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Thread: Two very different Christmas projects

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, Louisiana
    Posts
    13

    Two very different Christmas projects

    I'm a very novice woodworker so keep that in mind looking at these projects. This is the first year I was able to give hand made items for Christmas.

    The first project is a "Cowboy Cooler" I made for my sister and brother-in-law. I made it out of pallet lumber. The spigot ties in to the drain on the cooler. No serious woodworking skills required for this one.







    The second Christmas project is one I'm really proud of. It's the finest thing I've made so far. It is a shadow box to display my dad's medals and other items from his time in the Marine Corps in Vietnam. Again, the source wood was pallets! I used the rails instead of the slats as they were thicker. I don't have a planer, so I dimensioned them with my jointer and table saw. I went with a Greene & Greene style and hand made the pegs out of oak and stained them ebony (I can't afford real ebony!). A couple coats of Watco Danish Oil for the finish.






  2. #2
    Very nice work. Ironically, I like the cooler more. Very creative and personal. The shadowbox is beautiful, and considering where the wood come from, it is quit a wonderful work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Pacific, Mo.
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    Real nice work. I like the cooler idea and the shadowbox will be a real treasure.
    Making new friends on SMC each and every day

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Pensacola Florida
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    Heath, I think both of the projects are really great and thoughtfull gifts, but I also think that cooler is my favorite...I might have to make one for the LOML
    Dave

    IN GOD WE TRUST
    USN Retired

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northern Half of NY
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    59
    I really like them both, being a military man myself I have to give a kudos to the shadow box of course, but I may have to make one of the cooler boxes. It really is amazing what you did with pallet wood, that stuff can be pretty tough.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    216
    Nice cooler, I am currently making one for a wedding present. Any tips on attaching the spigot to the cooler? Wondering if it is tricky to make it leak proof... Also, did you allow the cooler to be removable? I don't think it's necessary but just curious...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    39,381
    Both are great projects! And I really like how you did that "cowboy cooler"...great idea.
    --

    Equestrian Sports. The most fun you can have with your boots still on...


  8. #8
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    Seabrook, TX (south of Houston)
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    Really nice projects. I would like to hear the story of the trapped recon patrol from your Dad. Thank him for me for his service.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, Louisiana
    Posts
    13
    Thanks for the compliments guys. I was really quite proud of both projects, but the shadow box was the most challenging because it required more hand tool work and more precision. Plus, it was for my dad and was a lot more personal.

    The cooler can be removed. It sits on a shelf and is a good snug fit in the box, but is only "attached" via plumbing to the spigot. The cooler I bought didn't have a drain, so I bought one from the "cooler repair parts" section at Academy Sporting Goods. (I didn't even know you could get repair parts until recently.) I had to drill a 1-1/8" hole for the drain in the cooler. I put the drain in the bottom instead of on the side to make it easier to run the plumbing to the spigot. The drain had a threaded cap on the outside but the threads didn't match any threaded PVC coupler. A slip coupler (I think it was 3/4"?) fit pretty snug over it and I used caulk to give it a good seal. An elbow, a couple short pieces of pipe, and a threaded coupler tied it in to the spigot.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, Louisiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rimmer View Post
    Really nice projects. I would like to hear the story of the trapped recon patrol from your Dad. Thank him for me for his service.
    You can read the scanned newspaper article here.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
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    Great work on both! The cooler is sure unique!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Stony Plain, Alberta
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    2,702
    Great Christmas presents Heath.
    Even better as they are recycled....
    The next ones you make we will call "pallet projects"

    Nice job again!
    Thanks for the post.

  13. #13
    Great work, Heath. Like the others, the cooler sort of catches your eye. But, the workmanship on the shadow box is great, as is the design. You did an excellent job on both of them, and considering the source for the wood, you did fantastic!! They make pallets from that wood because it is usually too rough for anything else! You turned it into some very attractive projects.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Atlanta , Ga.
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    3,970
    Love the cowboy cooler and frankly.. have never seen one. I suppose I don't get out much.

    But... I also love the hand-work on the shadow-box. You did an excellent job of camfering those throughs. And I am sure your dad is proud of it just as you are proud of your dad which you should be....

    I read the news-paper clip and as soon as I saw Da Nang I know your dad was with 1st Marines down in the Happy Valley-Da Nang region. I was a Hunter-Killer team leader on a 6 man team with P Co. 75th Ranger Reg. Army under tactical command of 3rd Marines up on the DMZ Head-quartered in Quang Tri Firebase.

    We hooked up with both Marine Recon platoons and Scout Snipers on several occasions. Your dad can attest to the fact if you get pinned down Huey Gun-ships and Puff the Magic Dragon (C-47 Gooney bird with gattling guns on one side) is your friend. He probably doesn't give many details but I can assure you your dad endured some great hard-ships both physically and mentally doing time with Recon.

    With that said.. give your dad my highest regards coming from an Army Ranger who never en-counted a Marine in VN I would not trust my life too. They were just that dedicated at "Getting er Done".. trust me!

    Regards.... sniper Tom
    Sarge..

    Woodworkers' Guild of Georgia
    Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Baker City OR
    Posts
    233
    I too really like the cooler.

    The emblem on the front is taken from a sculpture called "End of the Trail".

    I grew up not far from this bronze version:

    trail.jpg
    Stan

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