I have a chance to pick up a wood smoker that needs some work. Looks to be made of 1/8 in steel or better. Need to let the owner know next weekend. Details and pictures are here: http://lv2sail.com/Smoker.aspx any guidance would help. What would you estimate the repairs to cost (having to have someone else do the work). Thanks
Chance to get a steel wood smoker - has problems
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I don't care for the rack being so high (close to the top).. don't think you could even do a beer can chicken in it... Looks like you would need a charcoal basket made for the SFB. Looks like lt would be pretty hard to clean ashes out as the fire box door is so high. I would imagine the exhaust vent would need to be bigger diameter. As far as the hinges, probably some heat applied to break loose.
I would guesstimate around $125-$150 to do those few things..
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I'm always intrigued with a difficult project, just to see if it can be accomplished, ...the fire box door looks to be thicker than 1/8", more like 1/4", to me the thickness of the steel would be one of the determining factors.
Frozen hinges can be freed up or cut off and replaced so that's not a big problem, cleaning off the rust can be done by sandblasting, so the mods I would do to make it work is cut off and lower the fire box, cut an ash removal door on the side and build something to hold the charcoal up off of the bottom, that way I could lower the rack and install tuning plates, if I were to go that far I would also lower the door opening so that the rack would slide out.
So I guess the most important question is how much you would have to pay for it, if the seller thinks it's a family heirloom I would pass, but if I could buy it for the price of the steel or even lower I'd take it. You said that someone else would be doing the mods, how about consider using a school welding class or as a trade school project (you provide the specs), that way it wouldn't cost as much as having it done in a welding shop, ...it might not cost any more than some meat to test the smoker when it's finished.
I hope that helps,
Thought I would let all know that I bought the smoker for $20.00. Will be talking to someone that has the experience/expertise and equipment to make the needed changes. I will let him have the unit all winter to work on.
UPDATE: A friend picked up the smoker today (10/25/11) and the first thing he pointed out was the lid was not sprung....it wasn't fitting properly all the lid needed was a hand grinder to remove a tiny amount of steel in two places and then the door would be fine. I had sprayed the lid hinges and the fire box door handle over the weekend and the lid opens completely but the fire box handle is still frozen. I also found out that this smoker is also a charcoal grill. I found the charcoal grates in the bottom of the unit when I could see in it better. He said that it should be fairly simple to fix what's wrong with it. I laughed and said I think you will be calling me when I'm Arizona and you will be telling me how good it works and how well the ribs are that were done on it.