The first thing I did was put in the dryer tubing to keep the smoke near grate level
I teared it a little bit, if you can see there is a small tear near the original vent. Is this going to be a problem, if so, what do you recommend fixing it with?
The second thing I did was put in two baffles made of 22 gauge steel. I sat them on top of the double bottom that comes with the smoker and notched out two small areas on the right hand side so it can sit flush against the right side wall(although in the end I found that I didnt need to actually do that)
The next thing I did was to cut two pieces of expanded metal and overlapped them to go over the existing charcoal basket. This prevented any smaller pieces of charcoal to fall through the grates into the ashes.
After that I seasoned the smoker by putting all the cast iron grates inside (including the grates for the SFB). I sprayed the entire smoker, inside, outside, upside, downside, left side, right side etc with vegetable oil. I threw in a chimney of hot charcoal and a chimney of unlit charcoal and opened up the vents all the way. I continued to spray it with the oil every 15 mins or so, especially the places that were getting very hot such as the SFB. It ran at about 400* for 1.5 hours (it cooked VERY evenly after tweaking the placement of the baffles a little bit), then it started to cool down. Once I finished cooling it, I wiped it down and "polished" it with whatever oil that was still wet.
Thanks for looking, and if I've missed anything Id love to hear it.
BTW, I'd like to thank everyone for helping out (even if you dont know you did). I did a lot of reading on here to see what types of mods to do and how to do them as well as how to season it. I also want to commend any metal workers on here because it is VERY hard to cut metal straight, its truly an art.
Thanks again, Happy Smoking!