Thank you all for welcoming me : ) I'll post update with pics soon.
Sanded down major rusted area then painted with a Rust-Oleum® High Heat 2000°F Flat Black
To hold the heat and keep consistent temperature, lined the bottom of the cooking chamber withclay bricks and lava rocks. Decide not to use firebrick because it was expensive. I’ll try out clay bricks and if it does not work well then I can always replace it with more lava rocks or splurge on firebricks.
To distribute smoke and heat evenly to smoke chamber from firebox, added steel plate baffle at the firebox opening for the smoke & heat to go under the meat then rise up evenly. Took oven drip pan and added more holes then laid it at the end of the added steel plate. This should mock the Horizon Smokers Drop-In Convection Plateat the fraction of the price.
More to do (after Thanksgiving):
Sand other small rust area then repaint the entire smoker.
Extend internal smokestack to grate level
Add thermometer gauges on each side of the smoke chamber
Seal aroundthe cook chamber door with the Permatex High-Temp Rtv Silicone Gasket Maker. This should help keep more heat & smoke.
Clean Stainless Steel
Thinking about doing but not needed:
Make a coal basket for the firebox
Upgrade grate to heavy steel
Replace handle with metal spring type
Re finish wood works or replace with metal