***Weber Unicorn Alert*** SS Platinum Conversion from Shallow to Deep Box


 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
OK, I had been talking about doing this for a good year and had been thinking about how to do it the whole time. I took this as a challenge as it has been attempted by others and talked about by many more. I wanted to give it a shot and try to do with as little cobble jobbing as possible. I wanted it to look and function "normal" after I got done. I finally got around to starting this project a month or so ago and got to a point where, while not fully complete, is at a stage where it is 100% usable and functional. I am still working on getting some stainless or aluminum sides, back and bottom for the grill and then re-installing the SS doors. But, that will have to wait. In the mean time, it will live as an open cart grill with wire rack bottom. I will declare success to this point and post up here what I did to make it all work. I wanted the best in both words with this grill. I wanted the E/W deep box along with a virtually bullet proof grill. I have, I think created my personal Weber Unicorn.

The biggest challenge to making this happen is to figure out how to stick a deep box in where a slightly shorter shallow box is supposed to reside. Sure, the deep box will slide right in, but it pushes everything a little over an inch further to the right to include the control panel which in turn makes the space for the side burner/right side table that much smaller. This makes the igniter button not line up as well with the bracket that holds the igniter switch. So, this presented two (three) challenges.
1. How do I make the igniter switch bracket/control panel mount line up with the igniter switch in the control panel.
2. How do I make the side table/side burner fit in the shorter space.

My solution for #1 was to cut out the igniter bracket/control panel mount from where it was and move it about 1.25 inches further to the right. I used an angle grinder and cut off wheel and got that done quick and easy. I think determined the optimal new location (approx 1.25 inches to the right) and welded it back in. After that, the control knobs and igniter button all lined up perfectly as shown in the photos. That brought me to issue #2

My solution for issue #2 was to remove the side burner. (I didn't care for it anyway) So, that left me with a right side thermoset shelf which was now a bit over 1" too wide. Well, the table saw made that problem go away by shaving a little over a half inch from both sides. It now fits great in the smaller space. See photos.

Those were the two critical hurdles. By removing the rusted out bottom and side panels, I needed bracing across the front and back for the frame. A six foot piece of SS square tubing from Amazon for about $30 was just enough for a front and back cross bar brace which I welded in. Removing the side panels also took away the mounts for the tank bumpers on the right side. So, I had another piece in my scrap pile and welded a side cross bar at the correct height to mount the plastic bumpers for the tank.

While I had the welder out, I took the opportunity to permanently weld the frame extensions on the left and right into place so I would not have to worry about the very common broken welds on the brackets that hold them in. Now I don't have to worry about the side shelf dropsies.

So, I fully understand that not everyone has access to welding equipment or someone that does, but if you do, this really is not a hard project to accomplish. I am a very novice welder and with help from my grinding wheel, it all looks pretty darn good and is solid.

This is what I started with:

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This shows how I moved the igniter/control panel mount to the right.

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This shows the valves and igniter button line up after the modifications.

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This shows where I shaved a total of about 1.25" off the sides of the right side thermoset table to accommodate the smaller spacing. It still retains the lengthwise bracing and the rubber pads.
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This is the overall view. I dropped a skyline lid on it with a #9057 Grill out handle Light since this will be my personal grill. I went with black knobs and handles as well. I can always drop another lid on there any time I want. I may go back to my Blue head at some point.

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This shows the slightly narrower but fitting side table

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View with the swing tables up.

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Yah, I know, the lid isn't spotless inside. I don't care. I did have the cook box and end caps sand blasted and even High Temp Powder coated for this project.

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This is showing that indeed I did shoe horn a Deep Box into this 05 SS Platinum Frame.
I also moved over my RCP grates and flavorizer bars from my old personal Genesis 1000.

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This shows the side cross bar that I welded in to accommodate the plastic tank bumpers.

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The wire rack....Yes it is rusty, but I am planning to replace it with SS or aluminum soon anyway. For now, this will hold all my "stuff".

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That is it. This is my personal "Forever" Weber Unicorn grill. If anyone wants to try this and has questions, let me know. If you want to do something similar and can use this as a source of inspiration, that is great. If you think I went down a Rabbit Hole and need rescuing, I get that.

But, I really think I have a grill here that is fully functional, low maintenance and one that I could leave out in the Wisconsin climate year round and not have to worry about it falling apart. The only regret that I have is that I have not yet christened it with that 1.5 lb Ribeye.

Oh, yah, one other bonus that I did not count on is that this grill is about 3" taller than my Genesis 1000 at grate level. It is 37.5" from the ground to the grates which makes it much more comfortable to work on. I know those 6 foot plus guys would really appreciate that.
 
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DanHoo

TVWBB Diamond Member
looks really good Bruce.

What ideas do you have for the back and floor and sides ?
 

Rich G

TVWBB Honor Circle
That is pretty cool, and a nice tutorial, Bruce! I don't have to do that to my Gold C now that I'm going to keep the Summit. I'll just redo the Gold C and sell it off. :)

I'm sure there will be some people who would say "why bother"? I say, "why not"? :)

Nice work!

R
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
looks really good Bruce.

What ideas do you have for the back and floor and sides ?
My son works as a welder/fabricator and while I would love for him to do a ton of stuff for me, I haven't gotten far, but he did seem open to fabbing up the bottom and sides for me. He was thinking Aluminum. I would prefer SS, but will take aluminum.
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
That is pretty cool, and a nice tutorial, Bruce! I don't have to do that to my Gold C now that I'm going to keep the Summit. I'll just redo the Gold C and sell it off. :)

I'm sure there will be some people who would say "why bother"? I say, "why not"? :)

Nice work!

R
Yah, those summits pose their own obstacles to refurbishing as well. GOod luck on that project.
 

Bruce

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Nice work Bruce. Just picked up a 2005 Stainless Weber Genesis as well.

Jeff
Good job. They are going to become more and more scarce as time goes by. I don't think they made a whole lot of them to begin with and just because they are SS, doesn't mean owners are going to refrain from dumping them in the trash because the flavorizer bars are shot or the burners are toast or they just want something new. I have another one in the back yard that I waiting for the right situation to pull it out and rehab it. I just don't think I will get a good enough return on trying to rehab/flip it. It will be another special project. Not sure if I will convert it to deep box or not though.
 

Dave in KC

TVWBB Wizard
Bullet proof. No reason think your great grand kids wont be
cooking some kind of genetically modified plant protein on
that grill at the next millennium.
 

Richard in NS

TVWBB Wizard
Nice work Bruce! That is an inspiration to all of us that like to mod things to fit their needs. Looking forward to seeing the back and sides on it as well. 👍
 

Sam Bee

TVWBB All-Star
Nice mod Bruce! I want to say you went down the rabbit hole and came out with a rabbit! I'm just going to keep mine with the 5 bar box since I already have a Platinum (01) with the 13 bar box.
 

Jon Tofte

TVWBB Olympian
Bruce,
There should be some kind of medal or merit badge for seeing this idea all the way to conclusion. I love how you properly fixed the igniter bracket and also the much needed fix to the break-prone extension arms. I hope you can solve the cabinetry issue as you described. That would give it a more complete look and some useable storage space. Even without that, though, your one-off grill is a total winner ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐️!
 

 

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