Removing rust from pit

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reddragon72
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Removing rust from pit

Postby reddragon72 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:46 pm

[quote="JamesB"]Here is why I don't like paint on the firebox... The firebox on the reverse flow is built from 1/2" plate and is perfect to use as a griddle/cooktop... I'm sure I've posted these before, but...

I'm new and I have a quick Q.

I just got a new pit, for free! got to love that, and the fire box is rusted pretty good, but the whole pit is made out of 1/4 or more steel, or cast iron, not sure which. I am activily restoring it now and was looking for info on knocking out rust, I'm going to grind it off and cut out the really bad stuff, and then I was going to repaint it. so with this thread I am now confused or more so torn between paining it with 4 or 5 coats of fire paint or seasoning it, which is better? wont the ash stick to the oil really bad? and more importantly how do you or when do you pull all the ashes out before the ashes bring on the rust?

The pit is a 9-10 year ols Shafer? pit from Houston TX. I have looked for schafer pits but cannot find a trace. It was custom built for a friend and they didn't want it any more so they gave it to me. I'll post up pics tonight or tomorrow when I get a chance. The grates are also rusty, can I just know the rust off and grind down the cooking surface and then oil them up and cook them to help kill the rust? All in all the pit is in great shape and not rusted really bad, but like I said it is a seriously thick metal and just needs some attention, but should I paint the inside and outside of the firebox or oil it?

thanks for any info and light that yall can shed on this.
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JamesB
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Re: Removing rust from pit

Postby JamesB » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:54 pm

Hey reddragon72, I split your post into a new thread where it should attract more attention...

It sounds like you have a good plan on removing the rust that is there. What I would do is go ahead and paint the cooking chamber, but not the firebox.

After each cook, when the pit is still warm, but not blazing hot, I would wipe on a thin layer of oil on both the painted surfaces and the firebox... The oil will help to keep the paint pliable longer. As for the ash, I remove it after each cook, but usually the day after so i can be sure there are no live coals buried in there...

If you could post pics of your pit, it would help us help you.

When you get a chance, head on over to the wanted posters section and tell us a bit about yerself.
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Re: Removing rust from pit

Postby reddragon72 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:11 pm

JamesB wrote:Hey reddragon72, I split your post into a new thread where it should attract more attention...

It sounds like you have a good plan on removing the rust that is there. What I would do is go ahead and paint the cooking chamber, but not the firebox.

After each cook, when the pit is still warm, but not blazing hot, I would wipe on a thin layer of oil on both the painted surfaces and the firebox... The oil will help to keep the paint pliable longer. As for the ash, I remove it after each cook, but usually the day after so i can be sure there are no live coals buried in there...

If you could post pics of your pit, it would help us help you.

When you get a chance, head on over to the wanted posters section and tell us a bit about yerself.


excellent and thanks for the help with the split. lots of questions can be brought up on the whole painting ordeal.

so here is the skinny, the cooking chamber is in great shape with spreading rust, that is only around the firebox hole. so the cooking chamber doesn't need but a few min on touchup here and there. The firebox has a shelf that was removable to flip over and lower to burn wood or flipped over and raised to use charcoal for the top of the firebox where a lid is to cook(the pics will help). Well that shelf is rusted on place and refuses to move so I will have to cut it out and then clean it up and get it situated for wood burning only :-)

so if I am not painting over the rust will I have to go all the way to bare metal to use the oil? I was thinking paint cause the rustoleum will help keep it at bay or stop most of it from coming back, but the oil bit sounds better. This pit is huge and heavy for a not trailered pit and once I move it to my backyard there will no bringing back to the garage so I need to do this right the first time, cause it took 5 people to move it one house over, and it is on wheels! It is my first big pro pit and I want it to last and give me great steaks and brisket's ! not to mention I just simply cannot afford a pit of this calibure :shock: I'll get the pics up tonight for everyone to see.
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Kenny 13
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Re: Removing rust from pit

Postby Kenny 13 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:37 pm

You could certainly use some high heat paint on that fire box, but it will still eventually cook off. Nothing wrong with occasionally cleaning it and touching up spots where the paint cooks off though if you want to keep it like that. However, if you just get it cleaned down to bare metal and keep a good light coat of cooking oil on it like James mentioned, that will keep the rust from coming back and spare you the expense and work of painting.

How does the interior of the main cooking chamber look? You mention just a little rust around the hole leading from the fire box, so does the rest look ok?
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Re: Removing rust from pit

Postby DJ » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:48 pm

I have read that placing the grates in a trash bag, spraying them with vinigar and dumping some in the bag will clean grates. Never tried it, but I'm sure someone here has...
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Re: Removing rust from pit

Postby reddragon72 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:52 pm

The inside of the firebox is rusted all over, the cooking chamber is fine on the inside accept right around the whole leading to the firebox. The one thing I forgot the mention is there is a flap in the cooking chamber that is rusted in place and I cannot break it loose so I have to flow control from the firebox, but my last pit didn't have on either so I think I can manage. I would say 1/3 of the whole pit is rusted, but the metal is about 1/4 thick or better, so I have lots to work with and it is not rusted clear through anywhere but the lid on the top of the firebox where a hing was frozen and I broke it closing the lid. I'll post up lots of good pics tonight.
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Re: Removing rust from pit

Postby JamesB » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:22 pm

Is that "flap" supposed to be adjustable? A lot of backyard sized pits have a diverter plate between the firebox and the cook chamber to force the hot air/gasses/smoke lower into the cook chamber.

Also, to be sure, when we are talking about painting/not paintign the firebox, we are only talking the outside. Never paint the inside of a pit. As for the rust, brush off what you can and spray a light coat of oil on the inside and build ya a fire. After a few cooks, you should have a good coating on the inside that will help deter rust.
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Re: Removing rust from pit

Postby Kenny 13 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:28 pm

JamesB wrote:Also, to be sure, when we are talking about painting/not paintign the firebox, we are only talking the outside. Never paint the inside of a pit. As for the rust, brush off what you can and spray a light coat of oil on the inside and build ya a fire. After a few cooks, you should have a good coating on the inside that will help deter rust.


Yeah, I was thinking about this too when reading the original post.
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Re: Removing rust from pit

Postby reddragon72 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 3:35 pm

Ok now I'm getting a clear pic, I'm not to use the paint on the inside, but the outside is fine... see I was not sure of that, but now I am, and that is why I am turning to the experts! :D

Also the plate is on hinges that are rusted in place and there is a handle that sticks out the front of the pit to adjust that flap. I suppose I can break it free with a 4x4 or something but the hinges are seriously rusted, to the point of cutting and replacing is in order.
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Re: Removing rust from pit

Postby reddragon72 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:44 pm

Ok guys here they are. do you think it is worth saving? :-) I think so...
the walls are really thick so any rust that I have taken off already is not making holes and is not making it to thin.
I have also removed that rusted shelf in the firebox, I may be looking for another one really soon. so do I need to take all the rust out or like 80-95 percent of it?

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Re: Removing rust from pit

Postby OSD » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:32 pm

Looks like a good solid old pit. It should clean up good and be very usable. I've seen a lot worse pits brought back to life. :D

The derby on the exhaust stack is kewl and unique. 8)
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Re: Removing rust from pit

Postby JamesB » Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:40 pm

Heck ya that pit is worse saving and it's not really in bad shape at all... A little sanding and elbow grease and she'll be good as new.
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Re: Removing rust from pit

Postby Cowboylikeme » Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:23 pm

OSD you read my mind... That derby alone means the pit is worth saving... Its a very nice pit. Heres my .02 cents....

Being a welder and all, I have had my fair share of bringing rusted art back to life...... And if I was you, I would go down to Harbor Freight Tools and pick up a hand held sandblaster with a small hopper on top, they come with several different tips and all you need is some sand and an air compressor to make it work. (PLus they only cost around 25 bucks) Blast that rust off down to the bare metal and then come back with the oil and season the heck out of it. If your feeling froggy, blast that whole son of a gun and start fresh and new. The pros of doing this is that you can blast the dimples of rust and completely remove them and then put your all new season on the metal and TLC into it and have a rust free meat cooking monster......... Also by sand blasting it, youll have a nice grippy surface for the new paint to adhere to... ANd if your down to put the absolute best into your grill, (as far as elbow grease and repainting) I recommend VHT flame proof high temp paint.... its 10 bucks a can... but well worth it. It can withstand up to 1500 degrees and is flame proof. Its made by sherwin williams and its the best pit paint I have came across, I repainted my homeade smoker and that was 4 years ago and it still looks like I painted it yesterday........ (I mean, when is the last time you smoked at 1500 degrees?) lol

oh yea, here is a link to buy the paint.... http://autocustoms.com/i-134683-vht-fla ... paint.html" target="_blank
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Re: Removing rust from pit

Postby reddragon72 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:33 am

Thanks guys, and let me throw this out there, the hat, from what I gathered is supposed to be a cowboy hat, but yea when we seen it the first time I thought it was a derby hat :shock: opps, but as far as I am concerned it is a derby hat.

Cowboylikeme>> I don't have an air compressor so the sandblasting thing is out, I do have a nice grinder that I am going to get a good wire wheel for and have at it and any really tough spots I'll have at it with the grinder. I seriously doubt I will be able to get every corner down to bare metal and that is my concern. Will the veg oil help with that rust that I simply cannot get? and one more time for clarification I am not supposed to paint the inside of the firebox right? or can I?

I have ripped out that rusted firebox grate and cleaned out the inside and outside of all loose rust and I mean all of it. so now I am set to get the wire wheel and go to town on it. I have a dremel that I will use for the hard to reach places. I am iching to get her smoking and have received the first order of food from the misses :-) ribs and sausage and I'll get pics to you all as soon as it is done.

Also about those grates, I heard of some vinigar trick or something, will that help after I wire wheel then?

thanks again! you guys are really helping me out!!
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Re: Removing rust from pit

Postby Kenny 13 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:44 am

Correct, do not paint the inside of the fire box or the cooking chamber.
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