It really looks like my doors have sprung inside from the corners (most gap on the middle) . I tried using a bottle jack, but it was really impossible to get the door to sit "upside down" on it.
Any tips? A sledgehammer?
Tried fixing them, some progress got made...
But now I found out my tank has sprung outward from the center between the doors! That explains why the doors fitted better on center than sides...
You can kinda see that from this pic, look at the two halves of the rf plate, how they slope towards the center where the bulge is. And no, luckily I haven't welded them in yet:
Any idea how to fix that? I tried to use a ratchet strap and some wood block around the tank, but couldn't tighten it enough to make a difference.
It has sprung quite a bit, looks like around half an inch difference between the center and the sides...
You half to reshape from the inside of the tank. Weld re-bar and a bolt to tighten from one side across to pull the tank back into round. Could also use a turn buckle to pull. Use 2X4 inside cut to exact length to push out. What ever you come up with it needs to be done from the inside.
I tried to shape it with a bottle jack with some chain wrapped around the tank. Not so easy to manhandle.
I guess I'll need to get my longest pipe clamp and spot weld it to the inside. My "shop" is just a bunch of rudimentary tools outside, makes things more interesting
Am I right thinking I should do this just before I'm welding my baffle plate in, so that it keeps the cylinder from unrolling after I take the clamp out? I can probably even see when it's getting close by looking at the baffle plate halves starting to level.
Here's a pic of me holding a straight edged plywood on the center band, you can see the large gap at the other end. I didn't notice the center band being out of round, but I guess it must be since there's so much outward bow.
Hmm, digging up an old thread.
This build is now in hiatus, since I have a new bigger tank with less problems...
Just had a though, what's the harm if I complete this tank as it is, out of round?
Sure I'll get more play on my grates and I'll have to fiddle with my doors a bit more. But is there anything that affects the functionality of the cooker beyond cosmetics, if I don't straighten it out?
I could relocate my drain to the center where my two RF plate halves meet to get "built in" slope into it...
I don't see a problem with working around what you have. If it were me, I would burn a hole between and below the two doors and a corresponding hole on the back side so you can run a piece of 1/2 or 3/4 all thread rod through the tank. Put washers and nuts on and pull the tank in some, then install your RF plates and after they are welded in, remove the all thread and patch the holes. You could likely get it fairly close that way and then just tweek the door till they fit good enough and use gasket for the final seal. You may be surprised how close you can get it back to round. You've got a good bit of work in that tank, it would be a shame not to use it. We promise not to come over there and put a dial indicator on it when it is finished!