Help with vintage Bar-B-Q Kettle

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W Ender

TVWBB Member

I recently got a vintage kettle grill in an estate sale and found this bulletin board when I searched for tips on restoring it.


I learned a few things about identifying the grill from this forum:

1. Hadn't noticed before that the lid vent engraved was engraved with the Weber and Bar-B-Q Kettle name on it as it is corroded
2. It has the thumb screws for the legs which means it is from the 60's or early 70's


However, all the pictures I've seen have wooden handles on the lid. Mine has metal handles on the lid and bowl. Also, mine is a copper color that I haven't seen in any pictures posted. Any experts able to tell me more about my grill?

I'm looking to fix it up since the wheels and legs look pretty beat up.



I was planning to buy the Weber Charcoal Grill Leg Kit since I don't think the legs and wheels are salvageable. That sound right to you guys?

Any suggestions for cleaning up some of the corrosion from the lid vent? Steel wool? How about some of the rust on the bowl handles, perhaps the ceramic finish was worn off in these areas?

I'm new to grilling with charcoal, I've already used it a few times and I think I'm getting the basics of grilling. Looking forward to trying real BBQ'ing with this.
Considering the age of the grill and the pictures its in great shape. Use some 0000 grade steel wool will clean that right up. I would try and restore the legs or just leave them alone, those wheels are classic, I would not buy a new wheel set for it. Just keep in mind that will have to perform regular maintenance every year.
I agree, don't change the wheels and legs.
Just clean them up as best you can.
If this inside is gunked up. Try some Easy Off oven cleaner. Let it soak, rinse, repeat.
At some poinr, use some 00000 steel wool and some good dish soap. I like Dawn.
If it needs new grills, so be it. The bowl and lid look to be in great condirion.
If you are missing the ash pan, keep an eye ou for an oldie. The new ones will work, but don't really match the style.
Finally, get that thing cookin!
Rnjoy, AJ
nice looking grill and great find. Being that it has the steel handle on the lid, it may actually be as old as the late 50's, or early 60's. Thats only the 3rd or 4th one Ive seen with the steel handle. Nice rare color too! Keep as much of it original as you can! The paint looks pretty good overall with hardly any chips! Keep us posted how this grill turns out.
Congrats on the old kettle, it's a classic! And it looks like it's in great shape for it's age. Jeff K is spot on! Your kettle is circa late 1950's/early 1960's. And I'm with the majority on keeping it as original as possible. 0000 grade steel wool and a degreaser will do the clean up.
wow nice score!!

1958 was the first year with the wooden handle (or so i've been told, take it with a grain of salt)

you should definitely keep it as original as possible.

nevr dull will clean up the vents, legs, wheels, and triangular base nicely.

0000 and 000 steel wool on the rest.

you can replace the little axl caps and thumbscrews. hardware stores carry exact matches on those.

Looks like you need an ash pan though.
Very nice score! My first thought was this is the original coppermist from the "New For 62" catalog. I didn't think they actually made that exact color. Please describe the color a little better. It doesn't appear to be any shade of brown at all. I also notice that the top handle has a square piece for turning the top vent like the original model did. It's an extremely rare kettle and belongs in a museum. Enjoy it!
Wow what a beaut!
I agree to keep it rigonal. Clean up the legs with some SW and treat the rusty spots with a small wire brush and or SW and oil.
You should be able to find some type of rubber filler to fix the gaps and cracks on your wheels. Maybe like a Plasti Dip?
Nice Find!

I believe this is it at the top. I really can't make out the name they called it though. Now we know it's different than the brown/chocolate ones.

Thanks for all the replies! I'm excited to use your suggestions and try restoring this as close to original as possible! I'll definitely take some more before pictures of the inside then take followup pictures after I clean this up more. I suspect the most difficult part will be cleaning up the wheels and finding an age appropriate ash pan.

I just wanted to clarify some of the steel wool suggestions. I only use the steel wool on the legs and vents, not on the painted bowl exterior, right? How do I protect the bowl exterior when I'm applying steel wool to the vents?

Shaun, your catalog picture looks spot on, though mine is a 22.5" grill.

I don't know how to link to a specific post, but M Rudko from the Weber Family Portrait thread has a black one with thumb screws and metal lid handle (Posted May 27, 2010 07:04 PM)
Ender, you can use the steel wool on the entire grill. You can clean up the exrerior with some water and dawn or palmolive, once you do that then hose it down and scrub the exterior of the kettle with the 0000 wool(make sure the outside is wet), its such a fine grade that it takes away surface oxidation but does not do anything to the finish. For the inside of the kettle I take a can of easy off oven cleaner and spray only the inside of bowl and lid, I place it in a black plastic bag and leave it under the sun so that it loosens all the gunk up. I then take a 1 inch plastic putty knife/spatula and scrape the inside. Take some newspaper and wipe the inside down, hose it off then clean inside with dawn, hose down again and your done. Post pictures and good luck.
Originally posted by W Ender:

Shaun, your catalog picture looks spot on, though mine is a 22.5" grill.

I believe that is a 22.5 in the catalog as well.

By the way, for some reason I can't see the catalog picture here anymore.

Can anyone else?
That's a beauty! First I've seen in that color. I agree with the suggestions, 0000 Steel wool, some soap or 409, and some elbow grease.

Nope Shaun. Can't see the pic either. Would love to see it though. Looks like the link is to a 1962 catalog. You don't have an old catalog and are holding out on us are you
? I'd love to see the whole thing if you do

Keep us posted on the progress of the cleanup. Can't wait to see it finished.
I can still see it, I downloaded it and added it to my Picasa album so I won't lose it:


This is the original size, at least the highest resolution I could capture from imageshack. How did you stumble upon it?
That is a beauty! Congrats on that classic. One more piece of advice:

Use gloves when you got her going and picking up the lid
. I'm thinking that metal handle will get quite hot.

Congrats again!
It seems everyone loves pictures... additional before pictures:







Sprayed bowl and lid with Easy Off oven cleaner, waited 2 hrs:


Lid and bowl after scraping with plastic 1" putty knife followed by rinse, 0000 steel wool to remove some remaining carbon building, dish soap wash, and final rinse:


Lid and bowel after dish soap wash, rinse, 0000 steel wool scrub to all surfaces (medium SW followed by 0000 SW on vent surface). Also straightened vent finger tabs, discovered and fixed little stop tabs on the vent openings that stop the vent from turning once its fully open or closed. Inscription on vent is now amazingly clear compared to pre-scrub (see first post):



Now my focus is on the legs and wheels. I used the rough steel wool followed by medium then fine to remove the corrosion and rust:



A 5-gallon bucket from home depot served nicely as a stand for the lid and bowl as I was washing and rinsing them, kept the edges clean and off the dirt ground.

As you can see, the bowl and lid were already in superb condition even before cleaning, now it looks nearly brand new except for a few small scratches and rust spots. However, the legs and wheels are a different story. Despite aggressive sanding with steel wool, the legs look nowhere close to the uncorroded end protected by the bowl attachment. The wheels and wire tray are both still rust colored, though much smoother due to the sanding. I tried removing the hub cap to sand and possibly replace, but I couldn't pull it off. Is there a trick to pulling it off, or is it just brute force?

I plan to reattach one rubber tire (which had already ripped through) using super glue and I'm still looking for a filler to repair the gaps. The thumb screws were extremely rusted and one broke, I'll probably need to drill it out.

Should I use more medium and fine SW on the vents to remove even more corrosion, or does the corrosion give it an aged feel much like patina in antique wood furniture?

Do I need to spray any protectant over all the external surfaces to prevent further corrosion?
i try to keep things as original as possible. dents and all. i do the best i can with rust then just dab on some pam. works well. as to the legs i just go at them with 000 steel wool. come out purty good. then i coat them with pam. i tried on one set to paint them with a high temp clear. nothing sure on that process. i also go after the vents with 000 sw. as to the tire, i would glue it in with some rubber glue and tighten it up with a large clamp. then fill in the gap with more rubber till it filled in. make sure its not sitting on the gap when you park it.
Good advice George a,d great job W! I not ice the top vent says it was made in Wood Dale. Very cool.

Too remove the caps I would spray them with WD-40 and then use a vice grips or channel locks and work them off. You can still buy those caps at many hardware stores.

That's a real classic.
I thought this thing was a beauty before you cleaned it up, great job! I'm so envious, that is one good looking kettle. Do you mind if I ask what you paid for it?
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