Hard parts were:
-Finding the right roaster to buy and restore = These roasters are sometimes hard to find especially if you only have ebay and craigslist as your only resource. I was tipped off about this one by a friend in the coffee industry. (Thanks Isaac!)
-Deciding how much money to spend = What is the value of a used roaster? How bad do you want the roaster?
-Deciding what modifications to do and how many = I didn't go too crazy on this. Some small changes were made that would go unnoticed, like changes to grease points and the addition of one. Also some added bracing and adjustment guides.
-Choosing a color = I saved money by using colors that are always in stock or leftover from another job.
-Moving the roaster = I got nervous on shipping so we drove it in a rented U-Haul ourselves.
I did the easy part of taking the roaster apart. The rest I left to the professionals. I think that made my life a whole lot easier and the roaster came out that much better.
Learning how the roaster works by taking it down to the very last nut and bolt was the best part of the project.
Looking forward to the first roast. We are still in the process of hooking up the exhaust system.
What would I do differently:
First make the roaster function exactly how you want it to. Then you can talk about painting it.