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Leave it to a Canadian LOL

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hello all you smokers !


This is my first thread and my first build. The reason I say leave it so a Canadian is this build could be a reverse flow, it's sort of a side fire box (?), it's UDS but sideways hahaha, so I guess it belongs in "other" LOL


I have a number of photos and comments so you may want to get a few cans of pop ready or start cooking. By the time you are done reading your coordination may be off or you are ready to eat :-)


Thanks to this forum, I started to cook with smoke/mops/rubs and I'm comfortable with the style, I still have so much more to learn.


I'm in awe with master welders like Tom and his buddies. I've never welded (yet) and more comfortable with wood. I told my wife I had to build something so she said I had an unlimited budget as long as it's under $50. She ice fishes with me and is pretty cool so I know I'm good for $60 LOL


My goal is to use what I have, get what I can for nothing (One man's garbage is another man's gold"),  and be very proud of my build. I will use tools I'm not used to so this is definitely a learning experience!


So meet Joe - he just came out of the ice hut (mini house LOL)  No cost to this build.




I got free skids and cut one in half, this is the frame for base, Joe's new home!




The photos were taken with my phone - so they are not the best :-(

Now I have a feel for size and scale.




I took fire board from the ice hut and placed it as flooring - we have to think about safety and all that good stuff :-)




I took some strapping and a couple of screws per and Joe is tied down real good :-)  




Don't mind the sand,




Ok, so here we go and time for a beer LOL,




This is the elbow I'm going to use. 

I used painter's tape to show where I need to cut. This is my first time with a grinder, thanks to Santa.




No action photos, I still have all my fingers and managed pretty well :-)




The elbow looks too big (7") but this is the combo I used in the ice hut, so I'm used to it.

I also used the spread sheets mentioned in this forum, and the calculations work :-) 

Onward and upward !




Time to check things out, I propped the barrel on Joe with a 2x6 and very quickly took the photo! I realize I need to raise the drum.




This is first of 4 posts that will support the drum.




Now I have 4 posts, carefully measured and level.




I cut a piece of bed frame (free stuff) and screwed it into the posts. I'll be doing the same to the other posts so the drum can sit on them and let the welding begin ... well not yet LOL




I used Santa's grinder to cut the corners so there are no sharp edges sticking out.

I also let some of the elbow extend so it will fit into the drum (not right up against)




The drum's final resting place is almost done.




Sharpie helps mark out the hole that I will also grind out! This was a blast - now I want to cut and grind everything !!




I will weld the drum to the bed frame pieces which are screwed into the posts.

The left posts will be reinforced on the outside and I'll make small shelves on the inside.

I have a few more ideas to make the stronger stronger.

Don't pay any attention to the shopping cart full of beer cans (background) that was my previous project hahaha (joke)




The drum is loosely sitting on the rails.

Part II will involve removing the drum, getting it all ready (cutting, burning, welding), and of course making grills. Finally I'll make a nice 2 "x 8" counter/shelf unit on the cooking side (current view)


Part III will be my first Cooking Experience !!


So far this project cost me me $3.00 for new 2x4 LOL.


That's it for now please let me know what you think.


Dave in Ottawa -

Canadian eh !




I'll be calling this masterpiece   "Smokin' Joe"

post #2 of 29

I looked at this quick, and I'm in a hurry, but I have one comment.


Are you sure you want to bang your head on the top drum, while putting fuel in the bottom one?

Couldn't the bottom one be turned in a different direction from the top one?


If I'm missing something, like I said, I'm in a hurry.

Be back in morning.




post #3 of 29


This site has tons of info.

I would suggest you spend some time reading all the different forums and the WIKIs.

Then use the handy dandy search tool for specific interests!!


Have a great day!!!


  Also take the outstanding free E-Course!







post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hey Bear


Just before leaving the cottage, I put a cast iron pan and I was thiking the same thing ... I can rotate and re-fasten Joe to accomodate.


Thanks for your input !


Change #1



post #5 of 29

I would just rotate the top drum or the firebox 180º if it were me like a SFB smoker.




Welcome to SMF, Glad to have you with us.

This is the place to learn, lots of good info and helpful friendly Members.

Many of our members have years of experience in smoking meat.  They are more than happy helping Newbies learn the art.

We have members who cure there own Bacon, Hams, Jerky, Snack Sticks, Make Their own Sausage, etc. if you want to learn,
this is the place. 

Don't be afraid to ask questions of them and follow their advice. You won't be sorry, you will be making great Q in no time at all...

Just remember, when curing your own meats follow the instructions included with the cure to the letter, this is not something to experiment with.  

Never use more cure no mater if it is Tender Quick or Cure #1 or Cure #2 than the manufacturer says to use, this can be very dangerous.

Tender Quick and Cure#1 or Cure #2 are not interchangeable, neither Cure #1 interchangeable with Cure #2 or vise versa


Tips For New Members.

  1. Go into your profile and Under Location put where you are.
  2. City & State or Area & State will do. This will help members when answering your questions.
  3. Go to ROLL CALL thread and tell us a little about Yourself (A Name We Can Call You) and Experience & Equipment.
  4. Do Not Post  your other questions and smokes in the Roll Call Forum.
  5. Post your questions and smokes in the Proper Forum, Beef, Pork, Sausage, Electric Smoker, Charcoal Smoker etc.
  6. Use the Wiki Section, many of our members have posted great tutorials and instructional threads so take advantage of them.
  7. When you can't find an answer ask plenty of questions, we have some highly experienced members willing to help you.
  8. When posting about your smokes be sure to post plenty of Qview (Pictures) Our Moto, "No Pics, Didn't Happen".
  9. Get a good Probe Thermometer, Don't Depend on the Built in Thermometer in your Smoker (They are notorious for being off).
  10. A good choice for a remote dual probe thermometer is the Maverick ET-732
  11. Remember, We Always Cook by Temperature and NOT BY TIME...
  12. Sign up for Jeff's 5-Day eCourse.  Click Here
  13. Don't Take Chances, Always Follow USDA Safety Guidelines When Handling Meat.
  14. If you are wanting to get into curing meat, there are many members here more than happy to help and give good advice.

  15. If you are unsure of a procedure ASK, don't ASSUME, It will make your Smoking experience much more pleasant...

post #6 of 29
Originally Posted by CanadianNewbie View Post

Hey Bear


Just before leaving the cottage, I put a cast iron pan and I was thiking the same thing ... I can rotate and re-fasten Joe to accomodate.


Thanks for your input !


Change #1



OK---Great !

I don't usually say much on builds, but that one caught my eye.




post #7 of 29
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post

I looked at this quick, and I'm in a hurry, but I have one comment.


Are you sure you want to bang your head on the top drum, while putting fuel in the bottom one?

Couldn't the bottom one be turned in a different direction from the top one?


If I'm missing something, like I said, I'm in a hurry.

Be back in morning.




Funny - at my advanced age I think bending over at all is a sport so I agree with Bear on this one


post #8 of 29

Very unique smoker, can't wait to see the first smoke! Welcome to SMF!

post #9 of 29

You gotta do what you gotta do !!!!!!!!  Your gona have a smoker....I give you an A+....

post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hi gang


Thanks for the kind words !


I will have a smoker for sure, thanks Roller.

Al, my better half is anxious for my first smoke also :-)

Scar, I still have the last 1/2 of the skid and more fire board - so I'll make a stretch version so I can turn Joe around 180'. I don't want to smoke with a hard hat LOL


I won't be back up for a few weeks - so a lot of time to study before I continue the build.



post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hi Gang


Here are a few updates - I'm getting closer !


Ok, so I took the piece I cut out - bent a paint can handle - drilled a few holes




I put the handle/level through



Tied it up with coat hanger and pliers LOL Hey it works like a charm. It's primitive and I figure for the low heat

this should work just fine 



So Joe has been swung around so no bumping the head!



Time to work on the barrel !



No more green, I'm thinking a good cleaning and paint.



The smoke stack is not hooked up yet but this is how Joe is looking.



I still have to work on framing to make it solid !



Next I'll work on closing out the cooking chamber, making a 2" x 8" counter along the front of barrel,

and finish the grill. 


I have a question ...

My friend asked if I was going to install a heat shield ..?!

He said I can put small rocks/sand  on the bottom of the barrel and then add a matching piece (from another barrel)

on top of rocks/sand so there is a second layer of steel.


This would help keep the heat in the cooking chamber and not escape through the bottom.


Have you heard of such a thing ?



post #12 of 29

Interesting.  I have to wonder about the exposed pipe and the right angle.


Let us know how this works on a cook!


Good luck and good smoking.

post #13 of 29

Welcome to the site,


My hats off to ya man, what you are doing is awesome. Your damper plan is a good one no doubt, its very similar to the way many guys do it.


Another thumbs up would be in order since you took the corners off and made it user friendly. 



Now I don't know if you have extra drums or not, or if they cost much for ya to buy. But. If you have an extra one, you can cut another door from a different barrel, make it about 1 1/2 inchs larger then the first.


Drill and rivet them together. Now you have a really nice flange around the door and most likely you wont even need a gasket. 


The only thing you gotta watch, is to make sure the two drums are the same. 


I don't have experince with the heat sink stuff but I think another chunk from a different drum and set it in the bottom of the cook chamber with about a 1/2" space under it would make a nice way to clean out the chunky nastys that always seem to get in our smokers.


You may have this part finished, but incase you dont.     For the stack and firebox pipe. You can usually pick up ductwork flange's. They have tabs that you bend over after you insert it into the hole you cut. Then a rivet or a sheet metal screw is all thats left. 



Yes the duct parts are galv but I don't hesitate to use them so long as I clean the galv off first. I actually dont do anything to the stack piece just the firebox one since the heat is higher.



Very awesome job!!! I love it..........    Keep up the good work.


If you jump into welding, PM me if you have troubles and I'll try and help ya out. 

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hey Venture

Actually I was going to put a external thermometer on the elbow (Typical wood stove type) just to get some type of reading and of course perhaps 2 for cooking chamber to understand how this unit works (quirks)

I'm looking forward to trying it out before cooking to see if/how much I lose.

Will keep ya'll posted.




I have another elbow for the stack and was going to put a flat piece of metal on top so I can just swing it back and forth to control temp/smoke etc.


I have another barrel and I'm positive they are the same and I like the idea of cutting a little oversize. that will save a lot of work. I'm going to the cottage on Monday for a few days and hope to tinker and measure but the Mrs. has other plans for me - like diging a new hole for outhouse hahahahaha


I want to weld and will probably just get a beginers kit. We will build our house and retire there in 2-4 years so I know I'll use a welder. Rest asured I'll definately be in touch with the master :-) I know there are plenty of places to weld.


Thanks for your comments and I look forward to finish and post :-)




post #15 of 29

popcorn.gif cool build cant wait for some Q to look at!

post #16 of 29

Great job! Joe's lookin' good! cool.gif

post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thank you sunman and cowgirl  :-)


As per Toms question earlier - I managed to get an exact matching barrel (2 in fact). So now I can cut a slightly larger door to the cooking chamber and have an overlap (no need for gaskets)


On July 5th I start my holidays so I will be at the cottage finishing Joe and hopefully do some serious cooking! What you don't want to hear is I'm off for 7 weeks, but I will return and post photos LOL and of course share my worldly knowledge hahahaha


I hope to spend 3-4 more hours and I should be ready to go. Depends on my honey-do list :-(


Thanks again everyone and I will be in touch - If not before 4th of July, Happy Independence Day to all my American cousins! God bless and be safe.

Our big day is Friday - 01 July


Dave in Ottawa

post #18 of 29

Dave have a great vacation! Looking forward to your pics!

post #19 of 29

Sounds good friend have a good one

post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hi Gang


Well I'm on holidays and did some work on Joe.


I drilled 5 holes and inserted re-bar through the barrel where the grill will be placed.

Pretty level LOL




I took my drill with wire disk and cleaned it up :-) 



This is how it's going to look. I did not take photos while drilling

12 holes for the hinges - that was way too fun LOL.



I took it apart and got a couple a heat spray cans!



I`m going to add a second shelf below the one you see.

I propped the door of the barrel so the lid may not look like they line up well.

Actually they are off a bit so I have a few things to fix :-)



I`m having a hard time finding a grill (at a price I`m willing to pay)

This weekend Joe should be all done and my first cook.


Photos to come :-)

Take care



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