So i have read a bunch of great info here, tried to do a bit of research etc., and now i'm about 3/4 of the way through the build of my first smoker. I'm hoping to be completely done within a week, two at the most. (depending on weather) all the structural stuff is done, just have to get the trays built, a bit of sandblasting and painting, the lips on the doors put on with the gasket material, and of course, adding my gadgets and "bling". for the "bling", i'll have a polished stainless smokestack, as well as diamond plate covered area in front (door side) of the smoker. for gadgets, i'm putting in a temperature control system, with a blower on the fire box (the pipe that is sticking out the side), and due to the weight of the door, i'm installing a 60 lbs gas spring on each side to assist as well as dampen (smooth out) the opening and closing, which will be performed by a 225 lbs capacity 12 volt linear actuator. so the big door will be a push button open. i could have gone with traditional counterweights, but i wanted something a bit different. the door weighs just over 200 lbs by the way. the main tank is 56" long, x 42" in diameter, made out of 1/4 inch steel plate. There will be 3 racks, with the lower cooking surface at centerline, and additional cooking surfaces at 7 and 14 inches above. My primary use will be whole hogs, so the upper racks won't get much use, but i certainly wanted the capability just in case. With the 3 racks, i will have just over 46 square feet of cooking surface available. the whole thing weighs about 1,700 lbs (including the trailer). i will post more pictures when i get her done.