here's the pix you requested in your PM. I don't have the best camera, but hopefully they will answer your questions, if not-let me know- i'll get some more of whatever you need.
Here's the box- I can fit about ten or twelve 6-7 lb butts on at a time (but it's full!). By taking out the small grate on the left, the large grate will slide to the left and line up with the door opening, then it comes out. The frames of the grates were made from 1/2 in angle (Lowe's) and non-galvanized expanded steel. By dropping the door a few inches, i might have had room to put two levels of grates in, but this was my first build and i didn know exactly what i was doing-- so i thought i better play it safe and go with one level. It actually turned out pretty well like i planned and it cooks great. Who knows, maybe next summer i might try and build one a lil bigger, but for now, this one does all i need. I gotta tell ya though, building it was a blast. My buddy and i spent many an afternoon (and quite a few beers) getting it done, but it was a lot of fun. I wouldn't be nearly as hesitant to start another one as i was this one. One other thing that has really helped was the 6 foot-long dryer extension pipe (not shown in these pix) i put on the stack. Got it at lowes for just a few bucks but it really does help get the smoke up and away. I dont smell like a hickory stick when i come in the house now, and it really helps keep the smoke out of your eyes when sitting around with a cold one minding the flame
This is where the fire tube comes in. I left the heat plate off so you can see the hole. it's 6 x 6, 1/4 inch steel tubing.
Here it is with the heat plate on. I didnt weld mine in place, so i could remove it and clean it out occasionally. I made sure the angle iron was in the right place so when the plate sits on it, it's flush all around. Then i made a stiff cardboard template of the end of the tank curvature, marked the plate using the template, then took my angle grinder and rounded the end of the plate so it would fit good to the end of the tank
The open end of the heat plate
When it gets warmed up good, around 200-250, according to the temps on the guages, the end to end temps are dead-on. These are cheap guages i got at Wally world they may be off a degree or two, but I cook to internal temps anyways-so they are close enough.
i hope these pix help!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you need pix of anything else, just let me know,