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120 gallon tank smoker! FIRST build ever!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Alrighty everyone!!

I am from the good state of Texas! Here in Conroe BBQ is king!!
I am new to smf but have been reading off this website for five years. I have been smoking for a few years. I use to have a centerfire smoker which was good for some meats but was not a good traditional slow meat smoker!! This is why I sold my smoker and will embark on a build. I have spent years looking at all of yalls builds and always wanted to build my own smoker. The only issue is I have never done any type of fabrication nor do I have tools. This will not stop me!!!

I don't have any measurements yet but will post soon. I will need help with plans and calculated measurements. I am a complete new to this type of stuff. So I will take any type of advice or feedback.

I bought this thing for 100 bucks with delivery. Is that a good price?

I bought a dewalt angle grinder to take the off the motor stand. Will be using it to cut out the door with a fibe cutting disc.

This is what I got so far.

Took me a couple of hours and a grinding disk to cut off the motor stand. Will need another disk to grind off and make it smooth. Can it eventually look like there wasn't any welds on the tank where it met with the motor stand?????

Any suggestions????

Looking to do a reverse offset smoker not mounted on a trailer for now.
post #2 of 21
Go with an indirect firebox with a thermostat and fan forced draft. You can buy a controller on eBay for about $40. I smoke for 20 hours sometimes and my Omer temp doesn't [IMG]change more than 1 or 2 degrees.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Definitely an offset/indirect smoker. Yes was thinking of buying a bbq guru to ease things. Never thought you could buy a controller. Can you explain your set up?

Nice out door kitchen!!!!!!
Build it yourself?
post #4 of 21
post #5 of 21
That's the controller I bought. It comes with directions and whatnot but you will need a 110v blower to feed the fire.
post #6 of 21
It comes with a thermometer probe that goes in your smoker . You can set what temperature you want to maintain and how close it can very or drop front that temperature. When your smoker cools down to your limit it has a 110v switch that turns on a blower to force air into your fire box until your temp is back up to where you set it. If it gets to hot an alarm sounds an I also wired in a second fan to blow cool air into the smoker to cool it down but it has never actually turned on as of yet. Works great though. The only thing I don't care for is that it only comes in celcius so you have to convert everything.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Can you show what type of fan you use and how it's attached?
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
I will be measuring tomorrow hopefully. Would like to start cutting soon. At least my door or my smoke inlet.

I want to build it as a reverse smoker.....

Does anyone recommend 1/4 of circumference for the door cut out?
12 and 3 for the door cut out position?
post #9 of 21

I would use a small squirrel cage blower like this and mount it far enough away from your fire box that it won't melt the wires and use about 2" pipe to run to the fire box from the fan.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Using Feldon's BBQ Pit/Smoker Build Calculator. Looks like everyone uses it. My question can I have an oversized fire box?
120 gallon tank.
Cooker Chamber Size 27720 cubic in.
Recommended Firebox Size 9240 cubic in.

I want to build a 24x24x24 at Specified
Firebox Size 13824 cubic in. That is a Size Differential 149%..

I know it says a larger is ok but is this too big?
I plan to have a fire grate 5 or 6 inch off the bottom of fire box.
Any help???

Does it matter if it's a reverse smoker?
Edited by ConroeSmoke - 8/17/14 at 4:38pm
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Not sure if I have to subtract the 6inch from the math.

That space is used for a ash pan and to have a vet under the fire grate to give the fire air.
If I do subtract that it would be Specified
Firebox Size 10368 differential of 112%
Edited by ConroeSmoke - 8/17/14 at 4:21pm
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Also anyone used the cheap harbor freight $150 welder?????
Need it just to weld this no other projects.
I may have to multi pass on the firebox.

Basic welder need to learn how to weld!
post #13 of 21
Get one that has co2 and it should be ok. Use flux core wore too.
post #14 of 21
Flux core wire.*
post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 

Just bought a 8x4 1/4 inch sheet(I guess I was expecting a 2x2 to be that heavy... This box is going to be a beast).  The whole sheet cost me around $189. Had them cut it six pieces 2x2 for my firebox, $7.50 a cut. I have a 4x2 piece left, probably will be using that for part of the reverse flow plate. Has anyone placed two exhaust pipes on each end of a smoker. I would like to figure out how to have a removable reverse-flow plate. If i want to reverse flow i can if I smoking chicken or other higher temp meats I would remove it. I could also remove it and place charcoal and use the smoke chamber as a grill. I once saw a guy build a charcoal pan, you can place inside a smoke chamber under a food crate but don't remember where it was. anyone got any ideas????

does anyone recommend the grill use???


I need as much suggestions and feedback....:45:



I played with the calculator a little and plan to place my fire grate four inches above the bottom. I will have some type of removable ash tray pan, maybe the bottom 2 inches will be the pan and the next two will be empty space for air and so that nothing blocks air intakes.I will have to cut out the air intakes right above the ash tray and no to high above the fire grate. I do realized I will need a air intake directly across of the fire box/smoke chamber opening for better air flow into the smoke chamber....


I need to buy all the supplies before I start.... so far I need to get the an exhaust Large diameter pipe. Flange straps to seal the door. MEDIUM Pipe or square tubing for the stand. SMALL Angle Iron/square tubing for some of the stand shelves, and food grate. Expanded metal for the shelves, I would like Stainless steel for the food grate. I figure they would be cleaner less maintenance and less of change for them to rust up like everything does here in good old humid Texas. any suggestion on sizes/thickness for some of this metal



hinges!!  Was thinking of buying some at a box store or ebay. I don't have the tools to fabricate them, so need to purchase them . I am not too sure about bullet hinges....


Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, z1.1.0. ||B1


Processed By eBay with ImageMagick, z1.1.0. ||B2

above are the ebay ones. 

bottom are box store

post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Stick welded!
24x24x24. Need to smooth it out a little and cut out door, hardware....
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 

6inch pipe for exhaust
post #18 of 21

6" will look good.   Any more pictures 


Gary S

post #19 of 21

Welcome to SMF, great group of guys here will surely help you build a great cooker.

I spent a long summer working in "The Big Thicket" many years ago. Enjoyed some of the best TexMex food ....ever.

As far as the feldons calc goes it has a few drawbacks. There are a few threads you can search for, look them up. Feldons gives a good starting point and its been tweaked further here.

Larger firebox is good and recommended. Those HF welders are okay but you'll have to be patient and let it cool more often. I'd recommend something 220volt if you can swing it. Check Craig's for something used. Got mine for $300 and that was 10 years ago....still going strong.

post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 

Gary, I will have more pictures as I start more in depth. Collecting the rest of the material. 


Radio guy..... Sure do like the big thicket.... That is a little over an hour from here... The box was done with a stick welder but I am looking to buy me a Lincoln from home depot. Idk if to trust Craigslist for a welder... 

The fire box is about 45% bigger than the recommend size, but i plan to build a ash tray which will take some square inches off it. If i subtract the space under the fire crate it will be at around 120%


Now I just have to find some Stainless steel expanded sheet metal for my food grate. 



Thinking about making a top door on my firebox to burn off some of the wood when i refuel and also using it as a grill some times, I don't think i would ever put charcoal on my cooking chamber although I am growing interest on charcoal trays that can be placed in the cooking chamber. 

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