Quart Maxcold ice chest on wheels. I chose this cooler because it has a flat top and it’s a 5 day cooler. Meaning it will keep ice for 5 days. I cut 2 holds in the lid, one using a 3 ¼ inch hole saw and one with a 3 ½ hole saw. In the 3 ¼ hole I glued a 3” thin wall street 90*. Glueing the street end in the lid. In the bell end I glued an 1 ½ piece of thin wall pipe to be used as a bushing to reduce the size of the opening. This is the end the air blower glues into. Then the blower in screwed to the lid through it’s 2 holes in the feet using 2 stainless steel screws. On the other end of the blower I glued a 3” thin wall male clean-out with a screw in plug.
In the 3 ½ hole in the lid, I glued a 3” thin wall male clean-out with screw-in plug.
Next I mounted a heater core out of a truck to the under side of the lid using 4 stainless steel screws. I used a heater core that has a ¾ inch inlet so it would be the same size as the water pump. In the bottom of the chest rest a 500gph bilge pump that connects to a ¾ inch hose. The other end of the hose connects to the heater core.
I bring this on the job with me now that I am working with an Electrical Contractor. It will cool a room down fairly quick and the ice will last all day and then some.

Academy
Igloo 5 Day Ice Chest $34.99
Attwood 3” turbo in-line Blower Model 1733-4 $22.99

Walmart
Attwood Tsunami Bilge Pump Model 4606-7 $17.96

Lowe’s
1. 3” S&D street 90* $3.88
2. 3” S&D female clean-outs $4.04
2. 3” S&D plugs $2.65
1. White outdoor box $5.77
1. Box cover $1.07
1. Tube silicone caulk $2.28
3ft ¾ tuding $1.47 per foot
1. ½” uf watertight connector $1.98
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Last edited by Handyman; 08-04-2010 at 09:20 AM.
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post #2 of 26 Old 07-25-2010, 06:59 PM
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That's a really cool idea.






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post #3 of 26 Old 07-25-2010, 10:35 PM
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Nice,Patent it!

***For the record*** Ive made hundreds of guitar bodies,never put one together and cant play a note.
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post #4 of 26 Old 07-25-2010, 11:46 PM
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Pretty darned cool!!

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post #5 of 26 Old 07-26-2010, 02:15 AM
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Pretty nice idea, how about some pictures of the guts.
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post #6 of 26 Old 07-26-2010, 09:01 AM
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That's just slicker than owl snot on a greased doorknob!

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post #7 of 26 Old 07-26-2010, 09:25 AM
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Nice! I think this is the same type system race car drivers use to circulate cold water around their core.

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post #8 of 26 Old 07-26-2010, 01:02 PM
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Nice! I have a much smaller battery-operated version similar to that that we bought for hurricane season (the power always goes out). I think it was $20 at walmart. But... I like the bigger beefier version! Now I just need to get a generator.
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post #9 of 26 Old 07-27-2010, 10:01 PM
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Was thinking about this tonight (my garage is insanely hot.. and my AC is on its last leg it seems). Did you try the setup without the heater core + bilge pump design? I'm curious to know how much it truly affects the air temp given the massive airflow and if there is a design alternative that could make this project even less expensive.
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post #10 of 26 Old 07-28-2010, 09:05 PM
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That's awesome. Yes I want to see more pictures. At first glance I thought it jsut blew the air over the ice. Then after reading, you got heat exchangers and more. Need more pictures!!!

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post #11 of 26 Old 07-28-2010, 09:18 PM
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Well, my AC crapped out on me today and it's going to be a week or 2 before I can get the new one in. I went out tonight and bought the parts for this thing, except the blower.. need to find someone that has it in stock or order it asap. After thinking more about this, I see the need (or benefit) of using a heater core. I didn't have any lying around and no junk yards close by so I picked up a generic oil cooler unit from Autozone and am going to try that out. Once I get this done, I'll post some pics as well. Thanks again for the idea. Where do I send my royalties check?
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post #12 of 26 Old 08-01-2010, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bofa View Post
.... I went out tonight and bought the parts for this thing, except the blower.. need to find someone that has it in stock or order it asap. ....?
You can order the blower from Academy.com or go to any place that sell things for boats. The blower was made to blow in or exsaust air from the engine compartment of a boat.

As soon as I can get back up and running online I will post more pictures. I am using our wi-fi at church right now. My internet air card it down.

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post #13 of 26 Old 08-01-2010, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bofa View Post
...... Did you try the setup without the heater core + bilge pump design? I'm curious to know how much it truly affects the air temp given the massive airflow and if there is a design alternative that could make this project even less expensive.
bofa I would like to say that I invented it. But I didn't. I bought one off of ebay for $380.00 to put in my brothers Cecna 210 airplane. after looking at it and what it was made of, I built my own for around $100.00 It may work without the heater core and sump pump but I dont think it will work very good. You can always try it and then add to it after it fails the test. good luck. Handy

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post #14 of 26 Old 08-01-2010, 11:20 AM
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Thanks Handy. I live close to the coast and called or visited 8 different stores and 1 warehouse Friday and none of them had a waterproof model in stock. I'll order them today. What did you use on the end of the bilge pump line to keep ice out? Also, just curious... how loud is this setup?

Last edited by bofa; 08-01-2010 at 07:06 PM. Reason: typo
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post #15 of 26 Old 08-01-2010, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bofa View Post
..... What did you use on the end of the bilge pump line to keep ice out? Also, just curious... how loud is this setup?
The bilge pump has a grated base that only allows liquids through. As for how loud is it? Well about the same as a squirrel cage blower running.

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post #16 of 26 Old 08-01-2010, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Ice Chest Air Cooler update

Some of you wanted more pictures so here you are.
I used a heater core out of an 02 ford 250 because it fit the lid real good. Due to the fact the bilge pump has a 3/4 discharge and the heater core is 1/2 in both pipes I had to use a pipe reducer. On the electrical box on top I added a 3 positional (on/off/on) toggle switch because I made it to have a 12VDC connection and a 110VAC connection. However the 110 has proven it's self to be a challenge. I need a transformer that converts 110VAC to 12VDC at no less than 3.5 amps. Closest I have come in a low volt landscape transformer. But I am not paying $50.00 for one. I will haul the big 12 volt car battery around first.
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post #17 of 26 Old 08-01-2010, 10:05 PM
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Nice, thanks for the pics. I think I'll be good with AC for now, but then again... hurricane season = power outtges so it would be nice to use a battery. You're from La, so you know. =)

I asked about the sound because I was thinking of using 2-3 of the 4" blowers to create a small homemade air filtration box. I've done a bit of research on these in-line blowers and they really move some air.
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post #18 of 26 Old 08-02-2010, 01:52 PM
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Hey Handy.. might have a better option for getting DC power to this thing. I was able to find quite a few AC adapters for laptops/printers/tvs that run 12V at 8-10 amps for about $10. I'd imagine if you can find a computer surplus store around there you could find something similar. Splice the connector and hardwire these things and we might be in business.

I'm having a hard time finding something to hold up to 18-20 amps if I decide to do this filtration unit with 2-3 4" blowers... but it should be fun. Edit.. I'm leaning towards using a computer power supply. I just found one that will run 12v 16 amps. I should make another post to discuss this probably.

Last edited by bofa; 08-02-2010 at 02:06 PM.
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post #19 of 26 Old 09-09-2010, 10:10 AM
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12 dc from 110ac

I have woked on this idea before but the heater core was what I needed to know. Thank you this is going to be awsome for camping in Florida.

The computer power supply is a good idea!

I have a few old parts out cases in the garage the power suppy puts out 12v dc and 5v dc most of them are about 300 watts.
This should be plenty of amps at 12 volts (amps X volts = watts).
I see old discard systems at thrift stores frequently and just replaced the power supply in the Wife's system $21.00. She always gets new, it's worth it.

The laptop supplys are nice but due tend to heat up. A regular supply has an interal fan to help with this and comes in a shiny metal box.

I will be modifying mine to have USB ports to charge my phone and iPod when it is plugged in.

Any thoughts on seperating the pump and fan switch?
Maybe a digital thermostat and relay controls for temperature control. Digital would not need to be level.
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post #20 of 26 Old 09-09-2010, 02:35 PM
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What a heck of an Idea.. Hot summer in a boat cabin, camping in a tent, stuck in a vault,down at the beach, cool down that one room in the house thats always hot.

I must build........

Thanks Alot !!

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