Building a DIY Grill Station for the Summer

Build a grilling station that keeps everything you need to cook outdoors right at your fingertips.

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Build a grilling station that keeps everything you need to cook outdoors right at your fingertips.

Tools Required

  • Drill
  • Jig Saw
  • Miter saw
  • Table Saw (or Circular Saw With Cutting Guide)

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The main components of this project are made from edge-glued panels: three 25-in. x 52-in. panels for the top and shelves, and two 25-in. x 32-in. panels for the uprights. See the Cutting List above for finished sizes. You’ll get two uprights from each panel. Glue up the divider separately.

Quality lumber makes building easier and the end result better. Good-quality cedar isn’t cheap, though. The lumber and materials for this project cost about $750. Home centers don’t always have the best lumber, so we found a lumberyard with an ample supply of nice cedar. You could save money by using standard construction lumber, but it’s not as resistant to the elements as cedar.

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Project step-by-step (12)

Step 1

Prep the Wood

  • To get started, crosscut the 2x6s into lengths about four inches longer than required. You’ll cut them to finished length after gluing.
  • On a table saw, rip the radiused edges off both sides of each 2×6, leaving a finished width of five inches. This way you’ll have square, straight edges for gluing.

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Step 2

Join the Wood

Once your boards are prepped, install biscuits.

  • Pro tip: No biscuit joiner? Don’t sweat it. Biscuits help with alignment, but if your boards and your workbench are flat, you don’t need them.

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Step 3

Test-Fit, Then Glue

  • Before you start gluing, do a dry assembly to be sure everything fits. You don’t want to discover a problem when you’ve already spread glue on all the edges.
  • Once you’ve verified that everything is ready to go, glue up the shelves and uprights and clamp them. The 2×4 clamping cauls at the top and the bottom help keep the assembly flat, but make sure to cover their edges with packing tape so they don’t get glued to your workpieces.
  • Wipe off any excess glue with a damp rag before it dries. When the glue is dry, cut the shelves and uprights to the final dimensions.

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Step 4

Add the Cleats

  • Glue and screw cleats to the top edges of all uprights. These cleats allow you to screw into the shelves from underneath to fasten the whole unit together.

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Step 5

Attach the Bottom Uprights

  • Glue and screw the two bottom uprights to the bottom shelf.
    • Pro tip: These wide shelves are prone to cupping, so you might need to use clamps to snug them up to the uprights before you drive the screws.

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Step 6

Attach the Base

  • Flip the bottom shelf/upright assembly upside down, then screw the assembled base to the underside of the bottom shelf.

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Step 7

Fasten the Shelves and Top

  • Set the middle shelf assembly on the bottom shelf assembly, then attach it with glue and screws through the lower cleats.
  • Fasten the top the same way.

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Step 8

Add the Back

  • To attach the back, start by gluing and screwing cleats around the back of the openings. Inset these cleats to accept the back panel, tongue-and-groove and molding.
  • Cut the plywood backs to size and fasten them to the cleats with glue and screws.

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Step 9

Cover the Back

  • Cut tongue-and-groove slats to fit the openings. To allow for seasonal movement, don’t use fasteners on these boards.

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Step 10

Add the Battens

  • Rip the 1/2-in.-thick trim strips from 1-1/2-in. thick stock, then cut them to length to fit the backs.
  • Fasten them to the backs with 1-1/2-in. trim-head screws.

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Step 11

Build the Bins

  • Edge-glue 3/4-in.-thick panels for the bin parts.
  • Once the glue is dry, cut the bin parts to size.
  • Then cut the 45-degree angles on all the bin sides.
  • Assemble bins with glue and screws.

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Step 12

Cut the Hole for the Smoker

  • Lay out the hole in the top for the smoker.
    • Pro tip: We let the circle run off the edge of the top to allow easy access to the lid’s handle.
  • Then, carefully cut out the hole using a jigsaw.
    • Pro tip: Go slow to help keep the blade from veering off track.
  • Smooth the cut edges with 120-grit sandpaper, then sand the whole project. Apply an exterior coating of your choice.

The Kamado Grill

We used a Big Green Egg Kamado Grill for this project. “Kamado” is the Japanese word for “stove” or “cooking range.” It’s also the general term for ceramic grills. Kamado grills heat faster and retain heat longer than metal ones, and they also excel at containing moisture and smoke, which increases flavor.

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