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Smokebox for char-griller

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Post Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:36 am
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 6079
Location: Central Alberta, Canada

Thanks! Now that looks like a mod I just might want to try out, assuming I can find the parts. :D
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:05 pm

Posts: 456
Location: Waldorf, Maryland
I sucessfully attached my side firebox to my Char-Griller Super Pro, and so now I can speak from experience. I do have a few observations.

I would heed the advice given by many, and just drill the holes out. I started to beat them out with a screwdriver and hammer as the instructions said, and the metal of the main camber on the outside of the hole started to bend a little. I went and got my drill and drilled them all out. I never even got that first one that I tried, punched out. With the drill, all the holes were out in about two minutes.

The only reasons that I can think of that Char-Griller might even suggest punching them out, is for those folks that don't own a drill. And, maybe they also suggest punching out the holes, for those that are not too handy with tools, so that they can get some "punching practice" on the holes, before they have to punch out the big football plate.

When punching out the football plate, if you look very closely, you will see that the plate is partially cut out, so that it will punch out easily. However, there are 12 little spots around the perimeter where the football is not partially cut. This is to make it sturdier for those that are going to use the grill without attaching a side firebox. They almost look like little spot welds right on the line where you are punching.

I found that it was easiest to punch out the football by starting at one end right around the end hole. I started there as I could start punching in a small corner and the main chamber would be stronger there and less likely to sustain any bending of the main chamber's metal.

As I worked my way around the football, when I would come to one of these little spot weld looking spots, I would turn my screwdriver or chisel at a slight angle towards the little spot weld as I struck the chisel with the hammer. This way, the chisel seemed to be cutting through the little spot weld and would cause it to break easier, once again inflicking less bending of the main chamber metal.

Use caution as you hammer when you are near one of the holes that are on the little tabs of main chamber metal. These bend very easily. If you bend one, they can be straigtened with a pair of pliers after the football is removed. You just don't want to bend it back and forth several times as that may cause the tab to break off.

It is very important to take off the side shelf, as some have pointed out, and set the main chamber on that end. That way, you are working on a flat surface on the end to which you are attaching the side firebox. By using this method, I was able to attach the side firebox by myself. If you attempt to do this by yourself, just be careful when tipping the Char-Griller up on it's end, as it is heavy. Also, make sure you take everything out of the main chamber before you tip it over. If you don't, gravity will remind you that it is still working when things start banging around in the main chamber.

I had no problems attaching the side firebox while the main chamber was on it's end. The side firebox sat there pretty much on it's own while I was attaching the bolts to hold it on. I just made sure to keep a hand on it to help steady it, until I got a couple of bolts attached.

There were some bolts that had to be attached that would have been easier with two people. But, I was able to find a position, albeit sometimes a slightly awkward position, where I could reach around and get the bolt with one hand and the nut with the other. Hey, if I can do it, I am sure that you can too.

That's about all the tips that I wanted to convey about my side firebox experience except for this, and I don't believe that I have seen this mentioned in any of the posts on this subject. After the job was completed, I noticed all sorts of metal shavings inside the grill from all the punching and drilling that I did. Be careful if you try to wipe them out. A metal splinter will be a tad painful. I just got my shopvac out and vacummed the whole interior of the main chamber and the side firebox. I figured metal shavings wouldn't taste too good in my barbecue. You may want to clean it out after you are done, unless you like your ribs extra crunchy.

There it is, take my advice, I'm not using it.
Jenn-Air gas
Weber One Touch Gold
Char-Griller SP w/ SFB
Char-Broil gas
Aussie style charcoal
BBQ Grillware SS portable

Post Mon Aug 27, 2007 2:30 am
Queue rare

Posts: 23
Great tips, Raidersofthelostgrill.

I have a feeling you are right on why they have the option to punch them out. If one had to have a drill it just may lose a lot of sales on that side fire box.

Definitely agree that one person can do it. I took pretty much everything off of the grill including the legs (to turn them around). It took some effort and some muscle but was fairly easy. The roughest parts were cleaning my socket wrench and bits after the project since they were all grill greased up from the bolts and nuts. :)

I opted to punch the football out instead of using my drill. It started out a bit frustrating as I banged away with no results. I ended up dropping the screwdriver technique (trying to knock them through the holes with a hammer) and opted for something different. I believe I had an old bolt lying around that was small enough to use in each hole (I figured something flat and nearly as round as the hole would be better than a philips or flat head, hence a bolt end).

From then on, the holes started punching out pretty much one by one. The last hole and trickiest hole was the top of the football. That sucker was a toughy but especially so because you couldn't really bang away too hard on it because (As everyone noted) it would start to cave in the side slightly). It finally came away and the football knocked in easily. If I were to do it again, I'd try and punch out that top hole first and work around that afterwards to get around that problem.

Everything went back together easily. Since I had to take everything off to begin with I went ahead and did a quick water spray on the side shelfs, legs and such and let them bake in the sun while I worked on the football and getting it together.

As always reading the info here was a great advantage before attempting it. I semi-seasoned it over a month ago but I haven't gotten a chance to officially use it as a firebox in cooking (too much stupid rain in TX).

Post Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:44 pm

Posts: 456
Location: Waldorf, Maryland

I don't know if I gave you the wrong impression, but I used the drill for the holes and I punched out the football. I don't really know if the drill could be used to any advantage with the football. I didn't see anyway to remove it, except punch away.

You have a very good point about the hole at the top of the football. It is the least supported and is on a little tab. If someone was going to punch out the holes, they should punch the holes before the football and definitely punch out that hole before they punch out the football. Punching out the football first, would remove a lot of support from around that hole and then it would be very difficult to bang on that hole without bending the tab or caving in the side of the main chamber.

By supported and unsupported, I mean that the area is further away from the side walls of the main chamber. In the areas near the side walls, the metal is stiffer. When you get out in the middle of the main chamber, further away from the side walls, the metal is not supported by the side walls as much and the metal is much more likely to bend or cave in.

I drilled all of my holes first and then punched out the foorball. Drilling the holes didn't put any pressure on the main chamber and thus didn't bend or dent it. I think it is the preferred way to do the holes.

That hole at the top of the football is where the main chamber is most susceptible to being bent or caving in, when punching out the football. Use extra care when puching out the football in this area. That is one of the reasons that I started punching out the football in the corner. I knew that the corners were more supported and could take the hammering to get the football started. Then, when I got to the middle, the football was halfway out and the middle would come out with less banging on the unsupported part.
Jenn-Air gas
Weber One Touch Gold
Char-Griller SP w/ SFB
Char-Broil gas
Aussie style charcoal
BBQ Grillware SS portable

Post Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:32 pm
YouRang raw

Posts: 9
Location: Colleyville, TX
I just installed my SFB and I drilled the holes out first and then used my dremel w/ a disc and ground the spot welds out first and then all along the lip of the cut out. I tapped the football looking piece out w/ a small hammer and voilà the SFB was ready to install! The whole install took about 30 minutes.


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