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Nick2cd

How i fixed my cracked Egg

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As some of you know from a previous post i made, i recently bought a new cracked Large Big Green Egg.  My intentions were to try to repair it as i have outlined below.  Only time will tell of the repairs will hold up, but i feel confident that they will.  Here's how it all went down

 

i have a crack in my egg

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the method i have chosen to fix the crack is via a stop drill procedure.  it's the same procedure used to stop a crack in metal.  you locate the end of the crack and drill a hole.  the smooth, cleanly cut walls of the hole create a natural stopping point for the crack.  since we are dealing with ceramic, a typical high speed steel bit won't do the job.  too much heat would be created, thus ruining the bit and possible fracturing the egg.  even a carbide tipped masonry bit won't cut it here because these are typically used in a hammer drills, and the last thing i want to do is take a hammer drill to my egg.  so diamond bits are the chosen tool for this application.

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i drilled a clean hole at the end of the crack (or so i thought) until the tip of the bit just popped out through the green enamel on the outside of the egg.

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i sealed the hole on the outside with a piece of frog tape.  this was just so my filler did not seep out of the hole.

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i used a bit more frog tape on the inside of the egg so i could keep things neat and tidy.

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after much deliberation and research, i finally settled on JB Weld to fill the holes.  it's the highest temp rated product that is labeled as non toxic once cured.  

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i removed the tape while the epoxy was still wet so it would be easy to peel away

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it wasn't until i was inspecting the pictures to post this procedure that i noticed i was not at the end of the crack (thank you retina display).  i made it more visible for you guys by taking some powder from my lump charcoal and rubbing it across the crack.  this really brought things into the light.  i drilled a second stop hole at the end of the newly visible portion of the crack.

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i feel good about the repairs and i believe that they will be sufficient to keep the existing crack from propagating any further.  i will report back if i encounter any remarkable findings or failures.  thanks for looking.  i hope this comes in handy for someone else.

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Elegant solution.  It will probably last quite well.  As small as they are you could even utilize something like the Permatex Muffler Putty which is good to 2000 degrees continuous.  Where did you get those nice diamond bits?  How was the drilling itself ?  Easy or ??

 

if it was not for the life-time warranty aspects and the risk of initiating cracking besides that, I would be drilling holes in my Big Joe to add some thermowell penetrations to insert my thermocouple probes instead of thru the lid/base joint for monitoring cooker temps.

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Elegant solution.  It will probably last quite well.  As small as they are you could even utilize something like the Permatex Muffler Putty which is good to 2000 degrees continuous.  Where did you get those nice diamond bits?  How was the drilling itself ?  Easy or ??

 

if it was not for the life-time warranty aspects and the risk of initiating cracking besides that, I would be drilling holes in my Big Joe to add some thermowell penetrations to insert my thermocouple probes instead of thru the lid/base joint for monitoring cooker temps.

 

the only reason i didn't use permatex hi temp gasket rtv silicone or their muffler putty (didn't know about this stufff) is because i wanted something that would create a strong bond.  i think those products would create an air-tight and gas-tight seal, but i don't know how strong of a bond they create.  

 

as far as the bits go, i bought these a couple years ago from lowes.  they were kobalt brand and i think they were relatively inexpensive.....less than $10 if memory serves me.  they cut through the ceramic like butter.  i cut very slowly and carefully as to try and avoid any damage.  i don't think i spent more than 1 minute on either hole.  i don't think you'd have any problems doing the same thing to your KJ as far as technique goes, but i'd avoid it for warranty reasons.  

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Very ingenious solution.  Good work.  What can you do about the crack line itself?

 

thanks!  you know, i've gone back and forth a thousand times on whether or not to seal the crack.  i honestly don't believe it's necessary at this point. the crack is so hair-line that i fail to believe i'll get any heat loss through it.  my biggest concern with the crack was that it would spread.  i believe i've taken appropriate measures to prevent this from happening.  so, with that said, at this moment in time, i am at peace with leaving the crack as it is.  every bone in me wants to seal them from a "belt and suspenders" thought process, but i hate the idea of introducing more chemical sealers on the inside of my cooking vessel than are absolutely necessary.  

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You made a cool document.

It seemed to me that JB Weld rating was a couple hundred degrees less than the 700-900F firebox that I would expect during grilling. It also seemed like fireplace cement or furnace cement, or whatever that stuff is called, would work well. It cures during firing.

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Looks like a good repair to me.

 

I have one of those bits. Supposidly they can drill through glass.

 

Keep us posted as to how it goes. My bet is it will be just the same years from now.

 

I would not even think about the crack. Any thing you put on it will only be on the surfase. When my CGK smoking stone broke I could see where smoke and stuff had worked its way into the cracks. I just cleaned the surfase and it gluded right back with the JB Weld.

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Very ingenious solution.  Good work.  What can you do about the crack line itself?

 

thanks!  you know, i've gone back and forth a thousand times on whether or not to seal the crack.  i honestly don't believe it's necessary at this point. the crack is so hair-line that i fail to believe i'll get any heat loss through it.  my biggest concern with the crack was that it would spread.  i believe i've taken appropriate measures to prevent this from happening.  so, with that said, at this moment in time, i am at peace with leaving the crack as it is.  every bone in me wants to seal them from a "belt and suspenders" thought process, but i hate the idea of introducing more chemical sealers on the inside of my cooking vessel than are absolutely necessary.  

 

 

If you do have to seal the crack, there's always castable refractory cement from the bbq gasket folks:

http://www.bbqgaskets.com/catalog_5.html

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