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Re-cutting doors?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

This smoker was given to me and I am in the process of turning this into a RF but I do not like the size of the doors that are currently on it right now they are way too small. I thought about just welding them up and cuttting on the other side but someone has allready done that once before. I feel like I am at a crossroad right now. I can pick up a new "used" tank this size for around $150 and start over and maybe transfer the firebox over to the new tank. I dont want to get too far into this just to realize I cannot make the doors the size I want them. I figured I would tap into the weath of knowledge on this site for help.IMAG0043.jpg  



Here is a shot of the back. You can see where the first door was.IMAG0042.jpg

Edited by TexasBurner - 5/17/11 at 11:27am
post #2 of 16

Why not grind off the straps, weld them back in place and cut the doors you want on that same side? You should be able to fill in the cracks with weld and you could always fill it in on the other side of the doors if you didn't get good penetration.

post #3 of 16

what yellow said would probably be your best bet. shouldn't be too much work to weld up the doors and clean it up. 

post #4 of 16

This would be a great restoration, weld the doors on the right and left extremes and recut.

post #5 of 16

Well, I can't tell how thick the wall on the cook chamber is. But I think if the trailer frame is in good shape and there isn't to much that you are going to change on it then go for welding the doors shut and recut. It depends how comfortable you are welding and cutting, but I think I would weld um up and recut them centered. Being centered wouldn't be a deal breaker tho, it could be nice to have them different size. The only reason I would do them the same is so that if I had more then one upper rack, I would want to be able to put them in which ever location I wanted. 


I do see what looks like a damper from the firebox to the cook chamber, thats a plus.


I would guess that the hardest part will be cutting the existing grate out of the main tank. 


If you decide to weld it up and recut, use caution with the heat. Weld an inch or two and jump to another area of the door so it doesn't warp up on ya to bad.


A plus to welding it up would be that you will have the money you would spend on a new tank to spend on extras. Burners, tables, totes,hot water or other cool storage. I'm partial to having a roof for the bad weather days, wouldn't have to be enclosed by any means but a roof is nice sometimes.




post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am thinking I will just weld the doors up and cut new ones on the other side. I like the idea of them being on the other side anyway. I just purchased a hobart 125 from northern tool for $300 new. I bought it for making the new racks and a couple other things I want to change the smoker. Since welding the doors back up would not really be a structural weld would that be adequate for the job or would I need something larger. I do understand the need for complete penetration on a structure weld but i didn't think that would qualify as such.

As far as having to cut out the existing cooking grates, they are just tacked in a few places from what I could see.

There is a damper that runs the full length of the firebox opening. The door for the firebox is something else I want to change as well. It is really too small to load a good amount of fuel into at once and the vent system leaves much to be desired not to mentioned it is warped over the years.

I picked up 4 new wheels and tires from Harbor Freight for about $135. I bought one at a time with a 20% off coupon. It was like buying 3 and getting the fourth one free.
I will be putting them on and bringing this thing home to start grinding away.

Thanks so much for all the insight I really do appreciate it.
post #7 of 16

TB, Morning.

Think about firing it up before you do anything. You can learn quite a bit about heat distribution, not spots, draft etc. If it seems to work to your satisfaction then you know it was designed O.K. for proper cooking. Then consider ease of use modifications.


Might save you some work later on. Just a thought. Dave


post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have used this smoker and that is why I want to make it RF. It is very hard to use due the hot and cold spots. I also need to replace the stack with a larger diameter. It is entirely to small for this size tank. If the trailer wasn't in as good of shape that its in( despite the wheels/tires) I might just sell it off and starting over. I feel there is still hope for this rusty gem I just have to break out the elbow grease to find it.
post #9 of 16

Cut new doors on the other side, leave the other side doors as is but add some locking latches

post #10 of 16

Maybe run the online pit calc with your numbers and see just how far off it is right now as it sits.


If you needed to change the fire to cook area opening now would be the time to do it. 



The ez 125 is an awesome little welder. That machine will pull its weight and then some, its the little welder that could. 

As mentioned for a main frame weld, it will do it in the proper hands. 


For what you're doing it will work out awesome. Even on the doors you want to burn in plenty good. That way it doesn't take to rusting and cause a problem. Once you get going with it, you will easily see how well its burning in. Right off I can't remember if the 125 even has option for gas but I am thinking not. The flux core will be your friend, and its easy to clean up with a wire wheel.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Aside from adding the RF plate, the only thing I want to do is possibly add a vertical chamber above the firebox for warming/smoking. If I do this how do I calculate the exhaust size if the stack will exit the top of the vertical chamber. Do I need to have 2 exausts? One for the vertical box and one for the smoking chamber. I plan on using a baffle to control the smoke to the vertical chamber and just be able to use the radiant heat from the top layer of the firebox.


As far as cutting the doors, I do not have access to a plasma cutter to cut the new doors but I do have a angle grinder. I want the cut to be as straight as possible. I have read in some other post of guys using thier circular saw with a 7" composite metal cutting blade. I thought the circular saw may give better control over longer cuts. If anyone has experience with this I would appreciate thier insight.

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 


As I look deeper into this I realize what poor quality was put into this smoker. The firebox is only made of 1/8" thick steel and is heavily pitted especially around any weld area. I am afraid if start grinding into it to remove the rust I may just go right through it without really trying. I picked up a 4'x7'piece of 1/4" plate from the scrap yard for $70 that I was going to use for the reverse flow plate but I think I need to use that to build a suitible firebox first. Here are a couple other pics. The amount of rust inside the tank has me a little worried I will know the extent of the damage when I get the grate out of the way. 



post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 






post #14 of 16

I guess its gonna be one of those things where ya just have to get into it and see just how bad it really is.


I know when a friend did his, I thought for sure that the thing was on the way to the junk yard but he managed to save it. 

I couldn't believe it, but some grinding and some key placement of new sheet steel and it was good to go.


post #15 of 16

I really like this one!  I would first do what Tom said and run the calculator and make sure say it is it's a go.  If the fire box is in poor shape, then you can make sure you build it to the correct size.  As far as the doors, it just a little labor and welding to get them, to the size you want.


Good luck and looking forward to watching this one. 

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have started cutting the pieces for the firebox out of some 1/4" plate I picked up the other day. Since the back of the tank was already replaced with a flat piece of steel I am going to cut it out and make the firebox/warmer like on the lang 84 I figure since I am going to replace it I might as well do it right the first time. I will post up some pics when I get them loaded on my computer.
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