How to Build a Motorized Beer Cooler

How to Build a Motorized Beer Cooler

A motorized beer cooler is a great addition to any party or event where refreshments are being served. It can be used to keep beer and other drinks cold, and also provides a convenient way to dispense drinks without having to open and close the cooler repeatedly.

Building a motorized beer cooler is not as difficult as it may sound, and can be accomplished with just a few basic tools and materials. In this article, we will walk you through the process of building your own motorized beer cooler, step by step.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • 1/2” plywood
  • 1/4” plywood
  • Plywood saw
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • 1” hole saw
  • 3/4” hole saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Staple gun
  • Heavy duty staplesto attach the plywood to the cooler
  • (2) 3” caster wheels with brakes
  • (4) 1 1/2 “ screws for attaching the plywood to the cooler 4 2” screws for attaching the plywood to the frame of the cooler & 8 washers
  • (4) L brackets
  • (1) 12V DC motor (rated for continuous use) You can find these motors online or at a hobby store
  • (1) 12V DC power supply (must be able to supply at least 3A)
  • (1) Toggle switch
  • (1) SPDT relay You can find these at an electronics store or online
  • 18 gauge wire
  • Wire strippers
  • Crimping tool
  • Electrical tape
  • Drill bit the same size as the wire you are using for the connections between the motor and power supply
  • Large cooler (we used a 54-quart cooler, but you can use a smaller or larger one depending on your needs)
  • Can of spray foam insulation (optional)

Instructions

  1. Start by measuring and cutting the plywood to size. For our cooler, we cut two pieces of 1/2” plywood to fit snugly inside the cooler, and two pieces of 1/4” plywood to fit on top of the cooler.
  2. Use plywood saw to cut the pieces of plywood to size. If you do not have plywood saw, you can use a circular saw or jigsaw.
  3. Use a drill and 1” hole saw to cut a hole in one of the pieces of 1/2” plywood. This hole will be used for the power cord.
  4. Use a drill and 3/4” hole saw to cut two holes in the other piece of 1/2” plywood. These holes will be used for the wheels.
  5. Sand all of the pieces of plywood smooth.
  6. Use a staple gun and heavy-duty staples to attach the 1/2” plywood pieces to the bottom of the cooler. Make sure that the hole for the power cord is facing the side of the cooler where the hinges are located.
  7. Use screws and washers to attach the 1/4” plywood pieces to the top of the cooler.
  8. Attach two caster wheels to each piece of 3/4” plywood using screws and washers.
  9. Use L brackets to attach the frame of the cooler to the plywood platform. We attached ours using 4 screws on each side.
  10. Attach the motor to the frame of the cooler using screws.
  11. Drill a hole in the side of the cooler for the toggle switch.
  12. Wire the toggle switch, relay, and power supply according to the diagram below. Make sure that all of the connections are secure and insulated with electrical tape.
  13. Run the wire from the toggle switch through the hole in the plywood and connect it to the relay.
  14. Connect the other end of the wire from the relay to the positive terminal of the power supply.
  15. Connect the negative terminal of the power supply to one of the wires going to the motor. The other wire from the motor can be connected directly to the ground (any metal surface on the cooler).
  16. Turn the power supply on and flip the toggle switch to the “on” position. The motor should start running and the wheels should start turning. If the motor does not start, make sure that all of the connections are secure and that the polarity is correct.
  17. Once the motor is running, you can use a drill bit to enlarge the holes in the plywood so that the wires have more room to move around.
  18. If desired, you can insulate the inside of the cooler with spray foam insulation. This will help keep your drinks cold for longer periods of time.

Your motorized beer cooler is now complete! Enjoy your cold drinks and never worry about opening a stuck cooler again!

FAQs

Can I use a different size cooler?

Yes, you can use a smaller or larger cooler depending on your needs. Just make sure that the plywood pieces are cut to fit snugly inside the cooler.

Can I use a different type of motor?

Yes, you can use a different type of motor as long as it is rated for continuous use and can run on 12V DC power.

Can I use a different type of power supply?

Yes, you can use a different type of power supply as long as it is rated for continuous use and can supply at least 3A of current.

Can I add more than one toggle switch?

Yes, you can add more than one toggle switch to control multiple motors. Just wire each toggle switch in parallel with the other switches.

Can I use a different type of wheel?

Yes, you can use a different type of wheel as long as it is rated for continuous use and can attach to the plywood platform.

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