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Advice on fixing a rusted bottom airflow/ash door

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Hello, 

 

I inherited a *really* nice traditional Kamado that my dad brought back from Japan in the 70s or early 80s.  He never used it - it sat inside the house for decades - so it is generally in great shape.  However, the sliding metal access piece on the bottom rusted fairly badly, enough that I've been unable to open it with gentle pressure.  I don't want to break it,  but I do need to get it working, or replaced.  I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas of how I might coax it open, or if not, where I might look for some kind of replacement part?  Photos included - thanks!

IMG_0048.jpeg

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I'm not an expert, but my first attempt would be to use WD40, being careful to not get it on the raw ceramics.

 

Two basic tools:

 

If it moves and shouldn't duct tape

if it doesn't move and should, WD40

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I assume it is a clay pot  - not ceramic. That being the case clay tends to be somewhat less absorbent compared to  porous ceramics. 

 

Fluid Film is a penetrating fluid that is food safe. Readily available here in Canada. Not sure about your location. It would be my first choice if you can find some where you live.

 

Failing that I would spray the hell out of it with the next best thing you can get your hands on and repeat daily until it [hopefully] breaks loose.  Heat it up a few times prior to cooking any actual food on it and good to go. 

 

WD40 would be my last choice. 

 

 

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+1 to using edible oils to free it. This is one place that shouldn't get hot enough to burn it off. Conversely, if you can't fix it, you'd have to replace it. I use a far wider range of this vent than I expected. 

 

If oil penetration doesn't work, start with mild mechanical action along the top and bottom edges and as far under the cover as you can. I'm thinking  something like metal shim stock; thin but strong in the right thickness range. Try to get a little motion, then slowly work on increasing the range. see if it moves up and down any. Then start bending the frame away from the slide (you can bend it back). It looks like someone tried force on the slide; you'll need to bend that back as best you can, too. If you can't get purchase on the slide, drill a hole and put in a screw to haul on, and perhaps replace the tab. Use common sense, but you really want to get this fixed, one way or another. 

 

Best of luck,

Frank 

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If it was me I would be looking to cut the bolts with something like a dremmel and remove it so I could take it apart and de-rust it clean up the slider tracks and then hi temp paint it. I would avoid wd40 unless it's the last thing left to try 

Edited by ndg_2000
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12 hours ago, glenn3 said:

WD40 would be my last choice. 

 

 

13 minutes ago, ndg_2000 said:

I would avoid wd40 unless it's the last thing left to try 

 

That's the great thing about this forum. I did not know about other options. Also, part of my response was meant to be tongue in cheek.

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How about warm it and the inside of the kamado up with a bit of charcoal (like a some briquettes lit in a chimney)  - realizing you need them lit and burning good cuz lower vent is closed.  The when warmed up  well (or even hot) lightly (I said lightly/gently)  tap with a non -metal mallet on the face of the metal banding and door and then also work on the horizontal sliding action of door in a gentle tapping.  This may break loose the rust locking it up in its tracks.

 

Also, you could after it is heated up , apply an ice pack to the door and area immediately around it.  .And then heat/cold shock it several times along with gently tapping.  

 

Not seeing it in person i would hesitate to recommend using a propane torch to heat it but that is your call.  Or maybe an industrial hot air heat gun would be good to use if you have one.

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