Sorry folks, was busy last week, but we (wife and I) went this weekend and picked her up. It was good to "get away for the weekend..." (whatever that means...)
She turned out to be a NB Bandera and not bad for $0.01, but she hasn't been used in a few years; quite a bit of rust on the front legs under the firebox. The firebox lid hinges were rusted and wouldn't open it all the way and the top hinge on the smoker door was frozen. But with a few hours with WD-40 and Liquid Wrench, I got them working. I spent all day today taking her apart, knocking the rust off, applying a rust inhibitor and getting ready to paint her up (outside only, of course) and re-seasoning. HOLY CRAP, this thing is heavy!!! I'm going to have to weld some angle iron on the lower legs under the firebox that has severe rusting for support - will try to load some pics - nothing spectacular about this though...
Been reading other sites on the Bandera and I'm thinking of adding a baffle between the firebox and smoke chamber to direct the heat to the center of the smoke box, under the water pan - any thoughts from other Bandera owners? Does it really help?
Now the big point of contention - I'm seriously thinking of converting her to gas (I know it's sacramental... start the throwing of sticks and stones...) But convince me otherwise...
With my offset, it has been a pain in the *** to keep the temp for a long burn. But today, using my GOSM, I smoked a Butt, Brisket, Sirloin Tip, Country Style Ribs, Meatloaf, a Fatty and ABTs (this weeks eats) with no problem keeping the temp constant - which allowed me to work on refinishing the other smoker, without having to worry about the temp. Sooooo, I'm leaning more towards the gas conversion for the "easy way out" for the Bandera which has A LOT more room than the small GOSM or offset I currently have.
So, all for the "stick burners" (no offense intended, seriously), convince me not to convert her to gas. Not that I'm opposed to charcoal/lump/chips. I guess I just need more experience to learn the art - and I'm willing to learn. However, the gas sure makes things easier... Decisions, decisions...
I want to say my "claim to fame" is that I only paid $0.01 for her, but with the hotel room, gas and all the stops for "shopping" along the way for the wife, I roughly figured she cost me about $500.
Boy, I sure hope she makes some good Q!!!