Just joined SMF and read your thread. Love it! I am starting a build now and the parts in here about getting grate temps similar never crossed my mind. I was happy to rotate meat.
You say your friend told you to split the bottom grates? Just for ease of pulling lots of meat on them out?
Also thought your door pusher was a good idea, ours will be a 36" diameter cook chamber with 3/8" wall. Its gunna suck lifting 3' over my head.
Hope your cooker brings lots of good times!!