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first rf build

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Hello all new guy here looking for advice on first rf smoker build. I'm starting with a 48" x20" air tank 3/16 wall. Just getting started and looking for advice on a few component and steps. I've cut out for the door but had some flex once cut I would imagine this is common but any ideas how to re shape it would be great. Second It seems there is a split between people wanting a square or round fire box I was thinking a square but if air flow will be a issue round wouldn't matter much. And third when you burn the tank pre fabrication how much deflection and warping is to be expected. Any and all advice will be appreciated. thanks
post #2 of 2
Welcome to the forum! I just did my first 120G propane tank RF build, took me 5 weeks to complete it.
Door cuts seem to be the most problematic issue for people, luckily, I did not run into this issue.
I cut my door in stages to prevent warp. I used a thin cut wheel on a grinder, cut the proposed sections
where the hinges went, then moved around the tank, only cutting about a minute per cut, moving to the
opposite end of the tank and back, until the cuts were complete. Same for my initial burn, I only had
very minimal warp on one corner, maybe 1/4" on one corner, I just heated it and pulled it back.

Once a whole door is warped, I have seen people use chains to hold the edges and use a bottle jack
or floor jack to put pressure in the arch of the bend and force the edges back into where it should be.
Do a search on "warp" and you should find some of the posts.

I went through the same dilemma of round vs box. I ended up building a square box out of 1/4 plate.
To me, the matching up of the 2 parts was easier, though some may say differently. If I was to go the
round FB path, I would have cut off the end and capped it with flat plate to make the mating easier. Same
for equipping the box with a door and a fire grate, seemed like an easier task to work with square components.

Good luck with your build!
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