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Topic: Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps (Read 5232 times)

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  • Sundowner
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Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps
Have you reclaimed something from the Wasteland?  Post it here!

They say that one man's trash is another man's treasure, and - for once - they're right.  The amount of useful junk that's laying around out there doing nothing productive with its life is staggering, and if you think that you can't make some awesome stuff from junk...well, you're dead wrong.  Hell, I've seen an entire Jeep built from junkyarded parts, and that kind of project tells me that damn near anything is possible when you get creative with your thinking.  So, if you've managed to do that - if you've gotten creative and built something useful and vaguely Jeepy out of a piece of garbage that you found in the Wasteland - prove it!  Post some pictures, write up a tutorial or just tune in and get some cool ideas...damn near anything goes in the Underground.  8)

  • Sundowner
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Re: Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps
Reply #1
A TJ-Sized Grill From a Broken Expansion Tank

I'll start things off with some culinary delight; I love me some good, fresh, hot-grilled food when I'm camping and/or wheeling, but packing bulky and heavy grilling equipment in the back of a TJ is sort of a challenge: most charcoal grills are too big to be practically portable, and the portable grills on the market are mostly gas-powered.  To solve this conundrum I built a pint-sized charcoal grill out of an old, waterlogged expansion tank from a water heater, some scrap pieces of steel tubing, and some stainless steel expanded mesh.  I started with the normal 8" diameter expansion tank that you see in most homes...

Pictured: ...and at Muppet Labs you'll see them on rolling carts next to grinders...




...and after a couple of hours of efforts, it had magically turned into a mini-mongo steak-burner that was shorter than a beer bottle and vaguely-shaped like a Soviet satellite.  I didn't take many pictures during the construction because the entire project was bonehead-simple; I sliced the tank at a practical-looking depth, welded some legs onto it and then cut out a couple of circular pieces of stainless steel expanded mesh to function as a coal grate and cooking surface.  I welded some 1/8" x 3/8" flat bar stock near the top to hold the cooking grate, and I gave it a coat of high-heat black paint to make it look all dressy and pretty and professionally-made.  Some chair-leg end caps finished off the legs and gave them some grip.

Pictured: Sputnik!




Cute, huh?  Well, sadly enough it was a lot hotter than it was cute - and I mean that literally, which is not at all like Paris Hilton usually means it - and it ended up melting the chair-leg end caps without much effort.  More worrisome than the melted caps, however, was the fact that the table underneath the grill got really warm...so I went back to the shop and made some changes.  I cut the welded-on legs a bit shorter and made a set of removable/extended legs that slip-fit into the welded-on leg sections and store inside the grill itself when they're detached; these make the grill taller, more stable and a good deal safer...and as a bonus, the entire assembly can pack down smaller than was possible beforehand.

Pictured: Also, it's more Sputniky!




After a second test-firing to cure the paint I decided to do some test-cooking, so I made a disposable lining out of some aluminum foil and gave Sputnik - I had to name it that - a good double-handful of hardwood charcoal briquettes and a few dried white oak twigs.  Result: a 12-oz. center-cut sirloin was cooked to medium-rare in a minute flat.

Pictured: Drooling may now commence.




Let me tell you...that was as good a steak as I've had in a long time, and not only did Sputnik cook it with extreme rapidity, but the grill also retained its cow-searing heat for a good half-hour after the first steak was done; this means that I can feed several people, quickly, and with a minimum investment in time and fuel...and since Sputnik occupies very little space I can now have awesome, freshly-grilled meals anywhere my Jeep will take me.  I'd call that a win. ;D

  • bobthetj03
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Re: Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps
Reply #2
My build thread should qualify for this thread!
My Jeep takes me to some pretty cool places!

  • Hendrix
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Re: Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps
Reply #3
I have to build one of those mini grills.   I think I can find one of those in the wasteland.  

Thanks for the link of my Dumpster build.   I have tried to keep it as close as possible to the reclaimed status. 
Work hard all week to enjoy the two days in the Sun.

  • Cuder
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Re: Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps
Reply #4
I like the grill and the Fortune, lot's of them.

  • G Beasley
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Re: Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps
Reply #5

I turned this into this .

Its a little nicer now though.

  • Sundowner
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Re: Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps
Reply #6

My build thread should qualify for this thread!


Post up some of that sexy trailer-ness, or anything else you think is relevant!  This is an Idea Fodder thread!  :D


I have to build one of those mini grills.   I think I can find one of those in the wasteland.  


It's a ton of fun; let me know if you want any specifics on how I adjusted mine to get it cooking nicely.

Thanks for the link of my Dumpster build.   I have tried to keep it as close as possible to the reclaimed status. 


Credit should be given where due; you set the standard for "I built something cool out of junk."  8)


I like the grill and the Fortune, lot's of them.


That's the best way to enjoy any grill...or any other junk-rescuing project.  ;D

Its a little nicer now though.


You and Hendrix, showing everybody up...  ;)

Re: Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps
Reply #7
Sputnik is a pretty neat idea and will be much appreciated by your trail buddies.
Keep it simple stupid

  • G Beasley
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Re: Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps
Reply #8
D

You and Hendrix, showing everybody up...  ;)
It was a junkyard special ... Back in the samurai days there was tons of junkyarding going on .


Sputnik is a pretty neat idea and will be much appreciated by your trail buddies.
A small heavy duty grille is genius . I will have to make one now ...

  • Sundowner
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Re: Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps
Reply #9

It was a junkyard special ... Back in the samurai days there was tons of junkyarding going on .


I can't decide if I want to do YJ tubs or go another route entirely.  Decisions, decisions...

A small heavy duty grille is genius . I will have to make one now ...


I'm going to chop the rest of my rescued expansion tanks and make some more, so if you want one of those you're welcome to it...or if you want to make one yourself you're welcome to a tank half; that's the hardest part to find/fabricate.  ;)

Re: Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps
Reply #10
So does Sputnik have a lid too or do you just leave it open? I like the size a lot since it's easier to deal with when only cooking for 2.

  • Sundowner
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Re: Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps
Reply #11

So does Sputnik have a lid too or do you just leave it open? I like the size a lot since it's easier to deal with when only cooking for 2.


Sputnik is lidless for now, but we've talked about making one; all I'd need to do is utilize the other end of the tank that I cut for the grill body and find a way of making the lid and body seal up cleanly.  It's easier said than done, but I could figure it out...and when I say that I actually mean: "I've already figured out about ten ways to do it, but I don't like any of them."  A simple sheet metal strip welded around the edge of the lid to form an overlapping closure would be the easiest way to do it, I think, but I don't know how clean that would end up looking.  It's nothing I can't play with, though.  ;)

Also, just to be clear: I never really intended for Sputnik to have a lid.  I got the idea for a small one- or two-person grill from looking at the small charcoal grills that are often used in Japan; they use lots of charcoal in proportion to the grill surface to cook things fast and hot...but a lid would admittedly make Sputnik a bit more versatile.  It really is a great little grill for two people, though; Annabelle and I have been testing it every night and it's working fantastically thus far.  ;D

Re: Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps
Reply #12


Sputnik is lidless for now, but we've talked about making one; all I'd need to do is utilize the other end of the tank that I cut for the grill body and find a way of making the lid and body seal up cleanly.  It's easier said than done, but I could figure it out...and when I say that I actually mean: "I've already figured out about ten ways to do it, but I don't like any of them."  A simple sheet metal strip welded around the edge of the lid to form an overlapping closure would be the easiest way to do it, I think, but I don't know how clean that would end up looking.  It's nothing I can't play with, though.  ;)

Also, just to be clear: I never really intended for Sputnik to have a lid.  I got the idea for a small one- or two-person grill from looking at the small charcoal grills that are often used in Japan; they use lots of charcoal in proportion to the grill surface to cook things fast and hot...but a lid would admittedly make Sputnik a bit more versatile.  It really is a great little grill for two people, though; Annabelle and I have been testing it every night and it's working fantastically thus far.  ;D

The idea you mentioned is the exact one I was thinking, shouldn't be hard to make it look right. I may be building me one of these sometime, thanks for the ideas.

  • Sundowner
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Re: Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps
Reply #13

The idea you mentioned is the exact one I was thinking, shouldn't be hard to make it look right. I may be building me one of these sometime, thanks for the ideas.


Do it!  Sputnik was easy to build and it's retard-fun to cook on!!

Re: Cherry Bombs and Bottle Caps
Reply #14
I would like to purchase one of these sputniks.
Keep it simple stupid