R2D2 Beer Cooler / Ice Box




Introduction: R2D2 Beer Cooler / Ice Box

PLAN - Make an R2D2 model that was functional

RESULT - BEER FRIDGE/ICE CHEST R2D2 made from 44 gallon drum


- 44 Gallon drum (drain/burn off contents)

- BBQ lid to fit on top (57cm lid works great)

- Timber for legs

- Primer

- White paint

- Silver and Blue spray paint

- Spray on rust proof sealant (stops spray pain running and makes it more stain resistant)

- Transparencies for stencils

- Cutting blade

- Drill, circular saw, jis saw, angle grinder, hand saw, orbital sander, lathe, jackhammer

- Irrigation fittings

- Old sunglasses lens

- LEDs and wiring/resistors

- Gap filler

- Polystyrene

- Plastic plant pot

- Large plastic bin

Step 1: Prepare the Drum

With a hammer drill chisel, cut the top off

Drain contents and if toxic (oil, petrol) collect it and dump it at the nearest mechanic (they have a collection system there that recycles it)

Wash out or burn off the remaining residue

Even out the inside cut with the angle grinder to remove sharp edges

Step 2: Make the Legs

I made the legs so that the drum would actually sit on TOP of the base of the leg, holding up all the weight.

This meant less stress on the side bolts going into the barrell


- Cut a piece to length

- draw, cut out and sand the shape of the foot

- Measure and cut out the raised outer section of the legs

- Glue and drill from behind the raised section

- Lathe the joins smooth and sand back

- ensure clean edges at this stage for a nice finish

Step 3: Make the Feet

To make the feet, I cut out some lengths at an angle with the circular saw (be careful here)

The inner piece of each foot had a larger "shelf" on top that is where the drum sits on

The outer pieces are thinner at the top

Glue and screw these side pieces in (counter drill to hide screws)

Then cut and fit the smaller triangles that fill the gaps. Watch there you put the screws to not hit the ones already in there

Lathe and sand back the joins to smooth

Fill all the holes with gap filler, dry and sand back

Measure and drill the holes that will go into the drum

Now you are ready to prime and paint the legs and barrel

Step 4: The Lid

Find some irrigation fittings and SCREW and GLUE them into the lid (glue only = likely to fall off)

Seal holes made

Apply primer evenly and then spray the lid silver

For the raised up square I actually found an old whisky bottle box lid that inside was scare and blue

I then cut out a round section from an sunglasses lens and glued that into the whisky lid (see later images)

Step 5: Prepare Drum

Prime EVERTHING with white primer first

Then paint the drum white, but leaving a silver strip at the top using masking tape and silver spray paint

Paint the legs white as well

The easiest way I found to make the inside insulated and waterproof was to:

- find the right plastic bin to fit inside drum

- Main issue was the height, so I used an upside down plastic plant pot to sit the bin on and bring it to the right height

- Drill flower pot into the base for stability

- Fill cavity with broken bits of polystrene

- At the top fill the top edge with gap filler, let it cure and then cut off excess, leaving smooth edge

Step 6: Paint Job

Cut out stencils from transparency paper (durable and flexible)

Spray stencils as desired (time consuming...)

Glue and drill blue box onto lid (last photo)

Go over the stencil edges withe black thin marker to smooth them out

Seal everything with spray on rust protection sealant

Step 7: LEDs

Get a large Red and smaller yellow or white LED

Drill holes where you want them, feel them through and glue them in place

Solder/heatshrink the conections to resistors and battery pack (see separate posts for instructions)

Secure to inside of lid


Overall, I am very happy with the final result !

The only things I would do differently are:

- Apply primer evenly. Because i did not paint over the primer on the lid with "real" wet paint, but spray paint instead, the finish remained irregular and you can see the brush strokes

The drum and legs were fine because I painted them with the white paint

I got most of these ideas from this site, you tube, google etc so look around and make a plan!

Enjoy guys and girls!

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    3 Discussions

    Alex in NZ
    Alex in NZ

    3 years ago

    That is so cool. Awesome!