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Thread: My reborn '00 26" Flat-top Black Weber Kettle

  1. #1
    TVWBB All-Star Jon Tofte's Avatar
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    My reborn '00 26" Flat-top Black Weber Kettle

    A while back I responded to an Craigslist advertisement that mentioned two Weber grills along with a bunch of other stuff from a house that was being demolished. At first the seller said the grills were gone, but then got back to me to let me know that he still had one "large" kettle. I quizzed him and he confirmed that it was, in fact, a 26'er. Price was $50 firm. I went to see and found a fairly nice but very cool Code "DD" ('00) "Flat-top" 26 inch kettle.

    As many of you may know, these old flat-tops preceded the current 26 inch models. The new ones have a higher dome lid, more like a 22 inch kettle. To compensate for the flat lid, the old 26'ers had the grates setting lower than they do on the current model. That presents a problem today, because the charcoal and grilling grates are not the same size as the current model.

    My goal for this kettle was not a museum piece or "deck queen" but a BIG kettle that I could actually USE! Still, I wanted it to look decent. The first thing was to restore the pretty wood handles that help give charm to these older kettle grills. One handle was too far gone, so I purchased a replica from a guy who is favored on the Weber Kettle Club site. His stuff is not cheap, but it is beautiful. After coating with 3 coats of spar urethane, I used his new one on the top of my restored kettle:



    I have an artist friend who lives here in the campground/community that I manage for our not-for-profit. I gave him the new replica to work from and the two redeemable original handles that I had salvaged by sanding and re-staining. The logos on these were pretty much gone, but my friend did a WONDERFUL JOB of recreating them! Here's one right after a quick Florida shower:



    I decided to canibalize the original grates from this grill to use in restoring the much older "patent pending" red 26" flat top I had the awesome fortune to pick up the same week I got this black one. (Sometimes lightning DOES strike TWICE!) That one will need some real work, so stay tuned. It is pretty special. Anyway, I wanted this grill to be practical so I searched out a 19.5" stainless grate that I could use for the charcoal. I settled on one that has a flip-up on one side and so is reinforced on this part. Since I plan to use a "Slow-N-Sear" most of the time on this grill, this is where the charcoal will generally be piled up. I believe it is strong enough, and the stainless hopefully will make this part longer lasting:



    For the grilling grate there are precious few options for a grate that will fit in these old flat-tops. Fortunately, one of the best metal working artisans in the grill part replacement field, Mark Baron aka Killa Grilla makes an exact replica size grate. He offers it in a one-side flipup model. This larger opening allows easy access for use with a Slow-N-Sear or Smokenator. I have a 22" Slow-N-Sear I picked up in a bargain grill purchase, and it fits very well in this 26.

    I can't say enough good about Mark Baron/Killa Grilla and his workmanship. Not cheap, but very fair prices and excellent service. His THICK 304 stainless grates have to be one of the very BEST. I feel Mark is to kettle grates what "rcplanebuyer" is to Genesis grates and flavorizers:





    This grill had the One-Touch arrangement with a regular ash pan. The one-touch blades were totally shot, so I replaced them. The 22" ones are interchangeable. Unfortunately, the new replacement ones are made of an inferior material, but they went on easy enough and I will be careful to keep them clean. As I said, I wanted this grill to be practical, so I scavenged a twist-off ash container and ring from an old 22 I had. I was that much more surprised when I found that these, too, were interchangeable. (I managed to sell that old grill, fixing the ash pan that came with this 26 to it.) The triangle on this grill was pretty rusty and too far gone to bring back. I wired brushed, sprayed with rust encapsulator and painted this part black. Not authentic, but easier to maintain. Notice that these 26ers use the larger 8" Weber wheels that are also used on the Genesis. I like that it makes the grill stand up taller.



    I also added an after-market dome thermometer. I know it is only a rough guide, but it does give you a quick visual update on what is going on. My Thermoworks Smoke will be more important for bbqing those ribs!



    I am really looking foward to stretching out some racks of ribs and not having to worry about having enough room!
    Last edited by Jon Tofte; 08-26-2018 at 05:40 AM.
    Genesis Platinum Silver C Q1200"Flat-top" 26 Kettle Red,Black 22s Black '74 18, SJ. Projects: Skyline & 2 many others!

  2. #2
    TVWBB Super Fan JKim in MA's Avatar
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    Jon, I'm a fan of your work. Nice job on this one as usual.
    2004 Genesis Gold C, Q200, 1999 Performer; 2009 22" 2008 18" , Copper Premium 22" Projects: 1992 Genesis 2, 2002 Genesis Gold C

  3. #3
    TVWBB Guru James N's Avatar
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    That's pretty dang sweet

  4. #4
    TVWBB Fan
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    Great looking 26er.

  5. #5
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    Very nice restoration, will be fun to cook on.
    tom bauer
    WSM 14.5,18.5, CB22.5, SJSilver, Q220, Q300, Q320, 18.5, 22.5, Kettle

  6. #6
    TVWBB Emerald Member Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    And just on time for my birthday!
    Thanks Jon!
    Distinguebant Sed, Ignoret In Particulari!
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease too big a skillet!" J. D. Clampett

  7. #7
    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Rich Dahl's Avatar
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    Very nice Jon, great work.
    "Rescuing just one dog won't change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one dog."

  8. #8
    TVWBB Emerald Member Dustin Dorsey's Avatar
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    That is one beautiful grill!
    22.5 WSM, 22.5 OTS, Smokey Joe, Genesis 1000, Smokenator 1000, Old Country Pecos, Thermapen, Smoke, Maverick ET-732, Igrill 2

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