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250 reverse flow build

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

I have decided to start posting my progress on my reverse flow build.  To be honest, I have needed much help along the way, but have found many answers in the forums.  I feel now, its way past time to start posting/listening and asking the elders...  4 years ago I set a goal to start competing.  I have spent that time cooking in the back yard, practicing different dry rubs and cooking techniques. Last year I had the privilege to judge a competition.  In walking around the camp, I found myself intimidated by the different rigs out there.  I know, I know, its not the cooker, its the cook... But my pride and my small back yard New Braunfels smoker that cant fit more than 1 brisket clashed.  Since I was not able to compete with the smoker I had, I decided to man up and build myself a pit.  I did mass research and really liked the idea of a RF smoker.  Now is a good time to admit that I have never held a welder in my life, but I am good at concepts, design and am kinda handy....  now that i am 6+ months into the build, I have so much respect for the professional welders of the world. The funny thing is, when I am done with this thing, I will not be bad at all.  I wish I would have started on someone else's pit and ironed out all my kinks :)  I have taken pictures along the way and will post them all asap.  I continue to spend some weekends and nights building the smoker.  It has really become an addiction and I cant wait to finally get to have my first cook.  Just so you know what I am using, I have 2 angle grinders and lincoln mig (flux core).  I want to thank all the members in advance for the help and ideas.


Edited by cashmanq - 4/21/13 at 8:25pm
post #2 of 86
Thread Starter 

I bought a 250 gallon propane tank and a 5x10 trailer.  I live in the Austin area, but drove it up to Dallas as my Dad is a car guy with spot welding experience and had the know how to get me started on this project.   



I marked the doors and cut them out... slowly... with a 4.5 inch metal cut off wheel.   I must add that we pulled the top of the tank, filled it  and let it sit with soapy water for a few weeks until I could make the trip back up.


Not the most straight cut in the world, but I was pretty happy with it.


Edited by cashmanq - 3/13/13 at 8:10pm
post #3 of 86

Jack, morning and welcome to the forum....   Smoker's lookin' good....  I'm in for the build.......  popcorn.gif ......


If you have not looked at calculators etc. for your build, in my signature line are some links that will help you make the best smoker on the block....   Questions ??  Many members are very good at building smokers, just ask....  Remember, we want you to have the best smoker around and then the techniques for great Q will follow.....  



If you would note your location in your profile, it will help in the future when answering questions about smokin'...   elevation, humidity etc....    

We're glad you stopped in and joined our group...    Enjoy the long smokey ride....     Dave

post #4 of 86

Can't wait to see this one progress.  Let's see some more pics, stop teasing us. 

post #5 of 86
Thread Starter 

Thanks Dave!

The calulator was used and extreamly helpful along the way. 



More pics on the way!



post #6 of 86

I love watching smoker builds; don't matter the smoker (ok. . I confess-I'm partial to RF builds) I love watching it all come together.



post #7 of 86
Thread Starter 

So the smoker will have a fire box and a warming box built into the top.  In doing this, I could just chop off the end of the smoker and attach the firebox/warmer directly to the back. This was done with a 4.5 cut off wheel and a TON of time...



I put one door on for no reason but to "get a look"  at what this might be in the future...  the door was removed quickly after so it could be done right.

Edited by cashmanq - 4/21/13 at 8:27pm
post #8 of 86
Thread Starter 

I made all the cuts for the doors before I welded the box together.  In doing this, I had some large holes cut out on both the warmer and firebox to crawl inside of and do the internal welds.

the box is 25x32x56 with the firebox portion being 25x32x24  this was all done with 1/4 inch plate steel.  This box is HEAVY....





Dad took this "action" shot..

Edited by cashmanq - 3/13/13 at 8:12pm
post #9 of 86
Thread Starter 

Here she is, minus the top and bottom in all of her glory.

post #10 of 86
Thread Starter 

Next, I burnt out the tank.  My dad and I also christened the tank by breaking a wine bottle and throwing it into the fire.  It was emptied by us of course, but I poured a little in the fire for the homies...had to pay my respect tthe the BBQ gods!


Edited by cashmanq - 3/13/13 at 8:12pm
post #11 of 86
Thread Starter 

Before the bottom and top of the box was welded on, I used the bottom for a template.


The goal of this was to have the trailer become one with the smoker.  I cut out the back end of the trailer as the box would just slide in and be welded to the actual tank and trailer.

I didnt want it to sit on top of the trailer as the smoker would be too high.  I am a short guy and needed this to fit me perfectly.   I wanted the box to hang lower than the trailer and the way it was designed on paper was to have the entire back of the fire box accessible.  If I just dropped it in, the trailer would be in the way of the door and soon to be added ash drawer. 


this was cut out with a torch.  not sure what it was called, but my Dad said "lets just blast that out"



Edited by cashmanq - 4/23/13 at 8:49am
post #12 of 86
Thread Starter 

I will try to post more tonight.

post #13 of 86
Thread Starter 

next, slid it into place

post #14 of 86
Thread Starter 

post #15 of 86
Looks like this will be fun to watch. Looks good.
post #16 of 86
Thread Starter 

So at this stage, I needed to get it attached to the trailer.  I had been driving up to Dallas from Austin to work on the pit and it was costing me too much money in gas.  Not to mention the time away from my family.  I welded the tank to the trailer by adding some angle iron.

post #17 of 86
Thread Starter 


I had been buying scrap metal from a business next to my dads shop.  Over the past few weeks they had taken interest in the build.  I asked the owner if I could pay him a few bucks to weld the tank to the box as they had the know how and the tools.  I had to get this thing back to Austin that weekend as I couldnt spend any more gas money.  It was digging way into the money for the actual pit.  He said they worked for BBQ and to bring them some food when it was finished.  I drove the trailer next door to their shop.  In two hours these guys welded the tank to the box, cut out the half moon, the smoke door to the warmer, added the smoke stack and the 2 stacks on the warmer.   Those guys were simply amazing to watch and I learned so much from them.  What a lucky find...  from that point on, I have been working on this from the comfort of my own garage with a licoln Mig and a few grinders. Most importantly the knowlege I picked up while I was in Dallas.

I must admit, it was a good father/ son project... those are rare and it was nice in my adult life to spend that time with my old man.

Edited by cashmanq - 3/13/13 at 8:16pm
post #18 of 86
Thread Starter 

Most of you guys are experts,  I am far from that but have learned a ton along the way.  I am trying to be as descriptive as possible, but if you have any questions or concerns, please ask.  I welcome the comments.  I am a few months past what i have already posted, so keep that in mind as I am past the point of no return for a ton of this stuff.  If i have made any crucial errors though, please let me know.


post #19 of 86

Your firebox is AWESOME!!!!  I'm building right now Dual Smokers on a trailer....Love your firebox

post #20 of 86
Thread Starter 

Thanks urbotrimmm!  Looking forward to your build as well.

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