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Small RF trailer build DONE!! finished pics

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

After kicking around what I wanted to do as far as a trailer build, I came up with a pretty small cooker, but I think I'll have enough cooking area to do a decent amount of food for what I usually do.  I will have at least 3 slide out racks in it...fully removeable so that I can do a bunch of ribs or open the spacing up to do brisket or butts or a pot of beans. 


It's an 80 gallon compressor tank that will be mounted on an old tent trailer.  It will be RF and may have a propane burner and or a small charcoal grill.  Last Sunday my brother helped me cut out the door and fb to cook chamber opening. 


Thurs I got the box tacked together.  This weekend I got the box attached to the tank, the grease drain fabbed, and half the rf plate tacked.  I used cut-offs from the box to help box in the little trailer's c-channel frame.  It's coming right along.














Thanks for looking.  Hope to make more big progress over the next week.






post #2 of 38
Thread Starter 

going to try to get the pictures up right. 












post #3 of 38
Lookin' good so far!sausage.gif
post #4 of 38

man im doin the same size smoker just not on a trailer....yours looks great man keep the pics comein


post #5 of 38

Looking good!!!   


Hey it looks like the threaded hole where you put the drain worked out to be pretty handy. I dono if you thought about it or not but maybe you could get a bushing that will fit the thread of the tank and have a inner hole near the size of the drain. Just sayin. LOL  


Keep up the good work, 

post #6 of 38
Thread Starter 

Tom I thought about trying to find something to just screw in there, but I figured it would just be an extra cost and the pip fit right through it so I'm just welding it in. 


I'm hoping to find some time during the week to get some stuff done on it.  I'm just really excited to finally be building after so long planning (i.e. procrastinating).  Normally I'm a woodworker, so working with metal has been kind of a fun change.  Like most of us I'm trying as best I can to low-buck this build.  the steel for the box and the racks I bought retail, but was able to get the tank off Craigslist and the trailer for free.  I bought new wheels and tires for it and will repack the bearings and get them mounted up when I'm done with all the fabricating and paint.  I dont want to be screwing them up in the process. 




post #7 of 38
Very nice :)
Keep hammering away at it!
post #8 of 38
Thread Starter 

Well had to take a week off from fabricating as I got some sort of bubonic plague-like illness.  ;)  But got back at it this weekend.  Started off repacking the wheel bearings and freshening up the axle and leaf springs with some clean up and satin black paint.




Then I worked on cutting out the air intakes and fabbing up a damper for it. 






Then I worked on getting it onto the trailer.  I don't know how much it weighs at this point.  I'd guess 350 to 400 pounds, but it was a bit of a booger to get on the trailer by myself.  I used some of the big ratcheting tie downs and a floor jack and got it into place.  One roadblock I did hit was that for whatever reason, and despite all my advanced figuring, the drain was too long and right at the angle of the trailer crossmember.  After contemplating several options, I cut it off at an slight angle, flipped it 180 degrees and welded it back together.  You can make it out in this picture. 



I stole the yellow legs from my dad's scrap pile.  They were part of an implement he had for his tractor before he cut down all his walnut trees.  I sure wish I'd have been around when he cut down the apple tree.  :(


I also got the stack mounted, though I'm going to work on grinding the welds and prettying them up some. 






I still have a number of big things and about ten small things to do, but as my girlfriend said, "At least now you can see that it's going to be something now."  :) 


post #9 of 38

Looking great man!    We had to angle our drain as well. 

post #10 of 38
Thread Starter 

I got a bit more done on it this weekend, but I always seem to underestimate the amount of time it takes me to do things.  I also always seem to underestimate the amount of other things I'll have to do on the weekend. 


Got my assistant to wear some eye protection.



Then we got to work on the door.  Ground off a bung in the lower rightcorner of the door after filling it.  It's funny, now it looks like a smiley face.  I think I'll keep it there to remind me to have fun.  Got the door hung and the strapping on.  It went on well but it did pull the door out of round a bit.  I decided to work on something else and tackle that in a couple of days.






So I decided I'd get a handle on the door.  That way if I have to remove the door to get it back in shape I'll have something to hold onto it.  The only things I have for cutting is an angle grinder, a sawzall and a jigsaw.  Well, my dad's jigsaw.  I already killed my craptapular $20 jigsaw on this build.  So I cut out the handle supports with the angle grinder to rough shape.  Then I clamped them together and ground them at the same time so they'd be symmetrical and drilled a hole for the grab bar.


Then a chipping hammer gave its life to be a part of the bbq and I got them all mounted.  I'm happy with how it turned out.



post #11 of 38

Looking good!!


Don't worry to much about time getting away from ya. It happens to all of us. 

post #12 of 38

That is a great looking build you have going. I really envy guys like you with that kind of talent

post #13 of 38

It's really coming along great! I envy your talent as well!

post #14 of 38

sure wish i knew how to weld.....seems it has so many possibilities.

post #15 of 38
Thread Starter 

Thank you guys.  I don't know about talent...I'm just motivated to eat some ribs.  :)  Lexoutlaw...sometimes I wish I knew how to weld too.  I'm just learning how to use a stick welder.  I picked up a Lincoln AC225 on Craigslist for $30.  :)  II think it needs a new fan, but since I'm not pushing it too hard I'm not worried about it.  The welds are looking better now that I've gone through about 6 or 8 pounds of rod.  Seriously though Lex, don't keep wishing...just get your hands on a welder and some scrap and practice.


Unexpectedly had today off so I got the firebox door made.  Still have to figure out what kind of system I'd like to latch it.  I have a few in mind, but I have to decide which one balances ease and effectiveness of use with my ability to fabricate.  I dont have a lot of metalworking tools.  Welder and an angle grinder primarily, so I have to think things through to foresee the difficulties or pitfalls of settling on one versus another.



There is a small gap at the bottom corner of the door, so I picked up some wood stove gasket and am going to Hi Temp RTV it and rivet it to seal it up.  Gotta control that air flow.


Thank you guys for looking. 


post #16 of 38

As you can see to get better at welding you must practice. practice, practice and practice.....  waiting to see some Q come off of that smoker......


Good luck on the build



post #17 of 38
Thread Starter 

Saturday wasn't terribly productive. I had a bunch of things to do in the middle of the day that kind of precluded getting in the middle of something big. I did get the rope gasket on the firebox to seal up any gaps and worked out some of the mechanicals of the firebox latch.

I ended up using RTV and rivets for the fireplace gasket, then a propane torch to burn off the little hairs. You can see it in one of the pictures. It worked well and sealed up any gaps.

Sunday was a lot more productive. I got the door welded on and the latch mechanism set up, and working.




I worked on the inside of the cooking chamber welding everything up, as it had just been tacked in place. My gaps along the edges of the RF plate were a little large, so I used some small steel rod to fill it and welded them up. It looks like crap and I'll never show it to anyone, but it should work.

I also made the ash pan and the fire grate. Ran short of 5/8" rebar. Don't know how I figured so little, so I'll have to get some more to finish it up. Couldn't resist starting a fire in it, so I did and finally got to see smoke coming out of the stack.


post #18 of 38



Ha! Looking great so far! 

Take your time with the details, man. You'll be glad later on. :)

post #19 of 38

Looks Great So Far...

post #20 of 38
Thread Starter 

I will preface this post with the fact that I just copied and pasted it from another forum, so if you read that one too, it will be as Mr. Berra said, "Like deja vu all over again."


Well my goal was May 28. Unfortunately that didn't happen. But I was able to tow it and cook on it. We took a second place in ribs on only my second cook on it. I still have a few little things to do before prep and paint, but I'm happy with my progress.

Some pictures in the week leading up to the deadline.

Here are a couple of pics at the competition, one with my brother acting like he's doing something. Very Happy

So I got it home and Sunday and Monday got to work trying to complete it. I knocked it out pretty good.

Hopefully I'll have more updated pictures over the next few days with her in full dress. Smile


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