There are few things finer in life than sipping on an ice cold beer in your backyard on a lazy afternoon. But having to head back inside to the fridge is a annoyance; especially if your feet are a bit wobbly. This custom ice chest eliminates the problem while giving your backyard some fancy barroom panache.
We spotted this DIY solution over at IKEA Hackers. Joey, from Houston, Texas needed easy access to chilled grog to ward off the summer heat. His solution involved getting hold of an IKEA TARVA chest ($79.99), making a few modifications and inserting an esky into the top.
To make Joey's beer chest you'll need a TARVA three-drawer chest, a plastic cooler/esky and your own toolbox.
Here's Joey on how he built his creation:
The Tarva proved to be a good basis for construction, and I even kept the bottom drawer intact for storage. Since I would be sawing up the top surface to create a hatch, I had to put some additional structural supports underneath it. This also served to attach the hinges for the top hatch.
Instead of measuring out how deep the supporting floor had to go (keeping in mind the additional layer of insulation I was putting in) I put everything in upside down, making sure the top lid of the cooler (screwed into the hatch) would nicely fit into the main body, once everything would be assembled.
Additionally I built a drainage in the bottom of the cooler, so you don't have to turn the entire chest upside down to let the melt water out.
At this time it was a good moment to try out the functional assets of the chest, to much content of my buddies. The test run proved successful (the beers were nice and cold), the drainage had some leakage issues. Good thing we tested it before sealing everything up! Once the leakage issues had been solved (plumbers putty to the rescue!) I finalized all insulation front, back, and sides and glued the remaining two drawer fronts to close everything up.
I then applied some walnut stain on the bare pine wood. I made sure to quickly wiped it down before it dried, so to keep the overall look light, but enhancing the wood texture. Some layers of clear stain to make it weatherproof and a touch of spray paint layer and the chest was completed.
You can see a bunch of photos of the construction process over at IKEA Hackers. We'll definitely be filing this one away for summer! (Make mine a Corona.)
[Via IKEA Hackers]