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Unread 06-30-2008, 06:36 AM   #31
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I know the feeling! When I rebuilt my Large Imperial Kamado it developed a crack in the dome after I painted it also.

I'm repairing the cracks in my BGE and you've really got to have a clean surface for the furnace cement to adhere to, the edges I've feathered flake of very easily, unlike the claypots.
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Unread 06-30-2008, 08:59 AM   #32
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First of all, thank you both, as I used your experiences and photos to restore an ancient #3 last week. It was a craigslist score and even has the Japanese stamp!

I'm kicking my self for not documenting the process, but it wasn't much different from yours, just less work. The only crack in the egg itself was in the bottom and I JB Welded it and covered it with furnace cement. The firebox had several cracks which I gave the same treatement, but it appears that the cement doesn't adhere well to the JB Weld. When heated, it appears to bubble up. Did you do anything to prepare the surface? I let the JB Weld dry for 24 hours and did the same with the furnace cement.

Anyway, it's a really good cooker. Surprisingly, very little lump, draft and time was needed to get it over 400. The wife wasn't too pleased with the addition to the family, but the beer can chicken in an hour won her over. I'm really impressed with this 20+ year old cooker.
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Unread 06-30-2008, 03:50 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_Beam View Post
First of all, thank you both, as I used your experiences and photos to restore an ancient #3 last week. It was a craigslist score and even has the Japanese stamp!

I'm kicking my self for not documenting the process, but it wasn't much different from yours, just less work. The only crack in the egg itself was in the bottom and I JB Welded it and covered it with furnace cement. The firebox had several cracks which I gave the same treatement, but it appears that the cement doesn't adhere well to the JB Weld. When heated, it appears to bubble up. Did you do anything to prepare the surface? I let the JB Weld dry for 24 hours and did the same with the furnace cement.

Anyway, it's a really good cooker. Surprisingly, very little lump, draft and time was needed to get it over 400. The wife wasn't too pleased with the addition to the family, but the beer can chicken in an hour won her over. I'm really impressed with this 20+ year old cooker.
Congratulations Jim! Good on you. I'm glad this postings thread was able to help you with your restoration. Swamprb's Imperial Kamado Restoration posting did the same thing for me.

I took a lot of pictures because it's my first Kamado and serious barbeque cooker. Also, wanted to prove my naysayers wrong. Besides, pictures paint a thousand words, and digital pics are free.

About the furnace cement, I'm going to follow Swamprb's advice to clean the area well before application. In my case, I let the JB cure inside the house for a whole week before firing up the Kamado. Maybe that's the difference with the JB.

All the best. Keep us posted on your restoration!
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Unread 06-30-2008, 04:37 PM   #34
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Unhappy Humpty Survived 3rd & 4th Firing - Repairs Planned

Quote:
Originally Posted by swamprb View Post
I know the feeling! When I rebuilt my Large Imperial Kamado it developed a crack in the dome after I painted it also.

I'm repairing the cracks in my BGE and you've really got to have a clean surface for the furnace cement to adhere to, the edges I've feathered flake of very easily, unlike the claypots.
Thanks Brian. I'm feeling slightly dejected about the new cracks.
* * * * * * * *
The good news is that the Kamado held up to an intense weekend of BBQ activities (food pron later), WITHOUT showing additional crack propagation other than the ones noticed earlier.


However, some parts of the JB-welds look like they're melting, as a couple of weld pits have shown up. JB Cold Weld is "temperature resistant" only to 500F.


The maximum temperature did briefly exceed 550F (T-gauge limit) as the coals were ashing up, but I brought it back down.


TODAY'S REPAIR PLANS
  1. Clean out the Kamado. Degrease and de-soot.
  2. JB over old welds.
  3. JB new cracks.
  4. Mortar over JB.
  5. Let dry and cure several days before baking out.
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Unread 07-01-2008, 04:05 AM   #35
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Exclamation JB-Weld Does NOT Survive in the Firebox!

BACKGROUND
Upon reincarnation as The Copper Cooker, Humpty has only had 4 firings so far:
---1. Bakeout #1. Low and slow. Overnight. T < 500F.
---2. Cookout #1. Low and slow. 7h. T < 500F.
---3. Cookout #2. 4h total. T < 500F.
---4. Cookout #3. 4h total. T > 550F briefly, 500F 1h, 400F 2h, 300F 1h.

Recent repairs consisted of 1 coating of JB-weld on all visible cracks, but NO application of furnace cement. New cracks appeared on the dome after the first 2 firings, but no further damage to the dome were noticed after 4 firings.

Disassembly of Humpty showed ADDITIONAL DAMAGE to the firebox and base.

JB Weld does not hold up in the firebox. Coal temperatures are too high for the material to withstand (500F temperature rating only). On the firebox, most of the JB has flaked off and/or turned into white powder. As a result, the JB no longer bonds or seals.


Close-up of JB deterioration.


JB has flaked off and broken down completely INSIDE the firebox.


Firebox came apart in 2 pieces. Most of the JB-weld has turned to powder wherever it was applied, so all the other old cracks will need to be dealt with again. See JB powder residue where the firebox has completely broken off.


CONCLUSION: JB WELD CANNOT BE USED IN THE FIREBOX.
(To repair the firebox again, I will use High-Temperature Furnace Cement only.)

JB seemed to hold up OK inside the dome. For today's repairs, the new cracks were sealed with JB and a second coating was applied over the old JB-welds.


JB also seemed to hold up ok inside the base. However, there were new cracks at the bottom of the pot (propagation from old ones). For today's repairs, the new cracks at the base were JB'd on the inside only, but not on the other side where the JB had flaked off. The old JB-welds near the inside top rim also got a second coat of JB.



TOMORROW'S PLANS
  1. After curing overnight, all JB-welds will be covered with High-Temperature Furance Cement.
  2. The firebox will be repaired with furnace cement only (no JB).
To be continued....
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Last edited by MayDay; 07-01-2008 at 04:23 AM..
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Unread 07-01-2008, 06:02 AM   #36
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I just bought another quart of furnace cement, and think I'll be very liberal with it on the BGE firebox. One thing that I did on the firebox of the Medium IK was to set it in my stove and gradually raise the temp for a couple hours to cure the furnace cement. It was in at 500* for at least an hour with no damage(my wife wasn't thrilled) I don't think the firebox from the Egg will fit. I was looking at the temp rating for the Rutland gasket sealant and was thinking it might work on the joints. Does it dry hard or flexible with the rope gasket?

An old carpenter told me to drill a small hole at the end of the cracks to keep them from spreading. Worth a try?
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Unread 07-01-2008, 09:48 AM   #37
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Have you thought of reinforcing the JB Weld with some fiberglass tape? Apply some Weld, put a strip of tape on and rub it in so that the Weld works its way into the weave and then rub another coat of Weld over it. Use a plastic baggie as a glove...

I don't know if that will screw up the expansion/contraction of the rest of the cooker and cause more cracks elsewhere, though.

The drilling the hole at the end of the crack to stop propagation is a really good, really old trick. Do you want to drill all the way through to stop the crack and then fill and touch up the paint on the outside at this point? Hope someone else has tried it on something like your cooker and can give you some first hand advice...
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Unread 07-01-2008, 05:39 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TysDad View Post
Have you thought of reinforcing the JB Weld with some fiberglass tape? Apply some Weld, put a strip of tape on and rub it in so that the Weld works its way into the weave and then rub another coat of Weld over it. Use a plastic baggie as a glove...

I don't know if that will screw up the expansion/contraction of the rest of the cooker and cause more cracks elsewhere, though.

The drilling the hole at the end of the crack to stop propagation is a really good, really old trick. Do you want to drill all the way through to stop the crack and then fill and touch up the paint on the outside at this point? Hope someone else has tried it on something like your cooker and can give you some first hand advice...
Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't think fiberglass reinforcement will help at higher temperatures (great for lower temps). Above 500F, the JB-weld will still break down from the heat and turn into powder despite the fiberglass support.
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Unread 07-01-2008, 05:45 PM   #39
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This is a great thread.
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Unread 07-01-2008, 06:10 PM   #40
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Talking Hole at the End of a Crack Reduces Crack Propagation

Swamprb and TysDad, you are both correct that drilling a hole at the end of the crack will help stop the crack from growing. The trick is to make sure that the hole is drilled AT the end of the crack!

Essentially, the stress at the end of the crack is inversely proportional to the radius of the end of the crack. By drilling a hole at the end of the crack, you increase the radius, which effectively reduces the stress on the crack, so that it will have less chance to grow (Griffith's Theory, Unstable Crack Growth, 1920).

For example, in the early 1950's, a lot of de Havilland aircraft were falling out of the sky. The planes split in half in midair from stress cracks that started at the corners of the square windows that were in use at the time.

For the mathematically inclined, this is all explained here: Stress Concentrations & Griffith Crack Theory, where "a" is related to your crack geometry.

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Unread 07-02-2008, 03:37 AM   #41
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Well, this is getting interesting! I stuck the BGE firebox in my oven and and gradually heated it up to 500*+ and the JB-Weld joints that I had covered with furnace cement bubbled up, but as of this time are still holding up. It cured for over 5 hours at 500* and was still hot to the touch 2 hours later. I plan to do a test burn with lump today.

What I did was notch out a V on both sides of the cracks with a Dremel and packed it with JB then a couple thin coats of furnace cement and just built upon that and am doing the same on my Medium Hibachi Pot and set a heat lamp over it. Time will tell?
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Unread 07-02-2008, 04:40 AM   #42
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Post Repairs with Stove & Gasket Cement (3000 F rating)

Swamprb: Maybe I got a bad batch of JB, but the stuff completely turned to powder in the firebox, despite being careful about not getting too hot in the 4 firings it had.


The temperature did briefly exceed 550F in Cookout #3 (Fire #4) this past weekend, but was brought back down as soon as noticed (5 minutes maximum). This happened when I turned my back while the coals were ashing up.

The repairs continue....

I found a Stove & Gasket Cement that is rated to 3000F. Supposed to have excellent adherence and sealing properties. Hopefully, the stuff won't flake off or crack as easily. The higher temperature rating should also help it survive in the Kamado. S&GC dries quickly, so wetting it down with water helped.


I used the S&GC to repair the firebox.


Had to clamp down the firebox to align the pieces. Things aren't fitting as nicely as the first time.


Added some weight to help things fit better.


The JB-welds in the base also got covered with S&GC.


Tomorrow, I will apply High-Temperature Furnace Cement over the entire firebox, all the JB-Welds and wherever I applied the Stove and Gasket Cement. The HTFC has a 2000F rating.


Hoping to wrap things up soon. Never counted on so much work....
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Unread 07-02-2008, 12:12 PM   #43
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I'm enjoying this vicarious rebuild experience. Thanks for sharing the photos.

This project is going to come out great, I can tell.
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Unread 07-02-2008, 01:06 PM   #44
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Quote:
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This is a great thread.
Thanks Mark, I'm really learning a lot on this restore. Also spending way more time than I accounted for....
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Unread 07-02-2008, 01:13 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor Salt View Post
I'm enjoying this vicarious rebuild experience. Thanks for sharing the photos.

This project is going to come out great, I can tell.
Thanks Professor. I really hope to finish SOON so that this project can be put to rest and Humpty can enjoy many more years of happy cooking. I really want to do some serious cooking on Humpty and not worry about him cracking further!!!

Perhaps I shouldn't expect a repaired early Kamado / BGE to behave like new!? But Swamprb has been doing this for years!
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