1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

An old smoker gets moved over to a big boy trailer.

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by tom37, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for checking out my build everyone. Couldn't weld or grind tonight since I got a clean bill of health on No metal in my head (eyes), and they wanna keep it that way until my MRI tomorrow. What a drag, I can't build tonight.

    I went to pick up a pressure relief valve for the water heater and figured I could spray a little primmer when I got home. It sounded like a plan until I went down the lumber isle. I found 5/4 deck boards at Lowe's, they were pretty nasty looking with black slime and such. So I ask the lumber guy if they want to make me a deal since chances of someone buying them for there deck would be slim.

    They gave me 25% off on the straight ones and 50% off on the warped or knotted boards. [​IMG]

    Even the 50% off boards are more then usable.

    I loaded up me cart with 40 5/4x6x8 boards and headed for home. I'm probably adding several hundred lbs but it should last a long time.

    I'm pretty sure I can get the boards laid out in place and give them a good brushing with a stiff broom and a bleach water mix then let um dry. That oughtta be plenty good until they dry out and I can paint them with traction paint.

  2. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Today was a pretty poor day, to start I managed to overdraw my bank account and spent the morning juggling money in my accounts. Then the freakin mail man shows up with my last years tax return. I know I should be happy but sheezzzz it would have helped out alot more if it had shown up a couple days ago. Talk about being stressed out.

    After all that it was nearly 1:30 before I was able to get started.

    From experience, measure twice and cut or buy once !!!!!!

    Not sure why I did it but I bought 1 1/2" angle instead of 1 1/4". It was already cut and welded on before I realized what had happened. I am using 5/4 deck boards and I think I must have calculated

    1 1/4" for the deck boards instead of 1" like they actually are.

    The plasma got a workout cutting 1" wide x 1/4" think strips to make the difference in my planning mistake. I had to weld the strips on every floor joist across the whole trailer.

    I got the old pipe roof supports out of the way and about 3/4 of the floor in place. It doesn't look bad at all, after it sits for a couple hours, they dry out nicely.

     I sure hope tomorrow makes for a better day, at least maybe I can get started a little sooner.

    Here's a couple pics so far. In the first pic there is a metal divider that I am using to hold the boards in place front to back. I figure that when the boards shrink that I will be able to add a strip of metal 1/4" x 1" and tighten the floor boards back to where they have no gaps. At the end of the boards in the second pic there will be another divider so that the floor will be broke up into three sections.



  3. I thought I was the only one that had a life like that.

    The boards must be really wet. I put up cedar on my fence, butted the boards as tight as I could get them and got about a 1/16th gap between them after they weathered a coupled of months. At least you have a plan to tighten them up after they dry. Will you push them together and then add the strip to fill the gap?

    Looks like you are making good progress even though you have to work every day.

    Hopefully the build will be a stress reliever from all the crap that life throws at you. I know I can escape from everything when I have a project. looks like I need a new one to fill my time.

    Good luck with the IRS and keep the build going.
  4. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Oh man KC, when it comes to luck, most of the time I am a first hand apprentice to Mr Murphy!!!

    Yes when the boards shrink I plan to drive a wedge and see what kind of gap I have. What ever it may be I can buy a piece of flat stock thats 1 1/4" by what ever thickness the gap is and drop it in next to the metal filler bar.

    The progress is getting there, just not as fast as I would like, especially since the time change last night.

    You are completely correct about being a stress reliever, I really love to fabricate. It lets me sorta get lost in my own world.

    The IRS is a done deal, my tax man couldn't get everything done before april 15 so he filed an extension. The bad part was he waited till the end of the extension to get them finished up and sent in.

    I'm glad you mentioned that, LOL, when the check came yesterday I thru it with the rest of the mail up on my work bench and went back to welding. OPPSS!!! I guess I better go get it before I forget about it and something happens to it.
  5. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Not as much progress as I would have liked today. The way I wanted to build the front walls, I had to split one wall off of a 1 1/4" square tube. The plasma cutter is worth its weight in gold for jobs like this. I would have never even tried it with out the plasma. With setup, it took about 25 minutes to split 10 pieces 40 inch's long. If I can keep it steady it will make one heck of a nice looking kerf.


    After the front walls were done I was able to move on to the 2"pipe table supports. Got them extended and tied into the 4" channel. With any luck by the end of the week I should have the walls done all the way back to the rear of the fenders. Maybe by then I will have a game plan on what I want to do for the floor under the smoker and also the wood box for the splits.



    Tomorrow night I plan to change out my adjustable stands. The front is getting heavy and I don't want to take a chance of having someone or something under it and a stand fail. They don't show any signs of failure but why take a chance.
  6. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well its been slow going with it getting dark early and now the rain starting. I thought for awhile about how to make my steps on and off the trailer. I didn't want to hinge them where they folded up onto the trailer. I want to be able to open and shut the doors and enter without the steps being out. What I decided on is just a simple frame and grate that slides in a track. I will have a pin so that is locked either out or in the stored position.

    I tried to be cool and make the frame with rounded corners so that none would kill there shin when they run into the step. Well I miscalculated making the corner and forgot that I had to allow an extra inch for the corner overlap. [​IMG]  Let me tell ya its a bummer when you lay under the trailer in the dark and weld the hangers on and then try to put the step in and its (1) inch to big. I think I said a few choice words, but it was an easy fix tonight along with building the second of three steps.

    After I welded in the grate I took a new grinder wheel and made tread cuts into the outer frame material so hopefully I won't jump up just on the edge and slide back off.


    The weld in the above pic is actually not nearly as ugly as it looks in this pic.

  7. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Legendary Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    looks great so far
  8. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I planned on having the day off but the boss thru a wrench in that plan. Had me do some running, that was about done and was headed to meet a buddy for lunch that does the same work as I but for a competitor. The boss mussed that up to, and gave me a call out for lines down in a back yard. Lucky it was an easy one but it still finished the day.

    I had to stop by another buddy's house and pick up some 3/8 plate to start on the torque tube that will hopefully take the flex out when people step on and off.

    I had to take a pic since it still fascinates me every time I make a nice cut with the plasma. What a fantastic tool. 3/8" is about all this little cutter wants but it will sever 1/2"


    The plate marked out and ready to cut.


    Still have to cut the tube to length and taper the front end before I weld the plates in place. I figured it may be a little less stressful to weld the plate up while the pipe is on the stands, then get it under the trailer.

    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  9. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It seems that I fibbed in my last post. This morning I cut 1/2"  plate with the plasma, it was slow but it still left me with a nice clean edge. Got the pipe tapered and the wings welded on inside the garage taking advantage of the radiant heat off the welds. I had to get a little creative with moving the tube to its new location with my back being trashed like it is. It shouldn't have taken all day but my horizontal and my overhead welds are less then perfect sometimes. So when I get one that I am not happy with the way it burned in or it looks like it has porosity in it then it gets ground out and redone. More then one had to be redone.

    With the trailer resting on my floor jack under the tongue, I got on the step and jumped with all my might. I was able to get about an inch of flex out of the opposite side of the trailer. Thats not much so I would say my plan was a success. Especially since last night I found out that the leveling jacks I wanted are about 80 bucks each. The way I am set up now, I should not need them at all.


  10. That tube is a great idea. Looks like it works.
  11. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It looks like I forgot to post the entrance step in my last post. Opps.

    I will have another one opposite of this one and also one at the back on the passenger side. Just in case I need to make a quick get-away!!!!!

  12. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Kcblues???

    Does your buddy still want the trailer ramps?

    I set no records today, but did make a little progress.

    The floor is down and secured, also put a stainless plate below the firebox to help guard against fire outbreak.

    I got a good start on the side walls for the drivers side, still need another 4 feet to get me all the way back to the firebox.



    If I can get the rest of the walls roughed in like in the pic above, the rig will be usable and road worthy as soon as I get new lights and wire installed. All the little stuff and trim details can be a work in progress.
  13. bamaboy

    bamaboy Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Great work so far,heck of a lot of work aint it
  14. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Bamaboy, I appreciate the good words.

    And heck ya its alot of work, I never get as much done as I want to and now the weather is starting to work against me.

    I hate redoing things that I missed rushing to finish so it takes a little longer when you have to stop and think about the end result.

    One more section of wall done tonight and decided to get a little paint on the plywood for protection.


    Can't decide yet but I think I will frame a door the full height of the wall by the fire box with expanded metal right at the opening and plywood on the bottom half. I want to keep as much weather out as I can. Sitting here typing I am kinda thinking about boxing the area below the fire and use it to haul the charcoal and fire accessories, maybe.
  15. Hey Tom, I will talk to him Tuesday night and find out if he still wants them.

    You have made a lot of progress in a short amount of time.

    Looking real good with the sides on.

    Pretty amazing how it looks now compared to what you started with.
  16. fourashleys

    fourashleys Smoking Fanatic

    Looks like you're movin' right along. Wish I could get time for progress like that. Kudos on the design and good luck with the weather. 
  17. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I sure didn't get much done this week. Sounds like I should have a good weekend so I will hope for the best. I did get my gifted new to me patio heater cleaned up and working. Thats a cool freebie for the rig.
  18. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    To start things off, I had decided to hit the scrap yard, the plan was to offer 50 bucks for the double door commercial frig. It was a sad sad moment when I rounded the corner and almost all the stainless was gone, including the frig. [​IMG]

    I couldn't find what I wanted for angle iron so I had to make another stop for another 60 feet of 1" angle. That puts my total up to 120 feet. Who would have thought I would use that much.

    We managed to hit all the critical welds on the underside of the trailer and also finished the tie in on the roof.

    It hit the road today even it if was for only a short time. And it looked pretty decent.

    The bad news for the day is, I have no tongue weight. [​IMG]  I walk to the back and the front goes up!!! Not Good at all.

    I guess this is gonna change my plans for the water tank placement as well as where I will put my propane tanks. I'm not dead in the water yet, we'll have to see what tomorrow brings.

    I should get the sides wrapped up and hopefully get some paint on the sides.


    When my buddy showed up today he brought me a few things. Almost like x mas.

  19. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    this thing is comin' along just fine...............[​IMG]
  20. bamaboy

    bamaboy Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Don't ya love friends like that.that's how most of my steel has came in pieces.looks awesome .