ok well the plans have changed considerably since i started. I have a time frame, so i need to get this going. I went to a steel supply company to get the rest of the metal, but the only 1/4 plates were new. after all was said and done, they wanted about $800 for the sheets of metal i needed to get this project done ( 3x3x21/2 firebox, 21/2x3x5 vertical smoker, and reverse flow plate 6x3). I ended up buying a 24" round, 1/4inch, 3 foot steel tube from them for $200 with the end plates for this. This will become my firebox for the main cooking chamber. it will be mounted sideways on the cooking chamber, sorta like a "T". I already had my welder weld the end plates on it, so all i have to do is put hinges and cut the door. We plan on working this saturday on it, so i will have some pics on the progress.
The trailer has some issues with it, and by the time i finish with it, i will have to put in about $500 to get it to par. I have found a local guy who sells brand new trailers pretty cheap with a 1 year warranty. I am looking at getting a double axle 6'4"x12' for around $725. this will allow me to concentrate on the pit and not have to worry about the trailer so i can make my deadline.
Now my biggest obsticle is getting the paint off the steel tube. The tube was an old 500 gal propane tank. I called a sandblaster after i spent hours with a wire brush connected to an angle grinder with little results. The sandblaster said that the paint is either powdercoated or epoxy paint.... either way hard as hell to get off. he said he could get it off, but it would take a lot of hours and would probably cost me a pretty penny. He also mentioned it could possibly have lead in the paint, so i would have to take it off before any cooking in it. So i decided to take matters in my own hand. I bought some Klean Strip epoxy stripper, and applied that to the painted surface. 20 mins later, the paint was comming off pretty good down to the steel. I did the whole tank being careful not to get any of the chemical in the actual tube itself. I have another coat of this to do and about 99% of the paint will be off. Afterwards, i will wash it inside and out, then burn half a cord of wood in it to burn off the impurities and any residual of the chemical that might be in it still.
A lot of work to do still, i am going to go look at the trailers tommorrow and see what type of deals he might have for me. I plan on getting a lot of cutting and progress done, so i will update with pics.