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Thread: A Christmas Story - with a Weber flair

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    TVWBB Fan Jon Tofte's Avatar
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    A Christmas Story - with a Weber flair

    T'was the night before Christmas
    and what could I do?
    Not a single grill to cook on,
    not even my Q!


    Sorry for my pitiful attempt at poetry !


    A CHRISTMAS STORY - CHAPTER ONE


    About six years ago, a good friend of mine had a group of guys over to help install a paver driveway at his house. This friend had been through some really rough waters with a special needs daughter who almost died of a type of cancer that is usually terminal for very young children. She was a miracle baby, and one of the few who made it through the program that involved two-hour trips and many stays at the children's hospital in Miami. Anyway, all of his friends were more than happy to pitch in, and my friend's wife asked if I could come and grill out to feed the group of guys.

    I brought a Weber kettle to make to make seasoned, charcoal flavored burgers. While I was cooking, one of my friend's daughters pointed out their very rusty, rickety Charsomethingorother gas grill. It wasn't too good when it rolled off the assembly line, and now it was a total wreck. My friend's wife overheard us talking about it and said "Maybe Santa will bring us a new one." It was only July, but a bell went off, and I parked that comment.

    I had been faithfully converting Discover bonus rewards into Ace gift cards to buy a replacement for my workhorse gas grill, a last-model-year Genesis Silver B. I had planned to do a clean-up and sell my Silver B to help with the purchase. That July Saturday, though, a new plan would start. I wound up doing a nice rebuild of the Silver B, complete with new cast iron grates, burners, flavorizers and lots of cleaning and repaint. As always, my renovations take a while, and it was still ongoing as December clicked by. But finally on Christmas Eve I was able to get the last things done. I put it all together, added a new Weber grill scraper & stainless smoker box, and topped it off with a Christmas bow. And then I waited...

    Not too long, however, because I got up at 4AM on Christmas morning, donned a Santa Claus hat, and got the refurbished Silver out of my shed. My friend lived within a good long walk from my house. I discovered that you CAN push a rattling metal grill down streets and sidewalks at 4AM with not a single person asking what in the world you are doing As quietly as I could, I left the grill out on his now paver driveway. And then I waited again.

    Around 9 AM I got a text. Apparently one of my friend's 4 daughters looked out the window and said, "Mom there is something out on the driveway for us!" Her mother said, "No girls, there is nothing outside."

    "Yes there is!" she said, and they found their "new" Weber out there waiting for them. I responded to my friend's wife by texting back that all I new was that I had heard that maybe Santa would bring a new grill. "So", I told her, "Maybe there really is a Santa Claus!"

    SEE CHAPTER TWO IN SUBSEQUENT THREAD
    Last edited by Jon Tofte; 12-24-2017 at 03:04 PM.
    Genesis 330-SE, Q200 Performer , 2 kettles, Green Egg, Orion Cooker & restoring a Genesis 1000 and 3000.

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    TVWBB Fan Jon Tofte's Avatar
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    A Christmas Story - Chapter Two

    CHAPTER TWO

    Fast forward six years. My friend and his family have been through some more deep water. About six months ago, they all made the long move out to Idaho to start a new life there. My friend got a job with Union Pacific Railroad, but then he found out that what was supposed to be a great job with great benefits was really a seasonal job only. Meanwhile, most of his children were not adapting to Idaho, and the youngest "miracle" daughter - who is still very much a special needs child - was struggling the most. It was a tough haul for my friend and his wife, but they gained a lot relationship-wise and spiritually from this hard move. So, they decided to return to Florida, but I believe as a much stronger family.

    The move to Idaho had resulted in the Genesis Silver I made for them having to be left behind. So, I decided it was time for another Christmas Story. I had just picked up a Genesis S-330, natural gas grill for a $150 from OfferUp. This grill had actually been well taken care of and was in far superior condition to any I have ever seen. Virtually no rust, even in the storage cabinet and legs that are usually destroyed in our South Florida salt air. This grill shows that even a newer Weber CAN LAST if given good care and storage.

    I had to convert this grill to propane, because natural gas is non-existent in our area. Since I had already been gathering parts for a E-310 I planned to do for charity (See my thread "Couldn't resist this Summit!"), I already had most of what I needed.

    To make things work, I had to go from the sear burner configuration to a regular 3-burner set-up, using a firebox I had on hand and a new propane manifold I had bought. I decided to also eliminate the side-burner, although someday maybe it could be added back in if the gas orafice was replaced.

    Once again, time was short. I disassembled everything last Saturday and did some rust-proofing on the frame pieces. I had hoped to work on this during the weekday evenings, but got sick in the middle of the week. I wasn't really well enough to do much more until Friday afternoon and evening, when I got the frame and firebox ready for re-assembly. I started in earnest Saturday morning (December 23rd):



    You can see that, like I did on my last 310 (See "Another Charity Project" thread), I used a replacement stainless bottom my friend, a sheet metal shop owner, made for me. Actually, the original painted steel one was in great condition, but it had to be replaced either way because the natural gas version does not have the round hole for the propane canister to drop into.

    I cleaned up the three-hole firebox I had in my parts bin and added the brand-new manifold. The burners must have been replaced in this grill, because with just a little wire-brushing they looked like new. I was really impressed with the replacement manifold which seems to be made from stainless steel and features rubber boots over each valve. Both are improvements over the original ones:





    I also purchased a new igniter kit and wired it up:



    Since this was a natural gas to LP conversion, I had to attach the LP gas line and regulator I had in inventory . I used some Mothers "Back to Black" to make the regulator hose look nice:



    While I was out on my deck working on this project, our friendly mail carrier stopped to deliver a package. It was my brand-new heat deflectors from Dave Santana - aka RCPlanebuyer. They sure are nice! 304 stainless and much heavier weight than the cheap stainless set I bought from Amazon. Dave is now selling these. Contact him directly if your are interested so that you can avoid having to go through eBay. I have his email if you want to private message me.

    I was able to put them right into service:



    CONTINUED IN NEXT THREAD
    Last edited by Jon Tofte; 12-24-2017 at 02:46 PM.
    Genesis 330-SE, Q200 Performer , 2 kettles, Green Egg, Orion Cooker & restoring a Genesis 1000 and 3000.

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    TVWBB Fan Jon Tofte's Avatar
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    A Christmas Story - Chapter Two - Conclusion

    My friend who made me the 304 stainless bottoms also made me matching backs for the Genesis 300:



    Together, these improvements - along with rustproofing - give these Genesis 300 series cabinets a much better chance at survival. Thanks to advice from Larry Michaels, I used POR 15 and CRC Heavy Duty Corrosion Inhibitor in the usual problem areas. I hope this will give my friend many more years in spite of humidity and salt in the air.

    Here's one of the bottom clips that always rust out, treated with the CRC stuff:



    Another great product I learned about on this forum is Loctite Anti-Seize. It comes in a copper-base which is supposed to be best for high temperatures. The stick format is easy to work with. I used it on every metal-to-metal threading:



    Weber uses different bolts and washers for the upper grill (high temperature) vs. the lower parts. Here are the ones you use on the bottom that feature plastic washers:



    Thankfully, Weber uses the same side frames on both natural gas and LP grills. The holes for the gas line and for the tank scale were already in place, eliminating any need to drill or modify. So, I finally got the lower chassis and firebox part done. It looked pretty good, I thought, but time was running out. My friends were on the final leg of their return trip back to Florida and would be here by evening:



    It was time to step things up! I worked fast cleaning up the stainless sides and hood and getting the side pieces back together:




    Fortunately, reflecting the good care the prior owner had given his grill, the hood interior only needed some oven cleaner (Off brand for $1 per can at Winn-Dixie...I bought a bunch!) and a little scrubbing with 0000 steel wool. No wirebrushing necessary:



    I tested out and re-used the existing thermometer but purchased a new Weber logo to give this grill a closer to "new" look. I can't believe that Weber makes logos that have no hope of lasting in a high-heat environment. At least the old metal ones could be sanded down easily and re-painted. Like almost everything today, their new logos are basically "use and toss". Nonetheless, I kept the old one and am going to experiment with an alternative way to restore this type. That is for another thread...

    Anyway, here is the outside of the hood:



    It was now dark and my Christmas lights had already come on. But I made it! Another restore for a very good cause:



    My friends arrived later than planned. We helped them unload two trailers until pretty late at night. They didn't wind up coming by as expected, so as of this writing they don't even know about their Christmas present! I will update you with the reaction.

    Meanwhile,

    A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you all!

    Jon
    Last edited by Jon Tofte; 12-24-2017 at 02:53 PM.
    Genesis 330-SE, Q200 Performer , 2 kettles, Green Egg, Orion Cooker & restoring a Genesis 1000 and 3000.

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    TVWBB Fan Randy's Avatar
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    Way to good, great job

    Merry Christmas

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    Moderator Chris Allingham's Avatar
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    Wow, a tour de force of gas grill restoration! GOOD JOB!!

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    TVWBB Wizard LMichaels's Avatar
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    Wow nice job. Proves sometimes friends are family from different mothers LOL

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    Jon,
    Great story and I bet you gave that Family something to smile about, twice!

    Jeff

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    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Rich Dahl's Avatar
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    Wonderful thing you did for that family Jon and a beautiful restoration on that S 330. Merry Christmas!
    "Rescuing just one dog won't change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one dog."

  9. #9
    TVWBB Fan Greg M's Avatar
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    Beautiful grill and restoration. I'll bet it lasts for a long long time.

  10. #10
    TVWBB Emerald Member Rolf Jacobsen's Avatar
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    Thank you.............

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