Grilling on the $20 Weber has been a huge change. I much, much prefer grilling on charcoal, but since I am not lucky enough to have a Weber Performer (some day), the biggest drawback has been that there is no grill table. I’ve done a couple of big cookouts now, balancing trays on the deck posts, running in and out from the kitchen with food, hanging (the ones that can) my tools from the tool holder attachment. It hasn’t made things easy, and has added some unnecessary stress to what should be a completely enjoyable ‘cue.
For a while now, I’ve had my eyes on the many pipe tables you see on DIY and home improvement websites, and I had dreamed of building one of my own with a beautiful butcher block top some days. Those plans got scrapped when I realized I was doing a big BBQ this weekend for JD’s homecoming, and another big cook with the brand new KettlePizza next weekend for Father’s Day. Something had to be done ASAP and the butcher block will have to wait for another day.
I had about a 2″ by 5″ space alongside the railing of the deck that’s not currently being used, so I worked some numbers and found a really nice 24″ x 48″ sheet of no knot furniture grade wood at Lowes for under twenty bucks. I had a basic idea what I was looking for the legs, and the table needed to be around 36″ high (countertop height) but I went through a few different iterations in store before I decided on my final design. At first I was just going to use four 36″ legs and call it a day, but then I decided I wanted to add a little more stability and connect the front legs together, then the back legs together so I could add a shelf to the bottom in the future. This meant using 30″ pipes, plus a tee that comes in around 2″ itself, and then finally a small 4″ section of pipe to finish out the bottom of the legs.
Naturally, there was only one 30″ section of galvanized pipe, and only three piece of 4″ pipe after I had finally came down to this solution. I could have tried to find the rest at another Lowes but I just wanted to get all of my piece and head home. I switched to black pipe, used 5″ feet instead and found all of the rest of my pieces… which I immediately put back after I decided I needed another pipe to connect the front crossbeam to the back cross beam, which meant splitting the crossbeams in half and putting tees there, as well.
After finally getting my shit together, I headed home and started putting it together. Make sure to double check all of your pieces, before you leave, though. One of my flanges was a 3/4″ even though it was in the 1″ box, I’m sure that’s not the only time something like that has happened.
(All pipes listed are 1″.)
- 18″ Pipe x 5
- 30″ Pipe x 4
- 3″ Pipe x 4
- 1″ Pipe Tee x 6
- 1″ Flange x 4
- 10 X 3/4″ Wood Screws x 16
- 24″ x 48″ board of your choosing (3/4″ furniture grade board was used here)
1.) Connect two tees to 18″ pipe. This will connect the front and back crossmembers and provide stability to future shelving.
2.) Connect the remaining four 18″ pipes to open ends of the middle tees.
3.) Connect four tees to the end of each pipe so they face vertically.
4.) Connect the 3″ pipes to the top side of the tees on each corner. (Pictured are 5″ pipes, but the table is now sitting at 38″ and I am going to swap these out for 3″ tees with flanges to drop it down to around 36″ and for extra stability.)
5.) Flip the base over with the feet pointed towards the ground. Connect the 30″ pipes to the top side of the tees on each corner.
6.) Connect the 1″ flanges to the top side of the 30″ pipes.
7.) With the table topside facing down, flip the entire assembly falnge side down onto the bottom of the table top. Having a friend (like AJ) to help with this is beneficial since the pipes will have a tendacy to spin. Attach with 10 x 3/4″ wood screws.
8.) Flip table right side up, place on deck, and get to grillin’!
As stated, the 5″ feet are probably getting swapped out for 3″ feet with another set of flanges, and a shelf will be added to the bottom to hold charcoal, fire gloves, the chimney starter and a few other tools, and possibly some drawers in the future. As for the top, while I do not plan on cutting on it I do want to keep it food safe so I can stretch my doughs directly on the table. Right now I’m just applying a layer of mineral oil daily for the rest of the week (food-grade safe mineral oil can be found at your local drug store) and then will oil as needed, but I’ll probably switch to a mixture of mineral oil and bees wax in the future for longtivity. I haven’t figure out what I’m going to be using for a cover just yet, but I suspect I’ll make do with a grill cover of some sort or make a custom cover from a tarp or something. Updates forthcoming!