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My first smoker build!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey all, I'm new here, and am working on my first smoker. I'm only 24 and I've never smoked before, but have been dying to do it. I'm getting close to finishing my smoker.

I started with a 250 gallon fuel tank. Filled it with water and cut it. The inside was pretty sludged up so I had it sandblasted and it got rid of all the smell inside the barrel. I built a trailer frame for it, made the doors, stack, etc.

I used 1/4" plate for the firebox, it's 20x20x24, the hole into the cooking chamber is 12x6, and the barrel itself is 72x32. The door for the firebox came from an old wood stove I had laying around.

Here are a couple pics from the other day. Since these pictures I have notched the trailer frame in the rear and set the fire box in, mounted the barrel, and connected barrel to firebox. Let me know what you think.
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post #2 of 16
Nice. I bet you can't wait to fire that baby up.
post #3 of 16
looking good
post #4 of 16

looking good

Holy Cow! What are you going to do for your second project,a space shuttle??? Great job. Can't wait to see her smokin. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #5 of 16
First off Welcome kouki to SMF. You have a fine looking smoker there that your building now we would like to know somemore things about you so if you would stop into Roll Call and introduce yourself and we can give you the welcome we like to give new members.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
I just made a post on roll call. I will post a couple more pics tonight of how it looks as of now.

I can't wait to fire it up, every time I work on it my mouth waters, I'm dying to do my own ribs, pulled pork, and brisket!

I do have a couple questions, in the fire box, should I place a tray/basket inside for the charcoal/wood or just set it on the bottom? If I should make a tray, how high from the bottom should it be? Also what does everyone use for paint? Would I be fine to paint the whole rig with something like the rustoleum bbq paint, or is there something better?

Thanks for the comments, I look forward to learning alot from this site.
post #7 of 16
kouki-Nice build.

You should have a grate of some type to keep your wood/charcoal off of the bottom of the firebox. In looking at your firebox pic, I don't see any air intake vents on the sides. I don't think that the single vent on the front will be enough. The bottom of your grate should be just above the vents. Vents are needed as that is how you control your chamber temps. Open the vents up to get it hotter, close them down to lower the temps.


Rustoleum bbq paint will work as it is rated for high heat, but plan on the paint blistering off at some point. If you can afford it, a high temp ceramic coat or powder coating look great plus you can have it painted in any color you want besides bbq black.
post #8 of 16
Welcome nice build . I hope it last till your my age...PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #9 of 16
Sweet looking rig you got there.
I just had mine painted with the Rustoleum high heat paint and it works great. Yes it will come off around the firebox but you can just paint it back on.

Keep us posted.
post #10 of 16
Looking good, you are off to a great start. Can't wait to see the finished product.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I think I'm going to try it with the single vent for now and see how it does.

I made some more progress today. I made a grate for the firebox, added a shelf on the front, built a damper for the stack, and started on the inside grates, until I ran out of wire for the welder. So I had to stop for the day. Here are a few pics from today. Let me know what you think so far.
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post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Finished it up yesterday. Made the door handles, finished up the racks, and painted it.

I fired it up for the first time a few hours ago, it's still smoking now. I sprayed the inside down good with cooking oil, put a small pile of charcoal in the firebox and lit it. I threw in a few chunks of hickory once the charcoal was going to try and get a good coating inside to season it. I plan on at least 2 more burns before I actually cook on it.

I'm not sure what the inside temp was because my thermometers haven't arrived yet. Should be here tomorrow. I can place my bare hand on the outside of the door for about 15-20 seconds before I have to pull away. I also think I'm going to raise my firebox grate about 2 inches to get some more air under the fire. If I close my chimney dampner about halfway or more I do notice some leakage around the doors. How much is too much? What is the best way to seal this up? Here are a couple pics. Let me know what you think.
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post #13 of 16
nice job!!!!!!!!!!
post #14 of 16
That's a nice looking rig. I'm going to be building one real similar to yours. I have 250 gallon fuel tank as well.

Do you know about what thickness the metal is on the tank?

Your trailer looks awesome can you give me a ballpark on cost and a material list for it. I appreciate any help. By the way welcome to the SMF lots of great people here.
post #15 of 16
Man is that sweet, what a great job
post #16 of 16

New to the whole concept of smoking. And have several ideas myself on my first project. So I have been doing some research on the subject.

 

My Q is this? On a larger scale smoker , do you use a baffle from the hot box to the smoking chamber?

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