Please review my work before I start cutting things up! I also have a few questions if you do not mind.
Currently I have a big green egg and a weber smoky mountain. I like the egg for grilling but I am not loving it for smoking (I know it can be a great smoker, but I prefer traditional). the WSM is great, but I want to try an offset and I like building things. Thought about buying one, but don't want to spend the money for the quality I want and I don't want to waste my money on a cheap unit. I only need enough space to cook for the occasional bbq and for family. The 33 gallon tank is about the same size as my weber smoky mountain so I figure it is the perfect size for my needs. Can you review my work before I start? Ive never built a smoker before!
33 gallon craftsman air compressor, will use for cc.
firebox - 1/8" steel. 15" x 13" x 13"
air intakes - 5" x 1.5" on bottom 4" x 1" on top
fire box to cooking chamber - 25 - 27" square inches of opening
1. is 1/8" steel going to be ok for the firebox? It seems pretty stout. I don't really have the tooling to work with 1/4" steel. My welder is a 140 miller. Obviously it might be better to bump up to 3/16 steel but I already have the 1/8 on hand so buying 3/16 adds another cost.
2. I thought about building the firebox a little bigger. Is it ok to go up to 120% on the calculator? maybe 16x14x14 instead of 15x13x13. Are there any advantages/disadvantages of going too big?
3. for the air intakes. I understand one on top of fire and one on bottom of fire is best . I assume it is OK to go too big on these as they will be closeable. Correct?
Ive actually never even smoked on an offset smoker so not only do I lack experience building them, I also lack experience cooking on them to know their nuances. I have smoked on the wsm as well as the bge though.