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1st Build - Reverse flow - 48"

dacolson

Newbie
22
29
Joined Mar 20, 2020
I thought I was the first guy to buy a welder on a whim and start building fire pits. Hahaha. I'm graduating to building a smoker and decided on a reverse flow. I took a lot of cues from Allen's Welding on YouTube. Lots of great ideas. Got measurements from http://www.feldoncentral.com/bbqcalculator.html. I've been collecting scrap steel for a year now and had the base material for a 48" cook chamber. Overall measurements are 48" x 24" cook chamber with a 24"x18"x18" fire box. I'll be building it on legs/wheels with rack space below for wood/etc. I didn't get a lot of pics from each step but here are a few in the process.

Welded up the cook chamber. 8 x 48"x10" pieces. All welded at 45º: IMG_0515.jpeg
Cleaned up the welds:
IMG_0517 2.jpeg
Attached the fire box and welded up the ends of the CC. Leaving the ends of the FB open until I get the opening into the CC cut out.
IMG_0582.jpeg
Legs welded up. Going to add cross bars close to the bottom and attach wheels. I'm thinking I'll get the grate height to about 38"
IMG_0594.jpeg
Door cut in the CC. I used a plasma torch to cut the top and bottom cuts all the way across. I left the side cuts partially attached so I could put the top flange on and attach the hinges without fighting the weight of the door. I'll add the other 3 flanges and gaskets next.
IMG_0595.jpeg
Making wagon wheels out of 3" sections of 10" steel pipe. Gotta clean these up and get the paint off but I'm liking the look. I built 4 but I may only use 2 and put locking swivel casters up front. Unless anyone has an idea how to make these turn?
IMG_0559.jpeg

Next up is cutting the hole between the CC and the FB. Then the RF plate and racks. I'd love feedback/thoughts. Having a ton of fun and made a lot of progress in my first week of corona virus seclusion! I'll keep the updates coming. Feel free to make fun of my welds, messy garage, etc.
 
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radioguy

Smoking Fanatic
710
112
Joined Jan 12, 2013
Thats a nice size . Looking pretty good so far. I watch Allen on YouTube, he is great with a cutting torch. Dave Omak has a build thread for RF smokers. He has tweaked Feldons. He should be around and comment.


Good luck
RG
 

smokin peachey

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
1,064
1,686
Joined Aug 1, 2016
Looks good keep the pics coming we like pictures.
 

dacolson

Newbie
22
29
Joined Mar 20, 2020
Got to do some more work on it today. Finished the cook chamber door and door stops. Cut out the opening between the CC and FB. Hoping to put in the reverse flow plate, close up the sides and cut out the door to the firebox tomorrow. Starting to look like a smoker.

Question: I've seen some builds with a steel plate angled down above the firebox opening into the cook chamber. Any reason to do that in a reverse flow? Not sure I see the logic since it's below the RF plate already. I assume it's supposed to create some sort of vortex of heat/smoke as it goes into the cook chamber??

Here are the pics of today's progress:
Finished door flanges and stops:
IMG_0603.jpeg
See if you can tell what I did wrong in this pic. Should be an easy fix I hope. Damn it ...
IMG_0604.jpeg
Cut out the hole into the cook chamber from the fire box:
IMG_0602.jpeg
Onward ...
 
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dacolson

Newbie
22
29
Joined Mar 20, 2020
A little progress today and put the RF plate in. At 3/8", I 'bout slipped a disk. It was too heavy to maneuver around and get level and flush to the ends so I cut it into 3rds and welded it all back together in place. Need to grind the connecting welds flush so drippings won't collect at the seams. Got a start w/ the grinder but I'm too beat to finish. Need to drill a hole for the drain at the end. Still haven't finished the FB.

IMG_0614.jpeg
 
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dacolson

Newbie
22
29
Joined Mar 20, 2020
Firebox closed and first cuts made in the door. Gonna let it cool. Then I'll add the flange to the hinge side on the right and weld on the hinges before I finish cutting it out.

IMG_0617.jpeg
Finished the hinges and door:
IMG_0619.jpeg IMG_0620.jpeg
Vents, handles and the stack are next.
 
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dacolson

Newbie
22
29
Joined Mar 20, 2020
Added the vents to the FB. Need to add a locking handle for the door and a handle for the sliding vent. I’ll add a gasket to the FB and the CC door. Just need the stack, grates and wheels! Maybe finished this weekend?

Outside view of the vents:
2206B139-0FAD-49F6-A8B7-FD50DBC13366.jpeg
Inside view. Cut the corners off some square tubing for the slide rails. Will drill a slot to the right of the door for round stock to attach to the vent cover so you can slide it back and forth from the outside:
064347BB-5D94-4AA0-9BE8-A5510B14A306.jpeg

I need to decide if I’m going to add bracing to the inside of the door. It’s 1/4”. Recommendations?
 

dacolson

Newbie
22
29
Joined Mar 20, 2020
Thats a nice size . Looking pretty good so far. I watch Allen on YouTube, he is great with a cutting torch. Dave Omak has a build thread for RF smokers. He has tweaked Feldons. He should be around and comment.


Good luck
RG
Thanks for the recommendations on Dave Omak's thread. Unbelievable. Must have been a ton of work to put that together. I'm considering a couple changes to this build:
1. adding top vents to the FB
2. increasing FB/CC opening size
 

dacolson

Newbie
22
29
Joined Mar 20, 2020
Finished the FB vents - top and bottom - and put on the handle/latch. Waiting on the springs I ordered to keep my hands cool on the handle. Plus an extra handle accessory keep from getting too parched!

A3448AC5-04A7-4D59-AC59-4907D5FA9148.jpeg A81A42E8-30D5-428E-91BA-E90A0B827EBA.jpeg F8A59E0B-6D49-4A6D-A16E-8FEEBE2C4B2A.jpeg
980755DE-7E92-4BE3-8C15-3B542327980A.jpeg C9ECE062-18E3-468C-A180-11B6EA33647C.jpeg A0AD972A-F047-482B-B29A-419AC21E0438.jpeg
 
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dacolson

Newbie
22
29
Joined Mar 20, 2020
Mocked up the smoke collector and the stack. The collector is 24" wide and 6" tall. The bottom lines up slightly below the lower cooking rack. The stack is 6x6" 3/16" tubing at 36" tall. This is taller than Dave Omak's calculator so I plan on testing the draft/wood consumption and will cut it back as necessary. I'm pleased with the look so far.

IMG_0642.jpeg IMG_0646.jpeg
 

dacolson

Newbie
22
29
Joined Mar 20, 2020
Cut the exhaust opening and welded up the smoke collector/stack. Super happy with how it looks. Getting excited to do a test burn. To heavy to move out of the garage until I get wheels on it so that's the next step.

IMG_0650.jpeg IMG_0652.jpeg
 

Alphonse

Smoke Blower
77
46
Joined Dec 1, 2019
Very nice job and glad I discovered this thread. Your design looks very well thought out. I really like the hexagonal cross section. Gives you lots of space. I have two pits that use that concept.

Welding and fabrication looks very well done!

How much will she weigh when you are done? I am guessing in the 900 lb range. You are going to need some high quality swivelers up front!

Keep the photos and updates coming!
 

dacolson

Newbie
22
29
Joined Mar 20, 2020
Very nice job and glad I discovered this thread. Your design looks very well thought out. I really like the hexagonal cross section. Gives you lots of space. I have two pits that use that concept.

Welding and fabrication looks very well done!

How much will she weigh when you are done? I am guessing in the 900 lb range. You are going to need some high quality swivelers up front!

Keep the photos and updates coming!
So ... I'm waffling on swivel casters up front. I built some sweet steel wagon wheels. 3" wide x 10" tall. I could re-use 2 of them for a second build I have in the works but was really considering using 4 fixed wheels. Bad idea? I know turning will be difficult but how much will I really be moving this. This is my first offset and this thing is definitely heavy so I'm open to advise/perspective for sure.
 

Alphonse

Smoke Blower
77
46
Joined Dec 1, 2019
So ... I'm waffling on swivel casters up front. I built some sweet steel wagon wheels. 3" wide x 10" tall. I could re-use 2 of them for a second build I have in the works but was really considering using 4 fixed wheels. Bad idea? I know turning will be difficult but how much will I really be moving this. This is my first offset and this thing is definitely heavy so I'm open to advise/perspective for sure.
The pit in my avatar weighs in at about 600# as configured, which is much less than yours will be. I wouldn't want to have to move mine without the swivel wheels it has up front. They are 8" and were an upgrade over the standard 5". Most folks seems to buy the larger wheels.

I moved it yesterday 10' to get it into position for a brisket/pastrami cook and then back to its parking spot. The swivel wheels allow me to steer it around without too much trouble. It drives nicely and having the locks are a must.

Your pit is such quality, it would be a shame for it not to be steerable with locking swivel wheels I have had some luck using Surplus Center to find some decent swivelers in the past..
 

dacolson

Newbie
22
29
Joined Mar 20, 2020
The pit in my avatar weighs in at about 600# as configured, which is much less than yours will be. I wouldn't want to have to move mine without the swivel wheels it has up front. They are 8" and were an upgrade over the standard 5". Most folks seems to buy the larger wheels.

I moved it yesterday 10' to get it into position for a brisket/pastrami cook and then back to its parking spot. The swivel wheels allow me to steer it around without too much trouble. It drives nicely and having the locks are a must.

Your pit is such quality, it would be a shame for it not to be steerable with locking swivel wheels I have had some luck using Surplus Center to find some decent swivelers in the past..
Swivel casters in the front it is then. Thanks for the advice. Form should follow function. Makes sense.
 

dacolson

Newbie
22
29
Joined Mar 20, 2020
Got the wheels on in the front. Enough that I can move it out of the shop for a test burn! Man is this thing heavy. She fired up easy and draws like a horse. Really pleased so far. Didn't take any temp measurements but the fire responded well to the vents when I opened and closed them. I need to put gussets on the CC door and on the FB door. Some flex under heat but everything settled back into place once it cooled down. Now I have GOT to get the grates done so I can get some meat in there. Can't wait.

IMG_0664.jpeg IMG_0665.jpeg IMG_0669.jpeg
IMG_0667.jpeg IMG_0670.jpeg

Nice thin blue smoke. Burned beautifully. Man I have got to get those casters on the back! Just about gave myself a hernia moving this beast.
 

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