Keep it cool

Make a braai feature from your cooler and a pallet or two.

What you need:

  • 1 x cooler box (preferably a used but functional one)
  • 2 x T-hinges
  • 2 x 500mm small black chains
  • 1 x 13mm brass tap
  • 1 x 13mm straight coupler
  • 1 x tube silicone sealer
  • 4 x 4mm x 12mm dry-wall screws (for the chain)
  • 80 x 4mm x 40mm full-thread cut screws
  • Clear wood sealer


Hand saw or cut-off mitre saw, cordless drill/driver and square bit, counter-sink bit, belt sander, tape measure, pencil.

Cutting List:

  • 4 x 900mm x 90mm x 22mm (legs)
  • 4 x 900mm x 65mm x 22mm (legs)
  • 8 x 700mm x 90mm x 22mm (front and back panels)
  • 8 x 345mm x 90mm x 22mm (side panels)
  • 6 x 700mm x 110mm x 22mm (bottom and lid)
  • 2 x 700mm x 55mm x 22mm (bottom and lid)
  • 2 x 700mm x 50mm x 22mm (inner framework – lid)
  • 2 x 346mm x 50mm x 22mm (inner framework – lid)
  • 2 x 748mm x 50mm x 22mm (outer framework – lid)
  • 2 x 394mm x 50mm x 22mm (outer framework – lid)

* These dimensions will have to be tailored to your cooler box.

1. Measure your cooler box and cut the timber according to the cutting list*
2. Assemble the four legs. To do this, screw the 900mm x 90mm pieces to the 900mm x 65mm pieces, as per the diagram. Drill pilot holes and countersink holes for the screws.
3. Place two legs on a flat surface and join them using four front/back panel pieces, starting flush at the top of the legs. Repeat with the other two legs.
4. Join the two pairs of legs with four of the side panel pieces at each end, much as in the previous step.
5. Place the four legs upside down. Screw two 700mm x 110mm slats to the bottom edge of the side panels followed by one 700mm x 55mm slat, and then another 700mm x 110mm slat.
6. Make the lid’s inner framework box by screwing the two 700mm x 50mm pieces to the two 346mm x 50mm pieces. Attach the three remaining 700mm x 110mm slats and the last 700mm x 55mm slat to the top.
7. To finish the lid screw the 748mm x 50mm and 394mm x 50mm outer framework pieces to the existing lid framework, flush with the top of the lid slats.
8. Place the lid on the box and fit the T-hinges.
9. Remove the existing plastic hinges that join the plastic cooler box lid to the cooler box. Apply silicone adhesive to the plastic lid and press it into position inside the lid.
10. Mark where the drainage plug for the cooler box is, and drill a hole in the wooden box for the tap. Push the tap through this hole…
11. … and through the drainage hole in the cooler box. Seal around the pipe and fitting with adhesive sealant, on both the cooler box and wooden box.
12. Secure the two supporting chains to the lid and box, one on each end. Sand and seal the wooden assembly.
The Gardener