Tiletop BBQ Center Stepbystep

Tedswoodworking Plans

Ted's Woodworking Plans

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PHOTO B: Fasten the legs to the upper and lower crosspieces with deck screws. Position the upper faces of the lower crosspieces so they are 103/4 In. from the bottoms of the legs.

PHOTO A: Once you've cut the leg tapers and shortened the front legs, mark and cut the rounded feet with a jig saw. Clamp each leg to your workbench to make sawing the feet easier.

Build the leg assemblies

O Crosscut the legs to size. Cut identical blanks for all four legs, even though the front legs will eventually be shortened to allow clearance for the wheels.

© Measure and mark the location of the lower crosspieces on the inside faces of the legs. Position the upper face of the crosspieces 103/4 in. from the bottom of the legs. Extend the marks across the legs with a combination square.

0 Cut identical tapers on all four legs (See Front & Back Legs drawings, page 33). The tapers begin 7 in. from the tops of the legs and reduce them to 2Vi in. at the bottom. Draw the foot radius on the two back legs with a compass.

© Cut l5/8 in. off the bottom ends of the front legs, then mark for the l3/8-in. foot radius. When you draw the foot radii, the pivot point for the compass marks the centerpoint of the wheel axle.

© Clamp each leg to your work-surface and cut the curved foot profiles on all four legs with a jig saw (See Photo A).

© Bore the V2-in.-dia. axle hole in the front legs. You may want to mount your drill in a right-angle drilling guide to ensure that these axle holes are straight.

PHOTO B: Fasten the legs to the upper and lower crosspieces with deck screws. Position the upper faces of the lower crosspieces so they are 103/4 In. from the bottoms of the legs.

PHOTO A: Once you've cut the leg tapers and shortened the front legs, mark and cut the rounded feet with a jig saw. Clamp each leg to your workbench to make sawing the feet easier.

O Cut the upper and lower cross-pieces to length. Set the cross-pieces between the legs, and hold the parts in place with clamps. Drill countersunk pilot holes through the legs into the cross-pieces, and attach the legs to the crosspieces with 3-in. galvanized deck screws (See Photo B).

Cut the remaining parts

Cedar is commonly sold smooth on one side and rough on the other. For the lx apron, slat and condiment parts, you could choose to have the rough side facing out or in, depending upon the surface appearance you prefer. Building the cart with workpieces facing smooth-side-out will lead to fewer splinters later and will be easier to keep clean.

O Make the side aprons. Cut the two apron blanks to length. Transfer the side apron profile (See Side Aprons drawing, page 33) to one of the blanks, and mark the centerpoint of the handle dowel hole. Stack the marked blank on top of the unmarked one with the edges aligned, and clamp the blanks together on your worksurface. Gang-cut the profile on both aprons at once with your jig saw. Sand the cut edges smooth.

0 Bore the 3A -in.-dia. handle dowel holes while the side aprons are still clamped together.

d) Cut the end aprons, shelf slats and handle dowel to length.

® Cut the condiment shelf and front to size. First rip 1x6 stock to width (See Cutting List, page 32), then cut the pieces to length.

PHOTO C: Attach the end aprons to the legs, then turn the leg assemblies upside down and fasten the side aprons in place. Hold the parts in position with clamps while you drive the screws.
PHOTO D: Fasten the shelf slats in position, then attach the condiment shelf and front to the side aprons. Leave a Vi-in. gap between the condiment shelf and the end apron (See Side Aprons drawing, page 33), to allow for water drainage. Use 2-in. galvanized deck screws on these parts.
PHOTO E: Arrange rows of tiles to determine the length and width of the tile top. Note: You may need to space the tiles to allow for grout lines if your tiles don't have self-spacing nubs on the edges. The overall dimensions will establish the size of the plywood subtop.

Assemble the workstation

{ y Attach the end aprons to the leg assemblies with 2-in. galvanized deck screws. Fasten the parts by screwing through the end aprons and into the upper cross-pieces and legs. NOTE: Make sure that the longer back legs are at the same end of the aprons as the handle dowel holes.

® Fasten the side aprons to the leg assemblies. Stand leg assemblies upside down on your work surface with the end aprons facing out. Clamp the side aprons in place so they extend 4V2 in. beyond the the end aprons on both ends of the cart. Drill countersunk pilot holes, and attach the side aprons to the leg assemblies with 2-in. screws, four screws per joint (See Photo C).

© Install the shelf slats. Stand the workstation right-side-up on the floor. Put a lV2-in.-thick board under the shorter front legs to hold the workstation approximately level. Position the shelf slats so their ends are flush with the outer edges of the lower crossbraces and there are equal gaps between the slats. Drill countersunk pilot holes through the slats and into the lower crosspieces, and fasten the slats in place.

© Attach the condiment shelf and front pieces. Start by drilling countersunk pilot holes in the side aprons on the end opposite the cart handle. Position the shelf 3/4 in. from the ends of the side aprons to allow space for attaching the condiment front. Make sure there is about a Vi-in. gap between the shelf and the end apron to allow for water drainage. Fasten the shelf between the side aprons with 2-in. screws. Install the front by attaching it to the

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PHOTO F: Spread a layer of thinset mortar over the subtop using a V4-in. notched trowel. Press the tiles into the mortar in a systematic fashion, working out from one corner both lengthwise and widthwise. Keep watch on your tile spacing to ensure that all the tiles will fit on the subtop.

side aprons and the shelf with 2-in. screws (See Photo D).

Build the top

The sizes of the plywood top and edging are based on the assumption that the tiles are 4x/4 in. square and grout lines between the tiles are all Vs in. We did not leave a distinct grout line between the tile and the edging because this is an outdoor project, and the wood edging will expand and contract with changes in humidity. If you use a different size tile, you will need to modify the overall size of the top. Be sure to also factor in the space needed for grout lines.

iB Determine the plywood top size by laying out lines of tiles to mark the length and width of the workstation top (See Photo E). Cut the plywood subtop to size, taking care that it is square.

® Fasten the top to the workstation. Position the subtop so there is an even overhang all around, and attach it with 2-in. screws driven through the upper crosspieces from below (attaching the top from below allows you the option of removing the top later on without destroying the tile).

(D Apply an even layer of thinset mortar to the subtop with a Win. notched trowel. Be sure to wear gloves when working with mortar or grout.

© Set the tiles into the mortar (See Photo F). If you are not an experienced tile setter and your tiles are not self-spacing, we recommend starting at one corner of the top and setting one line of tile across the width and one line across the length. This allows you to verify the exact size of the grout lines, since it will be easier to

PHOTO G: Wrap the tile top with 3/4 x 1-in. cedar edging, mitering the corners. Fasten the edging pieces with wood glue and 6d galvanized finish nails, nailing into the plywood subtop. Then recess the nailheads with a nailset.

adjust the positioning of these first few guide tiles, if need be, than to reposition the whole topfull of tiles. Press the tiles firmly into the thinset mortar to ensure that they seat fully and will not come loose. Allow the mortar to dry thoroughly before continuing to finish the top.

© Make and install the edging. Rip % x 1-in. strips from 1x6 stock, and crosscut the edging to length. Miter-cut the ends to 45°. Drill pilot holes, and attach the edging to the edges of the subtop with glue and #6d galvanized finish nails (See Photo G). Recess the nailheads with a nailset.

© Apply the grout. Select a grout color that complements your tile; generally speaking, darker grout shows spotting and stains much less than lighter-colored grout. Mix powdered grout according to the manufacturer's instructions to produce a relatively dry mixture that retains its shape when you ball it in your hand. Protect the top surface of the wood edging with masking tape.

© Spread grout across the tiles and into the joints, using a grout float (See Photo H). Work diagonally across the tabletop to avoid digging the grout out of some joints as you fill others.

E Wipe away the excess grout. Again working with diagonal strokes, use a sponge to remove the excess grout from the tile surface (See Photo I). Rinse the sponge frequently and get the top

PHOTO H: Press grout into the gaps between the tiles using a grout float. Work diagonally across the surface, pulling the float toward you as you go. Working diagonally helps to minimize the chances of accidentally pulling grout out of the gaps you've already filled.

clean before the grout has a chance to fully set. As the grout dries, any grout residue will appear as a hazy film on the tiles. Wipe them clean with a soft, dry cloth.

Install the wheels

© Cut the Vfc-in.-dia. axle rod to length with a hacksaw. To accommodate the washers and cotter pins, the axles must extend beyond the legs 3/4 in. plus the thickness of the wheel hub on each side. Wheel hub dimensions will vary. Thus, if your wheel hubs are 1 in. thick, the axles need to be at least 23 Via in. long.

© Drill holes in the axle for the cotter pins. To do this easily, make a wooden cradle by cutting a V-shaped groove into the face of an 8- to 12dn. piece of 2 x 4 with two passes of your saw set at a 45° angle. Fasten the grooved 2 x 4 to a slightly larger piece of 3/4-in. scrap.

PHOTO I: Remove excess grout and smooth the grout lines with a water-dampened sponge. Again, work diagonally. Continue wiping the tiles, rinsing the sponge and wringing it out until the tiles are clean. Wipe away haze left by the grout with a soft cloth.

Clamp the cradle to your drill press table to support the axle while you drill it. Set the axle in the groove and drill a Vs-in. hole through the axle near (verify the exact position) each end of the rod (See Photo J). Tip: Use a slow speed setting on the drill press and lubricate the bit with a drop of light machine oil to keep the bit from overheating.

Install the wheels. Slide the axle into place on the legs, slip washers onto the axle next to the legs to serve as spacers, slide the wheels and another set of washers onto the axle, and insert the cotter pins to lock the wheels in place (See Photo K).

Finishing touches © Check that all nailheads are set and all screw heads are countersunk slightly below the surface of the wood. You can either fill nail- and screw head recesses with wood putty or simply leave the heads exposed for a more rustic appearance.

; ■ Sand all exposed surfaces and edges, then apply the finish of your choice. We used a clear penetrating exterior wood sealer with good UV protection in order to retain and highlight the natural beauty of the wood. Depending on the tile you've selected for your top, you could elect to paint the workstation for a more dramatic look. Or, as with any cedar furniture, you may leave it unfinished and let it weather to a silvery gray.

Steady Cut Cutting Cradle
PHOTO J: Cut a V-shaped notch in a scrap of 2 x 4 to help steady the axle as you drill holes for cotter pins. Fasten the notched cradle to another scrap, and clamp the jig to the drill press table. Drill through the rod using a slow speed setting and firm—but not excessive-force on the bit.
PHOTO K: Insert the axle through the holes in the front legs, then install washers, wheels and cotter pins to secure the wheels. The washers next to the cotter pins keep the wheels from rubbing against the cotter pins as the wheels turn.

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