Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mommy, Daddy Has a Red Neck!

Finally, we had some decent weather (not 110dF for a change!) so I decided to get a bunch of things done outside.  We started with digging out the pink paint and helping the 5 year old paint the teeter-totter we built the previous weekend.  While she was doing that, I took a pretty good run at some weeds that had been bothering us (and were about 4' tall).  When that was done, I helped her finish up the painting (yes, the VERY pink paint...and the white posts), and then I decided to finally build my teppanyaki grill.

So, this teeter-totter was born in typical redneck fashion.  First, she hounded me about it for over a week.  It sounded pretty much like this: "Daddy can we build a teeter-totter now?   Daddy can we build a teeter-totter now?  Daddy..." I think you get the point.  Eventually I agreed that we could do it in the very early morning of the next Saturday.  That gave me a couple of days to figure out exactly how I was going to pull this off.

Saturday came, and what I came up with was fairly simple.  First, I grabbed a piece of old galvanized 5/8" rod that was left over from another project.  That was to be the pivot point.  I then found the center of gravity on an 8' long piece of 4x4 that I had laying around, and drilled a 5/8" hole in the center of it.  Following that I took a leg from an old swing set that was left on the property when we moved in, and cut it in half.  I then drilled 5/8" holes in both halves, about 2" down from one of the ends.  Then, I buried the other ends in the ground about half way, and filled them with rocks and dirt.I then put the 4x4 in between them, and put the 5/8" rod through the whole shebang (yea...I said it...SHEBANG!).  After that I took a couple of 3' pieces of 2x6, and laid them lengthwise in line with the 4x4, and overhung the ends of the 4x4 by about 1' to 1.5' and screwed them on.  These are for the seats.  I have not added handles yet (I keep promising that...I should get on it) but at least it is functional and we can paint it!  Here is the after picture:

After getting her started on the painting, I went off to cut some weeds.  My weed eater wouldn't start, so I attempted to hack them down with a garden hoe. you can imagine, that didn't work out so well, so I fired up the lawn mower.  That worked MUCH better, and I ended up with 2 wheel barrows full of weeds.  That's what fire pits are for!

When I was done with that I decided to finally make my teppanyaki grill.  This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time, and even more so after taking a class at Benihana.  As with most of my projects, this too was about as redneck as it could get.  I scored an old barbecue grill from a buddy (for free) and I gutted the insides (yes, I kept all of that scrap metal).  I went to the metal store (no...this was not something I had laying around already...and is the only cost associated with this project) and I purchased a piece of 1/4" aluminum plate.  I cut that sucker to the correct size using an angle grinder and smoothed the edges with a flapper wheel.  It dropped right in!  I then cleaned and scoured the crap out of that aluminum, and heated it up to as hot as I could get it.  NO WARPING!  Exactly what I was hoping for!  That night we had an AWESOME dinner!  Here is a picture of the grill top and the veggies:

 and some ham:

Yea...I'm awesome!

Since that day, we have used that grill at least every other day.  It is fast for cooking, and allows me to cook a lot of food at one time.  Being able to use oil and other liquids is a big boon to cooking.  I have even made a very large batch of breakfast burritos!  This thing is awesome at heating up tortillas as well!  I have not even touched my other grill...sorry old faithful... the end of that day, we were sitting in the living room floor playing, and my middle daughter looks at me, turns to mommy and says: "Mommy, Daddy has a red neck!"  Yep...I guess that pretty much sums it up.