View Full Version : Refinishing a custom pit

07-30-2019, 09:38 AM
I was given a custom stickburner to replace my old New Braunsfels smoker. Problem is, it wasn't taken care of very well.

The firebox has standing water, not sure why it has 2 smoke stacks as it's not a reverse flow. I've got to do some fairly heavy rust removal, probably repaint the outside with some rustoleum bbq paint.

I haven't put a fire in it yet, but I'm almost positive that the unflanged lid is going to pour smoke like crazy. Any suggestions on how to seal the lid? I'm pretty excited about cooking in it if I can get it to run I'm sure the 1/4" plate will hold temps better than the sheet metal in the New Braunsfels :)

07-30-2019, 10:51 AM
it does not looks too bad from here. I will be stoked if i had that gifted to me. I do a burn first and then see where that leads you, its a good size, looks like 1/4 and seems sturdy. In my opinion it will be worth putting a couple of hundreds if needed....heck people spend hundreds getting their new Oklahomas Joes right! Im sure yours will be way less than that...it might surprise you.

07-30-2019, 11:05 AM
i'm super stoked, can't wait to try it out. It's got some surface rust I need to deal with inside the cook chamber then season it. I'm really hoping it holds smoke well, but trying to get ideas just in case it does leak.

07-30-2019, 11:33 AM
So, the stacks work like a counter-weight for the lid? And there appears to be a damper between the firebox and the cooking chamber. the best attribute is the heavier steel.

I've seen things restored that were in much worse shape. I agree with doing some test burns to see what you have operationally, (how it drafts, hot-spots, cool-spots, leaking smoke etc.) then you can get a battle plan. Do you have a welder, or know someone who welds? And for cleaning I would consider some abrasive blasting and probably not with sand but a milder media for the inside, and just aggressive for the outside to give you a good prep for priming and painting.

07-30-2019, 11:43 AM
Yes, the stacks act as a counter-weight. The lid is cumbersome even with them. Looking at their size I'm probably going to have to make them bigger somehow. I have access to a welder, so I'll be able to make any adjustments I need. Just hoping I don't need many.

I don't have access to blasting, but even if I did, pit's built like a tank so it's a pain to move. It took 4 grown men to put it where it is, and I think I might lose friends if I asked them to put it back on the trailer so soon after unloading it. :)

Probably going to use a nylon or wire wheel on my grinder for the interior and a flap disc on the exterior. The thing I'm most worried about is the bottom of the firebox. I'm not positive whether the door was left open in a rainstorm or if the cook chamber leaks leaks super bad, but the firebox has been sitting with an inch of water and ash.

07-30-2019, 11:59 AM
You might be able to mount a new stack on the side, lower than the grate to improve the draw, but with some projection to keep it away from the lid, then abandon the current ones or cut them down and seal. You should be able to see corrosion areas in the firebox, deep pits can be filled with weld and ground. You might consider some fire brick, it can do wonders. Here is a picture of a pit I used to cook on with a similar lid. Notice the flat stock on both the lid and the coking chamber... this is a metal-to-metal fit and it did leak a little, but a woven gasket would have reduced that.