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The 'Scrap' build.

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I've been reading threads, crunching numbers, and I think I finally have it figured out. My goal is to build a durable and functional smoker entirely out of scrap, no store bought parts, no mail order etc. just whatever I can find in the scrap bins and scrap skids here at work.

Often times we will scrap entire sheets due to scratches or they aren't flat within tolerance. I scored a sheet of 11ga and proceeded to roll me a 24" I.D. By 48" long cook chamber.

I ran a ratchet strap around it and tacked it together. This is as far as I am right now, waiting on the laser to cut the end caps for me.

Time for the numbers game. I used the formulas here on the site.
CC volume: 21715
FB/CC opening: 86.86
Area under RF plate: 86.86
Area end of RF plate: 86.86
FB volume: 7165
ESV 369.155

Stack 4.00" OD x.120 wall round 33.560 long
RF plate 20.785 Wide by 43.5 long .312 stainless

FB/CC opening 6.00 x 20.785

I hope the numbers are right. Seems like the RF plate is quite a bit lower than where the cook grate will be as it will be 6" below it.

Fire box inside dimensions above the grate will be 21" wide by 18" deep and 24" high with 3-4" below the grates.

Speaking of grates I scored a bunch of this for inside the FB

I also scored some expanded stainless sheets for the cook surfaces. I will use a combo of this, .312 stainless rod, and stainless angle

I forgot to mention this is my first ever smoker build so any critiques will be greatly appreciated, I'm new to the smoke world but not new to fabrication.

post #2 of 32

Welcome Cracksmoker,


Good job! All I can see you will need to buy is a couple of thermometers and maybe some wheels. It is fine for the RF plate to be that height above the grate. Did you use Dave's tutorial to do your calculations? 

post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
Yes I used Daves calculator it took a bit but I got it haha. I forgot about thermometers I'll have to see what I can salvage, as far as wheels I have a few sets laying around as well as the rear axle out of an s10 but that might be too big. I'd like to trailer it but also be able to maneuver it around the patio.
post #4 of 32

Welcome cracksmoker!

Awesome to have access to those materials.

Looks like you are making the most of it.

post #5 of 32
Looks good, definitely excited to see how it comes out
post #6 of 32
Welcome to the site, Crackpot...er, Crackhead...er, I mean Cracksmoker. I'm sure you will like being here. There are lots of folks with tons of knowledge and are always eager to share. All you need to do is ask. Most folks really like to chime in on a build, and that many more just like to watch. I really think you've made a good start and you surely have your work cut out for you, trying to build with all scrap. I'm sure that the therms won't be the last item to face. Just for kicks, try to keep a log of everything that you spend. Will be a very interesting read after you're done. Good luck and good smoking. I'll be watching, Joe
post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 
The first thing I noticed about this place is how willing everyone is to share knowledge, nobody tries to be secretive, I've also been given a warm welcome despite my odd screen name and that's awesome, if you want you guys can call me Aaron.

I work for one of the largest metal fabrication shops in the PNW, our main gig is sheetmetal parts for Genie lifts but we also do a lot of work for telecommunications, medical, and the semiconductor industries. We move copius amounts of sheetmetal so finding scrap isn't much of a problem and I basically have the entire shop at my disposal, laser, punch, press brake, you name it. I'm a machinist so this build will get interesting when it comes time for the hinges and smaller parts as I'll be able to make some one off custom stuff. This build should go pretty swift, I want to get it done for prime BBQ season so the plan is weekly updates. Thank you all for the warm welcome.
post #8 of 32
Aaron, howdy.... Hey..... use your imagination when building all the fringe stuff.... That would be cool to see how all those tools are used...

post #9 of 32
Looking good Aaron. Looking forward to seeing your build come together.
post #10 of 32

It sounds like your dimensions are the exact same as the soker that I built a while back. My FB is 20"W, 24"L and 18"H. Let me suggest before it's too late that you make your turn end of the CC round instead of flat. Mine is flat and I havetemp issues at that being 75-100 degrees hotter. Sorry Dave and Len, I didn't get a chance to play with my RF plate to maybe increase the draft before the movers came to pack out my house. Now I won't see the smoker until sometime in July when they deliver my household to Florida.

post #11 of 32
A ribwizzard tunnel can always be added...

post #12 of 32
Welcome aboard!

Those heavy grates look like they are
galvanized. Not food safe! If you are going to use them in firebox be sure to soak them in muratic acid to remove the zinc. Then a few hot fires before any food.

post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
The grates are raw there's no zinc or any other finish just the mill scale because they're hot rolled steel. Thank you for the heads up though! I've been trying to brainstorm a way to smooth the transition on that end of the CC. I will probably do something like rib wizards setup but on the inside of the CC.
Thanks for the info guys!!
post #14 of 32
Thread Starter 
Got sidetracked by some family dealings now I'm getting back to the build. I welded the seam on the CC and finally got my end caps cut.

I think I've come up with a solution to the dead spot on the end of the CC opposite the FB. I took a 21" by 17" triangle and rolled it to fit the bottom of the CC. The idea is to smooth the transition from under the RF plate to the upper CC.

I know I'm losing CC volume, as well as volume under the RF plate just not sure how much. My question is do I need to make the opening at the end of the RF plate larger? Right now it's 21" x 4.5" the height at the end of the rolled plate from the CC floor is 6" which is the same height as the RF plate.
post #15 of 32
I don't think you need to increase the opening at the end of the RF plate, as long as your curved piece ends flush against your end cap. You are only reducing the gap by the thickness of the curved piece material. The loss of volume in the corner does not matter.
It is a good solution, I like it.
post #16 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks SmokeJumper! I left the RF plate alone just waiting for an opening on the press brake so I can put a cross brake on it. That way fat and juices will drain to the center and out the drain tube
post #17 of 32

Looking forward to your build CS.... FYI, there's no such thing as a piece of scrap metal....lol .....Nice looking floor grating. I need some for my pot burner



post #18 of 32
Thread Starter 
Got the RF plate done! Put a nice cross brake in it and a 1" lip at the end. Tomorrow I'll put the drain hole in it then start in on getting the CC mocked up and hopefully welded up and the door cut.
post #19 of 32
Thread Starter 
Quick test fit. Me likey lol

post #20 of 32
Hey Aaron, nice job on the RF plate.
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