Introduction: Inexpensive, Strong Green Egg Table

Picture of Inexpensive, Strong Green Egg Table

Technically, the main image shows that we didn't actually use a Green Egg, but another brand like it. But all ceramic grills like this will probably be called a Green Egg no matter what, just like we'll always call all tissue paper Kleenex.

The main structure of this piece can also be used for so much more than just something to hold a grill. It can be made into a workbench, a patio counter, an island, ... the list goes on. The price of this thing was also very reasonable. I think all the materials were under $150. I mainly used cedar, which is almost 98% of the entire project, the other pieces were a few screws and some urethane to seal it up. Cedar is a really good outdoor wood. There are a number of woods that hold up really well outdoors, cedar, cypress, redwood and teak to name a few. Cedar is the most readily available since it's at most big box stores.

The structure is the best feature on this table. If I were to remove all the screws, this thing would still be standing because the weight is distributed to itself. Meaning, all the weight, and Green Eggs weight a lot, rests on other wood, not screws. I've seen a lot of structures like this where people screw a bunch of 2x4's together and when you really look at it, you're depending way too much on the screws to hold your project together rather than simple joinery that takes a load off everything... and your pride 10 years down the road when your screws rusted through and your table is loose and rickety. But enough of my long sentence, let's get to building.

Step 1: The Main Legs

Picture of The Main Legs

We'll start with the main upright legs. I dadoed out sections for the lateral pieces to fit into. I did this using my radial arm saw and a dado stack, but you can even use a handsaw and a chisel. Once everything was cut, I applied glue and popped in the lateral pieces. I drilled pilot holes with a countersink and drilled in a couple rust resistant screws to hold in the pieces to the dados. You can really see that the upright pieces are doing most of the work by holding up the future weight.

In the picture above, you'll notice that I cut grooves on the insides of the lateral pieces. This will come into play later on the bottom shelf.

Step 2: The Top

Picture of The Top

To make the top, I ran all the rough cedar pieces through the thickness planer to make them smooth as well as the same thickness. It's common for pieces to be all different thicknesses. Usually, you're only talking about a difference of 1/8 of an inch, but if I was already running them through to make them smooth, I might as well make them exactly the same thickness.

To glue up the top, I used a biscuit jointer to help with alignment. I knew I was going to cut out a giant hole in the middle of the top, so I went ahead and drew a circle so I didn't put a biscuit in the middle of the cut.

Here's my circle cutting jig. First, I found the center of my hole and drilled in a screw. Then set the distance on the jig and mounted my router with a straight cutting bit. I circled in multiple passes gradually lowering the bit. It worked well. I screwed the small sticker on the left so the center piece wouldn't fall down before I completed the cut.

Once the piece was cut, I hit all the edges with a 1/2" round-over bit.

Step 3: The Bottom Shelf

Picture of The Bottom Shelf

Knowing that all the weight of the Green Egg would be on this second shelf, I made sure this part was the strongest. Before I glued the legs together in Step 1, I routed in a groove down the lower lateral pieces to accept the cross pieces. You can see why in the image above. I did 5 cross pieces to hold slats. The cross pieces had tenons cut on both ends to fit into the grooves.

Here it is with the slats installed.

Knowing that a lot of heat will be coming off the Green Egg, I thought that something needed to go under the grill that would take heat better than the wood. I didn't want to be lazy and throw something under it, I wanted to look like it was meant to be there. I found a round patio stone that fit perfect. I used my same circle jig to cut out the slats to accept the stone so it could sit flush.

Step 4: The Finish

Picture of The Finish

For outdoor projects, you don't want to use polyurethane. You want to simply use urethane or something specifically made for outdoors. Polyurethane will turn yellow and can crack over time, especially in our Texas heat. You'll need to find something with outdoor protection and some UV protection to save the beautiful color of your wood. This will also be under a cover when not in use, so it should hold up for a long time.

Here it is. Hope you enjoyed it and would love to see someone else build something like it.


crrafferty89 (author)2017-08-22

Where are you guys purchasing your wood? I'm located in central Alabama and am having a hard time finding 4x4's in Cedar, Oak, Redwood, etc. My local Lowes and Home Depot carry carry every other size I could possible need for this table with the exception of 4x4's. There's a couple local lumber yards but they wont deal with me since I'm not a contractor and/or I'm not buying enough material at once. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've got a brand new XL BGE that needs to be broken in!

jessemckee (author)crrafferty892017-08-28

I'd look on Google Maps in your area and simply type in 'Lumber' and a few pins should drop. There's usually an 84 Lumber company around most big cities. If cedar is out of stock, Redwood, Cypress, Douglas Fir are all pretty good outdoor woods.

StephenW149 (author)2017-08-03

Would Oak be a good wood for this?

jessemckee (author)StephenW1492017-08-03

Red or white oak would be good for this. I'd elevate the base a little bit so wood isn't directly on the concrete. Water over time will soak up through the end grain and turn the wood black over time. I'd certainly still seal the ends to keep water from getting in the wood.

Blpattillo made it! (author)2017-03-28

I made it just changed it to fit my need. Also with Cedar to make it last here in the Houston weather.

lukeperkins made it! (author)2016-02-01

Really great table. I live in the NW so I used cedar. Just waiting for the stain to dry and pick up a few more 2x4 for the bottom shelf.

I posted my SketchUp file as well. It's not perfect, but should be a good start.

I up

wayneled (author)lukeperkins2016-11-03

thank you for the Sketchup file!

aronala (author)lukeperkins2016-03-18

That cedar looks awesome. Thank you for the SketchUp file!

JohnB802 (author)2016-08-24

It's a Kamado Joe. More bang for your buck then BGE!

lukeperkins made it! (author)2016-02-01

Really great table. I live in the NW so I used cedar. Just waiting for the stain to dry and pick up a few more 2x4 for the bottom shelf.

I posted my SketchUp file as well. It's not perfect, but should be a good start.

I up

lukeperkins made it! (author)2016-02-01

Really great table. I live in the NW so I used cedar. Just waiting for the stain to dry and pick up a few more 2x4 for the bottom shelf.

I posted my SketchUp file as well. It's not perfect, but should be a good start.

I up

kamadojoe100 (author)2016-01-29

I'd like to make this table. Any chance you could post some plans?

CurtisC12 (author)2015-12-11

Can you post the overall height and width and depth of the grill? I can guess but yours has nice proportions. Even better would be a cut list and materials list.


jcacciola1 (author)2015-09-02

This table looks great. Would you mind sharing your plan dimensions? Also, do you remember what router bit you used for the inside lateral piece grooves?

DannyG5 (author)2015-07-19

Hmm, I found the download button, thinking this was the plans, I signed up for pro and downloaded the pdf... Not plans, looks like a light version of this article.. So, how does one find a copy of the plans? Are there plans? I can probably work with the pictures if need be.. Thanks, Danny

jessemckee (author)DannyG52015-07-22

Hey Danny, sorry, I didn't make any plans. Just good 'ol pen and paper.

DannyG5 (author)jessemckee2015-07-22

Cool, I plan on building this table and will start gathering the material. Do you happen to have the dimensions? Or a materials list? Thanks, Danny

Settripn1 made it! (author)2015-04-02

I'm in the process of making this table. It is so nice I thought I'd give it a shot. I didn't realize you could get plans until I was already deep into the project. The result looks like someone else did it. I work on computers so if I can make it anyone can. We are still deciding on what type of table top. My wife has a Primo XL Kamadogrill and I'm worried about cutting out the shape but hey I've made it this far.

jessemckee (author)Settripn12015-07-22

That's awesome! How did it turn out?

DannyG5 (author)2015-07-18

Hi, nice table, how does one get the plans?

buck2217 (author)2015-07-01

Terrific Idea

dsantil71 (author)2015-02-24

That is gorgeous! My husband loves his 22in Weber. I am so showing him this!!

ShinyCat (author)2015-02-11

I'm just glad to see someone else in the woodworking world who has and uses a radial arm saw! As nonexistent as previous references to them by others have been, I was starting to wonder if my ancient beasty was a unicorn!

jessemckee (author)ShinyCat2015-02-11

Ha. The radial arm saw is alive and well in my shop. Probably my most used item on projects like this. Though illusive, they are faithful creatures.

specialk22tt (author)2015-02-09

Very nicely done. One question: how did you join together the two 'main legs' (see photo). It looks like it might be a tenon, but I didn't see how you did it in the instructable.

jessemckee (author)specialk22tt2015-02-09

Good catch, I completely forgot to cover this. I'll have to add this to the Instructable. I used 2 large oak dowels on each joint. There isn't really any vertical pressure on the ends so I didn't mind letting the glue and dowels do the work here.

specialk22tt (author)jessemckee2015-02-09

Awesome! Thank you.

CheeseMcGee (author)2015-02-09

The smoker in the photo is the Kamado Joe. I am receiving mine this week, and I purchased the larger Big Joe version. I've been looking for a build of one of these tables that would be sturdy enough to hold the extra weight of the Big Joe. I'll be giving this one a go. Thanks!

jessemckee (author)CheeseMcGee2015-02-09

Good deal. I'll refer everyone to you when they ask which cooker this is.

embeddedmicro (author)2015-02-08

Nice Which Egg did you use. (I could not ID the label and how does it cook?)

jessemckee (author)embeddedmicro2015-02-08

Not too sure. The egg is the clients. he said that it's made by a few guys that left the Green Egg company and made their own. A more affordable option. I think one person gave a more specific name below in the comments.

mamayama (author)2015-02-08

BTW, the generic name for these grills is "kamado" (in Japanese, "the place for the cauldron"). "Big Green Egg" is a brand name of one type of kamado. Avoid kamado made from portland cement (they crack). Thanks for the simple, beautiful design!

jessemckee (author)mamayama2015-02-08

Good to know. The red egg is the clients and he seems to enjoy it so far. Past that, I think I'll stick with my little Weber.

mknell (author)2015-02-08

Awesome project mate

jessemckee (author)mknell2015-02-08


uncle frogy (author)2015-02-08

nice job! One question how are the 2 leg assemblies attached to each other to form the final structure? Were they morticed or just screwed in place?


uncle frogy

jessemckee (author)uncle frogy2015-02-08

I used large dowels for alignment, glue and screws. I'll have to add this info to the Instructable. Thanks for pointing that out!

vonronge (author)2015-02-07

Interesting. Could you comment on how hot the wood gets?

jessemckee (author)vonronge2015-02-08

I think adding this to the Instructable may be helpful. There is a one inch gap between the grill and the wood top. The way the grill directs heat, the closest wood gets a bit warm, but nowhere near hot. It's held up better than expected.

BG_instructs (author)2015-02-06

Congrats, great job done, looks simple, but the fact that the structure can hold without screws makes it special. Made s imilar table for my BBQ, i casted a concrete table top myself after seeing so many instructables how easy that is.

And have to say indeed, concrete table top is easy to make, used my BBG as mold for it, turned it upside down and covered it with plastic so i could easily tak eit out after drying.

jessemckee (author)BG_instructs2015-02-08

A concrete top for this would have been awesome. I wish I would have thought of that when I was going over the drawings with the client. I'll have to pitch that next time.

elizila (author)2015-02-05

where did you get a red green egg?

jessemckee (author)elizila2015-02-08

Not sure where the client got the egg. He did mention that it's made by a few guys that left the Green Egg company and made their own. He uses the grill at least once a week and says he still loves it and hasn't had a problem.

pekar (author)elizila2015-02-08

Menards has them. Dunno about quality, they are cheaper.

amarinus11 (author)2015-02-08

Hi there. This is great. I probably won't ever be using a kiln, but the instructions for building a solid, load-bearing table are definitely something I'll file for future use.

Fission_Chips (author)2015-02-05

Whoa! Last night I had pizza cooked in a Green Egg for dinner. I'll pass this along to the cook (a good friend of mine!) Thanks for this awesome Instructable!

seamster (author)2015-02-05

Ooh, this is really slick! I'm very much inspired. I think this idea just went onto to my spring to-do list!

Gotta get through the rest of my winter list first though . . . : \

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