Picked Up A Cool Old 18in Black Kettle


Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
I primarily post about Weber gas grills, and most of my restoration efforts have been with those. Nonetheless, I do enjoy and use Weber kettles for low and slow BBQ. I have also done some limited cleanup rehabs and stuff like adding a thermometer to my kettles. I also did a parts restore and wheel modification to my 2nd generation Performer.

I recently joined the Weber Kettle Club and have enjoyed the many posts there about the myriad of old Weber kettles. I never knew there were SO MANY wild colors! My kettles are all fairly new (although at least old enough to be "Made in USA" versions), so I haven't had much experience with the really old ones.

I was trolling OfferUp (when I should have been finishing yet another tax return - just like I should be now:p), and I came across this listing for a "BBQ grill" for $10:


Many of you who are way more experienced with old Weber kettles will like my friends over at the WKC identify this as a pre-1975 18" kettle.

The inside picture showed that the old-style ash pan was still present and appeared to be very redeemable:


I also liked the older style wheels:


I posted a link for the original ad on the WKC and was barraged with messages to "GO. GET IT! NO BRAINER!" So, like an idiot (at least my wife's opinion) I tooled down about 45 minutes from here and picked it up. The WKC site has some great photo tips for restoring these:


For now, this old kettle will stay dry-docked in my shed until after tax season. It can sit there with all my other mounted up projects:eek:. My time is coming, and I will hopefully have some new things to post!

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
From looking at the WKC guide to dating old Weber kettles I concluded that this is a ‘73 or ‘74 model.

A big thanks to Chris Allingham for gathering so many of the old Weber brochures into one handy location. I downloaded both years and learned that this old Kettle was called “The 49er”. It is not too common to find old kettles in this part of Florida, so I am thankful for my fun - and cheap - find:eek:!

I hope I can do it justice.

Dustin Dorsey

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I never see them around here. Occasionally I'll see them on Craiglist in Dallas, but the people that collect them are pretty rabid about it. Stuff doesnt sit around long.

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
I never see them around here. Occasionally I'll see them on Craiglist in Dallas, but the people that collect them are pretty rabid about it. Stuff doesnt sit around long.

That is for sure! Some of the WKC members even secure “agents” to obtain out of state old kettles they find on Craigslist. It can, I am sure, become a collecting passion/addiction trying to find all the different colors and sizes. It goes way beyond grills to cook on, and I can’t imagine having the space to dedicate to storing so many kettle grills. What I have is already too many. Just ask my wife!:rolleyes:
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Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I found a crimson (maroon) 18 on the way home from church at a garage sale, $20! Good for you, I don’t use it all the time but, it’s nice when I need a little extra space.


TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I gave my beloved 1977 to a real good friend this weekend. It sorta felt like when my daughter moved out, LOL
Congrats on you vintage Weber, you'll love it

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
Finally did a restore on my 45 year old 18 inch kettle score!

Well, tax season is over! So, I finally have some time to give toward my massive backlog of grill projects. Check out my post about my "most of the time patient wife" under gas grills, and you will see I am way overdue for clearing out something!

I started this thread back in March when I found this ca.1973 18-inch Weber kettle (The '49er) listed on OfferUp as "bbq grill" for a whopping $10! Even though I should have been doing taxes, I couldn't resist driving 45 minutes away tp get it

Here are a few "as purchased" pictures:




I felt this old grill was a classic and deserved to look better. I liked that it still had its original old style wheels and even the classic twist-on ash pan. Using some great advice on kettle restoration I found on the Weber Kettle Club site, I went to work last Saturday. It is still an old grill (that's half the point), but I am really happy with how it came out:




I made a "price tag" using the picture and description from the period listing for this grill from the 1973 Weber Catalog that you can find here on our site:


Many thanks to Chris for gathering so many of these historic Weber items.

There was one thing missing. I really wanted the old wood handle to have the Weber logo. I am not positive this one did originally, but I felt it would really add to the "look". There is a guy on the WKC site that makes perfect replica handles, but I am lucky to be friends with an artist who lives in our campground community. I gave him some pictures of handles with the logo present. He had me re-stain the wood, and this is what he came back with:


IT'S PERFECT! Looks just like the real thing, and I was able to retain my original riveted handle:cool:!

For now, this grill is too cool and historical for me to start using. I have decided to display it in my office at the non-profit where I work as a novelty for friends to enjoy. I put a full copy of the 1973 Weber catalog and some "before" pictures inside for the curious to look at. Maybe someday I will do something different, but it is fun to have a grill in eye-sight of my desk chair;).


TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Dang. That is a great job. I love the price tag. It actually looks pretty good there in the living room. It might make a great liquor cabinet. hahaha