When I bought my truck it came with a bad full size spare tire (which was fully disclosed to me before purchase). Not knowing what exactly to do with it, I left it in the bed of my truck for over a year until the idea popped into my head to make a charcoal grill out of the rim. Not knowing how to weld I needed to be creative in my assembly of the grill while still making sure that whatever components I used could stand the heat (no nickel or galvanized plating).
Here are the tools and materials used but this project is easily customizable to personal tastes. The base could be made from pallet wood or other reclaimed lumber or if no base is desired it can be attached to a deck or concrete and heights can be adjusted by adding a longer piece of pipe, etc.
High Heat Paint - 2 Cans
4'x4:x96" - 1
5/8" Bolts/Hardware - 4
Wheels - 4
1/2" Lag Bolts - 4
1 1/2" Steel Black Pipe - 18 inches
1/2" Threaded Rods/Hardware - 2
Grill Grate - Various Sizes, 1 or 2
Wheels - 4
Step 1: The Most Frustrating Step
Removing the rim from the rubber was by far the most frustrating step. After watching several videos and trying to pry the two pieces apart I actually ended up using a reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade to cut the bead from the tire and then pried the rim out with a threaded rod and large screwdriver.
After freeing the rim I took it to a local shot blasting facility where they let me blast it myself. It took about 11 minutes and cost under $20 ($30 if the facility did it themselves).
Step 2: Parts and Painting
All the parts I found at my local Home Depot. The black pipe I had cut and threaded there. The pipe flange that will be mounted to the wood base needed no further attention as it would be taking the appropriate 1/2" lag bolts. The flange that will secure the rim to the pipe needed its holes drilled larger to accommodate the wider 5/8" wide head bolts.
Next is the painting. I used Rustoleum High Heat paint which is specifically for grills. It goes on just like any other spray paint (if anything it goes on smoother). I applied two coats to the parts and hardware. I pressed paper towel strips into the bearings of the wheels before painting to ensure they wouldn't get clogged.
Step 3: All Your Base Are Belong to Us
Tire rims are fairly heavy so the base had to be fairly heavy also. I wanted to match or exceed the weight while not making the base too large so I settled on using 4x4's. I cut the 4x4 with a miter saw so that the base would be square.
Next I drilled holes through the ends using a guide hole I drilled in a piece of scrap wood. Ideally I would have used a drill press for this step as the holes would have been perfectly the same in each piece of wood but since I didn't have one I planed and sanded the whole base after sliding the threaded rods through the holes.
I then put bolts and washers on the threaded rods and then grinded off the extra piece of threaded rod. Then I drilled (and sanded) holes to accommodate the lag bolts on top and the wheels on the bottom.
The final step for the base was a coat of stain and lacquer.
Step 4: Rim to Pipe to Base
To attach the steel pipe flange to the rim I used smooth top bolts (with the widest possible heads). Simply insert the bolts into the flange while making sure the lip of the bolts make maximum contact with the lip of the rim's center hole. It may not seem like much contact but once tightened I was able to attach the steel black pipe and pick up the rim by the pipe without any give whatsoever. I covered the hole of the pipe with a 1" cap which fit nicely on top (so ash wouldn't get in). I painted it with high heat paint also.
The pipe screws into the flange of the rim on one end and the flange of the base on the other. The base flange is secured by lag bolts and washers. These I also painted.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
The grill is on the heavy side so I inserted wheels into holes on the underside of the base for easier movement.
I used the hole from the valve stem to attach an eye hook with a couple of nuts and added a carabiner clip so I could hold all my grilling implements (tongs, brush, spatula).
Finding appropriate sized grates was tricky but with some internet searching I found a grate that would fit low in the grill to hold the charcoal and another to fit on top to hold the food. One grate could suffice as the coals could be placed directly into the rim without any hazard (only stainless or raw steel was used as opposed to zinc or galvanized metal) but I felt that coals may fall through the outer grill holes and land on the wood below if left uncovered.
Step 6: Conclusion
I am very satisfied with my grill both in looks and functionality. As someone who has not yet learned how to weld (but would like to!) it was a challenge to think of a way to make a secure metal structure but I believe I succeeded. Also if the wheels are removed and the grill is flipped upside down it makes a pretty stylish table.
Hope you enjoyed this Instructable and I appreciate any votes in the Metal, Reuse, and Outdoor Cooking Contests!