Sunday, 6 June 2010

Building a Brick BBQ

With the BBQ season on our doorstep I decided it was time to build a BBQ. It is often debated that building a BBQ out of bricks and mortar is perhaps the most manly thing anyone can do. After the great success of the shelf, I decided I should take this job upon myself.

With no previous experience or knowledge of how to make a brick structure (other than Lego), I set to work with my standard over optimism.

First of all, I should say a massive thanks to Jon who not only gave me loads of bricks, but also all the tools needed to actually build it (the things I hadn't thought about once). Also thanks to his young son Adam who helped de-spider and pack the bricks into the car.

On a hot Saturday afternoon me and Neil started building the BBQ structure without cement, as practice. We already hit many problems, like the realisation that breaking bricks in half evenly isn't easy, and how to connect a T structure together strongly.

We remembered that we still needed to go and buy some bricks, sand and cement, so we set out to try and find a builders yard.

I felt weird walking through the builders yard to talk to the man there. I thought he would ask me to stop wasting his time and go and get my dad instead, or perhaps sell me children sand instead of building sand. After a brief conversation (how much are the bricks...? Okay, 30 please. Thanks) I felt my man-points explode, and I left the yard with not only the tools needed, but increased testosterone and a beard.

We got back.. and then decided it was too late to start cementing. It should instead be done tomorrow. Procrastination at its best.

Sunday morning arrived. I set to work building the BBQ. I realised I didn't know how to mix cement properly, how much water is needed, and how much stirring it needed... but that didn't stop me. I struggled cementing the bricks because it kept falling through the holes, meaning I was using much more than I needed. It wasn't until the final few that I thought about cementing the brick and then placing it on the wall.

For the last 10 minutes it started raining. If anything, this only made me feel more manly... braving nature to build a brick BBQ. There was another jolt in my testosterone levels. I'm only a few points off getting a nickname like 'Bubba' or 'Spud'.

I cleaned the cement (somewhat) off the wall. Posed for photos (man points -10). And called it a day. I didn't want to take proper pictures without having the slab for the table side of it placed, and before the grills were attached... but I will update on Saturday with new finished pictures.

I think it was a great success.


  1. LMFAO, what would of been easier would have been buying an Oil Drum cutting it in half, putting some hinges on it so it can be closed and a handle, then making some form of metal stand for it from scraps and getting a grill to put inside OR getting some dammn string and a spirit level to make sure the brick BBQ is level.

  2. Cutting an oil drum sounds a lot harder! Would involve welding hinges and handles, and the food wouldn't taste as good perhaps due to not being able to clean it thoroughly. My friend made a decent oil one once though, but he is a welder.

    The level of the BBQ is only fractionally off perfect, believe it or not. Almost all the bubble was in the middle :D

  3. Ok fair enough I guess its easier me saying it then doing it, did check out any instructional vids before doing it.

  4. I am sorry but I had to laugh because you only thought to put the cement on the brick before adding it to the wall near the very end of this endeavour. A lifetime ago I shared a flat with a bricklayer, basic brick-laying lesson number one....anyway it looks wonderful and I hope you'll have a good summer braai-ing on it!

  5. Hey that looks pretty good! I want to build one now.

  6. "Posed for photos (man points -10)"

    AHAHAHA. Come on. Taking photos make it way more fun. Kudos for the success :D

  7. Just think what kind of a job you could have done, if only you had a spirit level!