Patio Cooler & Grill Cart Combo




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Today I’m sharing an awesome project to kickoff your summer outdoor entertaining. This Patio Cooler and Grill Cart combo will be home base for your outdoor BBQs. It's made entirely from cedar 1x4's and sports a 48qt cooler and storage for all your grill accessories. You'll love this in your backyard!


  • Tablesaw
  • Miter saw
  • Cordless Drill
  • Brad Nailer
  • Sander
  • Drill bits


  • (12) cedar 1x4x12'
  • 48qt cooler
  • hose bib
  • PVC fittings
  • 3" utility hinges
  • Handle
  • Bottle Opener
  • Hooks

Read the instructable here and you can also get a download of the plans with measured drawings over at my website:

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Step 1: Build Top Frame

The top of my cooler was 23-3/4″ x 13-1/2″. Size to your coolers dimensions.

Assemble the top frame from 2 50" long 1x4's and 3 13-1/2" 1x4's. Opening on left should fit your cooler. Assemble with pocket hole screws

Step 2: Build Legs

Cut 4 1x4's to 38-1/4" long and 4 more to 38-1/4" long but 2-3/4" wide. Join legs with pocket holes on top 13" and bottom 2" where the screws will be covered. Use clamps in the middle to let glue dry.

Step 3: Assemble Sides

Cut 8 sides to 16-1/2" and glue and screw 4 boards together between a pair of legs. Repeat for the other side.

Step 4: Attach Front and Back

Cut 8 boards to 44-1/2" long and connect the side assemblies by joining the pieces to the legs as you did on the sides.

Step 5: Build Storage Bay

Attach 14" long cleats to the inside of the cart on front and back. Cleat should be 18" from right side.

Cut 4 dividers to 15" long and screw into cleats.

Cut 5 15" pieces and 2 17-1/4" cleats and mount them to the bottom of the storage bay to form the bottom.

Step 6: Attach Top Frame to Cart

Using cleats in the storage bay and pocket holes in the cooler bay, attach the top to the cart.

Step 7: Build Storage Bay Lid

Cut 4 pieces of 1x4 to 15-3/4" to form the top. Drill a 1" hole in the middle of an outer board.

Attach all 4 boards together with 2 battens across the bottom.

Cut 4 2"x1-1/2" corner tabs and glue and nail into the corners of the storage bay to hold the top

Step 8: Mount Cooler

Flip cart upside down and place cooler in cooler bay opening, flush with the top.

Cut 3 15" 1x4's and hold them down on the top and secure to the sides with pocket holes.

Step 9: Connect Drain

Use a 1/2" hose bib and 1/2" PVC fittings to replace the drain on the cooler.

Drill a 1-1/4" hole across from the drain and fit the hose bib and fittings to the cooler.

Step 10: Build Cooler Lid

Build a frame around the cooler with 2" wide boards 25-1/4" long for the front/back and 13-1/2" long for the sides.

Attach 3 13-1/2" cleats to the front and back, resting on top of the lid.

Cut 5 25-1/4" boards for the top, 4 full size 1x4's and the middle board cut to fit. Glue the boards down to the cleats with super glue except the middle board. Flip over the assembly and screw the top pieces down to the cleats.

Replace the top and the cooler lid and secure the cooler to the wood top with screws. Put the final center piece in place with super glue and wood glue.

Step 11: Build the Lower Shelf

Cut 2 1" wide 46" long shelf stretchers and 11 16-1/2" slats. Glue and nail the slats to the stretcher evenly spaced.

Step 12: Apply Finish

Apply an exterior grade finish to all parts.

Step 13: Attach Lower Shelf

Attach lower shelf to the legs with screws so bottom is 2-1/2" off the ground.

Step 14: Attach Hardware

Attach 3" utility hinges to the back of the top, a handle on the front, and a bottle opener on the leg.

Load up the cooler with drink and invite your friends over!

Thanks for reading! If you want a download of the plans with measured drawings go to my website:

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    13 Discussions


    2 years ago

    First, this looks beautiful. Stunning. Love the craftsmanship and detail put into this piece.

    A couple questions:

    How is this holding up - weathering/stability?

    Have you filled the cooler up with ice/beer/drinks and how much weight do you think this can hold? I feel Cedar is soft and not sure the strength of this piece.


    3 years ago

    Hi, on th efirst picture of BUILDING LEGS, you use a blue tool to drill screwholes in an angle.

    I have seen more designs using screws from inside out, but i have never seen the tool to make these holes.

    What is the name or brand of this thing? Need to chek online, live in Belgium and never has seen this in any store yet.


    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    BG, take a look at Steve Ramsey on Youtube. He has a video explaining the use of the pocket hole jig.

    mtbike2 BG_instructs

    Reply 3 years ago

    It's a kregg jig. They are the best known but others make it. You can make one yourself also. I made a very simple one from a cut off piece of 2x4 and a piece of aluminum fuel line. Aliexpress has similar pocket hole jigs and can ship to belgium


    3 years ago

    Sneak in a couple of neodynium magnets into the leg under the bottle opener to catch those caps as they fall from the opener :)

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    I thought about that but decided not too since the cedar is so soft I figured it would be scratched up pretty easily. I do love that feature though.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Bottle caps falling down shouldn't harm the wood. The pull of the magnets is strong enough to grab the caps, but not pull the cap into the wood, and the finish should protect the wood. (tho the finish might get scratched up over time.) I have a cedar sign I made for when I go to craft shows and used polyurethane on it. It has been tossed in and out of a tub now for 3 years and has held up well.


    3 years ago

    Looks great! I've seen quite a few of these dressed up coolers but I really like the added space with your design. Thanks for sharing

    1 reply