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Am I making this L BGE table project too difficult?

I want to get my table built.  Like many projects, I throw too much planning into it and stew over the smallest things.  Here is what I want and some of what is holding me back.  First off, it will be a L BGE table and table top will measure 57"x27".  I am planning a granite remnant for the top.  I want drawers in the table end opposite the egg, and a drawer under the egg.  Being a woodworker, I can do this any number of ways.  But building a case provides the most stable, accurate, and long lasting support for drawers.  When completed, it will be stored with a cover over it, in a covered alcove and out of the weather.  But I am sure there may be a day that it is cooking away in the rain or snow.  So I am concerned about using plywood to build the case.  I have considered a solid substrate such as baltic birch plywood for this, but want the look of a nicer veneer, like red oak.  I am also still toying with the faces and support wood on the other end of the table and considering mesquite vs red oak.  I am reconsidering my joinery as well due to the weight it supports.  A front and rear face frame glued and attached to the case will support the non egg end just fine, and the egg end of the face frame would be the main stringers for the front/back of the table both top and bottom.  And on the egg end, I am considering 4"x4" posts to make the look I am after.  Then the non egg end would be balanced with the same look using 4"x1" material.  Basically, none of the plywood used would have edges exposed at all and would be covered by face frame and trim, having been stained and sealed appropriately for outdoor use, but not outdoor storage subject to all the elements (except when cooking). 

I kind of feel like I am re-inventing the wheel here.  There are plenty of designs and tables out there, along with plans.  The whiz flash-burns table is of the size and dimension that I am after, so simple modification to allow for drawers is all that needed.  But due to using a solid surface top, I don't need the stucture to support a wood top.  Same on the lower shelf, since I am doing drawers on both sides, using that lower frame isn't necessary.  But will my main box case and the secondary box support the cart/top/egg/and accessories as well as a post and rail construction?  Lets face it, islands and counters in your kitchen have the same construction and support heavy weights as well.  I just don't know if weather will cause issues using casework vs post and rail on all sides.  And anyone using drawers has used plywood in their design already if it is wood.  Even with weather, natural wood continues to expand/contract across the grain, making plywood seem a more appropriate choice for the casework to house the drawer sets.  I don't think I would consider drawers or casework if this was going to be outside completely exposed to the elements, but in the alcove with a cover, do you think it would be ok to go this route? 

One more thought...I was really thinking mortise and tenon on the egg end of the table.  But the idea of M/T is to allow the tenon to move cross grain inside the mortise, with a pin to actually hold it.  Seems counter productive to glue this joint and expect the load of the top and the egg to be suported well when the point is to allow for movement.  Using bisquits with a butt joint in the end grain of the rail seems weak as well.  Using pocket holes (kreg) for rail to post connection seems ok but no stronger than a bisquit or the M/T.  The strongest connections will be those with the full face of the rail glued to the face of the post and dowel'ed or bolted...but is it necessary and am I just imagining that it is stronger overt the life of the cart?   

Any suggestions, critiques, or ideas would be welcome! 

Just far enough north of DFW to be "rural"...and close enough to be urban, depending on my mood.

Comments

  • I try to remind customers who take on this type of project to stay within the BGE dimensions so a stock cover can be used as opposed to having to go the custom ($$$) cover route. 

     

    -SMITTY     

    from SANTA CLARA, CA

  • Understand your quandry, been there done that. As a suggestion, consider that egging is messy, charcoal ash and dust gets everywhere, think of your egg cart like a picnic table. Nice to plan a beautiful finish, but understand it will get whacked, burned and stained. 
    For post to rail connection I'm a big fan of heavy duty leg-braces. They allow the wood to move and are super tight. They also allow adjustment as the humidity changes from season to season. You prolly have a local source, but here is what I'm talking about. 
    Like the idea of baltic birch - very stable, good for sides/ends and even bottoms if needed. Suggest you use an overlap front so any "pretty" wood will do, expansion will not be an issue. Flush fronts will expand shut if it gets humid enough. Good luck. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • txav8rtxav8r Posts: 153
    I really appreciate the feedback. It helps to bounce your ideas around. Agreed that standard dimensions are best and why I am going that route.

    Glad to hear you think the Baltic would be more stable, was thinking the same but that nicer grain in red oak plywood was speaking to me. Your right, the face frame will draw the attention. Another reason to go with mesquite. I have worked with it extensively and love the way it machines as well as the nice orange hue with black grain.

    Yes, the table will get dirty. So having sealed drawer cabinet and a solid granite top will all help with that. Under the table, the secondary case box will be the support for the egg, but a full
    piece of slate or granite will provide a surface that will be easy to clean after emptying ash. I have considered using the drawer space below the egg for an ash and screen drawer, but that may be dirtier than it seems.

    Having used my weber gasser and not
    Done hardwood charcoal ever, I appreciate the insight into what it consists of.
    Just far enough north of DFW to be "rural"...and close enough to be urban, depending on my mood.
  • txav8rtxav8r Posts: 153
    I have built a woodworking table using bench bolts for assembly of m/t joints they are rock solid and don't require glue. They are knock down ready. They are superior to cross dowel bench bolts because of a half dollar size dowel vs a small diameter dowel. The large diameter will prevent rail splitting under pressure. Here's a link...
    http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/setof4benchboltsandnuts.aspx
    Just far enough north of DFW to be "rural"...and close enough to be urban, depending on my mood.
  • txav8rtxav8r Posts: 153
    My Bench with bolts.
    image.jpg
    640 x 480 - 90K
    image.jpg
    640 x 480 - 93K
    Just far enough north of DFW to be "rural"...and close enough to be urban, depending on my mood.
  • txav8rtxav8r Posts: 153
    Not sure why they load sideways. A phone thing?
    Just far enough north of DFW to be "rural"...and close enough to be urban, depending on my mood.
  • txav8rtxav8r Posts: 153
    But I am realizing that this won't work because the rails I intend are only 3/4" as is all face frame. I may need to use 7/8" but that too is too thin for bolts as well. They need 2x material.
    Just far enough north of DFW to be "rural"...and close enough to be urban, depending on my mood.
  • GK59GK59 Posts: 438
    I started with treated framework for the top and lower shelf only.The 4 legs are about 1-3/8" butt jointed stock .Used Titebond polyurethane. It foams when it get moisture and pocket screws. 
    I used biscuits for the top and bottom shelves.As for the finished panels between the legs I resawed some stock to about 3/8" ,glued it to the treated and used 1/2" pin nails until glue cured.
    The screws to fasten rough framework to legs were 1/4" less then both pieces.
    All the exposed wood was a thermally treated(not common green treated) . Kind of hard to find though. All fasteners are hidden behind or under . Nothing exposed except for screws of the bottle openers. 
    My thoughts would be to stay away from plywoods . Glue-ups of maybe some cedar for the drawers.
    Good Luck and have fun.
    IMG_1038.JPG
    4752 x 3168 - 7M

    Smitty's Kid's BBQ

    Bay City,MI

  • txav8rtxav8r Posts: 153
    In not a fan of pressure treated wood at all. For decks and other outdoor structures it is fine. But anything finished or food prep, I will stay away from it. Toxins and twisting are not favorable.

    I'm not familiar with "thermally" treated wood. All wood I use is kiln dried, but even those are not created equal. In not too concerned with Baltic birch, it isn't common plywood. It is commonly used in marine construction. But sealing is necessary. I am thinking about sealing this table with epoxy rather than spar varnish. But it is hard to get a level and clear coat on vertical surfaces.
    Just far enough north of DFW to be "rural"...and close enough to be urban, depending on my mood.
  • GK59GK59 Posts: 438
    The thermally treated is a kiln process. No chemicals.

    Smitty's Kid's BBQ

    Bay City,MI

  • txav8rtxav8r Posts: 153
    So it makes it resistant to moisture and movement?
    Just far enough north of DFW to be "rural"...and close enough to be urban, depending on my mood.
  • txav8rtxav8r Posts: 153
    Apparently only distributed out of PA at the present.
    Just far enough north of DFW to be "rural"...and close enough to be urban, depending on my mood.
  • GK59GK59 Posts: 438
    Yes it's rot and insect resistant. Up to 25 years they say.
    I also used a finish called One Step which is to give up to 7 years before a recoating.

    Smitty's Kid's BBQ

    Bay City,MI

  • txav8rtxav8r Posts: 153
    Apparently not a player for me, and since mine will have a roof over it and be covered, I am thinking a nicer wood is in order.  I am considering IPE but it isn't as nice as mesquite.  I am rapidly approaching just putting a cheap 2x construction grade table together to have a table now and build the permanent table over the winter.  I am readed to get egging!
    Just far enough north of DFW to be "rural"...and close enough to be urban, depending on my mood.
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,203
    If I ever build a permanent table I'll use a faux stone veneer with stainless steel doors and a solid top. My table at the present is ipe and slate tile. I like mobility and really don't need the other. Egg in a nest or on a paver with an air gap for now. Good luck.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • txav8rtxav8r Posts: 153
    henapple said:
    If I ever build a permanent table I'll use a faux stone veneer with stainless steel doors and a solid top. My table at the present is ipe and slate tile. I like mobility and really don't need the other. Egg in a nest or on a paver with an air gap for now. Good luck.

    Do you happen to have a pic handy of your table?  Seeing ipe for an egg would be good.  I might have seen it in the table forum but didn't know it was ipe.  Doing a granite top doubles the cost of the table, but will cut down on future damge and make cleaning a breeze.  So the extra $$ makes sense to me long term.  An outdoor kitchen similar to what you describe sounds good in theory, but we are in the country and in the woods to boot.  So bugs are a big issue.  Grasshoppers eat screen if you try to screen a porch, and the texas heat makes using the kitchen limited...so I havent' considered stone but I like the looks.  I have a neighbor down the street that works for Armstrong, and they have a faux stone line.  Anyway, pics if you have one would be appreciated!
    Just far enough north of DFW to be "rural"...and close enough to be urban, depending on my mood.
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,203
    Just old phone pic. Mine is really simple. The ipe is tough to work with but rot and basically fire proof. No storage but I don't need any.
    2012-08-30_09-59-58_139.jpg
    3264 x 1840 - 2M
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,654
    if your worried about the plywood you could step it up to a quality marine plywood. i think you can get those with teak or mahogany exterior. also with the epoxy finish, it will yellow in the sun, epoxy and then top coat with a good spar from a marine store  will fix that
  • txav8rtxav8r Posts: 153

    System 3 or West system epoxies has a table top clear.  It is less prone to yellowing, but I think I have seen bar tops that have yellowed some.  Agreed, and I really dont' think heroics are needed to protect it, since it won't be stored in the weather anyway.  I am considering how to do a drip edge on the granite lip, to prevent run back to the wood. 

    @henapple, that looks nice, the ipe is really dark, like the mahogany strain it comes from.  I want a deep color, but not that dark.  I am thinking mesquite that is more orange with black grain.  I am also thinking danish oil to deepen and bring out the color and then the varnish to seal it.

     

    Baltic birch plywood is tighter grained, and has no voids, it is really what teak is veneered to, at least high quality teak plywood.  I don't want the darkness of either mahogany or teak, I want a richer grain than they have...even oak is more grainy.  A few checks, fissures, knots, or worm holes would be ok too, I can fill them with black epoxy and it will stabilize the wood and add to the character.  Here is a pic of a table I built.  The saw cuts, worm holes, and knots were filled in this black walnut with turquoise tinted epoxy...it came out heirloom. 

     

    image
    Copy of walnut table 2 (Medium).jpg
    800 x 527 - 74K
    Just far enough north of DFW to be "rural"...and close enough to be urban, depending on my mood.
  • txav8rtxav8r Posts: 153
    I went to the local mill and looked at mesquite, select cypress, and more.  Then I stopped by Latham Stair and Millwork.  They can get anything and mill to order.  The purchaser, who admitted knowing only purchasing, but repeated much in the way of what project success they had had with woods both indoors and out.  He felt oak or any other true dry hardwood had no place outside.  He showed me both African Mahogany and IPE...the IPE was a little red for me, and the guys that machine it, HATE it, because it tears up tools and bits.  It was HEAVY too!  I liked the mahogany, and they said it could be left unsealed.  Anybody use it? 
    Just far enough north of DFW to be "rural"...and close enough to be urban, depending on my mood.
  • SoykneeSoyknee Posts: 10

    I used white oak for mine.  The local hardwoods store said its great for outdoor use.  I believe old ironsides was made of white oak.  I used all solid wood and no plywood (except for drawer bottorms).  Here is a link to the one I did.

    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1151886/new-member-with-new-table#latest

  • SoykneeSoyknee Posts: 10
    Mortise and tennon for the frame.  Rabbeted and dadoed the ends.  Dovetails for the drawers.
  • 3sheets3sheets Posts: 64
    Soyknee said:
    Mortise and tennon for the frame.  Rabbeted and dadoed the ends.  Dovetails for the drawers.
    Is that you Norm?

    Location 33.537588, -83.969298 (33.5 miles and 41 minutes SE of the Mothership)

  • CookinbobCookinbob Posts: 989
    I have not read the entire thread, but I did build my own table and will add a comment.  Mine is an XL which is quite heavy.  Within a couple of weeks, my table was sagging in the center, I ultimately added a 5th foot/caster and support in the center to correct and prevent further sag.  My support on the  long axis was two 1X4's which is just not enough.  Be sure you have good support so nothing sags!

    I used pressure treated pine for the structure, and cedar for the top and shelves with a couple of ceramic inserts. There was a bit of piecing around the inserts, but when finished I had virtually no lumber waste.  I sized it to use a BGE table cover.
    egg-table.jpg
    920 x 710 - 176K
    XLBGE, Small BGE, Homebrew and Guitars
    Rochester, NY
  • txav8rtxav8r Posts: 153
    That is a nice looking table.  I broke down and bought a large nest so I didn't rush the table.  Thanks for the report, because while I think 4x4 posts is overkill on the ends, I to have considered the sag that the stretchers could have if not supported enough.  Thanks again for contributing!
    Just far enough north of DFW to be "rural"...and close enough to be urban, depending on my mood.
  • SoykneeSoyknee Posts: 10
    I am not Norm. Wish I had his skills though. My table won't sag, with the support in the middle of the cabinet. There is a lot of hidden structure for support. 4x4's are overkill
  • KeeferKeefer Posts: 92
    edited October 2013
    I also built my on table. I started with wormy red oak from my own stock. image I applied several coats of spar varnish to all sides of each part. image image I worked in some granite. image And assembled with weather resistant fasteners. image So far I have not noticed any sag at all. image
  • SoykneeSoyknee Posts: 10
    Very nice Keefer! Wish I had your supply of wormy oak.
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