5 posts in this topic
When work stresses me out I get in the garage, grab some tools and get my mind right...a little sawdust therapt as I like to call it. I started this thing last week, got the rest of it assembled last night and test fit my Vision classic in it this morning! Still needs sealed and the "lipstick" put on it, but I'm very happy with the progress thus far, and cant wait for my next cook!
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
Over a year ago I was cooking pizza and suffered a single crack in my fire bowl. It grew over time and 1 turned in to 2. Next thing you know the fire bowl was in 2 pieces kinda just sitting down in there. I just kept cooking and could have left it that way for a very long time but I needed to do a good cleaning so the time was right.
Before I go any further I want to let you know that I didn't need to do this, I have a new fire bowl in my garage right now. I am a curious person though and I want to see how long I can go from one fire bowl.
This method should work on any ceramic kamado.
T304 lock wire small 1/4"-3/16' mason bit cutters pliers Pull the fire bowl out and clean it up. Put it together, use a strap etc to hold it in place.
Drill a pair of holes down the crack - 3, maybe 4 depending. Push the wire through and twist it tight with the pliers while carefully setting the crack in place as you go. BAM! That's it.
And now despair. I discovered another hairline crack while doing this repair, this tells me that over time the fire bowl will slowly crumble. We'll see how long it takes. You can just see it in this photo, it leads off of crack #2 and is about a foot long at this point and it is all the way through.
Mrs philpom said, "how about pizza tonight?" and I said, "sure!".
Whipped up a batch of my go to bread machine dough and here they are. I did three large, two pepperoni w/black olives and one onion, bell pepper, pepper flakes and bacon crumbs.
Let's see the process!
I roll them all in advance and stack between parchment paper. They get a second rise just before I bake them.
I paint the sauce on with a silicon baster brush.
Next for me is always the pepperoni.
Whole olives give it appeal.
Mozzarella, plenty of it.
Just a touch of cheddar for character (only ever on a pepperoni pizza)
Got the primo preheated and ready to go, game time!
And the adult treat! OK, it received a little character also.
It had been awhile since my last pizza cook, good times, good stuff!
No, I don;t think I will ever get tire of it.
So, now that I'm in my new place, and I only have kids 40% of the time, I might actually start thinking about projects.
One project is to build a table to house the Big Joe, Joe Jr, and my Bayou Classic turkey fryer burner, along with some work area in between.
The question is simple. I plan to buy a BigJoeTisserie the first day they're available. But since I don't know how far away that is, I might want to start on the table design and construction before then.
Thus there's a conundrum. The JoeTisserie has a motor hanging off the left side that I hear causes problems with the side shelves, and thus I'm concerned it would affect the table design.
Does anyone know if it affects table design, and if so, if Kamado Joe actually provides table design guidelines for people planning to build a table and own a JoeTisserie/BigJoeTisserie?
Let me know.