New guy building RF smoker

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by hotrod386, May 14, 2015.

  1. Hi my names Josh. I'm in the beginning faze of building my first smoker. It's going to be an RF offset smoker made from 20" diameter 1/4 steel pipe. The dimensions will be 44" for the CC and 20" for the FB. It's my first time so be Gental.

    I have a few concerns....
    The air flow how big of an openings I need?
    I'm sure I'll have many more. Thanks

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  3. lendecatural

    lendecatural Smoking Fanatic

    Welcome Josh,

    At first I thought you were going to say, "Hi, my name is Josh, and I am a smokeaholic"... You will be!!

    If you read the excellent post Dave put together, you will get a good understanding of how to make them work properly. I took a look at your numbers and it looks like you have it laid out fairly close to what you will need. A 6" high inside overlap will give you the right football shaped opening when you measure it from the gap. The RF plate will be about 14 x 40 and you need a chimney 3" in diameter about 34" tall. 

    Keep us posted on your progress and good luck!

  4. Thanks guys. I've been sweating the CC toFB football shape dimensions. I don't want my first smoker to suck. Thanks for the heads up lendecateral. That was a huge help. The only difference I have is I have 4" pipe for the chimney. Anyways I had the guys cut the pipe for me and they did a crapy job so I got some conveyer rollers and welded then to some angle iron I had to be able to spin the pipe so I'd have a clean straight cut. I also build a plasma cutter stand to work with the rollers. I was going to cutthr pipe last night but my powermax 380 didn't like my 120v so I had to wire a 220 outlet from my breaker. This morning it rained so hopefully tonight or tomorrow after work I can make some progress.

    Would u guys like me to post a ton of pictures during my progress? I alway liked reading peoples build threads on hotrod forum sites. If you all wante to I can.
  5. tykenn28

    tykenn28 Fire Starter

  6. I'll do it I ain't scared
  7. lendecatural

    lendecatural Smoking Fanatic


    The next guy that needs to do it will have a good guide.
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    josh, evening...... does the calculating the football shape make sense ??????

  9. Lol oh no. I understood 6 inches in the center of what will make the football. The centerline. That was a huge help. Thanks for posting the math link. I'll have to take a hard look at it when I get to my desktop.

    I talked to a guy on Craigslist. He has some granger 304 stainless wire shelves for sale. There like 1/8 bars spaced out one inch one center. IM sure it's 304. I'm wanting to use it as cooking grates in both the FB and CC. Will this work? Will it stand up to the heat? I want to smoke and bbq from just the firebox at times.

  11. I made some progress last night on the smoker. I squared up the ends of both the CC and FB with my plasma cutter.  the plasma cutting stand failed to produce the results that I had hoped for so I switched over to free hand. the roller device worked out great though.  I got around to playing with math that daveomak suggested i use and tried out dave s spreadsheet.  i got to say this there are some sharp minds on here.                    here`s the new measurements FB 19.5" x 20.5"  & CC 19.5" x 43"

    i have a few questions regarding the recommended sizes.....

              im sure its not an exact science but how close do i need to get my numbers to the recommended size?

              my firebox is at 143% will this affect the performance or should i cut it down some?

    whats the best way to weld this thing up?  I`m planning on welding the FB pipe to CC pipe then cutting out the half football for the bottom of the inner FB endcap then weld it on. then cut and weld up the 3" legs. after that start on the lids, hinge's, RF plate, stack, and so on till I cap it off. 

                       more pictures to come...........  

  14. I ended up taking some scrap pipe I had and using it as a guide for cutting out the football. I tacked the FB end cap up in a few spots so I could grind it flush with the FB. Then I welded it all up and grinded down my welds. I want it to look slick. I took Gary s advice and returned the 3 inch pipe I got for some 2 inch 3/16 wall. I also picked up a 3/16 plate for the RF. And expanded metal for the shelf I'll have under the cooking chamber.

    Here's the stainless grill I got still needs some work.
  16. I'm going to try and get it upright over the next few days. And of course I have some more questions. I'm trying to wright this up and post photos so the next new guy can read my post and not ask as many questions as I have.

    What's the easiest way to weld up the legs?

    Should I weld up the FB first then the legs or the other way around?
  17. smokejumper

    smokejumper Smoking Fanatic

    I find it is easier to weld up the FB first for two reasons:

    1. Easier to flip and roll the whole thing over for less out of position welding when attaching the FB.

    2. Easier to ensure that the cooker is level and plumb when attaching the legs if the FB is already attached.
  18. I took smokejumpers advice and welded up the firebox to the cooking chamber after I grinded the football opening a little more for a better fit. I used a large square and placed it along the CC and the FB end cap to get it perfectly square. It worked out great. I still need to grind my welds to make it look pretty.

    I'm at the point were I'm ready to put the legs on........
    Any advice would be awesome. I don't want this thing to wobble or be crooked...

    Hopefully today I can get some no flat heavy duty wheels with greaseable zirk fitting to mount to the smoker closest to the the FB
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  19. This is what I came up with to help mount the legs tomorrow after work. I'll have a center line drawn down the length of the CC. I'll take a piece of angle iron and tack it on the bottom of the CC for the wooded jig to rest. I'll place the legs along the 15 degree miter cut and tack it on. I plan to do that to all 4 legs. Eventually I'll get a pair of wheels and cut the back legs off a bit.
    Not perfect but it will work.

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