Wooden Ice Chest-what is suitable thickness of styrofoam to use? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 18 Old 03-11-2011, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Bay, Ontario
Posts: 127
View Burnt_Blade's Photo Album My Photos
Wooden Ice Chest-what is suitable thickness of styrofoam to use?

I have been thinking of trying to make my own ice chest lately and one of the things been wondering was just how thick of styrofoam to use. Would 2" of the white type be fairly good? Or maybe go for thicker? Was thinking to be able to use frozen jugs of water in the bottom with a grate on top of them.

Has anyone tried to make their own ice chest? I have a big Coleman 7 day cooler which is awesome for what it is, but I have made a wooden grub box and was thinking of constructing a ice chest to look and operate along the same lines and be a matching pair. If it works out it should be a neat set up.
Burnt_Blade is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 Old 03-11-2011, 03:07 PM
Senior Member
 
Fishbucket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Petaluma,Ca.
Posts: 444
View Fishbucket's Photo Album My Photos
I'd think 2 inch of foam would be plenty. maybe even 1 1/2 inch. The wood is an insulator too.

The bigger issue is the wood getting wet. are you going to line it with a galvinized box,plastic or epoxy?

I cut it 3 times..... and it's still too short.

Dont go ninja'ing anybody that dont need no ninja'ing...

Last edited by Fishbucket; 03-11-2011 at 06:09 PM. Reason: missed a word.
Fishbucket is offline  
post #3 of 18 Old 03-11-2011, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Bay, Ontario
Posts: 127
View Burnt_Blade's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbucket View Post
I'd think 2 inch of foam would be plenty. maybe even 1 1/2 inch. The is an insulator too.

The bigger issue is the wood getting wet. are you going to line it with a galvinized box,plastic or epoxy?
I was thinking to make the liner from thin sheet aluminum and rivet and caulk the seams. The most water I would have to deal with would be condensate from the frozen jugs of water, so would either just dump it out or wipe it with paper towels etc., so wouldn't need to worry about installing some kind of drain.

Using 2" sure does cut down on the usable space inside when trying to keep the whole unit a manageable size though...
Burnt_Blade is offline  
post #4 of 18 Old 03-11-2011, 03:36 PM
sawdust manufacturer
 
txpaulie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SE Texas
Posts: 581
View txpaulie's Photo Album My Photos
The facility that I work in receives items that must be kept cold in transit...

They arrive in cardboard boxes, containing decent sized
(+/- 16"x24") styrofoam coolers, packed with "dry ice"...

We generally have fun with the nitrogen...

The coolers themselves have well-fitting lids on them, and would make excellent "insides" for a wooden box-type porch cooler...

I brought one home for just that project a while back, but left it in a bad place and the ol' lady crushed it with the car...

Anyway, ask or look around for anyplace that does vaccinations, ie. MD's office, vet, walmart, etc.

I'm certain that you'd have luck, and not have to worry too much about seepage...

My plan included a drain plug.

p

...ever notice how "I'm sorry" and "I apologize" mean the same thing, unless you are at a funeral..?
txpaulie is offline  
post #5 of 18 Old 03-11-2011, 04:05 PM
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,847
View rrbrown's Photo Album My Photos
If I was making one I would stay away from the white Styrofoam. I like the Blue Styrofoam it's more dense then the white and it's available in 1 1/2" and 2" thickness in 2' x 8' sheets. It also can be cut on a band saw without tearing up. You should be able to get it at an insulation supplier. Either way you can't epoxy or glass over it because the foam will melt. Well with most things. You ban apply FRP over the foam and seal up the seams to make it water tight. Add a drain and your cooler will last a long time. If you use just the foam it may or may not last depending on how often and who uses it. The foam can be glued with Liquid nail (Construction adhesive).
rrbrown is offline  
post #6 of 18 Old 03-11-2011, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Bay, Ontario
Posts: 127
View Burnt_Blade's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrbrown View Post
If I was making one I would stay away from the white Styrofoam. I like the Blue Styrofoam it's more dense then the white and it's available in 1 1/2" and 2" thickness in 2' x 8' sheets. It also can be cut on a band saw without tearing up. You should be able to get it at an insulation supplier. Either way you can't epoxy or glass over it because the foam will melt. Well with most things. You ban apply FRP over the foam and seal up the seams to make it water tight. Add a drain and your cooler will last a long time. If you use just the foam it may or may not last depending on how often and who uses it. The foam can be glued with Liquid nail (Construction adhesive).
Thanks for the FRP idea, I think that would be even better than the aluminum! Also, never considered that the blue foam was less messy to work with than the white stuff, but makes sense, for it is alot denser. If I can get away with 1.5" foam, that would be much better too, giving me a little more interior room.
Burnt_Blade is offline  
post #7 of 18 Old 03-11-2011, 04:34 PM
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,847
View rrbrown's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnt_Blade View Post
Thanks for the FRP idea, I think that would be even better than the aluminum! Also, never considered that the blue foam was less messy to work with than the white stuff, but makes sense, for it is alot denser. If I can get away with 1.5" foam, that would be much better too, giving me a little more interior room.
I've cut all kinds of shapes out of the blue foam it can be sanded and shaped. The white stuff has to be cut with a heat knife so that it cuts and seals at the same time or you will have rough edges and white beads everywhere. Trust me, I've been there.

1 1/2" blue foam should be plenty good enough. You also have the wood outside and the FRP that will help.
rrbrown is offline  
post #8 of 18 Old 03-11-2011, 04:49 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 8,529
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
The only problem, other than getting wet, with a wooden "ice chest" is the weight. Since you are wanting to match a grub box I assume that this will be used for camping.

George
GeorgeC is offline  
post #9 of 18 Old 03-11-2011, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Bay, Ontario
Posts: 127
View Burnt_Blade's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
The only problem, other than getting wet, with a wooden "ice chest" is the weight. Since you are wanting to match a grub box I assume that this will be used for camping.

George
Yep, I am hoping that the weight will not be too outrageous if I can keep the box to a manageable size.
Burnt_Blade is offline  
post #10 of 18 Old 03-11-2011, 06:13 PM
Senior Member
 
Fishbucket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Petaluma,Ca.
Posts: 444
View Fishbucket's Photo Album My Photos
The Blue foam, being denser, may not insulate as well as the air-filled styro. Check the R values

I cut it 3 times..... and it's still too short.

Dont go ninja'ing anybody that dont need no ninja'ing...
Fishbucket is offline  
post #11 of 18 Old 03-11-2011, 06:44 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 183
View Improv's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnt_Blade View Post
I was thinking to make the liner from thin sheet aluminum and rivet and caulk the seams. The most water I would have to deal with would be condensate from the frozen jugs of water, so would either just dump it out or wipe it with paper towels etc., so wouldn't need to worry about installing some kind of drain.

Using 2" sure does cut down on the usable space inside when trying to keep the whole unit a manageable size though...
I pretty much did that exact thing to make a keg-box for a 4th of July weekend party. I think I used 1/2" beaded foam with Good Stuff to patch the gaps. I would use the extruded polystyrene sheet (pink and blue are just corporate ID colors). To drain it, I just installed a siphon tube, so when the water level rose too high it drain automatically.
Improv is offline  
post #12 of 18 Old 03-11-2011, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Bay, Ontario
Posts: 127
View Burnt_Blade's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishbucket View Post
The Blue foam, being denser, may not insulate as well as the air-filled styro. Check the R values
What a pain to find comparison R values for this stuff... Found r values for the blue stuff on the DOW site, but no luck with the plain jane white bead

The white expanded foam board is 3.6 to 4.0 R-value per inch.
The pink or blue stuff is 4.5 to 5.0 per inch
Polyiso is the best stuff at 7 to 8 R-value per inch (most expensive of course)

Last edited by Burnt_Blade; 03-11-2011 at 06:59 PM. Reason: Found some info:
Burnt_Blade is offline  
post #13 of 18 Old 03-12-2011, 01:22 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Warrington PA
Posts: 78
View CaptRandy's Photo Album My Photos
Burntblade,
Line with PVC board and sandwich insulation board between. Caulk the seams and it will las. Have done it in fishboxes on boat and keep tuna and other fish for the whole trip(24-36 hrs). Engine exhausts run past the fish boxes.
CaptRandy is offline  
post #14 of 18 Old 03-16-2011, 10:52 AM
BBQ Master & Competitor
 
mjdtexan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sɐxǝʇ
Posts: 192
View mjdtexan's Photo Album My Photos
I have a friend down the road who makes those very same ice chest and he sells them. He uses actual coolers though. You can get them every where. He sometimes even uses the cheap white styro ones you can buy at the gas stations. I wanna see what you come up with though when you build yours.

New to woodworking. Knows nothing, wants to know everything.
<--------------Loves Brisket and Pork Spare Ribs

Never pet a burning dog.
mjdtexan is offline  
post #15 of 18 Old 03-16-2011, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Bay, Ontario
Posts: 127
View Burnt_Blade's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjdtexan View Post
I have a friend down the road who makes those very same ice chest and he sells them. He uses actual coolers though. You can get them every where. He sometimes even uses the cheap white styro ones you can buy at the gas stations. I wanna see what you come up with though when you build yours.
So he builds a wooden casing around an existing cooler? Only issue I have with most existing coolers is that they are not very good at keeping your ice for very long. Except for our super dooper Coleman 7 day (which has some seriously thick walls) all of our other coolers don't keep ice that well.

When I build mine, I want to make sure to address that problem as best I can.
Burnt_Blade is offline  
post #16 of 18 Old 03-16-2011, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: North Bay, Ontario
Posts: 127
View Burnt_Blade's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by txpaulie View Post
The facility that I work in receives items that must be kept cold in transit...

They arrive in cardboard boxes, containing decent sized
(+/- 16"x24") styrofoam coolers, packed with "dry ice"...

We generally have fun with the nitrogen...

The coolers themselves have well-fitting lids on them, and would make excellent "insides" for a wooden box-type porch cooler...

I brought one home for just that project a while back, but left it in a bad place and the ol' lady crushed it with the car...

Anyway, ask or look around for anyplace that does vaccinations, ie. MD's office, vet, walmart, etc.

I'm certain that you'd have luck, and not have to worry too much about seepage...

My plan included a drain plug.

p
I like this idea and there is a transport company down the road that transports frozen and refrigerated food, so if there was anyone that knew where to lay your hands on those type of cooler liners, they would be it. If they don't have some themselves...worth asking anyways!
Burnt_Blade is offline  
post #17 of 18 Old 03-17-2011, 07:17 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1
View c_mccann's Photo Album My Photos
2 part pour foam is the way the boat builders insulate refrigerated holds and bait coolers in boats. Google 2-part foam and there are a few mfg's that make it. It is basically heavily catalized polyurathane. You mix part A with Part B, mix and pour into the void. It expands, dries and viola. You trim off the excess with a knife or power planer. I have used home made coolers with this foam and have kept 50lbs of ice cold for over 3 days- the cooler had 2-3" of foam on all sides. Amazing R value.
Figure any place that has air pockets in it will let the cold out.
c_mccann is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to c_mccann For This Useful Post:
mjdtexan (03-17-2011)
post #18 of 18 Old 03-17-2011, 10:38 PM
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,847
View rrbrown's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Burnt_Blade View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by txpaulie
The facility that I work in receives items that must be kept cold in transit...

They arrive in cardboard boxes, containing decent sized
(+/- 16"x24") styrofoam coolers, packed with "dry ice"...

We generally have fun with the nitrogen...

The coolers themselves have well-fitting lids on them, and would make excellent "insides" for a wooden box-type porch cooler...

I brought one home for just that project a while back, but left it in a bad place and the ol' lady crushed it with the car...

Anyway, ask or look around for anyplace that does vaccinations, ie. MD's office, vet, walmart, etc.

I'm certain that you'd have luck, and not have to worry too much about seepage...

My plan included a drain plug.

p


I like this idea and there is a transport company down the road that transports frozen and refrigerated food, so if there was anyone that knew where to lay your hands on those type of cooler liners, they would be it. If they don't have some themselves...worth asking anyways!


It don't take much for dry ice. After Katrina we were going back to work on houses for the week and my brother in law was in charge of getting the dry ice to keep our food and drinks cold. I didn't know he bought $40 worth which really isn't that much but he left it in the bag on top of the food and drinks. We didn't think anything about it. We stopped about 4 hrs later and went to get something to eat. Everything in the top 1/2 of the the cooler was frozen. Cokes exploded the sliced ham shattered it was a big mess. the other 1/2 of the cooler was almost frozen.

All I can say is, lesson learned.
rrbrown is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bombe Chest on Chest CharlesNeil Project Showcase 36 12-31-2010 10:55 PM
Need help to find suitable product! SoFF-OnE General Woodworking Discussion 3 12-19-2010 01:50 PM
Styrofoam components? donnyjay Trim Carpentry & Built-Ins 2 01-14-2010 01:46 PM
Are poplar and beech suitable for rustic furniture? gfisher Forestry & Milling 8 07-12-2009 09:02 PM
Is redwood suitable for a Morris Chair?? Bob.Per8 General Woodworking Discussion 4 01-19-2009 12:01 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome