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Kamado K7 Restoration

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A glass cleaner I use to clean my fireplace insert door glass might be the ticket for creosote build up sold at home depot clear flame 2in1 glass cleaner

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A breaker bar was considered, but if you look at some of the early pictures, you can spot spider cracks near the top of the dome.  I have already hit it with about 200 foot pounds of torque (with tape and wire re-enforcing the top of the dome).  Much more torque would likely fracture the dome.  Magnets stick to both the all-thread and the nut, so they are not 30X grade stainless.  I doubt they are any kind of stainless.  As to the strong acid suggestion, it will eat the metal, and not just attack the rust.  So I will be patient, and replenish the vinegar on the rag as it dries out for a few days.  Time is my ally at this point.  I will let it do the heavy lifting for me (until I lose my patience and just cut the @#$# thing out).

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Thanksgiving meant having family over.  With the help of two big strapping step-sons, another attempt to rotate the upper damper was performed.  We all ringed the K7 and got a grip on the upper damper.  The legs of the K7 were blocked in place with our feet.  As a group we all heaved in unison, muscles were pulled tightly, veins bulged, and with a collective grunt..... nothing happened. 

Tonight, after yet another defeat, I was wandering through KMart, looking at the special mark-downs.  A Craftsman compact saw-all (zawsaw, sawzall) was marked down to 29.95; next to it was steel cutting blades.  I took it as a sign; it was purchased with steel-cutting blades.  It looks like (barring miracles) cutting the spider out, and replacing it is the only remaining option. 

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Can you take a acetylene oxygen torch to melt the rust? That is what I have done when remove rusted on bolts in my car. What comes out may not be salvageable...on second thought, I doubt it would be salvagable.

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I have already taken a higher end MAPP gas torch to it, and gotten it to dull red-hot.  That is as far as it can be safely pushed without risking cracking the dome and damper.  Once the spider is removed, the nut will get a ground slot, then a nut cracker will be taken to it.  

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Well, the damper is free, but not in a way I hoped.  Today the saw was taken to 2 of the 3 spider legs, and the spider was worked free of the dome.  Each leg of the spider is supported on a free floating steel rod which is resting in one of the three horizontal holes in the dome.  The Nut in the spider was sawed diagonally, then spread about a sixteenth of an inch to help free it from the all-thread shaft.  After the nut was expanded, the all-thread was able to unscrew from the nut.  A 3/4-10 die was ran the full length of the all-thread to clear all the rust/scale from the threads.  I am currently trying to contact KamadoJohn to order a new spider. 

Pictures of the aftermath:

 

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The damper, once removed from the spider and dome

 

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The carnage required to get the Damper free.

 

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The nut with the spreaded diagonal cut, which allowed the all-thread to turn.

 

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The top of the Dome with spider and upper damper removed.

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Although I was not impacted by this, some people complained the original system, which had a floating sleeve over rods stressed the dome, and encourages cracks. The new spider has an outer re-enforcing ring, and no connections which are floating. As such, it is more rigid, with less wiggling. The down side is, your alignment has to be perfect when you install it. Or, you must resurface the top to remove any high spots. Overall, I prefer the new design.

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Although the original design had it's flaws because of the choice of metals .... The design is really functions le over alot of current top vents

.you can use it in the rain

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Yes, it isn't a bad concept, the devil was certainly in the details. Each of the descendants of the original design kept the same top damper overall design. The ability to keep rain out, while in use is a good feature. The rocket improved on it by using stainless steel, a sealing gasket and a rigid spider. The Komodo Kamado improved on it by using stainless steel, Acme (square) threads (to reduce galling), a sealing gasket and a rigid spider. The spider with the Rocket design (outer ring to prevent localized the stress) will be installed on the K7, and the all-thread shaft will be slotted to make the nut self cleaning (and avoid galling) and also a Nomex gasket will be installed to improve the seal.

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