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Restoring Another Offset Smoker and Pork Butts

I didn't want to be way off topic so I figure I better post a picture with some food on the egg. Just some butts I tossed on the egg at some point. One of the first pictures I found on my phone. Just to make the Buffalo happy.



On to the actual post.....

Every once and awhile I have to go and do something completely dumb that doesn't make any sense. Just for my own personal sanity. It's easy to fall into the same routine over and over again. So I did something exactly that. I drove almost 900 miles to go and pick up a used smoker. Again.

It must have been 3-4 years ago I did the same thing. I went and picked up a used smoker in Kansas. (I live in Minnesota.) We don't have anything up here worth a dang for smokers in my price range. So the next closest place is the KC area for anything worthwhile. I once again found another used smoker on Craigslist down in Kansas City. This time it wasn't so much for the smoker but just hitting the open highway and doing something stupid. All 800+ miles with only stopping for food and gas. 

I've been looking for a smaller offset smoker. Something that can do a couple racks of ribs or a brisket. I didn't want anything too big where I could just roll out my other bigger smoker. I ended up finding a Brinkmann. You're probably thinking, "A Brinkmann smoker? You drove all the way to Kansas City to buy a Brinkmann smoker?" That is exactly what I did. Couldn't I have just went and bought one at Home Depot? Yes, I could have. They carry Brinkmann smokers. This is where I've done a little research and maybe scored this smoker and a descent deal. What most people don't realize is that Brinkmann smokers used to be "real smokers" when they first came to market. This smoker is a 1/4" thick and came with a lifetime burnout warranty. The guy was asking $125 for it. I've seen others sell for $300-$400 in used condition. I didn't feel right asking the seller to hold it until the weekend. So I crossed my fingers and hoped most people who stumbled across the post would think it's a tin can smoker from a big box store. I got lucky and the smoker was still available Friday night. I told the owner I'd come and pick it up on Saturday if he'd hold it until the afternoon. He was more than happy to hold it. I jumped in my truck at 5:30am Saturday morning and hit the road. 

The trip down went fairly smooth. Only issue was in southern MN where the highway was glare ice. I arrived around 1:30pm and chatted shortly with the previous owner. He bought it years and years ago from the local hardware store for $500. He liked the smoker but he ended buying a pellet smoker. We loaded the 230+ pound smoker up in my truck and off I went. I was hoping to meet up with one of my old roommates for some bbq but he unfortunately had a funeral to attend. He's usually my bbq tour guide when in town. Since he wasn't around I asked the guy I bought the smoker from what he recommended. He suggested Jack Stacks. 



The burnt ends were fantastic. The brisket I thought was okay. No real complaints though. Always a treat when in KC for bbq. The few other stops I made were a grocery store for bbq sauce and Academy to see what it's all about. Then it was the long drive home. 

I think I pulled in my driveway around 10:30pm. I pulled the smoker out of the truck and took a few pictures when I had a chance. 



This is going to be your basic backyard restoration. No sandblasting. Just knocking down any rust the best I can and hitting with primer and paint. I took the angle grinder to it a few weeks ago. 



I've found a couple days where the weather was in the 50's for putting a couple coats of primer on it. 



Don't mind the wheels. Those will be replaced in the future. The weather is looking nice on Monday and Tuesday for a couple coats of paint. I unfortunately need some carriage bolts and some other odds and ends yet for it. Those will have to wait until things settle down. I've only been out two times in the last 10 days and haven't been in any buildings. Trying to do my part of staying home. So everything will have to wait that I can't do here at the house. I'll keep updating this post if I do anything on it if anyone is interested. Thanks for looking!


"The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

Minnesota
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Comments

  • loco_engrloco_engr Posts: 4,926
    nice post Vincent!
    aka marysvilleksegghead, moved to Basehor,KS 2/26/2021
    Lrg 2008
    mini 2009
    XL 2021
    Henny Youngman:
    I said to my wife, 'Where do you want to go for our anniversary?' She said, 'I want to go somewhere I've never been before.' I said, 'Try the kitchen.'
    Bob Hope: When I wake up in the morning, I don’t feel anything until noon, and then it’s time for my nap
  • dbCooperdbCooper Posts: 999
    Cool story and interesting project.  I'd like to see continued updates to the restoration. 
    LBGE, LBGE-PTR, 22" Weber, Coleman 413G
    Great Plains, USA
  • DuranglerDurangler Posts: 1,122
    @WeberWho .. really enjoy reading about your projects.
    Following.
    XL BGE, 22" Weber Red Head, Fiesta Gasser .... Peoria,AZ
  • thetrimthetrim Posts: 11,351
    Very nice work!!!
    =======================================
    XL 6/06, Mini 6/12, L 10/12, Mini #2 12/14 MiniMax 3/16 Large #2 11/20 Legacy from my FIL - RIP
    Tampa Bay, FL
    EIB 6 Oct 95
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 24,223
    No doubt about how this will end-a great restoration project.  Glad your trip was uneventful (save no meeting up) and appreciative of your skills and patience in completing this project.  Waiting on the updates and especially the virgin run!
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • StillH2OEggerStillH2OEgger Posts: 3,321
    Love it! The adventure and the smoker.
    Stillwater, MN
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 8,139
    Very cool post !
    Visalia, Ca

    LGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria-Modified HD Offset Smoker Reverse Flow- FatStack Smoker FS120 coming soon Fat Stacks 500- Blackstone 36 Blackstone 22 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical Smoker
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 8,891
    Yep.  Awesome post.

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 9,271
    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • EoinEoin Posts: 3,841
    That looks like a really nice unit. I'd buy something of that size if I could find a cheap used one here in the UK.
  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 9,271
    lousubcap said:
    No doubt about how this will end-a great restoration project.  Glad your trip was uneventful (save no meeting up) and appreciative of your skills and patience in completing this project.  Waiting on the updates and especially the virgin run!
    Thanks. I'm hoping to get the paint done by next weekend. I snapped two rusted carriage bolts when removing the latch and damper. I tossed the bolts in the trash. I just figured I'd bring the damper over to Ace and see what they had available for fitment. That was pre-virus. Now I'm kicking myself that I didn't go figure out replacement bolts earlier. I'm going to hold off finding replacements and the owners manual wasn't any help. 

    With it being a small traditional offset smoker the temps are going to vary from one end to the other. Especially on the firebox side. So I need to make some tuning plates. That requires another trip out for some scrap metal. Which will be further down the road. 

    It will take some time figuring out temperature, tuning plate adjustments, and just how the smoker runs. Which is part of the fun. I'm looking forward to the first cook though!
    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 8,139
    If you are feeling creative , I did an old 99.00 smoker a few years ago and converted to reverse flow..


    Visalia, Ca

    LGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria-Modified HD Offset Smoker Reverse Flow- FatStack Smoker FS120 coming soon Fat Stacks 500- Blackstone 36 Blackstone 22 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical Smoker
  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 9,271
    lkapigian said:
    If you are feeling creative , I did an old 99.00 smoker a few years ago and converted to reverse flow..
    Do you have any more pictures of the smoker? @lkapigian 

    I think I'm going to keep it a traditional smoker as my other smoker is reverse flow and I'm interested in seeing the difference between the two of them.

    This heat deflector would be the easiest solution for even heat across the cooking chamber. 

    I'd like to use this grill as a grill and smoker. Just not for low and slow cooks. I feel the heat deflector above will restrict higher temperatures. The main reason I'm thinking I'll go with tuning plates over a heat deflector. Tuning plates will give me the option of moving or removing tuning plates for higher temperature cooks. Tuning plates will give me more hot spots but I'm looking to use those to my benefit. Especially when using it for grilling. My thought anyways. 

    It would still be cool to see your smoker if you have any extra pics of it. I'm always fascinated when people build or customize their smokers. 
    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 8,139
    @WeberWho ...not the cleanest thing right now, I did expanded metal shelves and redid the thermometers 



    @RRP Rutland gasket...note the kava rock @ the Firefox end



    Expanded metal below and new wheels


    Visalia, Ca

    LGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria-Modified HD Offset Smoker Reverse Flow- FatStack Smoker FS120 coming soon Fat Stacks 500- Blackstone 36 Blackstone 22 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical Smoker
  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 9,271
    lkapigian said:
    @WeberWho ...not the cleanest thing right now, I did expanded metal shelves and redid the thermometers 

    @RRP Rutland gasket...note the kava rock @ the Firefox end

    Expanded metal below and new wheels

    Very cool lkapigian!

    I need some type of gasket to run around the firebox and cooking chamber on mine. I really like the expanded metal look of yours.

    My firebox grate is shot. If really like to find some type of expanded metal grate for it. I see they make expanded metal grate basket like the one below. Which is nice but I'm thinking it's more for lump wood or charcoal. I'd like just to toss wood in it without putting it in any type of basket everytime. So I'll need to figure that out yet....




    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • littlerascal56littlerascal56 Posts: 1,258
    Cool project.  I too have purchased several smokers on Craigslist nearby (Kansas), sandblasted and repainted with hi temp black.  All are now cooking great BBQ in the hands of my buddies & friends.  There are some really sweet deals here in KS on used cookers...lots of people buying high end Yoders, then tiring of the work it takes to run/maintain them. You can usually buy them for 1/2 price of new.

    BGE XL++Flameboss 300 WiFi++Blackstone 36"++Weber 26" kettle

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 37,959
    Cool project.  I too have purchased several smokers on Craigslist nearby (Kansas), sandblasted and repainted with hi temp black.  All are now cooking great BBQ in the hands of my buddies & friends.  There are some really sweet deals here in KS on used cookers...lots of people buying high end Yoders, then tiring of the work it takes to run/maintain them. You can usually buy them for 1/2 price of new.

    Please, carry on.  And for fks sake, GO TO CHURCH, MAN!
    ______________________________________________
    No cooking devices other than an Easy-Bake oven with a 75 watt incandescent light bulb.
    Virus downloading.....(*beep...bleep...whirrr...whirrr*)
    Download Complete.



  • I got an old Oklahoma Joes cooker one time that i fixed up. It too was actually made with real steel. Nothing like the garbage you find in the store today. It was very small but I cooked a lot of food on it. Nice resurrection project!
  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 9,271
    I took one giant step in the wrong direction after painting the smoker this afternoon. It didn't go as planned.....

    I had the hvlp gun parts soaking in mineral spirts since the last time I used the gun. I gave it a quick rinse and was in good shape. I had two half used quarts of high heat black from painting my other smoker last fall. So I was good to go. Life is good.

    I took the one half used quart can of paint and poured it into the other half quart can of paint. Making one full quart can of high heat paint. During this process the paint seemed a little thin. When I shot paint last fall I never thinned the paint as I was told by Paul Shirley that they don't thin their paint when painting their smokers. So I convinced myself that the paint was normal looking. I took a paint strainer and strained the paint into my gun. Once again thinking the paint seemed thin but I brushed it off.  I used a big scrap of cardboard to test my spray pattern. The paint seemed a little thin when testing it but I knew I never cut it with anything in the past. So I went over to my smoker and started laying down some paint. It was absolute garbage. I instantly had runs in the paint. So I adjusted the paint flow on the gun. It didn't help any. I couldn't figure out why the paint was being layed on so thin. So I grab some paper towels and start to wipe off the paint on the smoker I just sprayed. When wiping off the paint I notice my primer coming off with the paint. Huh? Why is my primer wiping off with my paint? I'm still puzzled. My only thought is that I must have used some Acetone last fall and was looking for a place to dump it when I was finished with it. I must have seen an empty quart can of high heat paint sitting on the work bench and poured it in there. I must have mistakenly put the half quart of paint that was really Acetone back in the cabinet with my other paints. Ugh....

    So I wipe it all off and I'm ticked at this point. Now I have no more usable paint for my spray gun. The next best option is the 1.5 cans of high heat spray paint I have. I didn't really want to use this spray paint as it doesn't stick as good as the paint coming from the quart can and gun. With no other options I start spraying the smoker. I started to regret it as soon as I started spaying. 1.5 cans later the smoker partially painted and I'm out of paint. I walk away and start questioning myself. "Is that how you really want to do it? Half a$$ed like that? You just painted the smoker with areas of missing primer?" Next thing I know I'm digging out my angle grinder...

    Yep, I wire wheeled the smoker once again. I'm now stuck with no primer or paint. I wanted soooooo bad to leave and get paint and primer from Menards this afternoon. Temperatures almost in the 60's today and tomorrow.  I could go and buy paint and be back painting my smoker in under 30 minutes. Except I won't. I've been really good about not going anywhere in public. Just trying to do my part of staying home. So I'm looking at another week or so before I get paint shipped or delivered. 

    So I'm looking at another week before I get a chance to paint the smoker. Again. 



    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 24,223
    I admire you posting your above Cluster F---.  You handled it much better than I would have.  Once you get the right paint you will knock it out in no time.
    Congrats on the patience to stay home and not press on with having to get this done right now.  
    And once again, "if it doesn't feel right then check it out as the gut feel is a very accurate indicator."  No worries, I to have disregarded the "gut feel" only to regret it later.  
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 9,271
    Thanks @lousubcap

    Yeah something wasn't adding up. What threw me off is knowing I never cut the paint prior. Whatever found its way in there was taking the primer off without any hesitation. You're exactly right about trusting your gut.

    I found out Rustoleum makes a 2,000 degree spray paint. I might give that a try this time around. I use their 2,000 degree primer but I wasn't aware they made a flat black paint. So I might go this route and all might not be lost. 
    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 4,415
    It seems like I run into this situation daily. You made the right call, if it’s worth doing it’s worth doing right. Also if you adulterate a jug or can take the time to relabel with a sharpie. ;-)
    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 9,271
    It seems like I run into this situation daily. You made the right call, if it’s worth doing it’s worth doing right. Also if you adulterate a jug or can take the time to relabel with a sharpie. ;-)
    I've been pretty good with labeling items. All my oils and filters are labeled along with other odds and ends in my garage cabinets.

    The only plausible situation is where I was cleaning parts with Acetone in a tin pan and needed somewhere to discard the used Acetone when I was done with it. Which might be a long shot as I strained the paint into the gun and I didn't collect anything in the filter. Whatever thinned the paint was strong as it wiped away the primer paint. 

    I'm clueless on how or why it was thinned. All I know I'm back to painting it over once again. I agree with you about doing it right. I could almost hear my dads voice say, "If you're going to take the time to do it, make sure you do it right". 


    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 37,959
    That sucks.  Been there.
    ______________________________________________
    No cooking devices other than an Easy-Bake oven with a 75 watt incandescent light bulb.
    Virus downloading.....(*beep...bleep...whirrr...whirrr*)
    Download Complete.



  • If you decide to use your paint gun instead of spray bombs, heat up your paint right in the can in an old crock pot.  It flows through the gun and puts a nice heavy coat on - no thinner needed.
    Glencoe, Minnesota
  • WeberWhoWeberWho Posts: 9,271
    If you decide to use your paint gun instead of spray bombs, heat up your paint right in the can in an old crock pot.  It flows through the gun and puts a nice heavy coat on - no thinner needed.
    Thanks for the tip! @sheetmetalpete

    I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for that. That will come in handy on my other smoker where I need to touch up. 

    I ordered some Rustoleum 2000 degree rattle can paint this morning for the smaller smoker. It's a flat black in color. I'm not sure how it's going to look. I figured it was worth a shot to see if it holds up any better around the firebox. I'm guessing it won't be as good if I were to spray it with a gun but I'm not so concerned with some wear and tear on this smoker. If it sucks I'm getting pretty good at taking a wire wheel to it!

    I will definitely try warming some paint up when touching up the other smoker. 
    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • alaskanassasinalaskanassasin Posts: 4,415
    You can do that with your rattle cans too if they are cold.
    South of Columbus, Ohio.
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 8,139
    WeberWho said:
    If you decide to use your paint gun instead of spray bombs, heat up your paint right in the can in an old crock pot.  It flows through the gun and puts a nice heavy coat on - no thinner needed.
    Thanks for the tip! @sheetmetalpete

    I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for that. That will come in handy on my other smoker where I need to touch up. 

    I ordered some Rustoleum 2000 degree rattle can paint this morning for the smaller smoker. It's a flat black in color. I'm not sure how it's going to look. I figured it was worth a shot to see if it holds up any better around the firebox. I'm guessing it won't be as good if I were to spray it with a gun but I'm not so concerned with some wear and tear on this smoker. If it sucks I'm getting pretty good at taking a wire wheel to it!

    I will definitely try warming some paint up when touching up the other smoker. 
    I did my entire Klose Trailer with those cans, looks fine....used rust mort an the bad spots, I went with the cans as I can constantly touch it up as needed 
    Visalia, Ca

    LGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria-Modified HD Offset Smoker Reverse Flow- FatStack Smoker FS120 coming soon Fat Stacks 500- Blackstone 36 Blackstone 22 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical Smoker
  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 8,139
    Great results @WeberWho
    Visalia, Ca

    LGBE- Pit's by Klose Trailer -Stumps XL Stretch - Custom Santa Maria-Modified HD Offset Smoker Reverse Flow- FatStack Smoker FS120 coming soon Fat Stacks 500- Blackstone 36 Blackstone 22 - Custom Cold Smoke House and a lonely Brinkman Vertical Smoker
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