Restoring/Modding My Bandera
I was going to start this thread once I was done with the work, but I have a couple of questions now, so I figured I'd lump it all together :razz:
I had an intro thread where I shared some of the story, but basically, I bought a Bandera a couple of weeks ago for $75. Other than a little cosmetic work and some wheels, it needed very little. This site has been a tremendous resource (especially the Bandera 101 doc) and is already costing me money. I just bought a Maverick ET732 and Weber starter chimney :clap2:. Figure a couple of new analog thermometers and a Thermapen soon enough, too.
Here are a few pics for now and I'll update later as I get more work done.
This when I first got it:
I goofed by not taking pictures while on the concrete, but you can kind of see the casters (non-swiveling) that were welded on the smoke box side:
Steel legs with 3" x 3" steel "feet" for the other side:
Here is the baffle that was put in to place (and where I have a question):
My baffle question is this: Is that too small? It is just shy of 4" long. We ended up welding it to the lowest rack holder, which raises it a little higher than the location that is mentioned in the Bandera 101 document. I didn't think about it at the time, but now realize that this will have an effect. I can put a little extension on the baffle if necessary, unless the impact on this will be minimal.
I will be building a firebasket this weekend and will just measure it out, I suppose, since I haven't seen a consensus on the L x W x H dimensions. I am trying to picture one thing, though. With fire bricks on the bottom, I am guessing that I will put a grate above them (lowest possible setting), then put the firebasket on top of that. Is that correct? Trying to get an idea of where I need to be measuring the height for the firebasket from.
Thanks for all of your help and I look forward to being able to provide some more pictures of the restoration and mods, then start trying my hand at smoking/BBQing.
Well, I thought it was pretty cool.
I'll have to do a little testing, I suppose, to see if the baffle is ineffective at its current size. We ended up just measuring out our own dimensions for the fire-basket. I hadn't noticed this with any other fire-baskets that had been made, but we made the center divider removable so I can do bigger logs should I ever have the desire.
So far, we have done the following;
1. Added heat deflector/baffle
2. Replaced rear wheels/axle with casters
3. Replaced front casters with steel legs/feet
4. Built a (badass) fire-basket
5. Cut a plate to reduce the size of the cooking chamber (removable)
6. Sealed some joints that could potentially leak heat/smoke (inexpensive factory assembly)
Still have a few more things to do like add a shelf to the outside and make a little covered mount for the wireless transmitter, but it is almost ready for paint.
Plate for reducing the cooking chamber size. The "exhaust" is in the back left.
Legs/feet. This caster/legs/feet combo raised the smoker by about 3 inches, which is good for me.
Here are a couple small gaps we filled in:
I just can't wait to start cooking with it. I'm pretty excited with the progress so far, though.
I got an old Bandera that is rusted out bottom and side around firebox and someone has already worked it once as firebox is welded on so I think I may patch then double wall and insulate it as soon as my welder buddy gets some free time.
We thought about welding the firebox to the cooking chamber, but decided it wasn't worth the effort and didn't want to make it difficult to remove down the road if necessary for repair.
Good luck with your restoration. Hope it gains some traction pretty soon!
Given the attachment to the Bandera on this board, I had thought/hoped more Bandera owners would have chimed in.
Didn't spend a whole lot of time tonight, but fixed the wireless thermometer situation.
I forget what you call these things, but they are bolts with a hole through the middle of them. Feel free to chuckle at my lack of hardware terminology knowledge. I had purchased some threaded lamp pipe to use, but we found these laying around and felt they looked infinitely cooler. I put two holes in the wall, added the hollow bolt thingamajigs, and then used a JB Weld high-temp putty to hold the back of them. I did this because it would work and it would seal the opening to help prevent smoke/heat leaking.
What about the hole in the bolt you say? The probes are threaded through small corks, so when I put the probes in the chamber, I can cork shut the holes. I bought a little magnetic shelf from Harbor Freight to hold the transmitter. Works perfectly. I'll look at weather proofing it with a hood or something sometime down the road. For now, it just gets black paint along with the whole smoker.
I'm going to figure out the shelf tomorrow or Saturday, then hit the whole thing with paint and be done for a while. I have other things that I'd like to do, but the thing I want to do the most is smoke some damn meat!
I like the magnetic shelf idea! Ill probally copy that.......
I wish I had a Bandera. You've done a great job, looking forward to seeing it in action.
Ok, new to all of this...BUT! I have been smoking on bandaras for 13 + years and LOVE IT!!!.
I did a crazy mod on mine! The box on the right was off the first bandara that I purchased...
What u r doing so awesome!! Maybe this will help w ideas and how crazy u can get.
Ok, I give up! Stopping for directions!! Will someone Im me so I can figure out how to post pics? Lol, wished posting pics was as easy as Qing!!!
Use the one that says IMG instead of the link one.
Thanks, everyone. As mentioned, I'm going to shut down the modifications for a while, I think, and just get the thing painted so I can start using it.
As for the magnetic shelf, it is a great idea, but I have to give credit to NoSwineLeftBehind. He made the recommendation in this thread.
Smokesignalsfromtx, that is a pretty crazy mod, but I love it. Pretty slick way to double your real-estate. You are right in my backyard, too. Might need some tips on where to stock up on wood like you have :wink:
Here are a bunch of pics I snapped after the paint was relatively dry. The paint wasn't as flat as advertised, but it turned out for the better. The side shelf was what I thought it was going to be, but the slight gloss works. The smoker was painted with paint from a 1 qt. can and the side shelf was painted from a rattle can. Both were supposed to be the same thing, but it works for me. I can't begin to explain how happy I am with the results. The inside still needs a little re-seasoning (comes this week) and the firebricks go in when I get it back home, but it is otherwise ready to go. The front shelf is probably going to stay as is for a while. I like it better than I thought, but if the right size bamboo cutting board comes along for the right price, I may replace it.
First cook is next Saturday. I just hope that at some point down the road, I can turn out some meat that is worthy of the equipment.
Wow! Great job you've done there! :-D
Thanks! Looking forward to getting it broken in again and start turning out some tasty vittles.
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