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DIY Grilling Cart

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BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 191 Projects

Summer is all about outdoor grilling. Make your summer days special with this simple grill prep cart. With plenty of space for food prep and storage, it can hold all the hamburgers, hotdogs, steaks and vegetables to feed the whole family. This attractive cart is sturdy and functional and makes outdoor grilling more efficient.

Below are the TOOLS + MATERIALS you'll need to build a DIY Grilling Cart:

Things You'll Need

How to Make a DIY Grilling Cart

  1. Cut All the Parts

    Use the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* 5-1/2 in. Circular Saw to cut the following pieces from the 2 x 6 fir stock:

    • (4) pieces, 36" long for the top planks

    Cut the following pieces from the 2 x 4 fir stock:

    • (6) pieces, 30" long for the frame supports
    • (6) pieces, 15" long for the frame supports

    Cut the following pieces from the 1 x 4 fir stock:

    • (16) pieces, 18" long for the shelf planks

    Cut the following pieces from the 3/4" fir stock:

    • (6) pieces, 27" long for the screw cleats
    • (6) pieces, 13-1/2" long for the screw cleats

    Use the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Cordless Lithium Jigsaw, with a metal cutting blade, to cut the 2" aluminum angles exactly in half.

    View Step 2
  2. Round All the Edges

    Insert a 1/4" roundover router bit into the BLACK+DECKER 10 Amp Variable Speed Plunge Router. Use it to round all the edges and corners on all of the pieces of fir. Finish the prep work by sanding the parts smooth with the BLACK+DECKER 5 in. Random Orbit Sander and 100-grit sandpaper. This will give the cart a finished appearance, and it's easier to do the work before the assembly.

    View Step 3
  3. Build the Shelf and Top Support Frames

    Place two of the 15" long 2 x 4 pieces between two of the 30" long 2 x 4  pieces, standing on their narrow edges and flush at the ends. Use the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Lithium 2-Speed Drill/Driver to drill two pilot holes with a 5/32" bit, evenly spaced, 3/4" from both ends of each 30" piece. Drive 3" screws in the holes to secure the frame together.

    Build two more frames the same way.

    View Step 4

    Depending on what type of screw you're using, pilot holes should be just slightly smaller than the screw.

    The idea is to allow the hole to be big enough for the screw to pass through without splitting the wood, but at the same time, small enough so that the threads grip firmly.

  4. Install the Screw Cleats

    Clamp the 27" screw cleats to the long sides of the frame, flush with the tops. Drill pilot holes, using a 5/32" bit, about 4 inches apart, through the screw cleats, and fasten them to the frames. Install the 13-1/2" cleats along the short sides of the frame the same way.

    View Step 5
  5. Add the Shelf and Top Planks

    Complete the top by placing the four 2 x 6 top planks side-by-side, flush on the ends and upside down on a flat surface, with a 1/8" gap between them. Center one of the screw cleat frames upside down over the planks. Drill two pilot holes, evenly spaced, through the short screw cleats for both ends of the planks, and drill five holes, evenly spaced, along the side cleats. Screw the cleats to the planks with 2" screws.

    Build the shelves the same way, placing eight of the 1 x 4 shelf planks side-by-side with a 1/4" gap between, and flush on the ends. Center a shelf frame on the planks, and drill two pilot holes for the ends of each plank, and three holes on the long sides. Fasten the frame to the planks with 1-1/4" screws.

    View Step 6
  6. Predrill the Legs

    Measure and mark the positions of the screw holes for joining the top and the shelves to the 2" aluminum-angle legs. The top ends of the legs butt up against bottom faces of the top planks. The lower shelf is flush with the bottom ends of the legs. The middle shelf can be centered in between, or as desired.

    Use a hammer and center punch to create divots for holes, 3/4" in from the 90-degree corner of the leg angle, along the length of each side of the leg. Space the holes on each side about 2" apart. Make another set of divots on the adjacent side of the leg, offsetting the pairs vertically by 1/2" so that the two pairs of screws do not meet in the middle. Drill holes through the legs at each divot, using a 1/8" bit.

    Clamp a piece of scrap wood to serve as a backerboard under the point where the bit emerges from the leg, to ensure clean holes.

    View Step 7
  7. Paint the Legs

    Spray-paint the legs and the screw heads and washers of the panhead screws with an exterior primer-and-paint combo (sometimes referred to as 2-in-1). Refer to manufacturer's instructions for exact drying time for your product. Apply a second coat to the legs, if necessary.

    View Step 8
  8. Finish the Wood

    Rub all of the wood parts with butcher block conditioner, using a soft cloth. Saturate all edges and surfaces. Allow it to dry for 24 hours, and then apply another coat. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for the exact drying times for your product.

    As an alternative to butcher block conditioner, apply a light coat of spar varnish with a bristle brush, and allow it to dry as directed by the manufacturer (this may be several hours, but overnight is best). Sand the surface by hand with 180-grit sandpaper. Apply up to two or three more coats, sanding between coats.

    TIP: Spar varnish and other exterior finishes are good for weather-resistance but are not food-safe and should not be used on surfaces that come into contact with food. Butcher block conditioner contains mineral oil and beeswax and is food-safe. However, it is not very weather-resistant. For the best longevity, don't leave food-safe finishes out in the weather for extended periods. It's a good idea to apply the conditioner regularly. A wipe down after each use with the conditioner should keep the working surfaces supple and water-resistant.

    View Step 9
  9. Assemble the Cart

    Assemble the cart by positioning the shelves standing on their sides, and screwing the legs to the corners of the shelf frames, using the pilot holes in the legs, and the panhead screws with washers.

    Do one side first, then flip the assembly over and screw the legs on the other side. Install the top the same way.

    View Step 10
  10. Add Hooks and Casters

    Use your fingers to screw three self-tapping screw hooks into both ends of the support frame of the top. The hooks should be evenly spaced and centered. Measure the diameter of the stems on the casters. Choose a drill bit that's slightly smaller than the stems (they typically require a 1/2" bit).

    Drill a hole into the frame of the bottom shelf at each corner, being careful to avoid the screws securing the legs and the frame corner joints, as needed. Tap the casters into the holes with a hammer. Place the locking casters on one side or end of the cart and the non-locking casters on the other side or end. It's a good idea to do a few tests on scrap wood to ensure that the casters fit tightly in the holes without splitting the wood.

    View Step 11
  11. Use the hooks to hang towels or grilling utensils

    Use the hooks to hang towels or grilling utensils.

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