14 gauge thick enough?

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by tango87, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. I have an 1/8th inch fire box built and wondering if 14 gauge steel is thick enough to build a smoke chamber out of
     
  2. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Why so thin?
     
  3. Price of the steel. I could probably go as thick as 12 gauge. Would there be a real difference in heat loss from the two? I tried making a 55 gallon drum smoker and it doesn't like to hold heat at all cause I thought I was getting an 18 but ended up with a 20 gauge barrel.
     
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Tango, morning.....  Heat retention, in the form of thermal mass, is the primary reason for using thicker material..... Corrosion from salts and burn through from heat are also something to think about.....  I would use at least 3/16" for the cooking chamber and line the fire box with 1" fire brick splits.....   The 1/8" fire box won't last very long with fire against it.... The fire brick will hold a more consistent heat..... and provide a lot of thermal mass and provide longevity to your build.....  There's $0.02 thrown into the ring.....   Dave
     
  5. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    I agree with Dave. Another option is insulating and then use thin sheetmetal for the outside covering.
     
  6. Thank you all for your help, unfortunately I already built the fb so that will have to do for now but I will defiantly pay the extra and go thicker for the smoke chamber
     
  7. 14g is only .075 thick. That is entirely too thin I would think. I don't think it would have the structural integrity to hold a lot of weight. (ie. Lots O meat) I wouldn't go less than an 1/8".
     
  8. Ok so I'm going with the 1/8 inch for the chamber. Should I do direct fb attachment to the bottom or drop it down 8-12 inches and run stove pipe insulated?
     
  9. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Directly attached.
     
    tango87 likes this.
  10. Ok sounds easier to manage. A few more questions for the build, should the fb top hole be round or square or doesn't matter and how big of a hole, the fb is 18 inch square. And how big of a gap should I have at the ends of the baffle plate, I was thinking 2 inches on both sides. And last how big of a exhaust pipe would be best 3 to 4 inch or bigger? The placement should be below the food grates in the center I believe.
     
  11. Any suggestions?
     
  12. Thank you all for the help, photos are on the way on what I have done so far
     
  13. I have a picture up on the work i've done so far. Now i have a solid baffle to cover the hole from the fb. how high off the hole should i go? I was thinking 2 inches. would that be to little or to much?
     

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