OK, giving credit where due first: I know rotisseries are nothing new, as several designs have been devised and shared on Pinside and elsewhere over the years. I saw Vid’s post on the classic pipe design first… then Ed Cheung’s take… and some wall-mount versions… table-mount versions... and others...
But I think what I amalgamated out of all those with my own take is worth sharing, so here goes!
For my purposes, I ruled out the pipe version because, though I admire its functional simplicity, I don’t like the big heavy square frame on the floor. My workspace is compact in a high-traffic household area so I didn’t want a tripping hazard. Nor did I want an annoying pipe underfoot as I worked. So as I considered a more freestanding design, I realized that I could attach caddies and hang tools onto wood beams more easily than metal pipes… that could be handy. The rest of the versatility was “happy accident” but could be easily be modified or built with intent!
My total cost for the rotisserie was $50 for hardware bits because I happened to have proper wood in a scrap pile - if you don’t, budget another $20 or so for a 10-foot deck post and a 2x4. You should also budget for clamps if you don’t have any, but those can amortize into general workshop supplies. So even going all-out you’re still at the magic $100-or-less threshold for the materials, though you also need access to a miter saw or jig to cut the post.
When I built it I didn’t have a how-to in mind… but as I’ve used it, its enhanced versatility has surprised and delighted me... so I decided to share, but you’ll have to excuse the lousy pics since it’s being used in an unfinished basement, not a photo studio.
Anyway, onto the design:
I essentially built two large wooden tees, out of 4x4 post. The base is 24” long and the vertical is 36” long. By cutting the post with careful square cuts, the pieces butt together tight and square. I used strap braces and #8 lag screws to secure them together, on both sides of the joint. They will NOT twist or come apart!
Some familiar 1" pipe components make up the balance: (4) flanges, (4) short nipples, (2) unions, and (1) perforated angle brace (a 36" cut it in half) are attached to the top of the inverted tees. I used the same #8 lag screws to mount the flanges to the posts.
The playfield is simply spanned and clamped in place between the tees like a standard rotisserie. I tried it with just the tees and it was sturdy enough thanks to the large flat footprints of the bases, but the entire rig is strengthened considerably with the cross-brace of a 2x4: that's cheap insurance. As for attaching that 2x4 (a scrap 2x6 in my case), a friend happened to come by and wanted to demonstrate a drawbore joint, so we went ahead and did that… but you could screw a board in place as a span brace all the same. Easy!
So what's the big deal? Well, the real beauty of this design comes from using wood! Each completed wooden tee is its own sturdy, freestanding subassembly. It’s no more difficult or unsightly to store than a bunch of random pipe sections. It’s quicker set up, move, and break down. It also keeps the floor beneath and around the perimeter open. But wait, there’s more….!
Got a non-standard pf to deal with? Get a shorter 2x4 span brace if need be. Easy!
Think you might need to move it around on occasion, in progress? You can securely attach locking casters to the bases, and roll your entire project out of the way or where needed. Easy AND awesome (try doing THAT with pipe)!
Got some frequent go-to items like a dremel, heat gun, or soldering item? Put some screws in the posts and hang them within reach. Heck, mount a power strip while you’re at it! Maybe some hooks for hanging rags. The tops of the posts offer a handy surface for setting down solvent bottles and the like… or to mount a magnetic holder. Easy!
On the cross-brace, you can attach shelving and brackets for holding tools and supplies too - as demonstrated by the happy accident of a stored spare, folded bench from my Ford Aerostar pin-hauler perfectly fitting and filling this purpose. If I didn’t have that bench, a simple L-girder shelf would have been easy to make.
Now, owing to that happenstance bench clearance, and the large piece of scrap I used, you might note I notched the span brace to clear a rotating playfield. But you probably won’t have that concern, so if you size and place your span brace low enough, you can easily mount a 48” flourescent tube lamp for checking inserts and decals!
Did I mention the assembled height of all this has happens to be *perfect*? You can easily tailor and cut wood to suit your own whims - the end result when seated in a comfy rolling chair, the “bench table” beneath the rotisserie is at a perfect height for supplies. And rotating the playfield turns it into an easel of sorts, for easy cleaning, touch-ups, insert work, etc. Say nothing of when it comes time to work on the underside!
So there you have it. Simple and nothing too earth-shattering, but I’m so thrilled with how this has all worked out, and could yet be further enhanced and personalized, that I had to share. I don’t think the pipe versions are this versatile, so for roughly the same price (or less) it might be worth considering.
Just wanted to give back to a community that has and continues to help me immensely…