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Author Topic: You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?  (Read 14355 times)


  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 934
You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?
« on: November 26, 2013, 03:15:11 AM »
OK, if you're 'of weak stomach' you're going to want to skip this post.  Don't read this...Just put your man-card down and click on another topic.  Nice knowing ya!   ::)

Still with us?   Good....

I'm going to run you through the build of my Mini-SJ smoker.  (Moderators: if this post is in the wrong location, please feel free to move it.)

The build starts out relatively simple.  I purchased a Vasconia pot (after returning the IMUSA to Wal-Mart due to a horrible fit) and found this used SJ on Craigslist this summer.  The grill was in my home-town, right on my way home from work and cost a whopping $5.  (I didn't get any 'before' pics of the Vasconia pot, but I think you get the idea.)

First order of business was to prepare the SJ for it's new color.  (Yes, that's right...  "Mu, hu, ha, ha, ha.....!)  The handle and top damper were removed

Take a deep breath, as this is where things get spooky...   The legs and ash-pan were then removed from the bowl and both pieces were run through a sandblaster cabinet.

The original thought was to remove all of the porcelain and take it down to bare steel, but as it was it took me 40-minutes just to "scuff up" the surface of the original shiny porcelain finish.  This produced a nice rough finish that would be great for paint to stick to, yet still be protected from rust.  Keep in mind this entire situation is nothing more than an giant experiment.  Would sandblasting a Weber ruin it?  Would the paint stick to this surface?  The only way to find out is to try it, and what better test-subject than a $5 SJ.  Yes, some would say that the grill is ruined.  I prefer to say that it donated it's life to science so that other Webers may live a better life.

Moving on...  The SJ was then given a coat of VHT's "Flame Proof" white primer.  (I'm sorry if some of these pics are bad.  Some of them were taken on a cell phone in poor lighting)

Here are both pieces in primer drying in the kitchen because it was 27 degrees out the night I painted this.  BTW... The wife was NOT PLEASED that this move FILLED the entire house with paint fumes.   I told her she would have to deal with it as I was a mad-scientist right in the middle of his best experiment yet!  (OK fine...  I'm a very lucky guy with a VERY forgiving wife!)

Next we turn our attention to the Vasconia pot.  I had found a thread online where someone cut 'legs' into the bottom hole to hold up a steel cake pan as a diffuser.  I like the simplicity of that design, so that is how it was cut with the thought that it could later be changed if it didn't work out.  Here is the pot marked for cutting.

The hole is cut...

And the cake-pan is test fitted.  The 'legs' fit perfectly under the lip of the pan, holding it in place

It's such a tight fit that you can carefully turn the pot upside down and the pan will stay in place.  Here is the bottom view.   (Again, sorry for the bad cell phone pics)

The 1/4" holes for the cooking grate support bolts and the thermometer mount were then drilled.  The pot was given a weak vinegar wash to remove any oxidization, sprayed with primer and then it was time to start throwing some paint!  The entire works was going to get coated in VHT's "Caliper Paint" in a bright red color.  If you've never used this paint, I have to say that this is a GREAT paint.  It covers well, had the perfect tint, and is rated to 900 degrees. 

I like the fact that this paint needs to be 'cured' in a 200 degree oven for an hour.  Here is the pot taking it's turn.  (Again, my wife is VERY patient with me!)

Then the SJ got it's turn in the tanning booth...

For some reason my cell phone kept turning this nice deep-red color into a light shade of pinkish-red.  It is not a pinkish-red as you'll later see in some better pics taken with a real camera.

Next I welded up a charcoal basket out of some extra expanded metal that was here from another project.

Then mounted up the hardware.  Here is the cooking grate bolts with fiber washers.  (Just like a real WSM!)

I had found this Thermometer on clearance at a local small-town hardware store.  $4...  Not bad!

Since there is no mounting threads on this therm, I used a tool I had from another project that puts threaded inserts into metal similar to how a pop-rivet gun works.  The therm just slides into this insert, but I lucked out and the size fits the diameter of the thermometer rod exactly, so it slides in with a friction fit.  (In this pic you can see the REAL shade of this red paint.)

Enough babbling...  Time for some better pics of the finished project.

Here is the inside with cooking grate:

And the outside view:

As you can see, I also painted the original SJ handle with Krylon "Fusion" plastic paint.  This pic probably shows the color in it's truest shade:

In summary, we all know how coveted the RED SJs are.  This was a fun project and somewhat of an experiment.  Will it the paint stick?  Only time will tell...  I can tell you that this paint is really great stuff and has formed a hard porcelain-like finish.  My guess is that it will be just fine.  The project allowed me to finally get my "RED" SJ and build a fun project at the same time.

Thanks for listening!   :o
Interested in ANY offset handle SJs you may have.


  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2516
Re: You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2013, 03:21:06 AM »
Holy crap Art, great job on that build!
Not everyone deserves to know the real you. Let them criticize who they think you are.


  • WKC Brave
  • Posts: 297
Re: You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2013, 03:26:05 AM »
That's awesome!


  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 4839
Re: You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2013, 03:32:09 AM »
Great how to thread.  It turned out very nice cosmetically.  I'm anxious to see how that paint holds up or if it gets any discoloration, or turns a different hue when heated, and goes back to the original color.  Thanks for posting!
Kettle collector AND cooker!


  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 878
Re: You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2013, 04:00:50 AM »
I'm really interested to see how the paint hold up too.

Nicely done. The red makes it look like a Brinkman ECB.


Happy Thanksgiving neighbor!
I've got Webers. 10 - WSMs, 5 - 22.5" kettles, 2 - 18.5" kettle, 2 - SJS, 2 - SJP, 4 - WGA, 1 vintage Coolie Pan
"Animal flesh cooked over an open fire is a sensible and essential part of a well balanced diet"


  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 3275
Re: You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2013, 04:20:33 AM »
Looks great Art! Hopefully under heat it darkens like the old Red Kettles. Get a cook on that bad boy!


  • The Duke
  • Posts: 7968
Re: You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2013, 05:00:36 AM »
That really turned out nice! I have painted a few grills myself and yeah, it stinks up the kitchen.


  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 3268
Re: You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2013, 05:02:44 AM »

I am not the biggest fanatic of these SJ mods, but your is top notch.  Keep us updated on how the paint holds up.  I am always skeptical under heavy use.


  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 2364
Re: You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2013, 05:12:07 AM »
Superb!  My black VHT painted mini is holding up really well.  Looking forward to more data.  :)
I've always had gas...  And now a bunch of kettles because of this place.  Thanks!


  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 766
Re: You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2013, 05:19:46 AM »
oooo....I think I see my next project...great work!
NYC Kettle Hunter (where <30 min drives do not exist)


  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 3453
Re: You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2013, 05:20:47 AM »
That looks very sweet! I hope it works as good as it looks!
A bunch of black kettles


  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1315
Re: You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2013, 06:07:39 AM »
BEAUTIFUL!  That might be the only way I get a red sj. Great job!!
A Wonderful Family!!!


  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 920
Re: You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2013, 06:36:00 AM »
Looks fantastic.  Can't wait to hear how well the paint holds up and then some pics of the food you cooked on it. 
Platinum Performer Kettle (In Blue), OTG (In Blue)
Genesis Gasser (In Blue), Smokey Joe (Uline Lime)
Looking to buy (18.5 blue or brownie and blue lantern)

pbe gummi bear

  • WKC Mod
  • Posts: 9059
Re: You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2013, 08:02:55 AM »
That's really cool, Sax! Maybe it will even turn two tone when you fire it up. I'd like to add this to the technical reference doc if thats OK with you.
"Have you hugged your Weber today?"
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  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 1135
    • Sydneyangler Inc.
Re: You did WHAT to an SJ?!?!?!?
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2013, 09:35:13 AM »

Love your work.

Sent from another Galaxy using Mental Telepathy

If it breathes, we can cook it!