Gasket Install for BGE
The steps provided below were compliments of Ron Pratt (a.k.a. RRP), and are posted with his
permission. With his steps and these pictures, installation of the Rutland
Gasket on your ceramic cooker should be a snap. There *ARE* some possible
health related issues when considering using a Rutland / Fiberglass gasket
around food as the fibers can get on the food. Use your own judgment and I
accept *no* responsibility if you choose to use these instructions, etc.
(Note that all the pictures below are thumbnails. Just click them for a larger version)
The Rutland gasket kit you want is the 5/8" flat 84" one and includes the adhesive needed. You can get these at Menards for about $6.00. You may be able to find the gasket in bulk in fireplace shops. You want the 5/8 flat, *not* the rope and the 84" is ideal length as I'll explain later. If buying it in bulk then make sure you buy the grayish-black gasket versus the white if at all possible. Also, if buying separately, be sure to get the Stove Gasket Cement and *not* Black Furnace Cement.
Here is a picture of all of the parts you will need to install your gasket.
First you need to clean off the old gasket and that can be a real task. I first used a scraper to get the big stuff, then used a wire brush attached to a 1/4" electric drill. They also make a 3M brand paint remover that will fit the drill. The remover is real coarse looking, but does a wonderful job without damaging the ceramic edge.
To make the edges perfect pick up a pumice stone in the cleaning supply section of the store too and that will even get the minute parts off the edge. Perhaps this is personal, but I'd rather use the pumice stone or wire brush and elbow grease than to ever use acetone, MEK or any other chemical on that porous edge.
Note that the cleaning WILL make a mess. Protective glasses may be a good idea. Since you'll be building a fire in a little while to cure the glue go ahead and put some lump in and then place old towels, gunny sacks or whatever on top your grate to keep the dirt, dust and crude from falling in to your lump and thus creating a horrible smelling fire later.
Here is the completely cleaned base.
Here is the completely cleaned lid.
NOTE: I did NOT put the Rutland on the lid/top - just the bottom portion of the cooker is sufficient, as the thickness of this Gasket is enough to seal the gap.
Take your gasket and fold it in half and mark the center with a piece of masking tape and then do that again and mark those points as well so your gasket is now marked in quarter lengths. This will make sense in a minute.
Mark the four "corners" of your egg with masking tape. This way as you move the gasket around you can compare the marks on the gasket to see if you are using the correct amount (more detail below).
The gasket is fiberglass and can be a bear to trim neatly but if you'll take your time with a sharp knife or razor it can be done. Be sure to not waste any gasket at this point. Even though the circumference of a large BGE is only 67 " versus the 84" in the kit when you get done "bunching" it back on to itself you'll only have a couple inches of scrap. The tape marks on the gasket and egg will be helpful as a point of reference of just how compressed your gasket should be in relation to where you are on the edge. Get it? 12:00 to 3:00 is one fourth etc. I even took a board and measured off 67" and then took the time to bunch (or compress) the braid back into itself to compress the 84" back to 67" so as to get a feel for what it should look like. This added work could probably be skipped as long as you know that the proper compression will mean that the 5/8" gasket will broaden enough to cover the entire width of your BGE's edge which is about 1 1/4.
It doesn't take long, but I'd suggest you make sure you won't have interruptions because the glue doesn't have a long open time. Starting at the back center spread some glue neatly on the edge. I buttered the edge for say 4"-5" at a time as I went and used a serrated blade so there would be no pools of adhesive to ooze out, nor too much to impregnate the gasket either as it has to stay flexible. When I say serrated I mean trowel like so there is a uniform amount of glue applied. A fine applicator would be an old sabre saw blade for wood with say 4 teeth per inch.
I actually had a trowel lying around, and used this. It seemed to work just fine.
Now press the compressed gasket into the wet glue and if it covers the whole edge press it into the glue. Using a small flat piece of wood covered with wax paper isn't a bad idea, although I used a J roller designed for wallpaper or pressing Formica onto counter tops. Just keep going like this four or five inches at a time until you get to your quarter way point with masking tape. By then you'll have the hang of what it should be looking like for sake of consistency.
When you get back to the starting point make a clean cut for butted ends and that's that. If you're the adventuresome type you could make your ends fit diagonally (like I did), but that also means more exposed ends. You'll probably have at least one half the glue left.
Now when you're satisfied you have pressed the gasket down well and no glue has oozed out the sides which need to be cleaned up before curing close the dome to provide uniform weight on the edge. Lift it and if nothing stuck to the top you're ready to remove your towels et.al. and start a fire. A low 225 to 250 for a couple hours should do it.
THAT'S IT !!!!!!!!!!
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