Hey there fellow pit builders

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by dfbourg, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Thinking about building another pit. Well actually I'm past thinking about it and has already started to cut the material out. I'm planning on making a 20"x48" pit with a side firebox. I looked around for a pipe but I am to much in hurry waiting around for a good deal to come along so I'm going about it in a different way. I cut a plate out if 1/4"plate and will roll it to get my 20". Not sure how I want to do it yet on the door, should I use the seam as one of my cuts for the door or weld it up and put it on the bottom and cut the door out else where. I'm worried with rolling it when I cut the door out it will spring open some and not have the same contour as the rest of the pit causing it not to seal well. The firebox will be made out of 1/4" also but it will be a box type. I have punched in all of the numbers in the pit calculator for my sizes on everything. Next stop is to roll the plate, will post pictures when I get to that point since right now it's just a bunch of flat plates.

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    ..........[​IMG].........  morning Drake.....
  3. Looking forward to some pics as it progresses.
  4. [​IMG]Another build. I like builds. Maybe when it cools off some I can start a pit.

    Happy smoken.

  5. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    I have a quick question on the outer door flanges. I might have lucked up and found a piece of pipe but if not the question is still there. Since it looks like the outer flanges on the doors are made out of 1/8" material, do you normally just form it around the door and the pipe and tacked it down as you go or do you have it prerolled to fit. And also on the top and bottom flange, do you normally put a lil kink in the center of it or tack it door and use a rubber mallet to form it to the pit.

  6. How are you doing dfbourg?

    I have a 10 ga. roll and think it's better to roll the flanges. I get a little particular about it but once the door fits well to the tube, chamber, the flanges will help maintain the radius of the door because 2 pieces of metal welded together won't want to stretch or shrink. And they only have to have intermittent welds. If you don't have access to a roll the flat bar can be tacked and fit around the door with good effect.

    Usually when a shop rolls metal it will be slightly over rolled. This is because you can always take some of the roll out when fitting but it's very difficult to get it to fit up when under rolled..

    Also on the flanges, when cutting out the door, if you take more material than necessary on the cut, it will leave room to put all the weld on the inside. Welding inside will pull the flange toward the smoke chamber helping to seal the smoke inside.

    These are things that aren't entirely needed but allows old mister shrink to work for you.

    Of course all these welds are intermittent.

    Good luck and keep posting photos.

  7. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Thanks Dave for the reply, I'm doing well. I'm still waiting to start my build on the chance of getting the pipe. I would start the firebox but not sure if I will be building one for a 20" or 24" pipe yet. If the pipe falls through I already have a 1/4" plate cut out and will roll it to 20". Regardless of what I make it out of all my cuts will be with a plasma for the doors and a dry cut cold saw for everything else. Still trying to do some research on what type of hinges to make. Also trying to think what would be best on the firebox door. I want a full door to the bottom so I can remove the ash with ease but not sure if I want to incorporate the air inlet onto the door as well or putting the air inlet on the front or back side of the box. Looking forward to starting the project. If I don't find out anything on the pipe in the next week I will will just start by rolling the plate. Do most of you builders weld the end caps on before cutting the doors out or after? Then there is the question of 2 doors or one door, the pit will be 48" long. 
  8. I would weld the end caps on first.  as far as doors go I have gone both ways with a build about that size. I found that i like 2 doors. That way your not letting as much heat out when you open the door. And unless your doing a whole hog. you don't need it all open at the same time. Also I put 2 racks in both sides. I make them pull out and removable. I found that the smaller expanded metal keeps small items from falling thru.

    You being in south LA. see if you can find a dredging company that will sale you a piece of used pipe.20" normally runs $15 a foot.

    Happy smoken.

  9. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    David thanks for your thoughts. I did find someone that had a 20" pipe for sell on craiglist for $12 a foot but it was one of those things where the picture it looked ok but the backside had a dent in it. I just like working with new stuff even if the price is a lil more. I am leaning to the 2 doors. And that is the reason why I want to build a pipe pit so I can put 2 racks in it. When I built the pit I have now it was mainly for burgers and steaks with no thoughts of smoking. After a few weeks ago when I threw together the firebox in a few hours and added it to the pit is when I realized I would use it much more than ever thought. But with it I have to room to add the second shelf since I built it so shallow on top.

  10. jtupper

    jtupper Fire Starter

    Patiently Waiting.......and Watching!

  11. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Well the build has started. I haven't heard anything on the pipe I was hoping to get so it looks like I will just roll a plate. Since I will be rolling the plate I decided I will go with a 24"x48" pit and will make a 20"x20"x20" firebox for it. Decided to start the firebox since that would be a pretty quick build for the main structure. Cut out all my plates and started to weld them together. I haven't made up my mind if I want the door the size of the box or to weld the last plate on and make a cut out. The inlet opening will be either on the door or under it depending on what route I take. Here is a pic of the firebox coming along.

  12. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Well the building is starting to take off now or least have something to show. Since I didn't have the material for the cooking chamber I went ahead with the firebox.

    While smoking some leg quarters this past Sunday my 9 year old asked when I would just do some hamburgers again? So with that I decided to build a hot plate/griddle into the firebox. I seen some that have a cooking grate in the firebox but you can't use the smoker at the same time so I figured with the hot plate I could do his hamburgers while smoking with out complicating things. I also built a cover to cover it when not in use.

    I worked out a deal and managed to get a 24" pipe for free for a past favor. So I'm ready to get going. I have a question about it though. I built the firebox all out of 1/4" plate. The 24" pipe is 3/8" wall. Will the thicker wall have an effect holding the temp coming from the 1/4" thick firebox?

    Here are some pics so far. Still have a few things to do to it

  13. symonds86

    symonds86 Fire Starter

    the 3/8 pipe shouldnt hurt anything in fact it will hold heat better when you open the door and what not
  14. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    I made a lil more progress on the pit today. I have the firebox welded onto the cooking chamber. I'm hoping that I don't run into problems when I add the legs to it trying to keep it level. I aso went buy the wheels for it. I bought 2-10" wheels for the firebox side and 2-5" swivel casters for the chimney side.
  15. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Another update on the new build. Today I was able to get the legs onto it and I cut out the doors leaving just the corners to finish up tomorrow.

  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    .........[​IMG]............   gettin' closer.........
  17. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Well each day I get a lil bit closer but there is only so much I can do during my lunch break and my other 2 breaks during the day. Today I was able to finish cutting the doors out and I didn't see anything spring on me. I cut out the opening from the firebox to the cooking chamber. I was able to get my angles welded in for my racks and welded the frames for the racks as well.

  18. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Not much more to show. I did strap the two doors and have a decent seal. In one or two spots there is a lil gap. Not sure if the strap pulled when it was welded or what, thinking about heating the area up and hitting it with a mallet to take the form of th pipe in those areas. Trying to decided on hinges at the moment. Cut out some temporary ones to see how they would work and just tacked them in place. Probably will go with these just will add another hing plate to the cooking chamber so the hinge plate on th door will be saddled by one on each side. My plans are tomorrow to go and work on it all day and see if I can finish it. I'm ready to have it home and was hoping to use it for labor day. I'm going to a PBR event tonight in Baton Rouge so just have to hope that I don't stay out to late afterwards to change those plans.


    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  19. bullypitbbq

    bullypitbbq Fire Starter

    Good looking lil pit dfbourg
  20. dfbourg

    dfbourg Fire Starter

    Today I spent the whole day working on the pit. I'm getting close but not there yet. Was hoping that I could have finished it today but as the day went on I knew it would not happen. Not really happy with somethings done today because I know I was rushing it and not doing the job that I'm capable of. I put a date for completion and just pushing it to make the date.


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