Category Archives: Projects

Tiered Planter

We have been wanting to start a garden and haven’t decided on the layout yet. I figured I could construct a tiered planter to get things started. I pieced it together by using two: 2x4x8 common Redwood and ten: 5/8″,5 1/2″x6′ dog ear cedar pickets. This should help us kick start our gardening plans. Here’s the Google Sketchup Plans in case you’re interested in making your own.


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Family Projects: Bean Bag Toss

We decided that we would embark on family projects. So we decided to start with a bean bag toss game. We borrowed the project plans from This should start-up our creativeness to come up with our ideas for games.



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Project: Wood Table For My Primo

Well I have been using my steel frame table for over a year now and since we have moved into our new home I feel it is time to construct my very own custom table. I need something practical, sturdy, movable and offer just a enough table top surface for my trays while grilling and some storage for my grill accessories. So I had been working on design concepts for sometime now and I completed one which offers all of the above. I still need to add the caster wheels to the left side legs which will make it easy to move. Here is my concept which you can download from Google Sketchup and add your own customization’s.

Primo Table Version 2-001

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Family Garden

We were given the opportunity to use and maintain a family plot which we jumped on immediately. On September 22nd we were assigned our lots and we went straight to work. We cleaned up all the weeds, setup the planting structures, added fertilizer with a little chicken poop and seeded. Exactly a week later we returned for some maintenance (weed pulling) and found that our cucumbers are beginning to grow. Nothing more exciting than to see your work coming to life. 

Here’s an interesting angle of the development. 



Project Drum Smoker or Barrel Grill

Many topics and subjects have crossed my mind in regards to starting a new project over the recent weeks. One in particular is learning how to weld. I did some research (not extensive) about welding and MIG or TIG Welding appear ideal for relatively thin metals. In addition I stumbled upon a post or ad on that was selling 55ga (open head seamless) drums for $15 a piece.


As you can tell by the photo above I purchased four drums. In addition I did some research on drum smokers and barrel grills and ended up purchasing a 4-1/2″ 6amp angle grinder which I will be using to cut these. I’ve been drawing up designs, making adjustments, designing the charcoal baskets and working on a wok concept. Since I don’t have any welding skills or welding equipment my designs are completely nuts and bolt based.

A few of my ideas will require trips to the scrap yard but I will refrain from cutting up the barrels until I am completely confident in my concept which includes a frame with locking casters. Hopefully in the weeks to come I will write posts on my progress followed up with a complete start to finish summation.

In the event you need specs I found the following chart on (

I called around to get pricing on sandblasting and most charge by total area. So here is my quick calc of what a 55ga Drum that is 22.5″ by 33″.

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BBQ Help Hashtag Inception

I was thinking we should offer a twitter based help system by implementing a community monitored hashtag #bbqhelp. We can help each other by offering assistance to those in need or have questions about anything BBQ related. For example if you are looking to purchase a grill then you can post a question along the lines of:

“I’m looking to pick up an everyday grill. Any suggestions #bbqhelp”.

Then a member of the BBQ community can chime in and provide their feedback followed by the #bbqhelp hashtag. Like so:

“Hey @user I use a kettle style grill for my everyday meals since the portions are smaller, but for larger meals I use my smoker #bbqhelp”.

To give you some background about this idea I am essentially borrowing the concept from the SQL community which I am a part of. I am Database Administrator and I work with SQL Server everyday-all-day. I use the #sqlhelp hashtag to ask and answer sql server related questions. It really works. This is about people helping people from all over the world and from seasoned grill masters to newbies like myself.

It’s a great way to break the ice, help a fellow BBQ enthusiast and it serves as a great medium for networking and friendship building. What are your thoughts? Is this viable or a hassle?

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Joe Davidson’s Materials List

I’ve wanted to build a custom pit so I searched the web and found a video tutorial that pretty much walks you through the steps. I haven’t done it yet, but I most certainly will. The primary reason for this post is to provide the materials list that Joe Davidson ( mentioned in his video. Chances are he’s been busy so to help out here’s my little contribution.

Here’s the link to the pdf I put together: Custom Pit Materials Lists.pdf


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Steel Frame Table for Primo Oval XL

I was fortunate enough to pick up a Primo Oval XL at a bargain of a price. Like many product specific accessories things can get pricy very quickly and purchasing a grill table specific for the Primo Oval XL was no different. Seeing that I was somewhat successful at piecing together a quick grill I figured I could brain storm a bit and design something myself.

Like before I had several concepts and decided to scout around to get further ideas for an all wood setup. Definitely glad that I did. Wondering through the isles of Lowe’s I stumble upon some steel frames (72″ H x 0″ W x 30″ D) and beams (48″ L). So I purchased two of the steel frames and six of the steel beams. They must have been on sale because at check-out the total cost for eight pieces was $40.79

I did notice that the steel frame looks slightly different from the photo they have on their website, not exactly sure but the part number matches.

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Build a Grill

We needed a grill and did not want to fork over the dough to purchase one that we really didn’t want. Especially for the purpose of grilling steaks, carne asada, pork chops, hotdogs or burgers. My sister had a George Forman grill which worked ok but it was messy and the juices always ended up spilling on the countertop. Not to mention I really enjoyed cooking out in the backyard on top of that I’ve since become a fan of charcoal grilling.

I had several concepts which I drew up and after some consideration I finally decided on a simple project using 2x4s along with disposable rectangular foil roaster baking pans and nonstick cooling racks/trays which served as the grill grate. My idea was to have a frame that would promote three grilling surfaces in a simplistic rectangular shape.

I picked up the (2×4) framing wood at Lowe’s and ended up using two (2x4x10) and one (2x4x8) boards. I had them cut the board into specific sizes asking the associate to mind the thickness of the blade in their cuts because the measurements were really tight. Here are the cuts and sizes.

  1. (2) – 33-5/8″
  2. (6) – 11-1/2″
  3. (8) – 12″
  4. (2) – 12-1/8″
  5. (2) – 8-3/4″
  6. (2) – 9-3/8″


Using both of the 9-3/8″ and both of the 8-3/4″ pieces I nailed them together using 4″ nails after drilling tiny pilot holes and adding some wood glue. This made hammering a tad easier. The purpose of this unit was designed to evenly space the inner 11-1/2″ rails used in the main frame. Here is my mockup of the spacer.


Using both of the 33-5/8″ boards and four of the 11-1/2″ pieces I constructed the main base. Starting with one 33-5/8″ and one 11-1/2″. Holding the two pieces together with the longer piece outside of the shorter piece I drilled tiny pilot holes, added wood glue and nailed them together. I then finished the other side and nailed together the main rectangle frame.

Using the spacer I placed it into the main frame and then used it nail in one of the 11-1/2″ piece. Following the same tactic I used the spacer again and attached the final 11-1/2″ piece. At this point I have the frame with three holding components. The final steps I added the four 12″ pieces used as legs.

I attached the legs where the 33-5/8″ and 11-1/2″ pieces met using two 4″ nails and two 2-1/2″ nails.


With the remaining four 12″ legs, two 12-1/8″ and two 11-1/2″ pieces I nailed together a single grill base.


Here’s the final product in action.