Introduction: Custom Handles for an Electric Barbecue

About: I'm a mechanical engineer in the Eindhoven region. In my spare time I like to make random stuff, both usefull and especially useless.

Living in an apartment at the second floor has some disadvantages. One of them not being allowed to use a coal or gas barbecue, I was forced to use an electric. Good enough for me, till the first use. The plastic handles couldn't resist the heat.

I had some wood left from my bed, laminated red meranti, it was big enough for 2 handles and it looked good. I was bored during the weekends and my barbecue was broken. The decision for a new weekend project was made.

Step 1: Materials

- Wood. I used two spare pieces of laminated meranti.
- 4x Screw-Bolts: the screw part for the wood, the bolt part for attaching it to the barbecue.
- 4x Bolts and nuts: for in the barbecue.
- 4x long nut: for linking the screw-bolt to the normal bolt.
- Paint. I uses oil from my fathers garage.

- Belt grinder
- Wrench
- Saw
- Wood drill

Step 2: Shaping the Wood

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of this step, so I'll try to explain it as good as possible with other pictures and MS Paint.

I started out with 2 pieces of wood. They had to be wide enough to cover the empty space were the previous handles were. And of course they should feel good when holding them, so it should have some width and height. In my case the wood was 18 cm (length) x 6.5 cm (height) x 6 cm (width).

The shaping of the wood was done in 2 steps. The first was the rough shaping using a saw. And afterwards I used the belt grinder for the fine shaping. The original shape it the black rectangle, the rough shaping is indicated in red and the final shape is indicated in blue.

When  creating the final shape using the belt grinder I mounted the belt grinder up side down. This way is was able to move the wood over the paper in stead off the other way around. Most op this shaping I did in the part of the belt grinder indicated in the third picture below. I did this because there was no underground which results in a smoother end surface. Especially in the corners.

Step 3: Painting the Handles

Painting the handles is the easiest part of the build. Make sure your wood is clean and dust free before painting. I used oil which my parents had in their garage. By choosing oil I hoped the wood/paint wouldn't damage due to the barbecue radiation ​heat. In the end I turned out to be right. But when choosing your paint, remember there will be some radiation heat.

Extra information:
The plastic handles melted because they touched the barbecue directly. Due to the way we attach the new handles the heat of the barbecue is already dissipated. This way we only need to take the radiation into account.

Step 4: Attaching the Handles

The handles are attached by linking the bolt in the barbecue and the bolt-screw in the handles.

As can be seen in the first picture, the bolt goes in the barbecue. The screw-bolt is for the handle. But before assembly, a hole should be drilled to ensure the wood won't break.
Once both bolts are in place the barbecue can be assembled. This is done using the long nut. During assembling you need to consider the space between the handle and the barbecue. When the handle touches the barbecue, there is a change the wood becomes too hot and turns black.

Step 5: Enjoy Your New Wooden Barbecue Handles.

No need to say more then: Enjoy your new handles like I did.

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