Great looking smoker love the grates, was thinking of using rod and stainless but will probably stick with expanded metal.
I was able to pick up the 3/8" rod for $17.00 for a 20 ft stick so i bought 2 and the 3/4"x1/16" sq tube ran me around $40.00 for 24ft.
Got the RF plate welded in today and the CC handle made. Since I'm a helicopter guy I'm going to make two rotor blades to put on the end of the handle. Put a latch on the firebox door but not liking it it doesn't have a positive lock to it so going to do some searching for something else or make a latch. All the welding on the RF plate tweaked to tank and my CC door needs some work now. will go to harbor freight tomorrow for some 3/4'' bar clamps. got some 3'' SS springs handles coming from KCK should have them this week. Didn't get to build a fire today but thats ok still on target for the end of the month to be done. Still have to pick up a ball valve for the RF plate drain.
Here is some pics of todays progress
I was trying to stitch weld it and move from side to side just didn't let it cool enough. I was able to put the port a power in it and I got the bottom of the CC opening straight just got to pull the door some I had a little spring in it before but the latches pulled it right in with no problem. Its a little set back but won't be a problem to fix just need to get the bar clamps to do it.
More progress got the upper intake drilled I put two 1 5/8th holes. got the handles on the lower intakes just welded a 3/8th nut to the slide a used a 3'' SS bolt and a 3'' SS spring handle wanted them to be removable. I also took two wing nuts and some 3/8th all thread and made some little tabs to secure the ash pan. Also got the drain welded in I got a 1 1/4'' ball valve.
Even Aliens want some Q
Made new CC door stops just used some 1/2" sq. bar its not the best but ir looks better than the 2" sq. tube i had. Also got the spring handle on the upper intake vent. New firebox latch from bbq smoker mods should be here Saturday. I am finally going to take my cooking grate to work tomorrow to Tig them. So if the Moon and stars allign for me we will be making fire to do the test run. Sure do hope this smoker works. The only thing I could have done different is made the CC to FB opening bigger. its 66sqin.
Did my first test run just now started at noon till 2 and I could not be happier. I did one chimmney of kingsford got it to white ash dumped it in the charcoal basket put it in the firebox 15 minutes later temp was up in the CC add some splits ok oak got smoke real fast closed the intakes down to a little less than half opened up the upper intake about 5 minutes after light smoke and help 225-230 on the left side and 240-245 on the right side ran it one hour added another split and light smoke and temp help. It was great to see it work so well. Still have to weld my grates up but I wil get that done this week. I'm going to try some ribs saturday. Then i'll take to get sandblasted and powdercoated or creakote. Oh I still have to build the work shelf I'll get that done this week.
Thanks everyone who have posted builds and everyone else that have no problem giving advise and sharing their knowledge you all age great. Thanks again. now some pics.
At two hours holding steady (this is the left side)
Holding a nice steady burn
The firebox side at two hours.
Thanks Gary and Dave
I was really scared I was going to have problems all the calculations came off Feldon's spreadsheet and after I was about 3/4 thru the build I ran accross I beleive it was yours Dave and my FB to CC opening was around 8 to 10 sqin's to small I have a 66 sq in opening and I used a 4 1/2" ID sq tube smoke stack. Thought it was going to be chocked from that. Everything worked out great now Im ready to try a cook on it now.
Did my first cook last week some St.Louis style ribs. Here are before and after picctures. Had them on for 5 hours pecan, apple, cherry wood mix used a water pan and sprayed down every hours with apple juice. They fell off the bone may have put the rub on to heavy. the rub is from meathead his Memphis dust nest time I am not going to use the water pan but for my first cook the smoker held temp great so I was happy. I'm doing a brisket right now its one from sal mart I got on sale for 22 buck figured this will be good to practice on.
Here is the brisket central Texas style salt and black peper. Ate at Aaron Franklins when I was at Fort Hood visiting my kids and loved it. So Im going to try it. Not his quality of brisket but i figure this will be good to practice on. Bottom picture is after 5 hours I'm using live oak we have tons of it here in Melbourne, FL.
Here it is the finished. It came out pretty good. I know what everyone is talking about with the stall it hit 170 and took almost another hour before it started climbing again pulled it at 195 wrapped it up and let it sit for about 45 minutes coulded wait any longer. I'm happy with it will have no problem taking some in to work tomorrow and let the guys try.