Introduction: BBQ/Braai Table

Picture of BBQ/Braai Table

My first bbq / braai project

Step 1: Find an Industrial Cable Reel

Picture of Find an Industrial Cable Reel
  1. Once you have found your industrial cable reel, roll it into your workshop and smile.
  2. Reason being: the endless possibilities that lie ahead.

Step 2: Sand It Down

Picture of Sand It Down
  1. I decided to make a "sit/stand around" BBQ/Braai table.
  2. Sand it down and get rid of all the nail heads and ends sticking out.
  3. You might need to replace a few pieces of plank depending on the condition.

Step 3: Cut a Hole in the Centre

Picture of Cut a Hole in the Centre
  1. If you have seen one of these before you would know that there are 4 threaded rods running from one end to the other (top to bottom) to hold the reel in place.
  2. You will need to tighten the nuts on these rods for the table to have extra stability.
  3. When you are satisfied with the stability and the smoothness of it you will then need to cut a hole (Circle, hexagon) in the centre.
  4. The hole will have to be within the centre of the threaded rods. In other words the rods will be on the outside of the circumference of the hole.
  5. REMEMBER!!! Before cutting the hole you will need to decide on what size BBQ or Braai you want.
  6. I found that a hole big enough to fit in a 57cm or 22.4in is just perfect.

Step 4: BBQ/Braai Stand Fit In

Picture of BBQ/Braai Stand Fit In
  1. A nice neat cut and the BBQ/Braai stand will fit in perfectly.
  2. You can either make the stand or buy one that you like. I opted to buy one.

Step 5: Varnish

Picture of Varnish
  1. When you are happy that you BBQ/Braai stand fits in properly you can then remove it and get ready to treat and varnish.
  2. I treated with linseed oil and let it set in and dry for about 24 hours.
  3. Once dry, I sprayed on the varnish.
  4. I found that one coat did not really give it the effect that I wanted so I gave it about 3 coats of varnish.
  5. Also, there are a lot of gaps within the slats. Make sure your varnish goes in properly, especially if your area is not under covers.

Step 6: Get Ready to CHOW DOWN

Picture of Get Ready to CHOW DOWN
  1. Let the varnish dry completely for a few days before using.
  2. I let it set for about 2 weeks.
  3. As you can see in the picture. I laced the cut edge of the table with a thick piece of foil.
  4. This helps for a tight fit and also so that the wood around the stand doesn't burn.
  5. Oh and if you wondering about cleaning... its quite simple as the BBQ/Braai stand simply lifts out.
  6. Been using it for about a year now and it's one of the best things I have ever done for family and buddy BBQ/Braai time.


JustinT42 (author)2017-04-10

N bevokte idea... well done!!

zyonchaos (author)2015-11-24

This is brilliant, I think I have found what I am going to do next as an upgrade to my table!

ethicaloffence (author)zyonchaos2015-11-25

Thank you.

Uhm and thank you for your bio-ethanol idea....

I know now what I need to do... next.

klecs (author)2015-09-27

Thanks a lot, I was looking for a alternative for a bbq grill and this project is perfect! I'm thinking about making a small one as a cooler, instead of the grill! Again, thanks a lot!

ethicaloffence (author)klecs2015-09-28

My pleasure and please do show us what you come up with.

pattiemelt (author)2015-09-21

If you're worried about the heat against the wood, you could always use some silicone fireplace or stove caulk around the edge. It's made for temperatures up to about 500°F. You can find it at most big box home improvement stores.

jeffgibbons (author)2015-09-19

daddy just got a new bbq table ,great idea and good job on the instruct

Thank you

katxox (author)2015-08-02

I really like this! You bought a 22 inch kettle bbq? How much smaller do you cut your hole than the diameter of the grill?

ethicaloffence (author)katxox2015-08-02

the BBQ has a lip around the edge which is about 5mm thick. So the hole is about the size of the inside, removable, griller.

katxox (author)ethicaloffence2015-08-02

The silver grate

ethicaloffence (author)katxox2015-08-02

Yip that one.

when you say the size of the hole is the size of the silver grate/grill, most grills come with 2, the smaller one where the charcoal sits and then the larger one where the meat goes. Which one do you use to measure?

Hi CharlieG11

If you use the smaller one then the bowl of the BBQ will only fit in about half way. Therefore I used the size of the larger one, the one where the meat goes.

clanyeup (author)katxox2015-08-02

how do you keep it from burning the wood

Spokehedz (author)clanyeup2015-08-02

The foil is there, but I think that it will be fine after a few times of lighting it up. See here for why:

katxox (author)Spokehedz2015-08-02

Great idea!

ethicaloffence (author)katxox2015-08-02

Thank you

ethicaloffence (author)clanyeup2015-08-02

as specified in the instructions ... I put a thick layer of aluminium foil around the area where the BBQ fits in. I once used it without the foil and the wood started to burn. That was when I realised that I cannot use it without the foil.

DanW16 (author)2015-08-08

I had old office chair w/wheels and used the wheels to put on bottom of reel, just drill and press them in. Nice to easily move that big reel around. Nice Instructable.

ethicaloffence (author)DanW162015-08-11

Thank you.

I guess I will at some point put wheels on it but for now I have it in an area that does not require me to move it around.

TeresaM7 (author)2015-08-02

I would worry that the heat would burn the wood around the BBQ/Braai. Doesn't it get hot? While I realize aluminium isn't a very good conductor, it's still very close to the wood.

Yann (author)TeresaM72015-08-08

HI, I have the same fear as you do.

This project is a great idea, but it would require a better sepration from the wood.table.

ethicaloffence (author)Yann2015-08-10

Hi Yann, After all that's been said about the heat and and and... Bear in mind that I have been using it for about a year now, almost every 2nd weekend and it still stands as strong as it did on day one.

The only time that I did have a problem was that time that I used it without the aluminium foil.

So I would suggest that you put your fears aside, grab hold of a reel, work it as you would like....and BBQ

Peace Out

ethicaloffence (author)TeresaM72015-08-02

that was my initial worry as well. However it worked out perfectly fine.

The upright planks do get hot but not hot enuf to burn up.

TeresaM7 (author)ethicaloffence2015-08-05

Alright, then! Now all I need is one of those big spools. Thank you, ethicaloffence.

islandmargarita (author)TeresaM72015-08-07

TreresaM7: i went to Lowes one night before closing, saw an employee pushing a reel around and i asked to buy it. He was more than happy to get it off his hands free, even rolled it to my vehicle.

ethicaloffence (author)TeresaM72015-08-05

My pleasure TeresaM7

Spokehedz (author)TeresaM72015-08-02

It might burn a bit, but it won't fully combust. The technique is called fire hardening and it is super old.

TeresaM7 (author)Spokehedz2015-08-05

Yes, I'm familiar with it. I didn't spend my childhood as a farm girl in WV for nothing! I suppose the foil between is insulation enough, then. Thanks.

leonf (author)2015-08-04

Hotsh1t idea, i got a reel lying about, got an old weber, got wood & tools.

Will make with seat extentions as suggested by elron.....

ethicaloffence (author)leonf2015-08-04

Thank you. Keep me posted on your project.

luiseduardo586 (author)2015-08-02

Not sure about this, I can't see any insulation againts the wood....charcoal releases a lot of heat, may be a 5 cm coat of furnace cement between the grill and wood will prevent burning.

Furnace cement sounds like a good idea. I haven't seen any responses to the questions about heat. OP, when you've fired this up, have you had an issue with heat against the wood, and how did you deal with it?

Hi Matt

Just wanted to know if you were satisfied with the responses relating to the heat.

Yup, the responses I saw, and more careful reading of some of the comments further down, covered it for me. Thanks!

as previously stated it does get hot around the uprights but not enough to burn it.

Spokehedz (author)matt.pangaro2015-08-02

He might want to burn it some with a torch to make it fire resistant. Yeah, it is a real thing:

msstapleton (author)2015-08-02

I will be stopping by my local electric company Monday. Thanks and an excellent idea to repurpose these reels.

Thank you

ibwebb (author)2015-08-03

I have to say that this really is a great/awesome idea! I think you really took this into a great idea and wish it was still as easy as it use to be to get these when I was a bit younger. They use to almost beg you to rakes them and now they seem to guard them with their lives around here. Sad, but better than them sitting around. I will have to just increase my attention about getting some. Thanks again and BIG Coo-dos for a great Instructable!

ethicaloffence (author)ibwebb2015-08-04

Thank you ... I used to always see them laying around but never bothered. Now that I have a few ideas of what to use them for ... Murphy's law.... I don't see them anywhere.

VladM3 (author)2015-08-03

Great idea! I just took a couple of cable reels home from work, myself, so I may just have to build a similar table.

ethicaloffence (author)VladM32015-08-04

Thank you. I wish it was as easy for me to get more of these. Keep me posted on your project.

mosseltje (author)2015-08-02

How big is the reel?

I want one but where do I get one :)

ethicaloffence (author)mosseltje2015-08-02

Apologies, I can't remember the exact measurements.... I will measure tonight and let you know.

About getting one... I wish I knew. I just happened to stumble across this one. Been on the look out ever since.

totszwai (author)2015-08-02

LOL nice, definitely low budget DIY that works!

ethicaloffence (author)totszwai2015-08-02

most certainly does work.

Henry Naude (author)2015-08-01

Great instructable mate

thank u

About This Instructable




Bio: I am an IT Security Auditor (I get paid for this) and I have a passion for Woodwork (I don't get paid for this ... More »
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