I promised to write at least once a week, so this is my token effort as I have been busy building a table from scratch.
I am not a carpenter, nor labourer of any kind I am an ICT technician, I fix computers! So what made me build a table, well first reason was to see if I could the second and most important was because of what happened back in May.
Background, my wife is disabled with a fractured coccyx and several prolapsed discs in her spine. This means that depending on the day depends on the amount of pain she is in and therefore she requires a lot of help for simple things that we take for granted like getting up out of a chair to go to the toilet!
I am in the RAF and we like to work hard and play hard, so there is always a social function going on at some point, due to my wifes condition it takes a lot of planning just to go for a couple of beers. So I decided to have a social at my house, I figured that if I did a BBQ and had some people round from work then it would dispel the myth that I am an anti-social git lol!
So I had a BBQ, I did everything (almost) I chopped and mixed the salad, made the coleslaw, burgers I made them beef, mushroom and ale aswell as turkey, apple and herb (they were lovely) my 10yr old son made a chili (I have been teaching him the dark arts of cooking, his chili was so popular that I didn’t get any!) I made an apple and cherry pie (in a cake tin so it is about 4 inches deep, yummy) and a chocolate tart. I cooked all the food, had a few beers and a lot of laughs that night. I had mixed some apple juice in a 2 litre bottle with some cinnamon sticks and the plan was to heat it up and mix it with some spiced rum towards the end of the night (but most were driving so the rum stayed in the cupboard), however at half past nine that night we were all huddled around the BBQ while the apple juice was heating up because it was freezing, shortly after we all went inside as it was too cold.
I like being outside and I like being sat round the table with everyone, but how do I solve the heat problem. I don’t own my house I rent it so I couldn’t build a fire pit in the garden (which I would love to do), a chiminea is good but not great and all the portable fire pits I saw, I didn’t like (I am fussy like that). So bugger it I decided to make my own table with built in fire pit. Easy……..
……Not easy, I was building the table out of wood! Wood burns! Wood burns really well! So how do I solve this problem? Ahh well I will figure it out, but in the mean time I will build the table anyway and think about it as I go!
I will say again I have never done this before, but it has provided me with hours of relaxation (and sunburn lol) I had an idea for the fire pit, small portable BBQ sat in a recess in the table.
Winner, lets do a test burn with it sat on a piece of wood, bugger its burned straight through it! Next plan coat the base of BBQ in fire cement, that will insulate it, well it did. A bit anyway yet it still burned through the wood. Table is 70 percent built at this stage. Had a look online for inspiration, someone has done it using gas filtered up through sand, looks good but as much as I am not a carpenter I don’t trust myself fitting gas pipes! But the sand idea could work. Stood in the kitchen one night I see a bottle of bio-ethanol that I had brought for some tiki torches, EUREKA!!! Make a quick foil dish fill with sand, soak with ethanol and light it. It works, it looks awesome, my wife wasn’t too impressed when I walked it through the house on an oven tray to show her!!
No matter how safe you think you are being, carrying the above through your house to show your wife isn’t safe!!! (apparently!)
So now in the middle of my table is a BBQ filled with sand, with a foil dish sunk into it also filled with sand, which gets saturated with fuel and then lit! It looks awesome (if I do say so myself). The past two nights I have painted a nice little floral design into each corner and as soon as this beautiful British weather comes back I will varnish it and it will be complete. I have to say I am impressed, by no means is it perfect, it has odd angles and the BBQ isn’t exactly centred, but bloody hell I’ve built a table with no skills a bit of “back of the fag packet” maths, an idea in my head and some good old guess work!