While not completely done, it's getting close. The only material we bought was Douglas Fir 4x4's for the frame and some outdoor hardware. Almost everything else was 1/2",3/4", and 1" pallet wood. It was some good stuff too like oak, cherry, heart pine. I kept the rack from my old smoker and used it to hold the soap stone, grill grates, divider, and accessories rack from the KJ. I didn't mount the KJ inside the table because I wanted to roll it out from under the awning when we're blasting the coals for pizza and searing. I have perforated steel boxes that I setup for hot items.
I'ts been beaten and torched, planed, and sanded.... I still need to stain and seal the wood then we should be in business.
Hey Everybody, I just finished up a DIY table for my Vision Grills Classic B Kamado and I figured I'd post it for anyone else who's looking for a table build for their Vision. I did quite a bit of searching before I started this project, and I had a hard time finding anything customized for the Vision.
The plans I based this build off of come from Naked Whiz's site: http://www.nakedwhiz.com/tableplans/tableplans.htm . Thanks to him for giving out great info. This build seemed easy to me and gave me a great work space that I had been lacking with the Vision cart and fold-up side tables.
First things first, a few very important aspects I changed from the plans are:
Using 4x4 lumber for the legs and Using 2x4 lumber for all of the framing and bracing. (All the decking is just 1x6) I'm kind of surprised that people build these tables out of "1 by" dimensional lumber, including the legs sometimes. So I wanted to make this thing beeeeefy.
With the changes in the lumber used to build this thing, we divert from the plans quite a bit, but the plans are a great starting point and theory to follow. (Note: All of the lumber I used was pressure treated - the wood with the green stuff on it - from Home Depot. Pressure treated lumber stands up better to exterior use than non-treated lumber, and was much cheaper for me than a wood species such as Cedar. I probably spent about $60 on the wood, total. For those wondering, this whole build easily cost me less than $150 - $35 of that being the stain/seal)
For the top and bottom frames, here are some of the measurements I used (instead of what was on the plans):
2x4's for length of table - 57" All 2x4's for width - 25" The added length and width was to accommodate the bigger Vision (22.5" Diam.) vs the BGE Large (21" Diam.) and to squeeze in larger lumber. These measurements are on the attached PDF file for all of our visual learners. A lot of the other measurements are "plug" numbers really, just make sure you'll have room for the circle you'll cut on the top. My circle is 22.5" to 23" Diameter depending where you measure and it's snug, but dead center front to back and side to side (based on the framing for that portion of the table).
Another number that needs to be changed is the "Dimension X" figure, which is the distance between the top of the upper deck and the top of the lower deck. For the pavers I used, I set my Dimension X at 16". and it's almost perfect. This is obviously a number you can measure for and adjust, just make sure your table is level in the end.
I had dimensions in mind when I built the table so that I could easily find a cover for it (Approx. 58"x28"). The table is just a tad smaller than the XL BGE table, so there's plenty of covers for it, but no way was I paying for the BGE brand cover. Amazon for the win, here's a link to a cover that I feel is pretty robust and will last at least 5 years in the direct Florida sun: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XZZI1E4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 .
Another small touch I added was to get a nomex roll and line the inside of the cutout on the table top (see final pic). Just in case, so the wood doesn't scorch and it's some added bump protection for the grill. Here's the one I got from, again, Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OAG2AV2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 .
The inset tile on the table top is for placing down hot items, such as an Adjustable Rig from the Ceramic Grill Store (which I'll soon hopefully "acquire"). It's 18"x18" and porcelain, which will stand up to the heat, and it cost me all of $2. If you want to get real fancy, get yourself a scrap piece of granite at a local stone supplier and have them cut it down to spec for you (anticipate about a $50 cost - if you can do better, well then good for you!). The plans call for framing it out and adding 1" cleats around the edges to support it. I felt that wasn't adequate support for the middle and added a 2x4 going straight through the middle of the opening (see rough finish pic), then added cleats at opposite ends. I'm not worried at all anymore if this opening could support something, I actually had the whole grill on top of the tile while I stained/sealed the table. Risky? Nah.
The large paver under the grill is a 24"x24" paver from my local Home Depot. Easy to acquire and cost like $5.
The smaller bricks under the grill are to provide adequate airflow so that there's negligible heat transfer to the large paver and then to the wood on the table. I've read about guys pulling up their paver and the wood is scorched under it since the grill was directly on it. I also noticed the felt on my Vision cart that was under the grill was a tad scorched when I pulled the grill out. Now, there's a few kamado makers out there like Kamado Joe, Primo and BGE who make "feet" for their grills. I looked around for these, and while they are specifically made for this purpose, no way was I paying $30-$40 for a set of 4 feet. Instead, I grabbed me four 1.25" thick pavers (I believe they are 4"x8") while at Home Depot for a whopping total of......$1.50.
Now, one of the more expensive parts of this build was the stain and seal, only because I had to buy a whole gallon of it when I needed maybe a quart. I will totally use the rest on some other builds I have coming up for exterior furniture. I found some stuff made by Thompson's that works with pressure treated lumber, and was in stock at my Home Depot. They make a few colors, and I went with the walnut. I anticipated that the stain would be much darker than it was, but I'm thinking the wood still hadn't "dried out" completely from all the treatment liquids, thus not letting the Thompson's really set in and provide the dark color I was going for. Still though, I do like the color and the protection is nice, even though I'll have it covered. Here's a link: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Thompson-s-WaterSeal-1-gal-Natural-Penetrating-Timber-Oil-TH-049801-16/206023511 .
I intended to add wheels to this build so that I could easily move the table around, and I'll get to it in the future. Right now it came down to cost and a struggle I had with how to install the wheels. I originally wanted to buy four pneumatic casters between 8" and 10" (two swivel and two fixed). Best price I could find for some decently rated wheels...about $30...each! (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002VTAP76/ref=pd_sim_469_1?ie=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B002VTAP76&pd_rd_r=9427Z1Z9NH3ZQ7QH0ZM6&pd_rd_w=0ZltW&pd_rd_wg=xGbzA&psc=1&refRID=9427Z1Z9NH3ZQ7QH0ZM6) So we're looking at more for the wheels than the whole table...reminds of those ghetto gunships with the huge rims that roll down MLK boulevard down here...funny joke, don't get offended so easily, they're just words, rub some dirt on it. Anyways, with those casters, I was worried that by screwing them into the ends of the 4x4 lumber, that the screws wouldn't have much "support" with the wood grain coming straight on, instead of sideways. Screw grabbing power is much different depending on (hold on tight, crazy words ahead) parallel vs. perpendicular wood grain. Not to mention, the table must weigh almost 400lbs with everything loaded on. So I'll work on how to get some wheels on this thing in the future.
For the joinery, I used my Kreg HD kit, which is made for 2x4 and 4x4 pocket hole joinery. A regular Kreg Jig won't be able to accomodate the larger lumber. I also used the Kreg HD screws since they are coated for exterior use. On some of the bracing and where the bottom level attaches to the 4x4, I employed some 3.5" deck screws from Home Depot. This thing is bombproof, and I probably went way overboard, but I feel safe knowing that my grill "ain't goin nowhere". Kreg links:
Kreg HD - https://www.amazon.com/Kreg-Tool-Company-KJHD-Jig/dp/B008CQ59GY/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1477000077&sr=8-3&keywords=kreg+hd (you'll need a Kreg face clamp as well for this thing to work. The face clamp comes in handy for a bunch of other projects.) HD Screws - https://www.amazon.com/Kreg-Tool-Company-SML-C2X250-125-Pocket/dp/B008CQBYGI/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1477000077&sr=8-4&keywords=kreg+hd I'm sure I left something out here, and I'm sure someone will remind me, but I hope that this write up can at least help somebody. I know I was grasping at air when I first started looking for plans to build myself. Here's to the table's maiden voyage tonight with a brisket!
Happy Cooking Everyone
Wanted to get y'all's thoughts...
I have a Vision M Series - Modified - The Sam's Combo unit, that has the gas grill/searing unit on one side, Kamado on the other...it is the Vision M Series, but it is a slightly modified version, so std M series accessories are said to not fit. Ticks me off, but I'm a Marine...I adapt and overcome...Hahaha
I have .050" stainless steel readily available at no cost, and an ornamental metal fab shop that shears/punches/etc things for me at a decent price.
I'm thinking of having the pieces in the images made for me - the size SS plates I have available are 10" x 34ish"...I am thinking of having the shop shear some 1" wide pieces and break press them into the shapes I need, then weld them dead center to create 2 different height plate holders...then also having them shear and weld 2 pieces together to make a deflector like shown...
Thoughts? Y'all have a lot more experience with all of this than I do...
Also, I saw somewhere, might have been here, that someone took their charcoal grate out and used a SS basket like the one in the pic (sans handle, it comes detached and will go in the junk drawer so my wife can ask me eleventy million times why I kept it) for ease in cleanup etc...I already have one of the baskets and it fits pretty nice, less than an inch from the ceramic to the basket all the way around...Or would it better to just keep the cast iron piece in there? This seems like it would allow a lot better airflow...the one issue I have with the Kamado part of this set-up, is that the bottom air vent is "within" the table, so air movement is minimal...(see image)...is this a normal airflow deal with Kamado tables?