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Grill Mates
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About leeatmg

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  1. Well, here goes... First off, thanks to everyone who posts and posted here. I have learned a lot by reading everyone else's successes and (and mistakes) and I hope my build will help someone else in the future. And, thanks in advance for any comments, suggestions, and advice. I've finally begun my build. I am building a roughly 11 x 8, L-shaped outdoor kitchen underneath one end of my covered patio (in the Phoenix suburbs.) It will contain three appliances, a sink, and (possibly/probably) a fire trough. For cost and logistical reasons, I have to build this in stages, so I have elected to build the island itself in modules in my garage (to stay out of the 110+ heat) and move them to the patio and finish them in place. I ask for some patience in advance - since this will be in stages, I expect to get parts of it done, then take a break before I move on to the next project. For now, phase one is building the three modules that will make up the grill counter. They will run parallel to the house (see the diagram below) and will contain the three appliances and a raised bar counter that spans two stucco columns. The ceilings are ten feet high, so I am not concerned about ventilation. The stucco is all cement stucco (not synthetic) but will get tiled 2-3 feet above the counter level just to add additional fire protection (and to look good, of course.) I will move on to the perpendicular section with the fire trough and the sink at a future date, probably this fall or winter. I have attached a copy of the plan, along with a photo of the location where the counters will go. If you are looking at the photo and the plan, they are opposite - in the photo, the location where the grill is currently is where the counter height counter will be, and the span between the columns on the left and the right is where the bar height counter will be. Part of this build will involve raising the patio section where the island is located by about two inches so that it is level with the pool deck and extending it to accommodate bar stools (where the large flower pot is in the photo) which is another reason why I will build this in sections (so I can relocate it when the patio work is done - the patio work is pending some utility runs but I'm the impatient type and want to use my new grill ASAP.) Materials - 2 1/2" 25 ga steel studs, 1/2" hardboard on top and underneath, 1/4" hardboard on sides. Additional galvanized braces on bar counter overhangs (12" x 12" L braces) for support. Appliances: Cal Flame P05 39" Five Burner Grill Blaze Double Side Burner Fire Magic Aurora Power Burner 18" Bar Sink 48" Fire Trough (probably.) Finishes - stucco exterior to match the home, with Mexican talavera tile borders/trim, large scale (probably 18" x 18") travertine tile counters. Stainless steel doors and drawers where indicated. I am looking for a suggestion for one part. The drawing shows the two 40# propane tanks (see my other thread regarding my propane system) but I have not found any access doors that will accommodate such large tanks (they are both 29 1/2 inches tall.) That area will open on the left side (facing away from the grill, but it faces the rest of the patio including the patio table.) The space above will act as a serving counter. No idea what I am going to do for doors to conceal the tanks, but open to suggestions. Best I've come up with so far is antiqued shutters or doors of wood (which would look rustic and fit in with the southwestern look of stucco, etc.) Anyone got any unique ideas? Thanks for reading. Updates will come as I have time...suggestions and comments welcome. ---Lee
  2. Just an update here, for anyone in the future who might want to do what I did and use propane for an island (and not from a house supply.) My goal was to design a propane system that would feed enough gas to the three appliances I am installing (a Cal Flame 5 burner grill, a Blaze double side burner, and a Fire Magic Power Burner.) Together, these three appliances, at full blast, would consume 183,000 BTU, so a standard regulator and 20 lb propane tank isn't going to cut it. My hope was to serve enough gas to power all three, and minimize tank exchanges. To minimize tank exchanges, my intent is to build a storage area inside my new bbq island that will house two 40 lb propane tanks. I figured that I'd go as big as I can while still being able to store them away inside the island, and also small enough that they can still be disconnected and refilled locally. Altogether, a 40 lb propane tank weighs 75 lbs full (approximately) which is about the limit I'm willing to lug back and forth to fill. Two of these supplies the equivalent of four standard 20 lb propane exchange tanks. The second goal was feeding enough gas to the appliances. For that, I turned to some expert advice in the form of Jesus at Tejas Smokers. They have a companion website that supplies propane parts (hoses, fittings, etc.) and they came highly recommended from several sources across several forums as both very knowledgable and very helpful. I was not disappointed. Over 2-3 days and probably 30 or more emails, I asked questions, he asked questions, he explained things and offered suggestions, and in the end, supplied me with a solution that meets my needs and even pre-assembled and leak tested everything before shipping. The end solution (pictured below) is a manual valve (rather than the auto changeover between tanks, which he suggested wasn't reliable at high flow rates) to switch between tanks, a two-stage regulator for high flow and steady pressure, red ACME connections to the tanks (which can sustain the highest gas flow rates), stainless steel braided hosing (for critter protection), a four way cross to feed the appliances, ball valves to shutoff each appliance at the cross, and all the adaptors for each appliance. We settled on 3/8" hose because he convinced me that 3/8 is plenty to supply the gas flow I wanted. In the end, the system is rated for 400,000 BTU. That's more than I needed, but the next step down would only feed 160,000 BTU, and while that would work, I have room for expansion (I may choose to add a fire trough to the countertop, which I would also feed off the propane system.) In the end, I am very happy with the service, the knowledge, and the system that I ended up with. I hope this his helpful to someone else someday. On to the build...thanks to Dr. Dave for his comments (yes - there WILL be both isolation of the tanks AND copious amounts of vents!) ---Lee
  3. I'll add extra vents to be sure. There will be a bar overhang so I will likely add them just under the overhang across the entire length of the counter and then more at the base (maybe under the footrest, at ground level.) Sorry...when I hear manifold, I think of something more complicated...like a manifold in plumbing, where there is a long section of pipe with multiple outlets and valves...which surprisingly does not seem to exist for propane (or at least I can't find anything.) Most of the dual stage regulator outlets are a fixed size, so I'm not sure I can upsize the manifold. I found a website that sells a multitude of propane fittings and promises to help design a layout to your needs, so I have sent them the diagram and asked them for their recommendation. I'll post it back here when I hear back; perhaps my experimentation can serve as a starting point for someone else who wants to do this. I will certainly tie to the frame in the meantime, and I will try to tie the frame to the proper grounding when and where I am able. I may avoid the issue altogether and choose wooden doors for the propane enclosure - it will be on the side of the island facing into the dining area, and here in Arizona, I can probably find some very nice antique wormwood pine doors that will look nice and serve the purpose of reducing sparking in that cabinet. As it is, it's a challenge to find stainless doors tall enough to access a 30" tall propane tank. When I'm ready to start the build I'll post the layout and that will all make more sense... Again, thanks for your expert advice. Very helpful. ---Lee
  4. DrDave; Thanks for the reply...a few comments: 1. I plan to build a compartment at the end of the island that is essentially sealed off from the rest of the island entirely, with small pass throughs for the propane feed, which I will seal as best as I can (caulk, or something else) to isolate that compartment. I am planning to build this island in modules and attach them to each other (for logistical reasons) so that compartment can be sealed on six sides with cement board and vented by itself. It will have no appliances on it, just a countertop. 2. I am not planning to separate the rest of the island components from each other laterally (the entire inside would be open) so are you suggesting just two vents for the entire island beyond the propane compartment (about 10' long) or would you recommend more? I have no issue with as many vents as needed, and as I'm planning to stucco, I'm using your technique for attic screen and not SS vents. 3. My initial plan was to run two tanks with the auto switching mechanism through the two stage regulator, then one single flex pipe (the heavy duty stainless braided stuff for propane) to each appliance and tee to each appliance in sequence, with a shutoff valve at each. I'm not sure I was planning for a manifold. The main reason for the two stage regulator is the higher feed - supplies 160k BTU but still at the required low pressure of 11" water column. Do you think that won't work and I should do a manifold and separate lines to each? 4. (covered above) 5. If the entire structure is raised from the patio with Trex, will grounding it to the frame have any real effect? At some point down the line, I will install water and will at that point be able to ground the frame to the cold supply but that won't happen yet. Thanks for the comments...I don't know propane at all but I'm a fast learner. I like to ask questions before things explode and not after, but I'm also a big fan of learning and doing rather than contracting things out. EDIT: Added diagram of proposed propane layout. ---Lee
  5. I am in the planning stages of my BBQ island build, and I am hoping for some guidance in the propane department. For cost and logistical reasons, natural gas is not a realistic option for my build. We would have to dig up about 40' of concrete walkway and trench another 50' beyond that; in addition, with the grill, side burner, power burner, and fire pit we want to run, the cost and hassle is off the charts. We have a 1/2" gas stub nearby but it will not supply enough NG to run everything (though we will consider a half and half situation, with fire pit on NG and everything else on propane for example.) But that's in the future. My solution, for now, is to run everything off propane. I'd like to avoid exchanging propane tanks every five minutes, so my solution is to include a space in the island to house two 40# propane tanks, and utilize a two stage regulator with auto changeover (like RVs use) to switch automatically between the two tanks as they empty, and the two stage regulator should help supply the high BTU needs (would be a total of 183,000 BTU if every appliance but fire pit was running at full blast.) A regulator like this: http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/mr-heater-propane-auto-changeover-two-stage-regulator Is this a crazy idea? Second question - assuming I can run a long run with tees for all four appliances without any issue? Thanks if you can help. Looking forward to starting the build (and the requisite build thread!) once I get a few more things nailed down. ---Lee