Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Webber Charcoal Grill Rescue

I recently moved to Texas from Illinois, leaving my trusty grill behind.  Living in the land of BBQ without a grill, I pined to grill meat over burning wood.

As luck would have it, my brother's fiancee (sister-in-law-to-be?) was discarding a weathered 22 1/2" Webber charcoal grill she was unhappy with.  I leapt at the chance to restore an iconic, made in Palatine, IL, mid-century design, charcoal grill.

Step 1: Disassembly
The one-touch cleaning assembly had rusted solid and was removed with a Dremel and cut-off wheel.
The wood handles had weathered poorly and were dangerously loose, so everything was taken apart for cleaning and painting.

The cleaning system needs some persuasion...

...a little persuasion via cut-off wheel.

Step 2: The De-Rustening
Corded drill and wire wheels (both from Harbor Freight) do a great job of getting rid of the rust.

Step 3: Paint
I wanted a unique looking grill, so I tried a can of High Heat Paint in flat silver, but that gave the grill a washed-out look I disliked.

To improve the paint job, I gave it a coat of gloss black and cut out a flame stencil out of contact paper. Once the paint dried, I removed the contact paper to reveal my personal touch.

Step 4: Replacement Parts and Assembly
One of my favorite things about Webber is that they sell replacement parts and upgrades so you can keep your grill cooking strong for life. I purchased and installed:
(1) Replacement One-Touch Cleaning Assembly (22.5")
(2) Resin Side Handles With Tool Hooks
(1) Resin Top Handle
(1) 22.5" Cooking Grate

I'm definitely pleased with the outcome. Total cost of this project was higher than I'd like (about $65), only slightly cheaper than purchasing a similar grill new, but my grill has a few upgrades and personalizations, I saved a high quality grill from going to the landfill, and it was a fun weekend project.