Misc. Shop Stuff #75: Grill / Griddle Table Pt. 1

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Blog entry by Smitty_Cabinetshop posted 04-19-2021 05:40 AM 494 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 74: A Collection of DeWalt MBFs? Part 75 of Misc. Shop Stuff series Part 76: Blackstone Table, Pt. 2 »

We got a Blackstone griddle this week, and I must say cooking on the thing is kinda fun. And fast! Here’s a shot of the second meal we did: steak and asparagus.

But with oh-so-many things these days, the actual griddle was just the beginning. With a Blackstone, it’s all about the accessories! And there are a bunch of the out there. You can see on the pic above that I buckled right away for the griddle dome / cover that sits over food to contain the heat. Melting cheese is the top example. but so is containing the steam when doing veggies. Or rice. Or etc. etc. We also had a raised wire rack that works perfectly inside the hood. There will be squeeze bottles too, and spatulas, and scrub pads for cleaning. Then there’s a need to have a surface to stage what’s being cooked! Question is, where to put all this stuff?

I have one of these roll-around coolers…

... that I’ve set next to the Blackstone, at a 90 degree angle, to create a type of work surface. Thought about adding a wood top on the cooler. That’d get me a roll around function that I thought might be useful, and it’d make the cooler a bit more versatile. Then my Charming and Beautiful Wife reminded me that a griddle will often be used with visitors, and lifting the top to get drinks would be quite the pain. So, building ‘something’ was the new focus. I did have (from somewhere, don’t remember specifics at the moment) a great piece of loblolly pine tabletop, a full 1” thick, that would only need a bit of rehab to get it useable. So we had a start.

Here’s the piece after I’d chucked it up at the bench for rework (one fresh end, and one jointed and slightly rounded, matching edge).

What to do for a base? Needs to be strong (obviously) and rigid. I’d like a bottom shelf for storing a couple totes that will hold said accessories when not used, and have a slight overhand to accommodate hooks for spatulas and the like. The reason that’s important is the kits that are sold often have two matching stainless steel spatulas as well as a monster (wide) burger flipper AND a scraper for cleaning. Then there’s a pair of tongs, etc. etc. The pack of magnets are cool, but there’s only so much room around the grill for these things. And, to be honest, they’re pricey.

Looked around the shop, and saw grandpa’s workbench / table that I rehab’d to serve as the base for the Not-Wall-Hung. That’s what I’ll do, he said. And then I remembered there’s a bit of the top that was removed back in 2013 that I could use for the legs of this “new” piece. Game on. Oh, and I’ll angle the front legs for a bit more stability, and to give it a bit more visual interest. Here’s a closeup of grandpa’s bench (specifically the undercarriage). And no, I didn’t move any of the crap out the way so you could see it better… just gotta work with me a bit, okay? :-)

So, planed the top down to a new, even finish (jack plane, jointer plane, smoother, and even a bit of jr. jack action) and applied several coats of danish oil for a finish.

Then I set it aside to work the base. Did a bit of measuring and thinking, and came up with an angle of unknown specificity that’d splay the front legs just right. Captured said angle on the bevel gauge and that became the master reference as I marked up the legs for cross cutting. Also decided to do some half-lap joinery vs. what grandpa did, just because I like the look and wanted to aggravate myself. So, lots of table saw and RAS work, along with a bit of chisels fitting after hand saw work with panel (Atkins, rip) and sash (Bridge Tool of St. Louis, 12”).

Got all the joinery tweaked (No. 9 3/4 squirrel tail block) and finalized before gluing up / clamping everything together at the end of the first day’s work.

The next day I added 1x aprons to the front and back of the base ‘leg’ assemblies. Here’s a clamp up to see that everything was coming together as envisioned.

And yes, the aprons (and all the other wood used) is the same loblolly (heavy) pine. I’ve always saved boards of this kind whenever I came across it, and have quite a old growth stash of 8’+ 1×12s and even 1×14s to pull from. And the legs came from grandpa’s table. To be honest, it’s kinda nice to finally have a worthwhile use for even a bit of it!

Oh, and for those that get all excited seeing M-F stuff, note the pristine brace being used for the dowel holes. Yes, dowels. A suggestion from my daughter (when given the choice of nails, screws or dowels for attaching the aprons to the legs frames, she chose the most labor intensive option…). Of course, I had to make the dowels too, so a bit of Stanley toolporn before getting to the drilling. :-)

So far so good.

The top is attached via buttons in a dado run along each apron. I’ll get a couple pics of that part of the assy next time, I guess. That last picture of the whole piece as it sits now actually doesn’t do it justice; the whole thing is actually looking pretty cool (maybe only to me, maybe? But I digress…) That said, the table still needs a bottom shelf so it looks like there’ll be a Part 2 for this blog (yes, I’ll be finishing this project up tomorrow). Until then, as always, thanks for looking!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

6 comments so far

View Mosquito's profile


11128 posts in 3379 days

#1 posted 04-19-2021 10:40 AM

Nice work so far, looks live a lot of progress for a days work

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17326 posts in 3705 days

#2 posted 04-19-2021 11:51 AM

Thx Mos, yeah it’s nice to focus on a single project and get ‘er near-done so quickly! Now to avoid the 90% trap…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Tom's profile


269 posts in 978 days

#3 posted 04-19-2021 06:12 PM

That must have been a lot of work to plane the top with hand planes. Good exercise. I love projects like this. Thanks for sharing. :)

-- Tom

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17326 posts in 3705 days

#4 posted 04-21-2021 02:30 AM

Tom, not too bad at all. When the planes are sharp. Maybe 10 minutes to complete?

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View AnthonyReed's profile


10171 posts in 3527 days

#5 posted 04-22-2021 03:57 PM

The brace and its depth stop are sexy.

...and still, that fan.

Glad to read your daughter shares the family trait of not skimping on effort.

-- ~Tony

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


17326 posts in 3705 days

#6 posted 04-22-2021 08:43 PM

Hi Tony, thanks for checking in, my friend!

Of course, the base got painted so the dowels are a bit lost to the untrained eye. But, oh well. We know they’re there!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

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