Build a Grill Buddy
There is nothing quite like cooking out. You get all the fresh air, beautiful views and the sights and sounds of the great outdoors. The only drawback seems to be the conspicuous lack of counter and storage space. If this sounds like your problem, we have the solution. Build a grill buddy and dramatically increase your outdoor counter and storage space. This project is as much fun to build as it is to use.
Tools & Materials
Make the Legs
Separate the 2 1/2″ leg pieces into four pairs of two pieces each. Face glue and screw each pair of leg pieces together to make four 1 1/2″x2 1/2″ legs. In each leg pair, select the board with the least attractive face and run the screws through that face into the other board. When you assemble the grill buddy, turn the legs so the screws face the inside of the assembly.<div class=’alert’><p>Good idea: To avoid splitting the boards, predrill holes for the screws
Assemble the Frame
- Select two of the 23 3/4″ long pieces of 1×4 for the top shelf end pieces and two for the bottom shelf end pieces.
- Measure down 2″ from the top of each leg and make a mark on the outside face and edge of each one. Use these marks to align the bottoms of the top shelf end and side pieces.
- Align the bottom of the top shelf end piece with one pair of legs so that the end piece runs across the edge of each leg. The ends of the end piece should be flush with the outside faces of the legs and the bottom of the rail should be flush with the marks on the face of each leg. Screw the end piece to the legs.
- Align and secure the bottom shelf end piece. The bottom edge of the piece should be flush with the bottom end of the leg and the ends should be flush with the outside faces of the legs.
- Assemble the other two legs and end pieces using the first as a template.
- Screw the 37 1/2″ long bottom shelf side pieces to the legs. The ends of the side pieces should be flush with the outside faces of the end pieces. Use a combination square to square the frame.
- Make a mark 1 1/2″ in from one end and centered on the face of each 43 1/2″ long top shelf side piece. Bore a 1″ diameter by 1/2″ deep stopped hole centered on the mark. Use a jig saw or file to round the ends of the side pieces with the stopped holes. The end of the side piece with the hole will extend past the frame and the holes will receive the handle.
- Screw one of the top shelf side pieces to the frame with the hole facing the inside of the assembly. Insert the 1″ dowel into the stopped hole and screw the second top shelf side piece in place. The dowel should rotate freely in place.
Add Shelves and Casters
- Screw the top shelf side and end cleats (see image for representation of cleats) in place. The top edges of the cleats should be flush with the tops of the legs.
- Use 3d finish nails to secure one 23 3/4″ shelf floor panel at each end of the top shelf and three between them, spaced evenly.
- Screw the bottom shelf side and end cleats in place. The bottom edges of the cleats should be flush with the bottom edges of the bottom shelf side and end pieces.
- Notch two of the 23 3/4″ shelf floor panels to fit around the legs for each end of the bottom shelf and nail them in place. Install the rest of the floor panels.
- Align the caster brackets so their outside edges are flush with the outside faces of the side and end pieces on the bottom shelf. Screw the brackets in place.
- Screw the casters to the caster brackets.
- Sand the entire assembly.
- Apply two or three coats of exterior grade varnish or polyurethane to the grill buddy.
- Place the acrylic sheet on the top shelf and now you are cooking with gas. Use pot holders or heat resistant pads to protect the acrylic sheet from hot pots and pans.
|Top and bottom shelf floor panels and end pieces||1×4||23 3/4″||19||Cut these pieces from five of the 1x4x8′ boards. This should leave a 24″ piece of 1×4 for use in another part of the project.|
|Top shelf side pieces||1×4||43 1/2″||2||Cut these pieces from one of the 1x4x8’s.|
|Bottom shelf side pieces||1×4||37 1/2″||2||Cut these pieces from one of the 1x4x8’s.|
|Shelf side piece cleats||1×4||30 1/2″||2||Cut these pieces from one of the 1x4x8’s. Rip the boards into four 1 1/2″ wide strips.|
|Shelf end piece cleats||1×4||20″||2||Cut one of these pieces from the piece left from cutting shelf floor panels. Cut the other from the piece left from cutting the shelf side piece cleats. Rip the boards into four 1 1/2″ wide strips.|
|Caster brackets||1×4||25 1/2″||2||Cut these pieces from one of the 1x4x8’s.|
|Legs||1×6||36″||4||Cut these pieces from the 1x6x12′ board. Rip each 35 3/4″ board into two 2 1/2″ strips. (35 3/4″ legs yield a 40 1/4″ tall cart.)|
|Handle||1″ dowel rod||24 3/8″||1|