The Great Outdoors:
While any garden space can be transformed into an outdoor living and cooking area – a portable braai and achair goes a long way – doing it stylishly is even better. This small area was brought right up to date by building a braai and installing a countertop with place for an ice bucket and a planter for herbs.
5 x planed all round pine lengths
(2400 x 222 x 44 mm each)
80 blocks (M190)
4 bags building sand (40 kg bags)
5 bags plaster sand (40 kg bags)
4 bags concrete mix (including sand
and stone, 40 kg bags)
2 pockets cement
1 sheet shutterboard (18 mm)
cut to 960 x 500 mm
2 wooden planks (200 x 18mm)
cut to 600 mm
1 wooden plank (200 x 18 mm)
cut to 1360 mm
2 aluminium buckets (12 litres)
1 litre Woodoc Polywax Sealer
2 x reinforcing (1280 x 6 mm)
3 x reinforcing (410 x 6 mm)
fibre wall insulation (100m x 350 mm)
wooden dowel (12 mm)
Genkem Carpenter’s Wood Glue
30 Eureka Hilti Screws (8 x 100 mm)
Megamaster Portable Patio Braai
(940 x 460 x 423 mm)
spirit level and straight edge
wood or plastic float
wheelbarrow and spade
white marking chalk
speed bit (12 mm)
masonry bit (8 mm)
steel bit (8 mm)
electric hammer drill
electric jigsaw and skill saw
fine hacksaw blade
Step 1: You will require a hard surface on which to build. Mark out the area using the carpenters’ square and chalk.
Step 2: Mix together 3 parts building sand, 1 part cement and water. Start laying the first row of blocks, using the white chalk line to keep the wall straight. Use the spirit level to check that the row is straight and level. Continue building until you have a wall consisting of 6 courses.
Step 3 Build the end supports at right angles to the wall. The end support for the braai area needs to be 3 courses high while the one at the other end can be the full 6 courses. Once the end support for the braai is up, measure the length of the braai plus 20 mm on each side and mark the area for the middle support.The 20 mm gap is for the insulation. Lay 3 courses for the middle support.
Step 4: For the slab to hold the braai, make a box by screwing the wooden planks together and use the shutterboard as the base. Support the weight of the box by placing a few wooden slats or poles underneath it (only removing them when concrete is completely dry). Mix the 4 bags of concrete mix with water and fill the box to halfway. Lay the reinforcing on the concrete and fill the rest of the box. Agitate the concrete mix with a float to remove any air pockets. Leave to dry for a week.
Step 5: Put the braai in place in the middle of the slab. Put the insulation all the way around the braai. Finish building the supports around the braai to the top of the wall.
Step 6: Allow the walls to dry completely before any plastering is done. Mix a ratio of 3 parts plastering sand to 1 part cement, plus water. Cover the wall with plaster about 15 mm thick. When nearly dry, take a straight edge and screed the plaster work, then use a wet float to get an even result. Allow to dry
Step 7: For the countertop, decide where the mitres are going to go and cut the pine lengths that will form the countertop to size. Build a bracket in the corner to support them. Position all the lengths and mark where they are to be drilled to secure them. Using the 12 mm speed bit, drill 10 mm deep into the wood at all the marks, next use the 8 mm drill bit and drill right through the timber. Finally, use the masonry drill bit and drill through the holes into the concrete. Attach the lengths to the concrete using the Hilti screws. For a neat finish, apply wood glue to a section of the dowel, tap it into the hole and cut off the excess with a fine hacksaw blade. Repeat for each hole. Sand over the dowels with 80 grit sandpaper and then sand the entire countertop.
Step 8: Mark out the circles for the ice bucket and herb planter. (We used a piece of galvanised wire to measure around the rim of the bucket and then traced the wire to mark the areas to be cut out of the counter.) Use a jigsaw to cut out the holes.
Step 9: Seal the wood with a coat of Woodoc Polywax Sealer; make sure all exposed surfaces are covered, including the undersides. When dry, apply another coat of sealer.