I am proud to say the barbecue station is finished. It was a fun project, and the most difficult part was deciding what to include and what NOT to include in the final product. But given the time, monetary, and audience restrictions of the 48 hr challenge, I really think this is a good compromise and a project that many folks would enjoy making for themselves. And the best part about making it yourself is customizing it to your exact needs.
The wood I used was poplar and the whole thing is put together with glue and screws. The finish is a Behr water-based outdoor paint and I topcoated with some waterbased poly. Now since this cart has a light and a refrigerator on it, it is NOT water-resistant. And given the choice of finish, this is probably not a bad thing. I talked with a number of you about the finish and as we all know, there really aren’t any environmentally-friendly water-based finishes that can hold up to the weather quite like an oil-based product. So we’ll see how this one holds up over time.
Now here are some of my favorite features. The first thing you’ll probably notice is the porcelain tile work surface. This is great for very hot pans or really messy utensils. The surface is incredibly easy to clean and the tiles even pop out so you can give them a thorough cleaning. I have a raised shelf for storing spices or condiments. I also use this space to store my wireless thermometer. Under the shelf is a small fluorescent light. There is nothing worse than trying to grill in the dark, and now with the flip of a switch, I can illuminate the entire space. I also included a built-in paper towel holder, for obvious reasons. On the sides and back are numerous hooks for hanging all those BBQ utensils. The bottom shelf has room for your charcoal, the chimney starter, and perhaps the coolest thing ever on a barbecue cart, a small refrigerator! This is not only great for keeping drinks cold, but also gives me a place to put uncooked food until I am ready to throw it on the grill. And the whole unit is mobile thanks to a pair of durable lawn mower wheels.
Oh and just a funny side story. I turned on the little fridge and loaded it up with stuff so that I could take a nice picture. Living in Arizona and being relatively frugal, I decided to unplug the fridge after the photo shoot. I wish someone would have reminded me to remove the beer, juice and condiments too. lol. Oops.