Hello Terry. I like it! IMHO; the wood will at least need to be 1" thick for stability and I still think you may have some seal problems but you can use the stove rope idea I talked about earlier, OR you can even build up a "gasket" using high temp silicone . Sounds like you have a plan, now get 'er done and I EXPECT pictures. I am SURE your woodwork will be something to see. Keep Smokin!
Yes, I've already ordered some stove rope for the door seal. I won't be doing this immediately, as I have a bit of a backlog in my piano shop, but I do intend to get to it within a month or two as the top that is there is barely better than nothing at all. Thanks so much for your input, I really appreciate it. I will post pictures.