Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reburbishing my Charbroil Quickset Grill - Stage 1: Replacing the warming racks

I purchased my grill back in 2001 when I moved into my first home. This thing has worked great, but has taken some abuse over the years. I decided it's time to slowly (as I'm on a low budget for this) replace parts to bring this back to full glory. The following are the items that I will need to replace in the not to distant future:

  • 1. Warming / grilling racks
  • 2. Clean up rusting spots (high temp flat black paint)
  • 3. Ceramic Briquets
  • 4. Drip shield
  • 5. Ignitor

I have ordered the items in the order in which I plan to replace parts. This is step 1, and I'll be replacing the warming/grilling racks.

My grill has 3 tiers: The main/lowest THICK grill that is great for flashing the meats right above the flame. A middle tier for everyday grilling (nothing too fancy) and the upper tray I use as a warming rack. The main grilling rack is very thick and shows little to no wear.

The middle and upper are much thinner metal and some of th
e pieces have thinned to the point of almost dental floss, and were ready to break at any moment.
Before and After:

Looking up the parts for the grill online wasn't simple, until I found a great site (currently no affiliation) My model, a CharBroil Quickset is
rather non-descript. I had no idea what series it was in the CharBroil line. This site made it easy. a couple of quick measurements of the parts I wanted to replace and it was perfectly matched to what I needed. Found out I have a 8000 series model. I measured the depth and width of each piece I needed and matched it on their site. Worked great. I ordered the parts on a friday afternoon, and had them on my doorstep then installed by tuesday of the following week, shipped to my door for just around $32. It might be easier for some of you to go to a local store and purchase yours, and save you a couple bucks, but it's a 30 minute drive one way for me to anywhere like that, and then I'd have to find the right store. Much cheaper to just pay the shipping.

The new parts slid right in after removing the old ones with no problems. Took about 5 minutes, and getting the old shelves out was a little messy / greasy. Step 1 complete, now to clean up the ugly rust.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sharpening Chain Saw chains

I received an electric chain saw sharpener for Christmas last year. Didn't think much of it, other than "oh, what a nice toy to add to my tool chest." I now need to go revisit the person who gave me this gift. They unknowingly saved me a LOT of time and money! Talk about making light work of what can be an incredibly difficult job! Before, my only way of sharpening chains for my saws was a manual file and bracket. Tedious, clumsy, and just a pain in the butt. Took way too long, and we usually gave up and just bought a new multi-pack of chains before we had a job.
Is the electric shaprener 100% accurate? No. Does it make the chains usable again, and much better at cutting? YES! Would I rather pay $4 for bits to re-sharpen 7 chains than pay upwards of $10/chain? ANY DAY!
The tool I have operates off of a 12v source via alligator clips. Easily connects to a car battery. (I have spare batteries in the garage) It is essentially a rotary tool with very little frills. Insert and tighten a bit, on/off switch. Very simple.
I am able to get an entire chain, both sides, sharpened in about 2 minutes. The most difficult part of the job is changing the chains out to work on the next one! I found it easiest to work on the chains when they are still on the saw.
I have a very simple Homelite Ranger with a 16" bar. I have 7 chains for it, and was able to sharpen all of them within about a 15 minute period.
The rotary tool does go through sharpening bits though. I am able to sharpen all of my 7 chains with one bit, but by that point the bit is wasted. I found a 2-pack of the Dremel brand chainsaw bits (matching my chains size) at Rural King for $3.99. The same package was $4.99 at Lowes a couple blocks down the road. (I bought mine from Rural King, no brainer).
I hope to have a video up soon of how easy this tool is to use.