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Unread 07-15-2011, 07:41 AM   #1
Bacon_99
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Question BGE Table - What Type of Wood Should I Use?

Hey All,

I want to build a table for my LBGE next weekend and I have the plans (whiz Flash-Burns from naked whiz) .


I have never built anything in my life (except in shop in school many years ago) and am borrowing a mitre and jig saw from a friend. I don't have much money but don't really want to build something that doesn't look decent.

Went to Lowe's and HD yesterday. The plans I have call for red oak but there's no way I can use that, it's $24 a board whereas the same size boards in knotty pine is $4, select pine is $7, and spruce is $2.

The spruce would be great but it's rough whereas the pine is surfaced on 4 sides. I don't have a planer or any other fancy equipment

So - for a total newb - what wood should I work with. I had a hard time telling the difference between the knotty and select pine (other than price) but at least the wood looked good whereas the spruce had some damaged corners and didn't seem as finished looking at all. Also, while I didn't check the price - should I consider pressure treated pine? Not a fan of the green color and was worried the heat may react with the copper chemical they use to treat it but will the green fade away?

Finally - simply planning to use Helmsman Spar Urethane for the finish...

Any help would be much appreciated. Oh - and does anyone think it would be possible to re-use the wheels on my nest for the table? I was thinking of drilling holes in the bottom of the 2X4 legs, putting in a threaded insert and then re-using the nest wheels since they work so well (and it saves cost). Anyone ever done this?

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Unread 07-15-2011, 07:59 AM   #2
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Cedar is a good wood for outside. It weathers well, looks good, and isn't too pricey. Put a nice stain on it if you want.

I would love to be able to make a cart for my WSM out of redwood or teak, if I could afford it.


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Unread 07-15-2011, 07:59 AM   #3
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Taking a quick look at the materials list, there are a lot of pieces at varying lengths.

If you want to use pine, you can probably save some money by cutting nice clean pieces out of the knotty pine (working between knots) with minimal waste, and maybe just pick up a few pieces of Select for the longer pieces that are required.

Another option between teh pine and oak, may be to use clear douglas fir. I had used that for some outdoor projects years ago and it stood up well over the years just being finished with water seal.

Don't know about the wheels from the egg, but I imagine that you could look for someone tossing out a lawnmower and grab the wheels off of that.

Pressure treated or not? Other consdierations aside, pressure treated has been dried and then had moistrue forced into it to carry the treatment within . Fresh pressure treated wood will have a very high moisture content and as a result will undergo a lot of shrinkage as it dries out.

Hope this helps. I'm sure others will provide more help too.
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Unread 07-15-2011, 07:59 AM   #4
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That looks like a plan, similar to the one that I built a few years back. I used teak, but it was very expensive and I found it somewhat unforgiving to work with. In my opinion, you can make the uprights for the frame with whatever you want (heck I've planed out 2X4 studs and lammed 'em together to make workbench legs before!) Just be sure to cover 'em with enough sealer to protect it from the elements. I would consider decking material for the flat work surfaces. It comes presanded, is designed to withstand the elements (which is likely a concern in Ontario), and is not outrageously expensive. If you could find the right color for your taste, and keep your clearances in mind you could even you composite decking material. If I were building another one, that's probably the way I would go: More time cooking, less time maintaining the stand. Hope that helps.
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Unread 07-15-2011, 08:18 AM   #5
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I had thought about composite - but the cost would be too much. Cedar also crossed my mind since that's what my deck and fence are made out of but I couldn't find the right size pieces. Going to use all 1X4X6 or 1X4X8, depending on stock and just cut the pieces to length. They didn't have any 2X4 Cedar for legs - could I just use pine for that or would it look really weird to have two woods? Not planning on staining any color - just a few clear coats of helmsman.

The knotty pine is a nice smooth surface. Timzcardz – Why work between knots in the pine? I thought they looked nice and if they’re not too big will the knots affect the build at all? They advertise the knotty pine as being good for furniture at HD – so I figured it’d be ok to leave the knots in – but then again – I know absolutely zero about wood.

Badgeman – “decking material”? I don’t remember seeing this – just pressure treated and cedar which they advertise for using in decks. Is S4S the same as pre-sanded deck material? I noticed the spruce was rough to touch and not always straight whereas the knotty and select pine seemed smooth and cut precisely (was S4S).

Thanks for all the advice guys – will go back tonight and look at the wood again to see. Should be an interesting project – hopefully I’ll keep all my fingers
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Unread 07-15-2011, 09:00 AM   #6
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I would warn against using the pressure treated wood. On some treatment processes copper arsenic is used, which is poisonous. It sounds like for your price range that using cedar for the top and pine for the frame would work well. The cedar is naturally weather and rot resistant and will take the most abuse from the elements. Pine is a strong wood and the frame will be protected by the cedar. When choosing your boards make sure that the knots are "tight". If they are not they can fall out as the wood dries or while you are cutting a board.

I think the color combination of the cedar and pine will be quite attractive, monotone can be boring. Good luck and don't forget to post finished pics!
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Unread 07-15-2011, 09:09 AM   #7
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I would use standard construction lumber for the upright parts and framing, look for nice straight 2x4s or whatever dimensions you need, the only problem you might have is; on occasion some construction grade wood can be wet, if so stay away. My choice would be clear pine for the uprights and supports. Knotty pine for the horizontal pieces would be great. If you keep the lower out of cheaper woods, maybe you could do the top out of a nicer wood. I'm not sure I would use red oak, it has a pronounced grain that really would need to be sealed well. In an absolute perfect world with no cost considerations I would do the whole thing out of white oak, it would last forever and age to great gray/silver color. Stay away from treated it'll be too wet and is really only needed for ground contact or extended periods of being wet.

Good luck! and have fun!

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Unread 07-15-2011, 09:35 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone Very useful info - glad to be steered away from the pressure treated. Had same concerns particularly with the copper treatment - but saw online tables made of it and wondered about it just in case since cost is cheap and pressure treated lasts long.

Never really thought about it - but hey - two tone might look great! Maybe I'll use the spruce for the frames and legs and then use cedar for the top! Either way you guys have given me some great options!

If money was no object - I'd skip borrowing my friend’s tools, go to a custom woodworking shop, pick a really different looking exotic wood, pay the guy to make the table, round the edges and add a few mods, varnish it and then deliver it to my house, hell, and maybe even put the egg in it Unfortunately, like many - I'm stuck with choosing the cheapest yet most durable and decent looking option. If I get 5 years out of it maybe I can always build a nicer one down the road when I win the lottery
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Unread 07-15-2011, 09:41 AM   #9
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If you can show us some pics when you get it done..........
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Unread 07-15-2011, 09:48 AM   #10
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Don't ever use treated wood where you plan to prepare food. The chemicals used to treat it are toxic.

Another thought. Call around to granite shops and ask if they have any sink or stove cutouts from cabinet jobs. they usually throw them on the scrap heap, and you can get them for nothing. They will usually cut them to size for a small fee. Makes a great prep area built into the table top.

Make sure you post pix when you're done.


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Unread 07-15-2011, 10:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bears BBQ View Post
If you can show us some pics when you get it done..........
I will - it will be in a few weeks though as this weekend is shot and I'll start the build next weekend, but since it's my first project it will take 10 times as long I'm sure

As for granite or tile - since I do prep work in the kitchen which is close to the deck, I'm not going to bother with cut-outs and cleats for insetting anything -trying to go with as simple as possible with minimal cuts. So top and bottom shelf will be all wood across with only a cutout for BGE in the top and going to use a paver or something to put on top of bottom shelf to then put BGE on. Nothing complicated

After it's built I'll put on a beer cap remover and a bin to catch them and call it a day... With possible mods in the future such as paper towel rack and hooks for utensils. Really just looking for space to set down my hotel pans when they have big cuts on them to move on and off the grill - no need for prep space... we'll see. Should be a blast to build and a good learning experience
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Unread 07-15-2011, 11:02 AM   #12
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i used cedar for mine and used a stain for a finish. Looks great after 2 years and I'm not at all worried about the finish peeling up like with a spar or a varnish. I put a 18x18 tile in as a cutting surface and I'm glad I did.... its less challenging than cutting a nice circle for the egg.
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Unread 07-15-2011, 03:18 PM   #13
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Wood choices...If you plan on leaving your table outdoors when not in use be sure to use an exterior grade wood/pressure treated/cedar/redwood. I would make a call to the local lumber yard and ask for recommendations on durability in your area. You may find better pricing there also by buying longer lengths.
If you use the pine be prepared to refinish every year. In my area pine is an interior wood. It can be used as exterior if pressure treated. You could build the structure out of pressure treated wood and use something else on the top surfaces.
I would recommend spending a little more in the beginning and have less work later on. The last thing you want is a LBGE crashing to the ground due to deteriorating wood.
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Unread 07-15-2011, 03:49 PM   #14
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Check this thread, a couple of WICKED tables in there.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ighlight=table

There's also this thread, not sure what wood he used.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ighlight=table

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Unread 07-15-2011, 05:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonboy View Post
Wood choices...If you plan on leaving your table outdoors when not in use be sure to use an exterior grade wood/pressure treated/cedar/redwood. I would make a call to the local lumber yard and ask for recommendations on durability in your area. You may find better pricing there also by buying longer lengths.
If you use the pine be prepared to refinish every year. In my area pine is an interior wood. It can be used as exterior if pressure treated. You could build the structure out of pressure treated wood and use something else on the top surfaces.
I would recommend spending a little more in the beginning and have less work later on. The last thing you want is a LBGE crashing to the ground due to deteriorating wood.
jon
Well Jon, thanks for the info. Did a lot more reading since your post and went back out to look at some wood and prices. I think you are right, pine may be too much work to keep up.

What was really interesting/scary is an article I read about pressure treated lumber. Just got back from HD and found some for just over $2 a board for the size I wanted but will definitely not use it for the egg table. ACQ is nasty - and shouldn't be anywhere near food according to this: http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/...1-97cf362d841d

So, looks like cedar is the best option. Looks nice, smells good, and is good for outdoors and will last longer. Only problem is that it's all 6" wide (well 5.5) instead of the 4" wide boards I was going to use. On the upside it's 5/4 thick (so true 1"). So I'll have to modify the plans but that should;t be hard. Just means 4 boards on top of each shelf instead of 6 and a frame that should be sturdier. The worst part though is the cost as it's twice the price of plain old pine, and 6 times more than spruce or pressure treated pine. At least it's a third of the price of hardwood though (cedar boards will be $10) but hey - should be worth it....

Thanks again for all the advice guys
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