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Author Topic: 14 WSM Prototype  (Read 3803 times)

MDurso

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14 WSM Prototype
« on: October 30, 2017, 06:18:31 AM »
This 14 prototype is from 2007 or so when I was working on reintroducing the 14.  Weber wanted no part of it because they didn't think anyone would like it...  Umm.. Ok.  I guess they shelved all the drawings until after we parted ways.

Anyway, I mocked up 2 complete units, 4 others of parts.  This unit was gifted to me and I used it at home for extensive testing.  After it was shelved, it's sat in my garage ever since.  The other was given to a gentleman who worked in the model shop and he wanted it to burn paper work, bills, etc.... instead of a shredder?  I don't know.

The remaining parts to make up the 4 units were scrapped.

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MDurso

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Re: 14 WSM Prototype
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 06:23:05 AM »
I hand drilled for the thermometer.  All the vents were put on with loose hardware.

I hand cut the door from an 18 door.  Notice that the middle grate is trapped by the hardware.

The water pan is just a stamped bowl from the torch (as the original one was) but the torch design had changed thus a little odd sized.  It wasn't enameled properly.  Just something to get the job done for testing.

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vwengguy

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Re: 14 WSM Prototype
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2017, 07:18:31 AM »
Wow! Cool story, that ranks right up there in the way cool group of cool things I heard lately.


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nolch01

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14 WSM Prototype
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2017, 09:06:39 AM »
Thanks for sharing the history on the 14 WSM. Look for forward to your posts!


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pbe gummi bear

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Re: 14 WSM Prototype
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 07:44:04 PM »
Whoa, thanks for sharing. I'm surprised that you guys were mocking them up again that early. There were only a handful of vintage 1880's documented up until then and the sjs mini mod hadn't yet hit critical mass.
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MDurso

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Re: 14 WSM Prototype
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 06:06:37 AM »
You're welcome.

I do not believe that even Weber had an original 1880 laying around.  If they did, the couldn't find it.  I know Eric Schlosser and I looked up some old drawings, what we could find and what he could remember, but there wasn't much.

In the world of SolidWorks, drawing this stuff up doesn't take very long.  When I started in on them in late 2006, I drew up all 3 sizes.

On the Virtual Bullet site, a lot of people were making the SJ sized as well as the 22.  I continuously mentioned that people will buy them!  Not everyone has the skills, know how, or sources to make one, but they will pay for a neat shiny perfect one direct from Weber.

They were also very hesitant about the 22 as well from it's shear size!  It still looks pretty massive and for the most part, we all know your average person -even if they smoke every other week in summer, the 18 is adequate. 

I don't exactly know when they pulled the 14 into the market.  I'd be curious to hear the reasoning why.  I know I spoke to Chris A at TVWB about "market desires" and I really pushed for them to offer it sooner.

Heck, I would need all new grates and a water pan to get this going.  I could scrap it and put the money to a new one.  The thermometer still works though!  LOL.
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addicted-to-smoke

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Re: 14 WSM Prototype
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2017, 08:08:50 AM »
I've always thought that a large part of marketing any grill requires relentlessly advertising what the damn thing can do. Don't assume people "just know," and don't let your customers get lulled into only grilling burgers and hotdogs. We're talkin' Lifestyle, here!

- it's why forums are rife with questions about which one to get and what foods fits on what
- it's why Weber is engaged in social media, and publishes cook books to show examples (but mostly it's for kettles and gassers doing grilling)

- it's why, in the early days, Weber hosted live demonstrations and promotions
- it's why, in the early days, a Weber user guide included detailed info about such things as indirect cooking (shocker!) and also recipes(!)
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

MDurso

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Re: 14 WSM Prototype
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2017, 08:22:49 AM »
Well Weber certainly upped their game since I was there.  When I told them I went to a "forum" and it was "online", though only lurking with no connection to Weber itself, you would have thought I told them i was going in the black market to sell livers and kidneys.  They were very afraid.

Afraid of letting people program thermometers, leery of Bluetooth and phone apps, concerned about probe gaskets, you name it:  If they didn't have it already and not invented here, they wanted no part of it.  the Internet will kill you!  Scary!  Bad!!!  RUN!!

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addicted-to-smoke

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Re: 14 WSM Prototype
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2017, 08:53:12 AM »
^^ and they pushed a respected forum member here, who works for Weber as a rep, to go away or go underground. The cost incurred was a loss of Weber's most-dedicated user base (us) to directly hear from Weber regarding occasional product and insight. So instead of guiding him on what to do/not to do, they just said "don't, at all."

It's about control with a Capital "C" and it's with any sizable company. At some point, social media is just an alternative to TV advertising, with very little socializing happening beyond the faceless  corporate account "liking" your post or saying "thanks!" when you share an image.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

MDurso

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Re: 14 WSM Prototype
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2017, 09:27:46 AM »
As many of us here know, because we don't live under rocks, is that there are many: hobbies, businesses, interests, etc...  that use social media to great advantage.  My main interest is music.  There are countless guitar companies that thrive and drive their business, identity, etc by harnessing the power of the people.

I recall having conversations as to why Weber was no longer involved with BBQ cook offs, Memphis in May, etc.  The general thought was "well those people aren't interested in us".

What?

Look at NASCAR.  How does Hamburger Helper sponsor a car?  Or M&Ms?  The mere presence at a BBQ cook off is huge because it creates a "Me too, Us too, All of us in common".  By not partaking, you exclude, alienate, etc.

Certainly you have to choose wisely in selecting events and social media arenas, but it needs to and should be done in this day and age.

Heck, I couldn't even get them to use Meeting Maker in Outlook to schedule a meeting!
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WNC

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Re: 14 WSM Prototype
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2017, 12:24:03 PM »
That's too cool, thanks for sharing!


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addicted-to-smoke

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Re: 14 WSM Prototype
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2017, 03:24:59 PM »
... I would need all new grates and a water pan to get this going.  I could scrap it and put the money to a new one.  The thermometer still works though!  LOL.

We all know that grates are a disposable item (unless maybe stainless steel or maintained cast iron ...) and so the "choice" is obvious, get that sucker back in operation! Having a prototype isn't any sort of interesting conversation piece?
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

pbe gummi bear

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Re: 14 WSM Prototype
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2017, 07:49:01 PM »
You're welcome.

I do not believe that even Weber had an original 1880 laying around.  If they did, the couldn't find it.  I know Eric Schlosser and I looked up some old drawings, what we could find and what he could remember, but there wasn't much.

In the world of SolidWorks, drawing this stuff up doesn't take very long.  When I started in on them in late 2006, I drew up all 3 sizes.

On the Virtual Bullet site, a lot of people were making the SJ sized as well as the 22.  I continuously mentioned that people will buy them!  Not everyone has the skills, know how, or sources to make one, but they will pay for a neat shiny perfect one direct from Weber.

They were also very hesitant about the 22 as well from it's shear size!  It still looks pretty massive and for the most part, we all know your average person -even if they smoke every other week in summer, the 18 is adequate. 

I don't exactly know when they pulled the 14 into the market.  I'd be curious to hear the reasoning why.  I know I spoke to Chris A at TVWB about "market desires" and I really pushed for them to offer it sooner.

Heck, I would need all new grates and a water pan to get this going.  I could scrap it and put the money to a new one.  The thermometer still works though!  LOL.

@MDurso, an 1880 did not arrive back at Weber hq until 2008. DavidD from tvwbb inadvertently bought one off of ebay thinking it was an 18.5" and traded it back to Weber: https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?8680-Update-on-the-WSM-Classic-1880-from-Ebay I'm also one of the earlier guys to have procured an 1880 so I used to keep track over every documented one on the forums. I think there are still less than 20 accounted for at the moment.

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MDurso

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Re: 14 WSM Prototype
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2017, 05:34:16 AM »
@pbe gummi bear That's a very interesting story about the 1880 that returned to Weber.  I was laid off just two months after they received it, yet I had never heard they had one.  in that thread it was mentioned that "Ken has it in his office".  IIRC, Ken was one of the 6 kids (of the 12 of George Stephen) who did not work (or work at Weber).  So there's that.

But at the time, Weber worked in mysterious ways.  There was very much a feeling that "the law did not apply to them" -not that they were breaking legal laws, but more of the courteous, more ethical-based norms you would find at a company of its size.  And being privately held, there was a lot of behind the scenes and behind closed doors things that many people (even quite high in the chain) were not aware of.

After we parted ways I was designing microphones and silicon-based products for Knowles Electronics.  I invented this little joystick for use in phones and games like the Nintendo 3DS.  The patent lawyers were asking me about other patents I may have been involved in.  I replied no, that i had worked at Weber, yadda, yadda.  A short time later they returned a list of over a dozen patents Weber filed in a 3 week period just before and after we parted ways and where I either directly or had a substantial hand in inventing/creating and having the "a-ha" moment of those ideas.

So am I surprised that they procured an 1880 and even though they knew full and well that I had worked on recreating the new one, etc and they never told me?  Nope.  One under par for them.  Typical.

We even knew that Chris at TVWB had one and I had suggested borrowing it or having him make measurements, even that was  shot down.  "We can't let anyone know what we are doing..."

It was a weird place at the time.
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fedex

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Re: 14 WSM Prototype
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2018, 11:53:31 PM »
Makes Weber sound like the Area 51 of the BBQ world.  Very good read though.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2018, 11:56:58 PM by fedex »
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