First time - Refurbishing a rusty old smoker - Advise needed

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Belgian BBQ Boy
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First time - Refurbishing a rusty old smoker - Advise needed

Postby Belgian BBQ Boy » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:03 am

Hi all,

first time posting.
I managed to buy an old smoker some time ago, that is in desperate need of some fresh paint.

The Model is a Cactus Jack 16", a German made Offset smoker made from some pretty sturdy steel
http://www.cactus-jack.com/details/104/16-special-edition-2018-version
Smoker.jpg

Smoker - 01.jpg
Smoker - 01.jpg


As you can see from the picture it was pretty well rusted overall.
I've been going at it with an orbital sander which wasn't up to the task, moved on to a set of wirebrushes on my drill and now moved on to a knotted wire cup brush on an angle-grinder.

The next step is to coat it with some heat-resistant paint
I managed to find Hammerite can sprays here in a shop.

However before I get to that point I have some questions:

1. How Clean?
How much rust needs to be removed before I can put on the first layer of paint?
Smoker - 07.jpg
Smoker - 08.jpg
Smoker - 09.jpg
Smoker - 10.jpg

As you can see from the pictures, after the angle grinding the surface is smooth but there is still what looks like some "rust dust" that I can't seem to get rid off. :banghead:
I tried washing it off with some hot water and a stiff brush.

Will the paint still stick?
Is there a product I should use to remove that "dust layer"?

2. Sandblasting
I was thinking of maybe renting a sandblaster to get rid of the "dust layer".
Will that make a significant difference?

3. Coating it & Degreasing it
I've been told I should spray on a coat of WD40 when I'm done with the angle grinder at the end of the day, in order to prevent the surface from rusting again.
I'm just a bit concerned this will mean I have to degrease it completely before I can put on the paint.

Would very much welcome your help and advice in this.
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OldUsedParts
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Re: First time - Refurbishing a rusty old smoker - Advise needed

Postby OldUsedParts » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:26 am

Howdy and Welcome :tup: :salut: :texas: I'm sure that some of our helpful and knowledgeable Members will be helping you soo.
OUP

Beekeeper: Let's do saddle up and go learn that gentleman his manners
Davy Crockett: We won't have to. He's wearing out horses coming towards us
Beekeeper: Guess we can't stop him from coming. But I reckon we can arrange for him to limp going back
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Re: First time - Refurbishing a rusty old smoker - Advise needed

Postby FAT » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:05 pm

I would recommend a chemical overnight etch, prior to applying coatings.
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Re: First time - Refurbishing a rusty old smoker - Advise needed

Postby OldUsedParts » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:41 pm

My only input here would be that I would say away from WD-40 if I were you :dont:
OUP

Beekeeper: Let's do saddle up and go learn that gentleman his manners
Davy Crockett: We won't have to. He's wearing out horses coming towards us
Beekeeper: Guess we can't stop him from coming. But I reckon we can arrange for him to limp going back
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Re: First time - Refurbishing a rusty old smoker - Advise needed

Postby GRailsback » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:56 pm

I use gasoline and rags to wipe the dust off of mine before I repaint.
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Re: First time - Refurbishing a rusty old smoker - Advise needed

Postby Papa Tom » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:19 pm

No expert here but I love WD40 as much as it loves metal and I wouldn't use it because it would likely interfere with paint adhesion.
I would second the idea of chemical etch B4 painting. I have used phosphoric acid but would ask a paint store first.

We do have broad band expertise on the forum surely we have someone in the paint industry...
tarde venientibus ossa....
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Re: First time - Refurbishing a rusty old smoker - Advise needed

Postby txsmkmstr » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:32 am

IMHO... It's just a smoker pit and those things do tend to take a lot of abuse. I believe you're sweating the details too much. Your wire cup wheel and angle grinder approach looks very good to me. At the most I'd wipe down with denatured alcohol before painting but that's about it. Sand blasting helps with the nooks and crannies but creates a real mess for the DIY'er so I'd probably skip that.

About 3 good coats of high heat paint sprayed on will give you a finish that should last for a while. Note, "a while" is subjective to exposure to the elements (sun, rain, snow, etc.) but I would expect a minimum of a year. The firebox is another story - if uninsulated you're wasting time as it will look good for about two cooks. After that I suggest rubbing oil (peanut oil is a favorite) on the rusty areas of the firebox. This will "season" and prevent further rust.

Even if you go full-on professional bad-ass chem etch polished electrostatic gonna be the last time I do this approach.... the drippings and condensate when firing up the pit will drip and mar the cook chamber finish below the door line. All your hard work will be for naught. :banghead:

Knock off the big stuff, wipe with a cloth, shoot your paint and cure it real good. Speaking of curing.... high heat paint needs to be slowly cured - that is, keep the pit below 300 degrees for the initial few burn-ins. Don't let it run away or the paint will blister. Good luck and post up pics of the final product. That looks to be a nice rig.
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Re: First time - Refurbishing a rusty old smoker - Advise needed

Postby Damon54 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:50 pm

Sand off all you can, cover with lard inside & out and heat it up. It will turn out much prettier than bbq black and it will prevent future rust.
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Re: First time - Refurbishing a rusty old smoker - Advise needed

Postby Fooldancing » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:02 am

DO NOT spray or wipe wd40 on anything you will be painting. Doing so will cause a reaction called "fisheye" in which the paint will not adhere to the wd40 (or any silicone based product) so it looks like a fish's eye. These will be all over your smoker and the paint won't adhere at all.
IMG_0463.jpeg


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Re: First time - Refurbishing a rusty old smoker - Advise needed

Postby Damon54 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:36 pm

The Firebox side of this Offset has never seen a drop of paint.
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Re: First time - Refurbishing a rusty old smoker - Advise needed

Postby Damon54 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:40 pm

By never, I mean it was fabbed up by a lead welder employed by Peterbilt in raw steel 5/16’s (see the really nice welds) and then joined unpainted to a Factory painted Brinkman main chamber by a friend w survival welding skills. This sits outside and uncovered and the only thing I have ever put on either is animal fat. That is the contrast you see dripping down on both sides.
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Re: First time - Refurbishing a rusty old smoker - Advise needed

Postby PinoyPitmaster » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:20 pm

txsmkmstr wrote:IMHO... It's just a smoker pit and those things do tend to take a lot of abuse. I believe you're sweating the details too much. Your wire cup wheel and angle grinder approach looks very good to me. At the most I'd wipe down with denatured alcohol before painting but that's about it. Sand blasting helps with the nooks and crannies but creates a real mess for the DIY'er so I'd probably skip that.

About 3 good coats of high heat paint sprayed on will give you a finish that should last for a while. Note, "a while" is subjective to exposure to the elements (sun, rain, snow, etc.) but I would expect a minimum of a year. The firebox is another story - if uninsulated you're wasting time as it will look good for about two cooks. After that I suggest rubbing oil (peanut oil is a favorite) on the rusty areas of the firebox. This will "season" and prevent further rust.

Even if you go full-on professional bad-ass chem etch polished electrostatic gonna be the last time I do this approach.... the drippings and condensate when firing up the pit will drip and mar the cook chamber finish below the door line. All your hard work will be for naught. :banghead:

Knock off the big stuff, wipe with a cloth, shoot your paint and cure it real good. Speaking of curing.... high heat paint needs to be slowly cured - that is, keep the pit below 300 degrees for the initial few burn-ins. Don't let it run away or the paint will blister. Good luck and post up pics of the final product. That looks to be a nice rig.

This is what i did knock off the big stuff and paint! Wears off paint again. Pint of high heat black is less then $10


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Re: First time - Refurbishing a rusty old smoker - Advise needed

Postby Copasspupil » Thu Aug 23, 2018 9:41 am

Any high strength acid will take off the rust. You will have to use a cleaner to remove the acid such as a wax and grease remove then a quick sanding to create the bite you’ll need to provide the right surface to paint. The advise on oil or animal fat to be wiped in is a great idea but do not use any chemical like what you stated in your initial post. Oil the inside as well.
Danno

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Re: First time - Refurbishing a rusty old smoker - Advise needed

Postby woodenvisions » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:01 am

https://safestrustremover.com

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