When we couldn't find the perfect table, we set out to build our own. Before getting started, we found pictures of many great tables that fellow BGE fans have built. None were exactly what we wanted, so we created our own plans. I thought we'd share in hopes that we can inspire or help you to create your own.
I hadn't originally planned to document the process, so I didn't take excellent pictures. Hopefully the few that I do have will help.
Okay, here we go, ready?
PICTURES FOR REFERENCE -
MATERIALS & TOOLS:
*You can find almost all of this at your local big box hardware store. I included links for clarity.
- Treated Lumber
- Six 31 ½” 4 x 4s
- Four 31” 2 x 6s
- Three 22 ¼” 2 x 6s
- Six 31” 2 x 4s
- Six 22 ¼” 2 x 4s
- Extra lumber to reinforce (2 x 4s) and build shelf tops (1 x 6s)
- Kreg Blue-Kote 2 ½” Pocket Hole Screws
- Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
- Wood Stain or Paint of your choice and brushes/cloths to apply
- Materials to close in one side of the table as a cabinet or make a drawer
Concrete Tabletop -
- One 4’ x 8’ x 3/4” Sheet of Melamine
- 2” Wood Screws
- Painters Tape
- Latex Caulk (black or other dark color)
- Styrofoam Circle 22” diameter 1 ½” thick (we ordered ours here)
- Plastic cloth (to cover tabletop while it dries and to cover surfaces while sanding)
- Quikrete Profinish Concrete
- Rebar or Chicken Wire
- Water Based Concrete Sealer
- Concrete Countertop Polish
Other (optional) -
- 3 Large Pot Feet (for BGE to sit on)
- Materials to build a cabinet, or more shelves
- Acid Stain (to add color to the tabletop)
- Bottle Opener
- Towel Rack
- Grill Tool Hooks
- Table Cover (we ordered a custom one from duckcovers.com, great customer service!)
Table with Measurements -
- Plan out your table. Depending on where you’re going to place your table, the size of your BGE (ours is large) and your own preferences, you might want to alter the size or materials. I've included a basic drawing below - feel free to print and write in your own measurements. The most important measurements to get right are the size of the table opening (where the egg will go) and the distance between that hole and the surface your egg will sit on.
- Obtain materials (list above).
- To start the base/frame for your table, cut your lumber down to size. I’ve included an image below that shows the required boards. You’ll want to go back and add braces on the corners as well as other supporting boards - there is some flexibility in how you do this so I haven’t provided measurements or specific number of boards. That said, you can see where I added support in one of the pictures.
- For the best finish (no visible screws), use a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig where all of the boards meet. You can get one of these for about $40 at most hardware stores. Use the Kreg 2 1/2" outdoor screws (the blue ones) to connect the boards.
- Starting with the legs and the 2 x 6 boards that connect the top of frame, assemble your frame.
- If you’re using treated lumber, allow the wood to cure for at least 3 weeks before you stain or paint. This way the stain will absorb well or your paint won’t bubble due to moisture from the wood.
- After the wood is dry, stain or paint the frame (you could move on and start working on the top while you wait for the frame to dry).
Concrete Tabletop -
- To make the tabletop, start by assembling a melamine mold.
- Cut melamine to size. To determine the size, add ½” to the length and width of the desired size of the tabletop. In our case we ripped a width of 33” (because our top is 32”). After the main piece, rip 1 ½” strips that will form the sides (adjust if you want a thicker or thinner table top). Tip - if you're going to build a slab for the egg to sit on, incorporate that into your mold so you can pour all at once. Also, be sure to put a strip of painter's tape down before making your cuts so the melamine doesn’t chip or splinter.
- Use wood screws every 8" - 10" to assemble the mold (pre drill so the melamine doesn’t expand).
- Place your styrofoam circle (measure twice, placement is very important! We placed the center 20” from the left edge and then centered it width-wise.) and screw it in place.
- Caulk all of the edges and around the styrofoam with latex caulk. It's a good idea to use black instead of white so to help make sure you can easily spot and missed spots. This is to prevent water from seeping out the form.
- Cover all exposed edges of the mold with painters tape (this is very important because if concrete gets in, the moisture will cause the melamine to expand).
- Mix the concrete according to the package instructions. Not too watery.
- Pour about 1/2" of concrete in your mold.
- Place the rebar or chicken wire on top of the layer of concrete. Be careful not to push it down, you don’t want it to show on the surface of the tabletop. This is why it is important that your concrete mix isn't too watery.
- Continue pouring concrete to the top of your mold.
- Using a board that is wider than your mold, smooth out the surface of the concrete by shimmying the board back and forth from one end of the table to the other. Don’t worry about making it perfect, this will be the bottom of the tabletop.
- Remove any major air bubbles by running a vibrating sander all around the exterior of the mold (you could also tap the sides with a hammer).
- Cover the concrete with plastic and let it cure for 2 - 3 days.
- Un-mold your tabletop by flipping it over (you'll likely need help for this part) onto a steady surface. It is possible that with a couple shakes, the tabletop will slide right out. If not, or if you prefer, you can unscrew the melamine and remove it.
- Get your tabletop and egg slab ready for finishing by making sure it is on a steady surface and in a place that can get very messy. We did this on the driveway, away from vehicles, etc. If you’re placing the top on your egg table bass, instead of on sawhorses, cover the table base with plastic. Water and wet concrete are going to fling around a radius of several feet.
- Starting with a 50 grit sanding pad, sand the entire tabletop and outside edges. You will likely start to see holes from small air bubbles that were trapped in the concrete. Don't panic, we will take care of that in a couple steps. Sand the whole surface thoroughly.
- Repeat with the 100 grit, then 200 grit. Put the sander away for the day.
- Get a small bag of Portland Concrete to the consistency of play-doh.
- Fill in all of the holes exposed by sanding with the concrete. Smooth it out so there aren’t any big globs, but don’t worry about making it perfect, because you’ll go back over with the sander. Make sure you fill in all the holes. The best tool for this is your hands. Let it sit for 24-48 hours.
- Set your wet sander up again. Starting again with the 200 grit, sand the entire table. All of the holes will be filled in and smooth.
- Sand with 400 grit, then 800, 1500 & 3000. The longer you do this with the 1500 & 3000 grits, the more polished the surface will become (a neighbor stopped to ask if the top was marble, it will look that polished!). When you're happy with the surface, let it dry for a about a day. For the egg slab, we stopped with 400 grit.
- Apply a sealer to the tabletop and egg slab according to product directions. I recommend using a small high quality roller. Let it dry.
- Now that your egg slab is ready, you can complete the rest of your table frame.
Final Assembly -
- Complete the shelf around the slab with boards of your choice. You could do a whole big concrete shelf instead of using boards on each side, just keep in mind that would add a lot of weight. Tip - you place your tabletop on the frame and get it centered, then place your slab directly centered under the table opening to determine exactly where it should sit before adding shelf boards.
- Finish the other side of the table however you like. We did a shelf just at the bottom, and closed it in with corrugated tin and a barn door.
- Stain or paint your frame if you haven’t already done so.
- Put the frame of the table where you're going to leave it. Level it out.
- Place the egg slab.
- Place the concrete tabletop. Tip - One way to carry the top is to place it onto two long 2 x 4s, get someone to help and carry the top kind of like you're carrying a gurney.
- Place pot feet on the slab for the egg to sit on (good for circulation). You could place the egg directly on the concrete slab, be sure to raise the shelf that the concrete sits on if you go this route.
- You’re ready to place your egg in your brand new table! Take the top off of the egg and take out the firebox to make inserting your egg more manageable.
Download printable plans. You're welcome :)