Have your stock bamboo Kamado Joe side shelves seen better days?
Those laminated bamboo Kamado Joe side shelves on my own Joe Classic had turned into a real eyesore. For several months, I have been looking for a set of those Kamado Joe side shelf replacements.
Kamado Joe does make the HDPE side shelf replacements. Actually, it’s an entire kit, replacing the bamboo side shelves, the handle, and the ash tool. The price tag is about $130 on Amazon, check it out here.
I had considered going with this option, and was nearly ready to purchase the entire set. However, I sometimes set hot cast iron cookware on those shelves, —temporarily. Sometimes I need a better grip on a piece of hot, fresh off the grill grate, cast iron cookware before I make the trek to the house.
Hot cast iron cookware might just melt that HPDE plastic!?
So, I decided not to purchase the HDPE replacement for that reason.
Instead, after a lot of searching, measuring, and walking the aisles of many big box hardware emporiums, I replaced the 5 laminated bamboo strips with two cedar planks. I don’t have a well-equipped wood working shop, but I do like the end result. Using ordinary hand tools, you too can add some newness back to your Kamado Joe.
For this project, I used easy to find cedar 1 x 6 inch boards and two spray cans of Minwax Helmsman interior/exterior spar urethane satin finish. I still have most of the second can, plenty for the handle replacement once I can find suitable hardware. This is what I used, –here on Amazon.
There was no cedar anywhere in the workshop. I purchased a 5 foot section for somewhere around $7.00. The Minwax spay was about $11.00 per can. I would guess this project totaled about $29.00 in out of pocket expenses. I do have extra material for follow on work.
I first cut 4 lengths of cedar board, each 15 1/2 inches, the same as the original bamboo strips on the Kamado Joe side shelf.
After a good sanding to knock down the rough edges, I gave the bottoms 2 coats and the tops 5 coats. The edges had a total of 7 coats of the spray on spar urethane finish.
Now to do the hard part, replacing the bamboo strips.
I made sure the original Kamado Joe side shelves were nice and squared up. Initially, mine were a bit off kilter. I guess that time and weather had loosened the screws a bit. After a bit of twisting all was good.
Next, I removed 3 of the bamboo strips, leaving 2 to maintain the overall frame shape and frame spacing. I kept the original Kamado Joe side shelf screws for reuse, they appear to be stainless steel like all of the other Kamado Joe hardware.
I thought that a 1/4 inch gap between the new cedar boards would be about right. So I made a couple of pencil marks centered where the new gap would be.
Next, I centered the cedar board, checked my measurements, and drilled 2 pilot holes. Then, attached the cedar board to the Kamado Joe side shelf frame.
Looks good so far.
Then I drilled out the remaining holes for the first cedar board and screwed everything down.
Next, I removed the remaining 2 laminated bamboo strips from the Kamado Joe side shelf frame.
Okay, take the remaining cedar board and approximate the 1/4 inch gap and make sure all is aligned and looks good. Mark and drill 2 pilot holes. Secure the cedar board to the Kamado Joe side shelf frame.
Now to finish up. Drill out the remaining holes and screw down the board to the frame.
Fits just like the original.
Now to do the other side.
New Kamado Joe Side Shelves
Overall, I do like the look of the natural wood finish over the black HDPE Kamado Joe side shelves. Hope that these will last a while. These ought to be a bit more maintenance friendly than the laminated bamboo side shelves. Once that spray urethane wears, I can sand down the tops and recoat. At least that is the plan.
The next steps are to remove the grill dome handle, take measurements, and find suitable replacement hardware.