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First time build need tips

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I bought this a week ago and I plan to make it into a reverse flow and leaving it flat as shown in the picture the dimensions are 43 3/4" wide 26 3/4" tall and 60" long. I having a little trouble locating the RF plate I got the square inches figured out but don't know how far off the bottom it should be and was also wondering what is a good dimension between the RF plate and cooking grate and any other tip you might would be greatly appreciated
post #2 of 13

Hello zsmeats, and welcome to the forums.


Start with this tutorial:



After you get some numbers, you may have to make some additional adjustments for the height of the RF plate to compensate for the width of your CC. Since the calculator is based on a round CC you may end up with a very short wide channel under your RF plate that may not flow well. As a result I expect you may need to raise the RF plate above what the calculator would suggest. Also, a wide firebox may not be the best best choice either. You are in uncharted territory here, so think about how the firebox works, and how you envision building a fire in it that will make it work.


The cooking grates should be between 3 to 6 inches above the RF plate.


I hope this helps.

post #3 of 13

I thought I remembered someone building a smoker from a tank like that and actually managed to find it. Check this build out, it should answer all your questions.



post #4 of 13
I believe that he wants to have the tank remain laying on its side
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well after tossing ideas around for a week I've decided to stand it up because I do want to trailer mount it
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well here's what I've gotten done so far I got the FB/CC opening cut and doors cut out and mounted I'm getting ready to build my firebox but have a couple more questions is 3/16" mild steel to thin for a firebox and what a good thickness for the RF plate

post #7 of 13

I dunno... I'd like 1/4" but if you are going to line the bottom with fire brick 3/16" would be fine I suppose.  It's a matter of corrosion and burn-through over time in the firebox.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well the cook chamber itself is only 1/8" thick so that will probly rot out before the fire box
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

I worked a few hours sat and a little bit Sunday and here's where' I'm at
got the firebox built, CC doors welded straightened and lower rack built (no pic yet)

I want to put a pipe for a RF plate drain on either the FB end or at the RF opening was wondering which way of tipping the RF plate would be better or if I should keep it at the height called for by the calculator and raise it at the FB box end or vise versa
post #10 of 13
Drain away from the firebox
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
So the RF plate is supposed to be mounted at the same height of the top of the CC opening correct?
post #12 of 13
I like to go a little higher. And not attach the reverse plate to top of firebox. Just to keep it from getting a hot spot
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
So last night I was working on getting the RF plate tacked in I don't wanna weld till I get some opinions

This is at the FB/CC opening the tape is held against the bot of the RF plate is this to high/low?

Same here tape is held against the bottom of the RF plate

This is the RF plate CC opening I don't have the drain on it yet thinking I may need to cut some off
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