Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Nice Cold Drink, Anyone?

Did you see the teaser video from the other day that I posted on Facebook?  If you did, it's pretty obvious what we just built.  An OUTDOOR COOLER!  And it weighs about 367 lbs.  No lie.

There were no plans in the near future to build an outdoor cooler.  And when I say "in the near future" I actually mean I didn't have ANY plans to build one.  At all.  But months ago when we were out shopping for things for Emily's room, we found a cute piece of wood with a bottle opener on top and a box attached on the bottom to catch the bottle tops.  While it was certainly "cute"- it wasn't worth the ridiculous price Michael's was charging for it, nor was it made with any sort of quality wood.  It was definitely something that we could have knocked out in about 10 mins with scrap wood in the garage.  If only....

What we did walk away from Michael's with, however, was just the bottle opener that was also sold separately.  Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, when Hot Toddy got it in his head to build an outdoor cooler.  We scoured the Internet for ideas, to see what we liked or didn't like.   Then we watched a How-To video on YouTube and we were off to Lowes.

We picked up a few more pressure treated 2X4's for the legs and cut them to size.

Oh and can we just talk about our drill game we've got going on?  Does one REALLY need three drills?  The answer is yes, yes you do.  One for the drill bit, one for the counter sink bit, and one for the screw bit.  It makes life so much easier and eliminates a lot of wasted time changing drill bits.  

Once the legs were done, we needed to make the frame and base that would hold the cooler.  We purchased an Igloo 52 quart cooler from Target for around $20.  The cooler needs to sit flush with the top of the frame around it, so we worked upside down for most of this part.  

Once we had the frame done, we attached the legs.  

Now we put the cooler back into the frame to make sure that it still fit.

Since the cooler isn't being held by anything in the above pic, next up was the base that the cooler would sit on.  

Again, done upside down so that we made sure the top of the cooler remained flush with the frame.  All of these steps were done with 2X4's.  But everything else that follows we either used 2X2's or 1X4's.  

Now that we had the base done, we added a shelf on the bottom for support and function.  

Now came time to "hide" the cooler.  

Next came adding the cover.  This part was tricky because you want to make sure that the Igloo cooler top shuts to the bottom of it.  It will defeat the point of the "cooler" if it doesn't seal and keep everything inside cool.   So the plastic top had to remain on/in the bottom and we built around it with the wood.  Then we added the hinges to the back, all while marking sure the plastic top was still sealed on/in the cooler and screwed the frame into the plastic top.  

We then added the top pieces to now cover the white plastic part of the cooler.  

We added a handle to the front of the top.  We so fancy.  

Then came time to figure out the plug and drain features.  We had to remove what was in the cooler when we bought it because there was no way for us to access the plug now that there was wood around the entire cooler.  So off to Lowes...and then Menards to get what we needed.  Basically a 5" pipe, a spicket, and a nut.

We brought it outside and filled it up with water to see if there were any leaks or if what we did actually worked.  Thankfully, there was no leaking!  Yay us!

We added the bottle opener and went and purchased a magnetic galvanized bucket to "catch" the bottle caps.  

And if you did see the video, you saw that the cap bounced right out of the bucket.  So we'll need to figure out that piece.  Also, we lowered the shelf to about 3 inches above the ground.  It was originally way too high to be functional.  Now it's the perfect height for extra twelve packs.  HAH!  

Oh and of course I wasn't going to leave the galvanized bucket that color.  It totally looked out of place with the dark hinges, handle and bottle opener.  So back into the garage it went and got a fresh coat of paint.  Now it matches much better!  

Here's the back of the bucket that shows the magnets and leg showing how we added washers to make the magnetic area larger in hopes it stays where it's supposed to.  If it doesn't, I'm taking a drill to it and permanently attaching it.    

Now it's time to fill her up with ice and beer and enjoy sitting outside!!!!!!

PS- Eventually this and the two outdoor couches will get stained but we need to let them dry out completely- about a year- before we can do that.  But stay tuned for the Adirondack chairs new stain color that we did last weekend!  They are beautiful!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Adding Seating to the Backyard

I hope everyone is having a nice, relaxing Memorial Day weekend.  We were supposed to have rain all weekend, but it held out yesterday until just after dinnertime and today looks like it's going to be gorgeous.  Which makes this post even better!  We built more outdoor seating, bitches!!

About 4-5 years ago- I purchase end of the season clearance outdoor cushions.  I got 6 seat cushions and 6 pillows.  They were super cheap- probably around $6-7 each so more than 50% off whatever the original price was.  They went into my garage.... where they've collected saw dust until yesterday.
I had found plans on Ana White's website for an outdoor sectional (again 4-5 years ago) and have had them printed out and filed in my "to-do pile" in the laundry room.  It consisted of individual pieces put together to make a sectional so I could make any arrangement of them since they weren't attached to each other.  If I wanted 2 on one side and 4 on the other, I could do that.  Or I could keep it 3 on each side.  Or I could just have 6 individual chairs.

Hot Toddy and I started talking about the sectional a couple weekends ago and we finally planned on picking up the wood.  I jumped back onto Ana's website to see if there were any new outdoor plans or if I should just stick with what I already had.  Seeing as though the cushions fit this particular sectional.  She did have something else- a couch sectional that she made.  And I liked this one so much better.  The only drawback was that they'd be more permanent in how the layout would be set up.  Either an L-shape or across from each other as two separate couches.  BUT- most importantly, each couch fit three 24x24 cushions perfectly!  SOLD!  Now I just had to convince Todd.  And by "convince" him, I mean- tell him what we were doing.  HAH!

So off to Lowe's we went to pick up the pressure treated wood.  We ended up with 28- 2x4x8 boards.  They didn't have 10 ft boards (or I can't fit 10 ft boards in my SUV), which is what the plans called for and we ended up with a LOT of scrap- 18 boards left 2ft per board unusable.  We will definitely use it for something else down the road, but if you are going to build just the couches, get the 10ft boards.  You'll probably need a lot less than what we ended up having to purchase.  We used deck screws since the couches will remain outside all spring/summer/fall long.... and let's be honest, probably all winter long as well cuz I'm lazy like that.  We counter sunk the screws so we'll do the same thing that we did with the Adirondack chairs and plug them with wood plugs so you don't see the screws.   But other than a couple modifications to Ana's plans, it was pretty straight forward.  You really just need a miter saw and drill.  We used three drills cuz we fancy like that.  But seriously though, if you have 3 drills, it's super convenient.  We had one with the drill bit, one with the counter sink bit, and one with a Phillips bit.

We cut the wood for both couches at the same time, leaving us with two piles.

Then we started on the first one.  We didn't build them like we did the chairs last summer, step by step for all 6 chairs so that we completed them all at the same time.  This go around, we built one couch and then did the other.  Probably a good thing too, since they are pretty big and it would have been a hassle trying to walk around them in the garage.  

We followed the steps for all of the below pictures and the steps were pretty easy and self-explanatory.  

 {create the base of the couch}

 {finished base}

 {beginning of one arm}

 {both arms}

 {side piece added to arms to attach the base}

{the outside of the arms}

After attaching the arms to the base, we decided we only needed 5 of the 6 required boards on the base and we'd use the remaining board to attach to the back, because for some reason, the plans only called for one piece on the back.  We both agreed that the pillows would end up pushing through and falling off the back of the couch and lets be honest, they'd be really annoying after a while.  So we attached the 6th board to the 5th board on the base at a ninety degree angle that you can see on the left side of the couch below.   

Then we both scratched our heads on the last piece of the back.  It would only be attached with 2 screws to the arms.  If you have 3 people sitting on the couch and leaning back, 2 screws holding the back piece on made us quite nervous.  Not because my friends are fatties, but because we like to drink and I can only imagine someone throwing themselves back onto the couch and taking the board off with them.  

Because my garage is comparable to a lumber yard, I have extra pressure treated 1x4x8's laying around.  What?  You don't?  Rookies.  So we attached one of those to the back of the arms, with 5 screws each side and then attached the last original board to that, screwing 5 times across the back to attach the boards together.  Much sturdier than 2 screws just on the arms.   

You can really see the additional board in the above picture.  Also you can see all the screws counter sunk.  Again, we will put wood plugs in there and sand them down to you don't even notice them. 

So this is one finished couch.  We didn't check when we first started the project to see how long it would take us.  But we did on the second couch.  Mind you, this doesn't count the time it took us to cut the wood so add on maybe a half hour, if that.  But the second couch took us 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Can't beat that!  While we were building the second couch, it started pouring out, which is why they look like they are two different colors.  

{John Doe!!}

If we wanted to, we could put these in an L shape, we'd just need to move the wood pile over a bit, so we'll see how we like them like this for a bit and decide then if we want to keep them as is or move them.  Cuz that'll be the ONLY time we move them again.  These fuckers are HEAVY!  Obviously, once they dry out, they'll be a bit lighter.  But OH MY WORD- carrying them from the garage to the back yard was a muthafuckah.  

All in all, the boards were $4.80 each x 28 = $134.40 and the deck screws were $6.71 per pack x 2 = $13.42.  So a total of $147.82 plus the $70 in cushions means that you can build yourself two outdoor couches for around $200.  Try purchasing solid wood outdoor seating for that in any store.  You'll be lucky if you can find ONE for under $400.  

For those interested in Ana White's plans that we used, search her site for Outdoor Sofa.  

Now, we are going to relax and grill!  Enjoy your day!!!  Like Hot Toddy is.