I’ve been cooking with propane for a number of years, and I absolutely hate it. Slow, insufficient heat across the entire cooking surface, etc. It just plain sucks IMHO.
I chose to use plain concrete pavers, available at most home improvement stores. These are the 8×16 variety. Thickness is about 1 3/4″ give/take.
The frame was sized to accept 3 pavers WITH A 1/4″ GAP . The gap is important. You must oversize the frame by 1/4″ in length, and width, to accept the pavers. Size it smaller, and it will be difficult to install the pavers when finished. AND PAVERS VARY WITHIN THE SAME PRODUCTION LOT. So be safe, and allow yourself some room. Place the pavers on a flat surface, in the pattern you wish, then measure the combined length/width, add 1/4″ for your final layout.
I used 2×2 14ga square tubing for the frame, and legs. 2″ is the perfect size for the pavers, it allows them to fit nicely inside the perimeter of the frame.
The legs (excluding the frame cross piece) are 14″ in length. This gives you an overall height of 16″ . With the grill on top of the table, this places the cooking surface at 27″ high. A height I like, but you may want it higher/lower.
I like to do all layout, and tacking, on the trestles I built for this kind of work. Simply 2 pieces of 3″ angle iron welded together to form a C. Make sure they’re uniform when welding them together.
The trestles allow for the use of clamps, and allow for precise placement of the steel. The legs, and endpieces, are made first. The endpieces are then joined with the long cross pieces.Because this will spend its life outside, it’s important to make sure your welds are water tight. Special care has to be taken to wrap the corners with the puddle.Although I didn’t on this project……….it is a good idea to make a drain hole on the underside of your tubing where it joins another piece of tubing. This is only important in pieces that will be closed, and unable to drain if filled with water from rain.
The frame to hold the pavers is simply some 1x1x1/8 angle iron. Easy to work with, and plenty strong for a few pavers. Place them about 2″ in from the ends of the pavers.Note that the welds are only on the ends of the angle iron. This is to control distortion. Welds in the neutral axis of the square tubing won’t pull the tubing out of line when they cool. Everything will remain square.Final cross pieces of the frame were added to support the paver that was at the end of the pattern. Make sure to keep them level/planar with the other frame members.Again, welding is kept to a minimum. Keeps it square.
The Finished Product
Nice coat of red oxide primer, followed by 4 coats of matte finish black paint.I personally prefer the lower height. When grilling, the spatula is about at a bit below waist level when flipping burgers/steaks/etc. This height isn’t written in stone, do as you please with your version.