Help! Trying to assemble Char-Griller!

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by gaga, May 10, 2009.

  1. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Mine is a C/G smoking pro , got the fire box at the same time.
    SFB needed no knock outs . The SP just one side knocked out where the SFB attached . You are not trying to punch out both sides of the cooking chamber are you ? ( confused ?? )
    I just used a 2X inside the cooking chamber and a good hammer tap on a straight screwdriver at each of the dozen or so half moon shaped spot where the football was connected and it popped right off. Bolted on the SFB and seasoned the unit.
  2. gaga

    gaga Fire Starter

    I killed it.

    I went immediately to Home Depot to get a 2x4 after work. Got home and put the chamber on its side. I wedged the 2x4 into the body of the main chamber and whacked away with a hammer. And I killed my smoker. The football is still in there good. I bent the heck out of the whole right side of the chamber. I hate you Char-Griller and all you stand for. Okay, that last bit was a bit much, but I am really frustrated.

    I'm going back to Lowe's to demand a refund and that they remove the football on my replacement. The one I got is toast.

    It shouldn't be this hard. This should be fun. I'm not the most mechanically inclined dude out there, but I'm not inept either.
  3. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well darn, that sucks. Good luck on the replacement.
  4. mavrick813

    mavrick813 Smoke Blower

    Well that does suck. I can't believe you had so much trouble.

  5. New Orleans huh? I'm in Metairie! Lowes is pretty good on returns and helping out with problems (much better than Home Depot).

    Its good to know there's someone on here from the same neck of the woods... Maybe we'll get good enough and see each other in compatition one day!

  6. gaga

    gaga Fire Starter

    The lady working in the returns department at Lowes was quite perplexed at my request so she called over her supervisor. The supervisor was dripping with attitude and I could tell she thought I was in the wrong, so she called over the manager. The manager was one cool dude.

    I explained to him that the football cut-out was not properly perforated and he agreed to replace the smoker with a new one, already assembled with the football knocked-out! He said he has one at home that he uses all the time.

    Once I was assured I'd get a new pre-assembled unit, we both were able to have a good laugh at how I managed to mangle the crap outta the side of the smoker.

    I said it before and I'll say it again, I WILL be smoking this weekend, dammit!

    ps-Justin, I live in the Bywater.
    pps- I hope I'm a better smoker than a smoker-assembler!
  7. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    Apparently not all football knockouts are quite as knocked as yours was. I know mine provided a high degree of resistance. But I managed it without mangling the unit - though I gotta say that did seem like a possibility for awhile. I used a 2x4 to brace it internally, and then placed a flat-blade screwdriver right at the knockout tab and hit with a hammer. Then I'd move the brace to the next tab point and repeat.
  8. scrutley

    scrutley Newbie

    Yeah, mine is welded pretty much 100% of the way around. I'm going to be using the Dremel this week to see if I can weaken it before I try to hammer it out.
  9. howufiga

    howufiga Meat Mopper

    Mine was just spot welded and it did put up a little resistance, but came out quite easily. It did bend the side ever so slightly, but I was able to bend it back into shape! sorry about your ordeal! :(
  10. gaga

    gaga Fire Starter

    Dude, take it back to Lowes and have them do it. I sucked it up and threw in the towel and it was a great decision. Don't be a hero!
  11. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    Ummm.... that's NOT the way such knockouts work!
    A knockout is exactly that. A huge metal stamp comes down and cuts the outline from the existing sheet metal - but it does not cut all the way through, and it leaves those little tabs that are in fact NEVER cut by the machine. So those are not welds. The labor involved in cutting a piece out and then re-installing it with welds would bump the price up significantly.
  12. scrutley

    scrutley Newbie

    Ok, ok, I fixed my statement [​IMG]
  13. 1894

    1894 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Yep , I moved the ( mine was a 2X6 ) for each spot , and repeated all the way around as you did.
    Saved the 2X and used it for my neighbors S/P the next weekend.

    All manufacturers have to have a tolerance range for their tooling . Stuff like max / min diameters for drill bits as they get used ( worn out ) . Seems C/G let that press get too worn before they replaced it.
    Good job to Lowes for doing the right thing and replacing it with a set up unit [​IMG]
    Good customer service should not go unrewarded .
  14. coyote-1

    coyote-1 Smoking Fanatic

    CG might be having quality control issues in general.

    I posted here about my firebox problem. The top door was not mounted properly! It looked like it would fit right IF the hinge were done correctly; alas, the hinge did not allow that door to close all the way. Also, the drawer didn't fit real well.

    Lowes was cool though. They let me return that firebox, and take the one from the floor model. That floor model was clearly a bit older! The grill rails are welded in the new one; the old one had them mounted with screws. But both the door and the drawer in the floor model fit perfectly.

    I'd be a bit leery of CharGriller at this point if these issues have become common. Definitely check the fit & finish of your new unit BEFORE burning-in.
  15. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    Can't wait to see your Christmas tree!!
  16. gaga

    gaga Fire Starter

    And the saga continues....

    I go to Lowes to pick up the pre-assembled chamber and they pull out this scuffed-up floor-model chamber with the fire box already attached. I already bought a firebox and it is sitting in my shed. I only returned the chamber, so if I took it home, technically, I'd be stealing a fire box.

    I told the dude that (a) I want a main chamber without all the scuffs and scrapes; and (b) I didn't want to steal a fire box.

    So I'll be back to Lowes tomorrow. The dude who helped me was really nice and understanding. I'm confident that by tomorrow, everything wll work out okay.

    I have to admit, I thought about keeping my mouth shut and just taking it home. Might have done that if they didn't give me a scuffed-up floor model.

    I will be smoking this weekend, dammit!!!!
  17. scrutley

    scrutley Newbie

    I had a chance to takcle my side firebox last night. Pulled out the Dremel and did some grinding on the press joints. I then used a hammer and flathead to try to punch out the insert. The bottom edge popped off VERY easily. The top edge was a nightmare. Whatever die they used must have been very dull along the top edge, hardly anything was cut. I used the Dremel a lot to cut through what I could. I ended up shattering two disks in the Dremel in the process. Eventually I was able to get it out, but it put up one heckuva fight!
  18. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    There's no excuse for this stuff. At least I know what smoker to not buy in the future.
  19. gaga

    gaga Fire Starter

    Your distress makes me feel like less of a wussy. Thanks for sharing.
  20. I guess I got lucky. I put a phillips screwdriver where each bolt hole would be & gave it a couple smacks with a hammer & popped the knockout right out.

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