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RF Trailer Build Starting, it's getting close.

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
I finally got everything collected to start on my build of my trailer rig. Going to go reverse flow on this.

Just getting started but the build should move along now.

Here is the trailer I bought of CL. It is a 3.5' x 10'

I picked up this big charcoal grill of CL that I will use as my fire box. I will be cutting the lid in half length wise and welding the rest shut. this is mainly so I can weld it on the tank and still be able to open the lid.

Went and picked up this fuel tank this morning. Got it for free from a buddy. Its 36" in diameter by 66" long. The stand it came on will come in handy for parts. I was in the tractor bucket when I took the pic.

The trailer got cut up the other night. I didn't want the wood deck and the side rails were flimsy so they will get replaced later.

I took the tank cradles off the stand and welded them on the trailer. This worked out perfect as it pretty much put the tank right at the height I wanted it.

Tank is sitting in place but not welded down. That won't happen for a while.

With the tank in its home location I started to fit in the fire box to see how its all going to lay out.

That is where it sits now. I am going to start getting the firebox cut up and mounted on the tank then will be cutting the lid on the tank. Once the tank and firebox get mounted, I will get the whole rig sand blasted and finish up all the goodies I plan on adding to it.

post #2 of 47
off to a great start, keep us updated
post #3 of 47
That's lookin' awesome!

Keep the pics comin'!
post #4 of 47
That thing is a monster for that little tiny trailer axle no?

Looking forward to more progress pics. biggrin.gif
post #5 of 47


In my old hotrod days we "boxed" the frames of Model A's to beef them up.
post #6 of 47
Thread Starter 
That tank isnt very heavy. I was able to easily flip it off one trailer and onto this one by hand.
post #7 of 47
Thread Starter 
The frame is already boxed in, its tube frame.
post #8 of 47
Awesome start,

I have the same tank in my back yard right now. I got it to make a rotisserie but things haven't evolved with it yet. The more I look the more I like the drums and the stump clones. I'm thinkin my big tank needs a new home.

Thanks for the pics, can't wait to see it progress.
post #9 of 47
I own one of those grills your planning on using for a fire box. While I think it looks good for the application, I think the metal thickness is very thin for the size smoker your building. If it were me I would at least weld some metal plate to the inside to beef up the thickness. The thicker the metal the more stable the temps will be. Not to mention the longevity of it. I am welding on a small firebox to my grill to make a cold smoker since it doesnt retain heat well.
post #10 of 47
Thread Starter 
I know, a lot of this project is going to be too thin, but it's my first build like this and it is on a extreme budget. For the heat loss issue, I will be adding LP to the firebox. I don't plan on this being a propane cooker, but I want it there for start up and the just in case I need it part.
post #11 of 47
Matt, I love budget builds. I'm going to look forward to tracking this one. I'm sure you will do an excellent job! On the fire box, if it seals, the heat will draw into the smoker. You will just have to add heat more offen I'm thinking. Good start.
post #12 of 47

Hey matt, I know you are into your build a little bit already, but i wanted to let you know i found a 500 gallon propane tank down here near springfield, They are asking 200 for it but the way they have written about it, it sounds like you might be able to go lower if you wanted it. My buddy and i would like to buy it but that is too big for the trailer we bought a couple weeks ago, So we are still working on finding a 250. Anyway if you are the slightest bit interested i could go take a look at it for you before you to decide if you want to make a trip down here or not. Just let me know.

post #13 of 47
Thread Starter 

Trips, thanks, but thats a little big right now. 


I am going to pick up a load of steel tomorrow and should be making some more progress on this thing this weekend.  I am getting excited.  Well I was until I found out how much all the steel is going to be.  OUCH.

post #14 of 47

Not a problem. Lookin good so far. Can't wait to see more pics. Hopefully will be starting mine soon.

post #15 of 47
Thread Starter 

Went and picked up all my steel this morning and got some more work done.  

Got the lid cut and the racks build and mounted.  Hopefully tommorrow will be mounting the firebox and the reverse flow plate.



post #16 of 47
Thread Starter 

Got a question for everyone.  I am wanting to split the lid so I can open one half before the other.  On a reverse flow design, what side would be best to open first.  Mainly for when I am cooking a small load, I don't have to open the whole lid.  The exhaust side or the plate opening side?

post #17 of 47

My suggestion would be to take the door you have cut out. I assume that it is one piece right now.


Mark it up and cut 1" out of the center, it actually does not have to be from the center, you could cut one inch off the end then cut the door down the middle.


What you will end up with is two doors mounted as far to each end as possible. With about a one inch gap in the center.


If it was me, and since the door is cut out already I would get both doors layed out flat and level and also a 2" wide piece of strap bent to the same radius as the other two doors. Then weld up my flange on all sides except the center.


This 2" will have its own hinge and it will over lap the two doors looking like a flange. It also has to have its own hinge.


No matter which door opens first the center flange will lift with that door, After both doors are up it does not matter which door closes first.


I think it was at Lowes that I saw a little offset that was set up like this.


My offset is set where you have to open the right door for the left to open and thats a pain. We live and learn as we go.


Good Luck.

post #18 of 47
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the idea Tom.  The only issue I have with that is that the metal on this tank isn't very thick.  I am having to weld on angle to the inside of the cutout to keep everything straight.  I am thinking that 2-3" strip is going to be a issue in the future.  If I had something thicker like a LP tank, then I would probably do that.

post #19 of 47

the build looks great!  You should be able to get a lot of meat on that thing.  As for your door question, I don't think it will matter much which door will need to open first?  Of course I could be wrong.  But, the good thing about working w/ metal is if it doesn't work or you don't like it you can cut it out and do it over pretty easy.  I am currently doing a build and I find myself over thinking stuff all the time.  Have to set back drink a beer for minute and the answer usually presents itself.  Hope that helps a little?  Good luck and can't wait to see the finished product.

post #20 of 47
Thread Starter 

Was able to get back out in the shop and do some more building.  Goal for the night was putting together the firebox and getting it mounted.  Also wanted to start on the RF plate but a miscalculation on my part delayed that.  Back to the fab shop tomorrow to get an extension piece made as I measured my plates to narrow.


Anyway, I am using a big old charcoal grill as my firebox.  I cut about a third off the lid and welded the 2/3 size piece together with the bottom.  I did this so I would still be able to open the lid kinda like normal.  Got the hole scribed out on the tank and cut.  Then cut out the opening on the firebox and tacked it on.  Getting low on gas for the welder, so all the final welding will be done later after sandblast.



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