Dutch Oven Table

This page contains pictures and instructions for building a very transportable Dutch Oven table. This material was originally posted to the Yahoo dutchovencooking group by Stan Baxter.

OK, I don't have any actual drawing-type plans but I'll measure everything tomorrow and see what I can put together . I'll let you know when I post it to the files section. Meanwhile, here's the how-to part.

The wooden ends are from a 48" outdoor stair tread that I bought at the local Lowe's store and cut in half making 2 - 24" sections. The support rails are 4-60" pipes, 1/4" I.D. The original builder said to use black iron pipe and I did, but I gotta tell you, that stuff rusts like nobody's business. If I were doing it again, I'd use the galvanized stuff. The pans are 14" dia. metal oil drain pans and are scarce as hen's teeth around here. I first tried some 12" steel feed pans and they were OK but didn't give much air flow room for my big pots.......and I REALLY wanted the big pans anyway so I searched through every auto parts store nearby and only found them at O'Reily's (I didn't check NAPA). Unfortunately, each O'Reily's store only stocks 1 pan at a time (though they will order them for you) so I went to 3 stores in 2 cities to get them. They were worth the trouble. The legs were my own addition. They are 48", 1/4 I.D. pipes with caps on the bottoms to keep the dirt out and a "street-L" to screw into on the top side. I'm not real sure just WHAT the name of that round piece that the street-L is screwed into but you'll need 4 of them and 4 good wood screws to attach each one to the wood (16 screws total). You also need 8 more pipe end caps for the ends of the support rails.

Now then, in my opinion, I wanted the bottom support rails about 1/3 of the way in from each side, If the bottom was 12", and I think it was, I wanted the centers of the holes to be 2" on either side of the center of the end piece when measured longways. I measured the height of the pans top to bottom and decided how high up the sides I wanted my upper support poles and centered about 7 1/4" each side of the center line. Actually, I used the 4 divisions on the wooden end piece that you can see in one of the photos for the heights and it seemed just fine. At this time I wasn't really planning any legs yet. The holes need to be bigger than the outside diameter of the pipes but smaller than the outside diameter of the caps. This keeps the pipes from sliding out when you don't want them to. Think about that. Not pretty. Anyway, unless you're a very accurate woodworker (I'm not) give your pipes a little wiggle room because the two sets of holes will probably not match up perfectly. Put the caps on one end of each support pole (pipe wrenches, small) and slide the poles through the holes in both end pieces. Sometimes it is easier to slide them through the first one, stand the thing on its end with the pipes sticking up and work the second end piece down over the pipes. It will get easier with use. Put the caps on the other ends and lay your table top down. The pans should fit in easily.

Now for the legs. Warning, this is going to be frustrating. Figure out how high you want your table to be and fid a way to support it at about that height. I used two sawhorses. That's also how I figured out the height, however tall those two sawhorses made it. Now take the street-L and screw it into the center hole of the leg-base (whatever the name is) tighten it in as tight as humanly possible with the wrenches because it has a tendency to shift. Do this for each leg. Now put a cap tightly on one end of each leg and screw the other end into the street-L. Hand tight will do here. OK, the leg-base whatcha-ma-callits go in the upper righthand corner of the end pieces. Start with the inside corners and thread the leg over the outside and under the inside support pole on the right hand side. Make it tight against the inside bar with the end pushing hard against the ground. Now put in the wood screws, at least two, the others can be added later. Keep the table level. Do the other inside leg exactly the same with the base in ITS upper right corner, threaded the same way. Check the photos to clarify. You might want to print some out. Once the inside legs are attached, go to one end and pull the upper and lower right hand support poles towards you about 3". Now install the outer leg threading it the same way you did the inner ones. Now do the other end the same way. I think you're finished now. leave the lower support poles sticking out just enough to brace the legs, or you could just use slightly longer poles I guess. If you used the black iron, go ahead and get some high-temp grill paint and paint all the iron or it will soon rust away.