33 Gallon Build with Vertical Cabinet - aka "The Copper Pot"

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Jan 27, 2015
I’m finally getting around to my second build. This one is for my patio. It is a 33-gallon air tank. I got a partial sheet of 3/8 plate for the fire box and some 3/16 plate for the vertical cabinet from the scrap yard .

Laying out the door cut. Using a straight edge to get the cut started.

Got the door, firebox, and cabinet cuts done

Checking for fit and square.

Next - Since the air tank was a little thin I saved the end cap that I cut off and plan to weld it in the remaining end to get a little more mass for where the air changes direction. Probably not needed but didn't think it would hurt.

I also got the firebox and reverse flow plate cut. The fire box is going to be 16 3/4" (ID) cubed. I cut the reverse flow plate at 15" wide which leaves 4 1/2" for the segment height going into the CC which is a 18' dia.
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I made some good progress today. Started by tacking up the fire box

Next doing the fit check on the fire box and vertical cabinet

Seeing the actual size makes me hungry.....

Checking the fit on the inside

Now that the fit is good, on to the "active heat" cut outs for the CC and VC

View from the fire box

Final cut into the VC

Need to do some minor clean up on the fit and then it will be ready to tack together and build the cart frame. My work schedule is a bit crazy so I hope I can get back to it soon......
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I am going to have time to work on my smoker this weekend but wanted to ask a question about an idea I have. I haven't seen this on any other smokers but since I have a second cook camber on top of the fire box, using the top of the fire box to pre-warm the wood won’t work if I’m cooking in the VCC. So, I was thinking of adding a “Log Warming” box under the CC on the side of the fire box. This would keep them out of the way but be functional…Thoughts?

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yes It will work . Or just toss the log in the corner of the firebox then when it is hot drag it on top of the coals to ignite.
Well that works, I think I was just over thinking it....

I got to spend time doing some fabrication today. Got the VCC framed up. I also spend the better part of the day welding up the fire box and VCC and fine tuning the CC fit.

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I had a little time to work today and got the VC dome fabricated and welded up.
I was able to make some good progress today

The damper between the HCC and the VCC and shelving all welded in. The shelves are spaced to have 4.5" on the top and 7" for the other 2.

I also got the door framed up.

I ran out of wire so I couldn't weld on the lid but I got it cut and fit.

I'm surprised on how much more cooking area is added with the VCC. But I will say it adds a lot more effort.
I've looked at lots and lots of builds (creadit goes to Shirley Smokers for many of them) to get ideas so I sure hope it works good or I'm going to have a bad day.....

I have some more things planned for the build. I'm considering making a wrap around polished concrete shelf with an integrated propane burner. My wife likes things clean so I want a solid surface under the HCC shelves.

I've also had 2 neighbors come over and ask if I would consider building them one when I'm done with this one. At first I thought they were coming over to tell me to stop grinding all day......

I have another 30 gallon tank that is longer (about 39") but only 16" in diameter. So I'm planning on building that one as a cabinet style like Shirley's so the HCC has enough height for 2 - 8" to 10" shelves. But I need to complete this one....
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I had a few hours yesturday to make some progress.

Got the damper from the FB to the VCC all done and started welding on to VCC top. Then started working on framing up the FB door.

I also fine tuned the HCC fit up to the FB & VCC.


Next up is making the chimney. I'm going to use a U shape up against the VCC up to the top (like a tall plenum). From there go oval (4" round equivalent) for a total of 32" above.

I am planning on using 3" ID round for the VCC and was thinking of 12" but hadn't decided. Any thoughts here would be appreciated.
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4" sounds good, thanks.

My goal/plan for the VCC is to use it for poultry and there by running it a bit hotter. I.e. have the HCC at 250 to 275 with ribs then have the VCC @ 325-350 with a few chickens.

I'm hoping to get a lot done over the Thanksgiving holiday. Santa is bringing me some 13" wheels and 10" casters so I'm trying to get this build ready for them.
You going with solid wheels? That thing is gonna be heavy when done,hell it already is.My experience with pneumatic tires is they let you down and themselves down :eek:
Well I was leaning toward tubed pneumatic cause I've seen a number of reviews on the no flat getting flat spots.

The 13" I was considering are rated at 350 and the casters at 300. So a 1300 total. I was assuming a service load of about 40% of that so about 500 tops, which is what I'm estimating.

So do the no flat hold up?
I'd go steel/cast,wagon wheel/caster.But you know, opinions are like ........
You definitely have the skills to make some nice custom steel wagon wheels.
Ok so pneumatic = pukematic, scratch that idea.

So the choices are real 8" tires or home made wagon.... I have to drag this across a gravel area and steel casters won't work to well.

The hubs and wheels this is easy but $$. So how about some thoughts on a hub and type of bearings for the wagon wheel? I can get my hands on some scrap 14" - 1/4" wall pipe for $20 a foot.
How often are you realistically gonna have to traverse that gravel? If not often(every use)4 strips of 6" wide plywood leap frogging.

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