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W_2004 09-06-2010 06:02 PM

The long-awaited Imperial Kamado restoration project :)
Ok. As I wrote in the Cattle call thread I received my Imperial Kamado from my folks a few years ago. They bought it from a relative of ours in the mid/late 80’s who was importing goods from Japan at the time. The pot was in heavy use for the first 15 years, but after my parents moved to a ground level flat/apartment it was hardly used at all.

It’s been subject to harsh weather conditions here in Finland. Big changes in temperature, cold winters, warm summers, lots of rain etc. Most of the time it’s been covered by some sort of BBQ cover, but that hasn’t protected the metal parts from rust. Nor the colors from fading from the bright green/black to a blueish gray.
Made by the good folk at Kinuurayaki Pottery

The first thing I did with it was replace the support wires around the firebox and ring to hold them intact. The old wires had rusted away. Firebox was in five pieces and the ring in two and I didn’t know what to use to repair them. So I just used wire for the time being.

The wagon was in terrible shape too. I scraped the rust off with a steel brush and spray painted it a black.

The original grate had shattered a long time ago. My old man replaced it with a stainless steel disc with holes drilled to it. That’s worked fine and I even have a spare.

Some time later I decided to properly fix the cracked firebox and ring. Found a fireplace sealant from Bison from my local hardware store. Stands temperatures up to 1250 degrees Celsius (2282 degrees Fahrenheit).

After that it was time to restore some of the metal accessories and parts. I used a rust remover product from CRC.

Worked ok. It didn't get the most stubborn rust out but the rest I tried scrubbing off with a steel brush.

Here's some before and after shots:
Ye olde damper toppe
After rust removal
All done! :clap2:

Right now I'm in the process of painting the dome and base (and the ceramic damper top). Gonna make it red with black surface texture.

Here's a sample of the original color found under the draft door.

And here's what it looks like now. Before the black surface texture.

Will add pics and text as the job progresses. It's slow due to child-caring-responsibilities. We had twins last December :becky: Then there's the 4 year old too... Sigh..

citrus 09-06-2010 06:26 PM

Lookin good

Johnny_Crunch 09-06-2010 06:31 PM

that thing is going to rock, can't wait to see the finished product!

bluetang 09-06-2010 08:40 PM


Skip 09-06-2010 09:31 PM

Awesome work!! :clap2::clap2::clap2:

vr6Cop 09-07-2010 11:40 AM

Keep those updates coming! Seeing these things come back to life is like watching the History Channel, DIY Network and Food Network all rolled into one! :thumb:

W_2004 09-13-2010 06:53 PM

Got a little bit of work done last weekend.

Removed all the rust from the bottom slide draft door.
This was after the chemical rust removal. It left behind some stubborn rust patches.

Used a wire brush bit for my cordless drill to manually remove the remaining rust. What a genius invention that is :thumb:
Some serious corrosion there.

Then I gave it a few coats of black heat resistant spray paint. And there it is. Almost as good as new.
Notice the original fraction markings that I taped over before spraying.

Also derusted the grate just for the heck of it. Chemical remover was sufficient.

And then it happened...

The damn base cracked when I lifted it with one hand on the top rim, the other in the bottom vent. I immediately put it down and searched for any damage. Found an approx. 40 cm (16 inch) long crack starting from the upper right corner of the bottom vent. I was not happy.

Decided to fix it with a heat resistant epoxy glue from Plastic Padding/Henkel. Also used some fiberglass tape as extra support. The glue is resistant up to 150 degrees Celsius (300 Fahrenheit). That should be enough, since the base doesn't even get hot to the touch when grilling.:pray:

Added a few more layers of red on to the surface. Next I'll try to paint the surface pattern black. That's going to be a challenge.

Mister Bob 09-13-2010 07:20 PM

Very nice work, and I love the color!:thumb:

expatpig 09-13-2010 07:31 PM

A labor of love!

Phubar 09-13-2010 07:49 PM

Very nice job!
Thanks for the pics and I hope you will have Phun with it!!!

Bluesman 09-13-2010 09:50 PM

That looks great. Wonderful job. Want to see pics when you get it all dirty :thumb:

swamprb 09-13-2010 09:51 PM

Awesome work!

I love it when folks restore a vintage Kamado-especially one that has been in family as long as yours! I hope it gives you many more years of fantastic meals and memories and even last to hand down to your children!

W_2004 09-18-2010 05:30 PM

Small update...

I finally found the right kind of paint for the surface pattern. At least I hope I did.

This is an alkyd paint called Miranol. Should be weather and heat resistant up to 120 Celsius (250 Fahrenheit). Lighter colors will turn slightly yellow with temperatures over that. Since I'm using black that probably won't be a problem.

Used a small foam paint roller to apply it.

Here's a sample of what the final color will look like.
Did the damper top first in case it would suck.

milehigh 09-18-2010 05:54 PM

Nice Restore! Can't wait to see her finished.


bluetang 09-18-2010 05:57 PM

That is sharp, very nice:thumb:

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