I got the idea for this BGE table from the Naked Whiz. I modified his plans, but check out his site for the original.
Prices for ceramic cookers have dropped a bit this summer. If you're in the market for one, shop around and find the right one. The one thing you need to consider is where to prop it up. Many brands don't offer every accessory, hence you'll need to buy (bad move) or build your own table.
Step 1: Gather Materials
Counter sink bit
Phillips head bit
1 box 2 inch screws
1 box 1.5 inch screws
Wood plugs (flat top)
80 grit sand paper (get plenty)
16 x 16 slate tile
2x4's - 68 ft (grab extra in case of mess ups)
1x4's - 94 ft (grab extra in case of mess ups)
I salvaged every piece of wood, to include the saw horses. I live in a neighborhood that is still being developed and had the opportunity to visit each build site and pick through scraps. Be carefull if you do this. Some builders have a no salvage policy, so speak with the foreman at each site and get his/her permission. This step will help defray the cost and make this option fiscally viable. If you can't salvage enough, then you might want to buy one.
Step 2: Make Plans
These are the plans I made after I modified the ones offered from the NakedWhiz. I made them on power point, just make sure your plans are proportional and the dimensions reflect the accuracy of the space you have to work with.
Also pay attention to your own plans. It's easy to get in the groove of sawing and fastening without really paying attention to what you're doing. I made the mistake of turning the 2x4's ninety degrees.
Step 3: Cut and Fasten
Start with the bottom shelf and work your way up. I made the bottom shelf first, then attached it to the 2x4 legs. It helps if you have a buddy to hold it (my dad helped me out). If you're a lone wolf, then use those quick clamps.
ALWAYS measure twice and cut once!
Step 4: Don't Forget to Countersink!
Pre-drill each fastener point with a countersink bit. This will help driving in each screw. I even went so far as to putting wood glue on each screw before drilling it in. This does two things: lubricates the screw and makes the structure a bit more sturdy. When you've finished attaching all boards you'll hammer in all the plugs (more on this later).
Ensure the bit you choose is smaller than the screws you will use to drill and fasten each board.
Step 5: Make the Middle Shelf
I reinforced the portion of the bottom shelf where the BGE will sit upon. I added 2x4's below to shore up this part. Don't add too much for this, as some BGE experts speak to the need of proper air circulation beneath the BGE. Once the 2x4 frame is done, place the 1x4's over the top. Space them out equally and leave a bit for over hangs on each side. When you are fastening the 1x4's be sure to pre drill and counter sink the holes. If you don't, you may split them.
Once again, I didn't pay attention to my own plans and bought a piece of tile that was too small (I originally provisioned for an 18x18 in). I placed the 16x16 in slate tile down to ensure it would have enough room and measured around it. You'll also need to make sure it's completely level. I'm not ashamed to say I had to use some wood glue and a couple of shims. Even though your BGE has a lifetime warranty, you don't want to endanger that bad boy.
Once you are finished with the bottom, then begin on the middle shelf. Don't forget those countersinks! Also use those quick clamps, a level, and refer often to the plans you made.
Note: I left the top shelf off on this instructable. I'm doing another instructable for this one, so be sure to tune in for it. Unless you want it to turn out exactly like mine, just add those 1x4's for the top row in the same manner you added them on the others.
Step 6: Hammer in Wood Plugs
Go to each countersunk fastener and hammer in each plug. When done correctly this can make a very cool old world look. Place a small dab of wood glue on the bottom of each plug and use your rubber mallet to hammer each one in. Try your best to make them flush, but sanding later will help with this.
This picture is the plugs after they've been stained and finished.
Step 7: Insert One Hole
The Naked Whiz says to use a 21" daimeter, but I increased it to 22" to ensure it had enough room, which I'm glad I did. The outside of the Egg can heat up and you might char your wood. His method was the same one I used when cutting my hole.
First, find the center of of the slate tile on the bottom shelf. Then measure at a right angle to the side edge and back edge. Use these measurements to find where that location would directly be on the shelf above. Mark this point with a pencil. This is now the center point of the hole you will cut out.
Next, cut a slim piece of cardboard a few inches longer than the radius, approximately 13". Take a tack or nail, and pin one end of it to the center point you just marked with a pencil. Make sure it spins in a complete circle.
Next, measure from where you nailed or tacked the cardboard end exactly 11". At the end of where you measured 11", stick the tip of your pencil through so you can mark a circle as you spin this cardboard in a complete circle.
Next, check your work and make sure your diameter is 22" and not lopsided.
Last, grab the jig saw and cut along the line you just made. With gaps between each board, you shouldn't have to drill starter holes.
Step 8: Finishing, But Not Finished
I took a few slow strokes on each board with the torch. I then hit it with chains and hammered some screws sideways. These boards didn't need too much distressing done since they were salvaged.
Then take a medium grit sand paper for your sander. Lightly sand. The objective here is to remove burrs and smooth out the surfaces. Don't undo everything you just did distressing. Take a moist rag and clear away the saw dust.
Next grab a rag and start staining. Pick your favorite shade and make smooth strokes so the color isn't blotchy. Make sure to get it between large gaps in the boards. Wait until dry before sealing.
I suggest choosing a sealant that isn't glossy. Before you start painting on the sealer, make a few bowls by folding aluminum foil. Make sure these are wide enough to place beneath each foot. You'll use these as a dam to seal up the bottom of each leg. Pour some sealer in each bowl so it can begin to dry. Use a good brush to paint on the sealer and use smooth strokes.
Step 9: Bells and Whistles
I picked out a shower rail at Home Depot to use as a towel rack. Then I bought a bottle opener from an antique store. After screwing each in, I sealed them up with some more polyurethane sealant so they wouldn't rust.
Your BGE is likely to weigh quite a bit. Take each piece and place it in separately. Always lift with your legs!