When we decided to makeover our backyard, there were several projects that I knew I wanted to do. This is not one of those projects. Along the way we had so many delays and so many “a-ha” moments that led to completely fun & practical projects like this grill tool holder.
I have to say that this was absolutely NOT my original idea. We looked at so many grill tool holders at high & low price points and even considered trying to clean up & modify the 1 that comes attached to the actual grill (which turned out to be too much trouble, especially since we planned to build a portable enclosure around the grill). There are some great ones available but everything I liked was either:
- too expensive for my taste
- could not be changed up for any size or number of tools
- came in those nice zip up cases & had to be stored someplace or treated extra special
Seems like grill tool holders were on everyone’s brain – maybe because summer is here or maybe because of father’s day, who knows. Either way, I decided it was simple enough to make my own customized version for FREE!
As usual, I wanted to reuse as many materials as possible. My DH built the elevated garden beds using wood we already had in the garage, but needed to get a few dog-ear fence pickets to finish off 1 section. We ended up with leftover pieces of the fencing so I decided to use that to make the grill tool holder.
- 1×6 treated lumber cut to length to fit the longest grill tool – use as many as needed to make it as wide as you want. I used 4 for a total of about 24″ wide
- 1 – 1×6 treated lumber cut to the total width. This will be the top “header” of the tool holder
- 1 – 2×6 board cut to fit across the total width minus about 3″ on each end. This will hold all of the 1×6 boards in place on the top
- 1 – 1×4 cut to fit across the total width. This will hold all of the 1×6 boards in place on the bottom. Any size board would work for this actually, as long as the screws are the right length to NOT go all the way through the front – you’ll see what I mean later.
- 1 5/8 ” exterior wood screws
- Sandpaper – 80 grit & 120 grit
- Exterior paint & a stencil (optional)
- 1 metal rack – I used this one I already had from IKEA. You could also make 1 using electrical conduit & fasteners, galvanized or copper pipe, or use hooks.
- 4 bolts with nuts & washers sized to fit the holes in the metal rack at least 1 1/2″ long. This will be used to secure the rack and act as part of the hanging hardware.
- #3 stainless steel hanging wire. Sounds technical. It’s not. You just need hanging wire that is strong enough to hold at least 25 lbs.
Cut all the 1×6 boards to the exact same length.
Here’s a tip – measure 3 times, cut many times. Normally we hear measure twice cut once, but this makes woodworking life so easy. Make sure your measurement is exactly what you want/need & cut your 1st board. Stack any remaining boards that need that exact same measurement with the initial cut board on top to use as a template. Then you can adjust the saw to make the same cut as the original & all the boards will be the exact same length – whether it’s right or wrong. 😉
Clamp the 4-1×6 boards together crosswise.
Lay the 2×6 across the top with half the width in contact with the 4 1-6s & the other half hanging freely from the top. Leave about 3″ on each side. Clamp to hold in place.
Lay the 1×4 across the bottom so that it fits squarely within the sides & the bottom edge. It should look like this:
Screw the top and bottom “brace” boards into place from the back side using 1 screw in the center of each 1×6; so in the configuration I used, there are 4 screws in the bottom & 4 in the top. The pointed ends of the screws should NOT pierce the front of the 1x6s. If it does, the screws are too long.
Now attach the attach the last 1×6 – the 1 that’s the width of the holder – to the top “brace” that you left hanging in the previous step.
Sand the whole thing. Paint it. Add some lettering or a logo or anything you want to customize it. Make sure it’s completely dry before you move onto the next steps. Touch ups are easy, but anything more & you’ll darn near have to disassemble & start over.
*Note: don’t make the same mistake I did with the lettering. I thought I could do a quick & easy stencil job using a paint marker. It was VERY green initially but sadly it faded horribly in the afternoon sun. The lesson… pick your paint wisely. I will end up going over my lettering with standard exterior paint in a nice bright color or in black do that it stand out more.
Decide where you want to hang your rack, mark the spot & drill pilot holes. Attach the rack using the bolts, but leave the washer & nuts off for now.
Prepare a length of wire long enough to hang without being seen over the top of the holder. Wrap the wire several times around 1 bolt on each side, then add the washer & the nut and tighten. It will look something like this:
Now just add some hooks to the rail, hang your tools & hang your new grill tool holder in a spot that’s convenient & close to the grill.
One last tip. I had to hang our grill tool holder on brick since there’s no wood, siding, or HardiePlank on our home. When I’m hanging something lightweight, I’m good with Gorilla Glue; but this is is about 10 lbs & I was having nightmares about it falling & scaring the
shit crap hell out of everybody in the middle of the night. We would never get back to sleep!
But… hanging heavy items in brick is not all that scary; as the saying goes, “always use the right tool for the job” – makes life a lot simpler. No I do not have a hammer drill (although that might be a nice gift from someone… hint hint).
To hang this, I drilled pilot holes in the mortar with a masonry bit, blew out any debris with a blow from a can of compressed air, then screwed in anchor screws – 2 placed about a foot apart for stability & to evenly distribute the weight.
Works like a charm – so far so great! We’ve been grilling almost everyday that the weather allows & this has honestly made outdoor cooking SO much easier.
No more lugging tools in & out of the kitchen, forgetting things or laying them down & leaving them. Even the bottle openers are always handy!
One of the most practical projects ever! If you try it, I’d love to see how you customize yours so please share!