So I got a Brinkmann single door square vertical for Christmas a few years back. Not exactly my first choice in a smoker, but hey it was a gift from my Father-in-law and I had just gotten rid of my old freezer smoker, so I felt obligated to use it. I do like the size and the style, but it suffers from all the same design flaws that plague most el' cheapo smokers; wont hold heat, can't regulate airflow, leaks like a sieve, temps spike bad then drop too low, etc. I have managed to make some good Q with it but it requires constant attention. I haven't used it since I built my reverse flow, but since my FIL is constantly asking me if I'm using it, I'd like to be able to answer yes without really meaning that I'm using it for charcoal storage.
So I'm thinking some major mods are in order here. My thoughts are to take it apart and weld some 1/2" square tube around the perimeter of the top, back, sides and door, laying in some insulation and then skinning everything over with some 12 ga sheet metal. This should allow the unit to hold heat better and will also create an edge for the door to close against and I can put in a gasket so it seals well. This unit has fixed intake and exhaust so I'll need to do something about that too. The intake currently consists of five large holes in the bottom of the cabinet with no damper of any sort. This is easily four times more intake capacity than the exhaust can handle. I used to use steel plates to partially cover the openings and burned my finger tips a few times adjusting them. I'm thinking that I'll replace the charcoal pan with a basket and I'll reduce the intake from five holes to just one (the same size as the exhaust). Rather than leaving the intake as a simple hole, I want to run a length of heavy walled pipe from the hole right up into the charcoal basket. This will put the fresh air right inside the coals where it needs to be. I also think that as the pipe heats up, convection will create a draw inside the tube ensuring that the fire doesn't starve. I'll put an adjustable damper on the intake as well.
I'd like to hear any thoughts and concerns you all have about my plans and also would like to hear about any mods others have made to the BVS. This is the model that I have.