Build Your Own Cookout

I needed Matt out of the house in August of 2009 so that I could host B2‘s bachelorette/bridal shower party. He said he’d probably go up to Frank’s and do some reloading or maybe just watch a movie or BS the day away. When he came home it turned out that they had been quite a bit more productive than planned. Frank had a small, upright air compressor from a discount tool store that had gone TU. The boys removed the motor, sliced the top off, cut a door in the size, affixed handles to the door and lid, threw on some hinges, and fabbed a stretch metal grill. Voila! Portable wood-burning BBQ/smoker! The wheels are still on, so it can be rolled around to wherever you want it. We have alder smoked venison on it, cooked burgers for picnics, and used it simply to ward off the chill and the bugs on late nights with six-packs on the patio with friends. This summer it needs a good, thick coating of BBQ or engine paint to keep the rust at bay, but it has earned it.

I came home from work one Friday evening in the early fall to find this attractive and sturdy picnic table in my back yard.

Me:  “Wow, where’d you get that?”

Matt:  “Lumber yard.”

Me:  “You built it?”

Matt:  “Yup.”

Me:  “Where’d you get the plans?”

Matt:  “Plans?”

It was a life-saver at the Harvest Party we hosted in October (the pets have trashed the house and the particle-board top on the other outdoor table is too warped to support a plate of food reliably). It withstood winter well and provides a great place to sit survey one’s hard work with a lemonade after a long day of pulling weeds in the veggie garden. I’ll slap a coat of urethane on it before fall hits again, but I think its pretty much indestructible (We usually move it with the tractor when we mow because I can hardly lift one end.)

— Amanda


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