The mini-WSM is a solid performer. Even at a higher cost, it would be a great value.
There is always room to make a great product even better.
This build asks the question: How far can you take the mini-WSM? What additional gains could be seen?
Who will be interested in this build? Those who want the "ultimate" mini-WSM. Those who already own a smoky Joe and want to perform a hard-core upgrade for smoking. Those who want to upgrade their existing mini-WSM. Those who want to increase the cooking height in their mini-WSM.
A lot of people perform the conversion with the tried and true IMUSA and Vasconia 32 quart tamale pots. There have been some fitment problems with the IMUSA pots, depending upon whether they are the Chinese pot, or the Brazilian pot. These pots are economically priced, and are fabricated with a very thin-wall aluminum.
Certainly other pots exist, but many people don't want to risk the money on a pot which may not fit. I have stepped off the deep-end, and have started searching on different options. Any option would not be worthwhile, unless it provides features which do not exist with the current IMUSA/Vasconia options. I found two pots which should fit, and are 15 and 5/16th inches tall (more height). It is available in two models. A thick-walled (6mm) version, with lid, for about $100 shipped, and a less expensive thin-walled version (no price quote yet).
The tall flower-pot diffuser will not be used. Instead, a pizza stone (from Target) will be used as the diffuser. (similar to my Cuisinart build). The pizza stone has less problems with cracking, is more heat resistant, and is vertically more compact.
Although the mini-WSM is known for excellent temperature management, I am adding the Pitmaster IQ120. Air will be injected from both sides of the firebox at once. This should encourage a more consistent burn of the charcoal within the basket.
The grill I start with will be the Smoky Joe Gold. The gold already has holes which accept a standard 3/4 NPT fitting, so drilling through ceramic-steel will not be needed.
Current state: The Smoky Joe Gold is on hand, the IQ120 is enroute, and the pot will likely be ordered today (I am trying to haggle a good price for the mini-WSM crowd).
Possible future additions: I am looking at making a fitted pot blanket for reduced charcoal consumption. The fabric will be aluminized Ironing Board fabric, and should hold up to the heat quite well.
More Updates as the items roll in.