BBQ Review, Tree-Shooting, and the $50 Saw Project

Yes, Better BBQ!

I promised a while back that I would write a review as soon as we got the new infrared BBQ rolling and I got some steaks under my belt.  (By the look of it, there’s a lot more than one there, already!)

As you can see, the Master Chef snapped this after he took steaks off, but before he came back with the  Windex But, you get the idea.

Pros:  Yes – it is a decidedly better steak.  The small holes let the exhaust gases through, but the me doesn’t “flame” so that bitter edge to the steaks is gone.  With a greasier cut – 1.5″ thick choice rib steak – there was no flaming at all (lots more smoke, though!).

Also cooked quicker:  4-1/2 minutes on a side for the old BBQ (conventional heating style) was more like 3-1/2 minutes.  More even searing (and really good grill marks!)

Cons:  Takes two people to put it together.  Single-handing it up the stairs (76 pounds, or so) is not as much fun.  Use hand truck to move box and then kinda “roll it up” the stairs..

Takes a full 10-minutes of pre-heating to get the infrared part up to temp.  600F on the thermometer included means something completely different than on old style grill.  (Still working out the details…)

And it was $310 bucks.

Our Bottom Line?  Since we were going to buy a replacement grill anyway going to the “tru infrared” made sense.  If I had a good (adequately fired) not used 3-4 times a week like ours (like a Weber) I would wait until change-out time.

At least part of the better steak comes from the long warmup and also strongly suggesting that meat have at least a spritz of cooking oil (we use spray olive oil).  Which is fine – the heavy dose of fresh cracked-pepper sticks better.  It comes art…like a high tea.  Not so much “burn and run…”

The $50 Saw Project

I promised to write up the $50 saw project one of these days.  Unfortunately, more pressing items kept me from taking the time to assemble it.  But, it’s now in what manufacturing managers call WIP (work in progress).

The reason I wanted to get this out this weekend is there are so many  other cool things going on around here that this was in the “Yeah…need to clear that item from the todo list…”

Here’s the parts list:

  • $25 class jig saw (new from Amazon)
  • $15 foot switch (new from Amazon)
  • One tie-wrap to wire the saw switch to the “ON” position.
  • Four screws to attach the saw to the plywood.
  • Plywood.  Whatever is handy in the wood pile.  Up to 1-inch thick.
  • Junk 2-by-4s  (or in my case, old 2-by-4 shelf stands used to hold radio gear.

The assembled multitude looks like:

The highly detailed plans (LOL) came out like this:

This particular (cheap jig saw) had two screw holes in the plate, so only 2 would need to be mounted on the back of the plate.  A couple of passes of 3/8ths drill holes in a line should give you the blade sticker-upper hole.

Basic, flip on side to change blades.

Now you CAN of course go crazy with design features.  This is a 15-minute project as it sits.  Drill two holes on the back of the saw plate, use the existing front holes which previously were used for an edge guide.  Three jabs with a 3/8ths for the blad hole.  And 2-minutes for measuring while drinking coffee.

With the saw mounted *upside down under the top* position those shelf boxes or whatever and screw into position.  Total project time?  15-minutes.

For Runaway Engineer Types


Let’s work on:

  • Build fully enclosing sides and bottom with 3/4 MDF or plywood.
  • Add a dust port.
  • Add hinges so the table lifts up for machine access.
  • Design something to hold the table up when opened…
  • Add hinges to everything so it can all be folded up.
  • While you’re at it, make a dovetailed box to keep it in, and then add wing nuts for all fasteners.
  • Powder coat the wing nuts…


Well, except for the powder coating because the old BBQ the infra replaced may turn into a powder coating oven…  Why not?

Thing is, once you get a hand drill and a jig saw on a table like this, you can get one of those “40-tools you can make at home” and actually make a master-blaster-crafter shop.

Tree Shooting!

Oh my God!  I had so much fun this week launching antennas into trees, it was incredible.  Elaine came out to help me spot the sinkers after flight, but Wow!~  Let there be compressed air and off we go – to the SKY!

That fence rail (for scaling) is about 43 inches from dirt to top of the top rail.  The far end is so high (*and lost in limbs) I couldn’t tell you where it is…likely around 60-65 feet.

The neat thing with the antenna launcher (used on a warm afternoon with undried air from the small compressor) is you get a 3-4 foot long burst of “fog” from the decompression of 75 pounds.  A guy could get to enjoy this kind of “weapon.”

The good compressor has a moisture trap so the plasma cutter runs in the summer when needed…

When You Get Prescriptions…

There’s an upside to getting OLD.  (Oh?)  Let me tell you a story.

I don’t take that many pills.  Total scrips?  Three a day.  One for the eyes, one for the gout, and one to keep blood pressure down.  (Or I couldn’t cover news…)  Still, over a million years of living, you can collect a lot of pill bottles.

So when you collect them for a while (say >7 years) you can end up with a dandy collection of small -parts containers.

Don’t remember if I ever showed off Ure’s discrete components locker, but there are plenty of discretes (components) and -unlike many “ham radio junk boxes” I can actually find something if it every “got in my system...”

It almost makes remembering to take your pills enjoyable.  Also makes the label printing crowd happy.  Why, it’s a whole economic miracle, right there!  Now I can buy more parts and find them.  Yee-haw! here I come again!

(If you don’t have a hobby which requires a LOT of small parts, if your doc gets to the point of saying “You need to permanently go on this  (for me it was  alopurinol   for the gout), that means you have matured and it’s time to look for “small parts hobbies.”)

If making small electronic projects isn’t your cuppa tea, N-scale or HO model railroading is fun.  (O-27 or O gauge if you want to put rails on brackets on the wall and run drinks around the room on your railroad!)  Model ship building if fun, too.  Something really big, square-rigged, and Luddite…yeah, that’s what we like to do!

Back to the Drawing Board

Because the shop bench looked like this, during the week in many-projects frenzy, the drawing board is the only space where a horizontal surface can be found:

(I included this self-deprecating picture so you can tell your spouse “Shit! Look at this dear!  Look what a mess Ure’s shop is…stop complaining about mine!”)

Pray she doesn’t see how our “tool of the week” was finding 1.5 mill clear plastic bags to cover our machines with.  They do much better than canvas covers when comes to keeping moisture out.  Over to the big lathe…

Since I was seriously into sales and marketing (a zillion years back), why hasn’t someone looked at these plastic bags and sold them as “Machine Lingerie?”

Here’s a centerfold for you:

Dust blows off the plastic better, too. I mentioned I’m lazy.  Like to do things once.  (Cleaning, for example, lol…)

Big machines are covered by Plasticplace 20-30 Gallon Trash Bags 30 X 36.  Smaller machines fit Wowfit 100 CT 18×24 inches 1 Mil Clear.

Yessir… Machine Lingerie...and just like the other type, nearly as much fun to unwrap.

Well…OK…..not even, lol….. But when comes down to it, Life’s all about marketing, ain’t it?

Write when you get rich,

26 thoughts on “BBQ Review, Tree-Shooting, and the $50 Saw Project”

  1. Congrats on the Antenna Launcher – Bravo! coot is jealous.

    As Ure time allows- U might want to look into Potato Guns – a Greta approved method of launching 1-2 lb objects (potato’s) over great distances.

    coot has used various mockups/setups of PVC pipe configurations and Accelerants to maximize pressure buildup for max flight distance and or height.

    The legendary Polish Canons were the “gateway weapon” for young coot, Leading to PVC pipe based Potato Guns.

    Polish Canons required 2 Metal Tennis Ball cans( no longer manufactured) – tops and bottoms removed & ductaped together, a beer can,with small hole on bottom side – taped to bottom of the 2 tennis ball cans.
    A little Gasoline in beer can – tennis ball in top – ignition via lit match to hole in side bottom..ThwuuummmP! – flaming tennis ball launched over drought stricken dry grass field..ahh the volley of youth..

    Simple matter of a DTM fishing reel (duct tape mounted) to attach line to potatolauncher.

    Safety Advice – beware using Ure Moms/E’s can of Hair Spray- pretty dam volatile stuff – prefer Propane/Butane.
    Personal results may vary – and therefore Experimentation with different “fuels” is Mandatory.
    Had to find out on my own WHY U should NEVER use Gasoline to burn Leaves with when doing Yard work – NE thing/raking leaves.

    – the whole pile of leaves, no matta HOW BIG, will go up in a loud WHUMP, with mushroom cloud in under a second.
    Singed ALL my hair off with that experiment, ash and what not was still falling down from the air when a very alarmed/upset and pretty pissed off Momma coot came outside to see what all the commotion was about.

    No probs beating Algos Chief – just Front Run The Front Runners – same old thing as yesterday..

    • George,

      I appreciate the infrared BBQ. However I prefer to eat smoked meats. Smoking meat requires burning wood for an extended period of time, using the heat of the smoke to cook the meat slowly. Typically we try to have the smoke and heat at around 250 degrees F. Nothing like pork belly smoked and then fried in an iron skillet. I do not recommend this for people who have cholesterol issues. My Doc says I could eat a pound of lard and my cholesterol would not go high.

      Its the smoke that imparts flavor to the meat.

    • “Had to find out on my own WHY U should NEVER use Gasoline ”

      One of my hats was working at a tanker repair shop..we would weld big rig fuel tankers..
      The first day on the job.. the boss takes a gas tank off of a car and has it cleaned..shows us the results by touching a torch to the neck. Nothing. He then takes a thimble of gasoline dumps it in.. closes it up shakes it all over.. then takes the cap off and touches the torch to the neck ..whump the thing explodes and the fuel tank expands about three times it’s original size..then he says that’s why cleaning the tanks before you work on them is the most important job here..

  2. OMG George, you referred to your significant other as “Shit Dear”! I wonder if E reads this.

    It’s great to actually be able to work IN a shop. For many of us, our projects are either outside the house or upgrading/maintaining it. No shop possible.

    Regarding your pneumatic tree shooter – how do you spin the ball valve trigger quickly without spoiling your aim? I’ve been wondering about that since the first article.

  3. I save those plastic pill bottles, too! I use them for small items in the sewing room, and my husband has a use for them in his leather working desk. Here’s another good idea for those who have babies eating first foods, or in my case, ferrets (small carnivores) who occasionally need some basic proteins in their diet. Those little glass jars for chicken, ham, etc (first meats) are awesome for holding small items as well. They used to make a large & small size, but I think the bigger jars are no more– more’s the pity! Anyhow, I currently have enough of them that I am going to make a shelve system for them, but instead of just sitting there on the shelf, I’m going to screw the caps to the underside of the shelf. This way the lids never get lost and are permanently attached, and the topside of the shelf can also be used for other containers and whatnots (provided I make the shelf to shelf space tall enough). I love recycling things and it seems such a waste to just throw them out or send them to the recycle center when you can be using them. The craziest part of this is that I’ve seen people buy plastic versions of these in hardware stores in the storage aisle. I mean, people paying for this! Wow….

    • Growing up in 60-70’s – neighborhood buddy’s Father (engineer) used to screw the metal jar lids to bottom of basement rafters in shop area.

      You could see exactly what (screws/nails/nuts/washer) and what size was inside the hanging glass jars..

      have fond this storage method to be pretty useful..had not considered smaller baby food jars for the tinier thingamabobs – thx

      • I have one of those old rotary baby jar things on my workbench at the barn under a whole bunch of other things. It was left over from the previous generation and full of things that haven’t been thought of since. I, instead, bought a metal cabinet thinking I’d clear off the work bench but, strangely enough, the cabinet is full of screws, tools, valves and cutting wheels but the bench remains buried with 40 year old “stuff” piled on it.

  4. Pill bottles take up too much wasted space. Small parts here are in small paper envelopes “coin envelopes” 2×3 size. They file upright in cut-down cardboard boxes, in plastic stacking tubs. Capacitors, resistors, semiconductors, inductors… each in their own tubs. My ‘electronics bench’ is built into the closet in the ham radio shack (spare bedroom). Bench has small plastic drawers for screws & fasteners, and some small tool drawers. The ‘shop vac’ is a dustbuster! Large power tools are outside in the shed where woodwork & heavy metal work is done. Someday I gotta send you a pix of my ‘closet shop’

  5. what a crock of lies and scum this cesspool called earth has become .. the stories from the nouvo gold cows and the rubbish doing the rounds in markets .. 1 the commercials of traders are being smoked 2 the DSI mick moriarty head salesman has told us the secret numbers are fixed.. now mick moriarty will talk tough and tell you your paranoid .. that’s the usual trick of a greedy , narcisstic egomaniac of the new world .. the guy that conducts interview gives me the impression he hates his guts .. the lack of humane and honesty in this greed driven hell hole world , not will , it must be equalized

  6. Ha! Kool. Fun stuff.

    Planes, Cranes, tranes and auto mobles?

    Get er done!

    I was thinking about the great seals on the back of the One. Speaking of Planes, that is a single point perspective drawing in a two point perspective. Not just a pyramid. That is a gloden brick, path. Not just an eye, a plan-e-t. Whoooaaaa. Lol the masonic Square… And G line up with the eye and whoooaaaa….

    I’m inbetween two Nina. ;)

    F if I know which two, to choose…… Whoooaaaa what the hell is happening…… I’m tripping balls ha ha ha balls. Two balls and two world’s.. two Nina’s. The shaman he is the other one that calles me zero… Million years old…. What the hell was in that drink that chick gave me?

    Gotta go. The language around me just took a whole nother level.. if the Hopi retrieve the corner piece then the poles will flip…. the great serpants.. And no life will survive.. calm down deep breath..

    Yes I saw the animals are now getting Covid 19 too. Duh, I already said there would be a mutations…

    We have a saying in the truck yard,

    Send it!

    I gotta go I’m percolating like a mofo. I think I just had a huge dump of DMT. I get them natrally.. a by product of so many NDEs… Your body just releases it all the time.. and makes more…. Shit here we go. There is that digital detox.

    Hahahahahahahaha! See ya around. I’m going through the portal for a while. Hahah

  7. gold cows .. yep from now on tell the old fart mick . that’s his new gang. the gold cows .. bears great powerful animals .. endless timeless

  8. “why hasn’t someone looked at these plastic bags and sold them as “Machine Lingerie?””

    To late George.. they already make plastic equipment covers lol lol..

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