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Granddad kamado rebuild


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I figured I would split off the kamado build from my old kamado purchase and questions posting, I hope that’s ok.  Some of the first pictures can be found in the earlier post –



This past weekend, I had some time to start restoring on my old kamado.  I started on the rusted metal bands.  I spent a good portion of Saturday afternoon working on the bands, between a power hand drill wire wheel, the bench grinder and wire wheel, various Dremel bits, and a moderate helping of naval jelly, it turned out great, not perfect but 10x+ better and how mostly clean. 





They are rather pitted,  Sand/Bead blasting likely would have been better, but it felt good working on the project this weekend.  Surprisingly both Saturday and Sunday my youngest daughter (16 y.o.) took an interest in the rebuild and lent a hand, and did most of my band paint on Sunday.




Sunday I also spent time cleaning the interior using the wire brush, looking for various cracks. I have the big one on the bottom, plus three small cracks. All look manageable at this point.




  It looks like I have a matching pair; my base and plug both have the number 31... if that means anything..




I drilled a few small holes at the end of cracks to help reduce any further cracking,  Followed by a hose-out and a good scrubbing with a plastic brush.   The exterior of the Kamado is worse off than I expected, more of the exterior textured surface was flaking off, I’m guessing the Kamado was exposed to more outside elements.  I’m letting the kamado dry out for several days before I do anything more.





Tonight I acquired some JB Weld and started the cap rebuild. Thankfully, the cap was in one large main piece and two small pieces.  I still have a hole to file, which certainly looks doable.




Hopefully this weekend, I will have more JB weld to work on the base cracks, then I need to figure out to fix the exterior surfacing for the base and top.  So w/ all this new fun, my table build is on hold, so I can figureout how to accommodate the rebuilt Kamado and the Joe Jr.


More photos to follow in the future, I hope you Kamado Gurus don’t mind a noob sharing…

Edited by In2Fish
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What are your plans for the exterior David? 


I read your other thread, it always amazes me when people invest big bucks in something like the previous guy did and then want to recoup some of the money when the investment really didn't make the grill any better. Oh well, at least you've got new guts for your Kamado.

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Great job so far, you have more nerve than I do drilling into the Kamado like that!

Let me tell you.. the 1st hole is the worst, I think my heart rate went up, I was thinking the base was going to crack into a million pieces. it didn't, it was much easier than I expected.  Thank goodness

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What are your plans for the exterior David? 


I read your other thread, it always amazes me when people invest big bucks in something like the previous guy did and then want to recoup some of the money when the investment really didn't make the grill any better. Oh well, at least you've got new guts for your Kamado.

Still deciding on the exterior color, likely blue, I will have to have a nod to Kamado Joe with some red somewhere.  i"m still trying to figure out how to fix the exterior (duh, using furance cement..) more specifically how to get a similar texture into the cement.    Yes, it's nice knowing the guts are basically new.

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Sorry no real update tonight.   I'm working on figuring out how to re-create the exterior kamado texture.  I think its like a stucco or a knockdown texture of some sort.   The Amazon order for two 10oz packs of JB Weld showed up this evening, I see some crack repair work perhaps tomorrow or Saturday.

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I did a little more work tonight on the old Kamado.


I filled the hole in the cap,  I'm trying to give it a little texture,which I continue to find difficult to come close to. Various sponges (natural & synthetic), metal mesh, rollers, don't do a good job creating texture on/in furnace cement. The closet is somewhat rigid 1/2" plastic hardware net from Home Depot. By pressing and lifting the netting at different angles into the cement, seems ok.  I'm flattening the peaks with a metal scraper the following day.




I've cleaned the cracks by using a Dremel bit to route out the crack lines. The crack lines appear off white in the photos.  Hopefully routing the crack lines will give the JB Weld more surface area for which to adhere.  After the cleaning earlier this week and getting a much closer look at the base interior tonight,  I've found more cracks which I also routed out.  Interesting note: the Dremel brand metal engraving/cutter bits don't last long on earthenware clay.  After 5 minutes or so, they are worn flat and useless.   Using some of the cheap diamond bits from Amazon work wonders.




Hopefully tomorrow I will have a little time to start filling some of the crack lines w/ the JB weld epoxy.  Then I plan to reinforce the interior by using fiberglass and furnace cement over the JB weld repairs.

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Very nice work so far. Labor of love for sure. 

Thanks Keeperofdeflame - regardless of how it turns out, I enjoy the experience of the process and the learning that happens long the way. 

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Some more work today this morning & this evening.


This morning I worked to JB weld/epoxy the bottom (a little over done...) and the exterior cracks have been filed as well.   




This evening I worked to fill-in the interior cracks. I also laid down some fiberglass tape that I will cover tomorrow w/ high heat furnace cement





I also had the chance the prime the caps. and I hope to paint it tomorrow.






As a side note - I did an overnight smoking of two pork shoulders which I brought to the Potomac Valley Aquarium Society (PVAS) monthly meeting, it was a big hit ! much better than the 'local chain' bbq pork that was provided.


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I managed to get in a little time this morning before I had to run errands and work other required projects/chores around the house.


I put down more fiberglass tape, and covered w/ furnace cement.




I'm going w/ a blue color, which I sprayed on the cap.  It's a bit brighter than the can indicated, and I still like it.  I will have to find a way to incorporate a little red somewhere too.




I hope to get more time to work on Grampa Joe (as my kids have named it) later in the week.



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