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Original First Smoker Build "Fat Boy"... take 2

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

So I started the post below pretty much 2 years ago (wow, time goes by fast with family and work) and somewhere around Summer 2013, after SLOWLY working on it about once a month for a few hours, got busy and put the build on hold with just the CC put together minus ends and most of the plate for RF and FB material cut...




I've still been lurking on the forums off and on and still smoking occasionally on a borrowed smoker (won a "people's choice" chili cookoff with my SMOKED BRISKET CHILI a couple weeks ago!) but my bro-in-law recently finished a smoker project and that got my fire going again. My smoker shell and cut pieces have been out in a corner of the steel yard this whole time just lonely waiting... until apparently about a month ago when they magically disappeared so now I have to start from scratch again.


I've made a few changes but still basically the same set of plans... just a few modifications and I decided to put it on a trailer for more maneuverability. Not quite the "small patio build" I originally envisioned... And this time I said screw it on slowly building it myself and taking forever since I don't have a lot of time (it IS hunting season you know and backstrap is mighty good smoked... AND kid #3 is due in early January so I'm running out of time!)... it's a slow week for the shop and I got a guy out there that does some real good work so I'm hoping this will get busted out this week!


Current pics to follow this afternoon...

post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 

So here's how she sits so far...




post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

Showing a little more progress today. Trailer is a little longer than I planned but we should figure out axle placement and smoker height tomorrow. Once we get to that point it'll just get down to the nitty gritty of things... doors, sliding racks, shelf, etc...Got the coupler and lights today and should have temp gauges and jack in tomorrow...




post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Ended up shortening the trailer a bit (was looking too much like a boat trailer) and changing a couple of things. I'm skipping a few steps but I didn't get pictures of the whole process along the way. All that's left now is racks, framing out vents, cutting upper vent in FB door, front shelf, fenders, lights, general clean up and paint... I think. I'm out of "shop time" so I'll be asking, aka bribing, some guys to help after hours to get her finished up. Some 30 packs and promises of smoked meat goes a long ways...




post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

Getting closer and closer... Vents added, racks made, fenders done... now just down to running the wiring for the lights (already got hollow pickets ran as conduit), installing temp gauges, and doing the front shelf which is basically from the fender to the smoker and towards the front a bit. And of course cleaning things up and paint (which I'm still trying to figure out how I want to do it).


Just found out earlier today that I won the AMNPS daily giveaway too!




post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 



Put some oak dunnage in there just to put some heat/smoke thru it and see how it would do. I was busy with work so I wasn't able to check on it as often as I wanted but I was mainly checking temps and seals. Hard to see it but there is some smoke coming out but this is after loading up the firebox half full and letting it go for several hours. I figured the 1/2" steel would take awhile to get up to temp but it actually didn't take that long at all. Even after the several hours with still some of the original wood still in there it was up near 350. By just playing with the vents I was able to crank it to 400 and then after more adjusting and in a matter of minutes I had it down to 275 and holding. Of course I'll take it lower so there's still a pile of playing and figuring out to do with the temps but that's the fun part. Now that's not saying I didn't have some issues...


My gauges show a 50 degree difference between left/right (FB side hot of course) :icon_neutral: and the doors don't seal that well. Now given I haven't double checked the gauges to verify they are correct but assuming they are that is just too much of a variance. But the good news is I had already accounted for adding in the buffer plate to the top of the FB with about a 3/4" gap and to extend into the opening about 8"... I just was hoping it'd be a little more even without that. The doors have a gap and that's partially due to the tread plate but I'm looking into some fire rope or doing RibWizzards silicone shrink wrap technique.


Overall I'm pretty darn happy... and actually I'm so stoked about it that I can barely contain myself! Just a few more tweaks and a paint job to finish it up. My one "meh" about the whole thing is the fenders, not crazy how they turned out but they're slowly growing on me and hey... fenders don't affect the smoked goods!


Now just gotta figure out what I'm going to smoke in it this week for the guys in the shop... :33:




post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Well the shop guys were hounding me and I've been dying to smoke something, even tho it's not painted yet, so I spent last night making around a 100 meatballs (about tennis ball size) since they don't take forever to smoke... and hey, who doesn't like smoked meatballs right?! I had some leftover cherry from a smoke a few weeks ago and I figured it'd work out pretty well. I didn't get a pile of pics because I was running back and forth trying to have fun figuring out the ins and out of the smoker while also still trying get work done (and let's just say I got a good workout today). Since putting in the baffle plate yesterday extending about 10" thru the opening, the temps are really evening out now and really loving the control I have with the FB vents. I left the smoker alone for about an hour and half with just whatever wood was still burning in it and it had only gone down maybe 10 degrees in temp!


This was actually just a bit ago trying to resist eating the few that are left, since I promised the boss I'd save him some...


Baffle plate worked perfectly to level the temps...


All that was left after fending guys off... wife would kill me if I didn't bring her some!


If I get the chance I may try and clean her up tomorrow and paint this weekend.

post #8 of 19

Looks great! I'm sure they guys in the shop will let you play in there again...Thumbs Up

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

Trailer's painted... now hope to have the smoker part done late this weekend! Traveling the next couple of days so I don't mind not having it completely done yet.


Everybody have a Happy (SMOKIN') Turkey Day!!


post #10 of 19
Very nice Chuck.... Glad it all worked out for you.... easy to control, makes great q, and makes friends happy.... What else is there...

post #11 of 19

Nice  Great Job



post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

A rainy day on a Friday during deer season means I finally had time to high temp paint my smoker. 5 cans of spray paint (it was free and what I had) and 2 coats later this is the result...



It's pretty much done now but I'm going to fill in and add some steel underneath the front tomorrow to add a little more tongue weight.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

Its home!!



post #14 of 19

Nice Rig,,   bring it on down !!



post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

Quick Q-view! First real smoke since it's been done and kind of a last minute thing but doing a couple pork shoulders. Temps have been steady but running a little on the hot side which I'm fine with for some butts. Gotta love that TBS tho!



post #16 of 19

Looking good   keep those pictures coming 



post #17 of 19
Looks good smoke brother!
post #18 of 19
I sure would like to talk to Daveomark about a new rf build.Calculations got me baffled.
post #19 of 19
Originally Posted by Doug Kiser View Post

I sure would like to talk to Daveomark about a new rf build.Calculations got me baffled.

Start a new thread in the Reverse Flow Build section..... Numbers for the tank size.... length, diameter, wall thickness, gallons ????, round end ... flat ends....

I'll find you...
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