Quick question on steel gauge. I am looking to upgrade to a new horizontal drum smoker + box. Problem is I can't afford to buy a Lang or something to that affect, also can't afford $500 in shipping! Found a local guy who makes them on the side--good price for custom work, as it's not his primary job--he does it for fun. Issue is that I asked on thickness and he only uses 14 gauge steel (1/16"). Gut says this is too thin to maintain heat as I know Lang's are 1/4 inch, however I have friends who have the same gauge and they feel it does OK. Is this something that would work well to start, but fade over time? I'm not a metallurgist so this is a little new to me.
OR--if anyone knows of some great fabricators in the Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana area, I would love to speak with them as I'm in the market.
Any guidance or help would be great. Thanks!