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My 60 Gallon Attempt at a RF

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hello all, been lurking for a while and thought it was time to post something.  I've built a few smokers in the past most recently my go to has been a UDS that puts out some pretty good Q but just doesn't have the capacity I want.


That brought me to searching for a tank to complete a RF smoker build on.  I bought a large ethanol tank that I will be building into a trailer and the day after that I was given a 60 gallon air compressor tank for free so I thought I might as well build that one first and then scale it up for the trailer.


I'll be plugging all the numbers into the calculator and basing the build off of that but here's what I did yesterday.


Mounts cleaned off the tank




Cut the top of the opening and made some hinges for it, they're a welded bullet style I placed .035 about the tank height for swing clearance.  Just welded some round stock into a piece of tubing and sleeved the other side.




Then cut the rest of the door and made a stop to keep it from swinging too far back.




It allows the door to open just past 90




The door handle is just temporary so I'm not fiddling my digits in to open it every few minutes.




This one I am thinking will be built with 1/4 plate for the FB and RF plate, and will just put it on 3 casters since it will mostly live on the patio.  The weld and fab quality on this one isn't as nice as I will be doing on the big unit but it should get the job done.


Here's a picture of the big tank.




Supposedly 225 gallons, 66inches long once the stands are cut off and 34in in diameter.  Base plates are 3/8 and the body is closer to 1/2.  Just ordered the axle components I need to build that one but I'm thinking the FB will end up being either 1/4 insulated or just all built from 3/8 or 1/2 plate.

post #2 of 13



Welcome to SMF!!  Drop by the Roll call forum and introduce yourself.  This is a great place to find out all you need about smoking meats and BBQ.


I started a 60 gal build a while back.  I have not finished it, its in the tweaking stage before finishing the RF plate welding.  I made a major mistake with my air intake size and placement.  That was a major set back. 


Take a look about at various build threads for ideas.  Ask questions, many answers and opinions here.  The bullet hinges you are using may require modification if you are planning on installing a seal around the door.  Usually a metal flat bar 1 to 1 1/2 wide around door perimeter.

Those style hinges lay too flat and don't provide enough clearance when the door is open. (height).


Good luck!



post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ended up working both days this weekend so wasn't able to accomplish too much on the smoker.  I did get my door seals in though.  Just band metal welded to the inside radius.



Biggest gap I have is a 16th of an inch with just the weight of the door and no latches.  I'll end up doing some more finishing work before I call them done but for now they're a good start.  



I've got two cam style pull type latches that I will install on the bottom edge of the door on either side which should keep everything nice and tight.  I know it's probably a non issue, but I am just not overly fond of using synthetic seals such as glass rope or other like compounds in the cook chamber so I'll get these tolerances as close as I can so that closing the latches springs the door into the seals a little bit.


Might make some more progress this week, I'm just not sure, I need to grab some 1/4 plate for the firebox, and I may just end up using 1/2in plate for the baffle since that's what I already have on hand.


Ran all the calc's from Dave's page and came up with the following.


CC volume 13,860 cubic in

FB/CC opening 55.44 sq in

Area under RF 55.44 sq in

Area at end of RF 55.44 sq in

FB Volume 4,573 cubic in

FB Dimensions 17x17x17 which makes it slightly oversized at 4,913 cubic in or 7% oversized

FB Inlets will be 14 sq in

Exhaust stack will be a 43in 3in ID, 24in 4in ID, or 32in 3.5ID round


This sizes my FB to make for the exact width of my cutout which will be 17in x 4.75 in

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Did a little more today, just some door fitment and mounting the latches.



This is the style latch I was referring to earlier



And of course I got side-tracked this week when I picked up a 48x30 blast cabinet.  Needed wiring/lights/some plumbing and what not but it will be nice to have once it's up and running in a week or so.



As you can see in the first picture, the hubs/springs/and mounts came for the running gear on the big smoker, so in a week or two once this one is completed I'll get moving on that.


Steel supplier should be delivering a sheet of 1/4 and some tubing to finish the 60 off tomorrow or friday so hopefully this weekend I can put in some real work.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Made a bit more progress today.  Got my sheet of 1/4 delivered and enough expanded to do the cooking racks.  I cut the firebox out by hand with the plasma but next time around I'll be having them pre-cut on the table for speed of assembly!  Then I dropped a side on my shin and had to do some super glue repairs so that killed my motivation.


Here's the box roughed in, door isn't cut out yet either.



Was playing around with some different welder settings but they'll get hit with the flap wheel and painted anyways.



More to come tomorrow hopefully

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Ok, I got a good couple of hours to put towards the build today.  It resulted in finish welding the firebox.



So much grinder slag....that's why we wear respirators


My buddy came by to help and we're in the process of teaching him to MIG so he took on the task of filling some of the old holes



I cut out the firebox opening to spec but haven't started on the RF plate yet




I made some simple running gear as well, just three casters to make it more convenient to move around the patio




Up next is internals for the cook chamber as well as cutting out the firebox door and all of the associated work for that.  Then a smokestack should finish it off, followed by cleaning, painting, and some seasoning!

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Did a bit more today.


Got my RF plate welded in, it's 1/4in plate.  Also put in a 1in drain with a ball valve underneath.



I made some angle iron rack mounts as well.  Ended up coming out to be a 38x19 cooking rack.  I can always add additional storage to either end for more food but for now this is plenty large enough.



The grate is captured on the top rail so that it can be pulled out for cleaning/loading food.



I used a heavy expanded mesh and it doesn't seem to need a center support.  I've got a few little things to do in the cook chamber still such as welding the bottom of the drain tube to the outside of the cook chamber and cutting in/ fabricating the stack as well as plugging the remainder of the holes on either end.


Then it's on to the firebox door which will have three 2in holes on the lower section and three 1.5in holes on the top which puts me at just a touch over the amount of air the calculator said I should need.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Had an hour this morning to putz around in the shop so I made the smokestack and cut out the firebox door.


Just rough cut it by hand but will smooth it all out and run external seals on it with a wide swing hinge.



Smokestack is 42 in overall length with a 45 degree mitre cut on the bottom end right around grate height.  I would have preferred a shorter fatter stack but this is what I had on hand.


post #9 of 13

Enjoying watching the build.  

Very talented!



Points for the very detailed coverage and pics.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the kind words, I apologize for not making any progress lately but work has kept me beyond busy as well as traveling around a good bit.  I'll post more updates within a week if all goes well!

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Only worked on it for a few minutes between projects today, but I built the exhaust vent cover/baffle.


1/4 plate, and some rod/tube.




Remaining fabrication is the firebox door and the charcoal basket

post #12 of 13


post #13 of 13
Looks great !
Quick question, is your baffle plate adjustable at the end?
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