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

    I do love getting stuff free, thats the best kind. It does however suck sometimes. Like when you need 7 feet and all you have is three 3 foot pieces. Its better after yesterday since I found a butt joint fixture. OMG this thing is so so cool.  Its just a heavy chunk of aluminum that is milled or forged or both so that  you can clamp the two pieces and still allows room for welding. I used it today, it was just 1/8" angle but there was no distortion or draw from the heat. I hope to try some 1 1/4" square tube tomorrow.


    I'm not sure that I actually got that much done today but it looks and feels like I did.


  2. matts

    matts Smoking Fanatic

    Thats looking great Tom.
  3. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Lookin good Tom, I'm takin notes;-)
  4. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here's a good one to take notes on Raptor. Don't buy a Dodge!!Unless you want to dump a ton of money in it for stupid stuff.

    Heater core 1500 bucks to get started. Dash comes out to fix this and also the heater ac control.

    Ac/Heater controls 900 to start.

    Water pump last about a year, just did the second one today.

    My durango thinks front brakes are candy, it eats them fast.

    Ball Joints last about 6 months.

    About the only easy thing to do on this dang thing is put gas in it.

    Well this got me off topic on my own thread but it stole my whole day away from working on my smoker.

    Oh ya o rings for the ac lines  9 and 13 bucks a piece.  GGGRRRRRRRR!!!
  5. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    All right, I'm in a better mode tonight. [​IMG]

    I can't say enough good words about the welders butt weld helper. I have a near unlimited supply of 1 1/2" square tubing but the downfall is that its only 40 to 44 inch's long. I've butt welded them before but I never get them perfect, and it looks like a 3 year old did it.

    Not anymore, I welded up 4-11' sticks to build my front flap/air deflector. Welded one joint, let it sit while I cut square ends on the next piece, first joint was cooled off and ready to weld again. I did grind the welds on one side flat for the metal roof to rest against.


    Next was to set-up a level work area to build the frame. I was creeping around on a welding forum and saw these pipe stands. Everything came from the trash at work so that makes it even better. All there is to them is a piece of 2" pipe and a acme thread, a little flat strap and a small piece of 4" angle.

    It was so stinking easy to set the 4 of them out and level it almost scared me. I used the two center supports for a base to build from then moved the frame over to the stands once it was welded.

    Welding today was a new venture to me, I switched the welder over to AC and turned it way down so I could run 3/32 6013. I really like it for the thin tubing and large gaps. It's not as fast as wire but it does not blow thru nearly as bad as wire. Fast freeze rods are simply amazing.

    Here is the frame part way finished.


    Most of what I do, I have to do by my self. So tonight I had to call on the wife and step son to be welders helpers. Oh Boy!!! they really loved that since it was dark and getting cold. The wife wants all the BBQ supplies out of the storage so she can have some room, so aside from the moans and groans she headed right out the door.

    My pics are a little on the poor side since it was dark but you should get the general idea.


  6. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    I'm going to have to start going to the build section to keep up with your great build!  It seems like the build section of the forum doesn't show up or something in the new post search because I haven't seen this in a while.  I've been lazy and just click on forum and then all new threads.  [​IMG]

    Anyway, just went and read back through the whole thread.  Glad to hear and see things are progressing considering the weather, daylight and all.  The build is really looking great!
  7. Wow Tom, looks like you have got a lot done since I was here last. Have had to work late every night and Saturday's to, for the last couple of weeks and gotten behind on the forum.

    Sorry to hear about the luck with the Dodge. I hate to work on them to.

    Love that little jig for welding the angle. I will have to get me one.

    Happy Thanksgiving.
  8. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thank You sir,

    Well I actually got a little bit done today [​IMG]  LOL thats what the wifes face looked like when she looked outside and saw that I was actually working on the trailer and not on cleaning up the driveway. Opps!!!!!  But I had the metal roofing in the pickup just sitting there waiting for someone to use it. It sure did change the appearance of the trailer, I'm starting to see what I have been waiting for, for so long now. My battery in the camera died so I didn't get to take a pic of my living room sofa out in the trailer. Tee Total redneck if ya want my honest opinion, but its just for today so that we have the room for the tables and people.

    I also learned a valuable lesson today.

    Note to self........always put welding rod stubs in a bucket so that when you clean up the driveway, you don't have to search for all the stubs to make sure they don't end up in someones tire. Spent an hour with a big magnet making sure the driveway was all clear.

  9. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The brother in law came over this morning to have me cook a turkey. Little did he know that he was the one that was going to be doing the cooking. Well the bird was still frozen so that was out, but the brisket was ready to go. My sister separated it and got tossed in the drum at 9:30, the point came out at 2:45 and the flat came out about 4:00. Kept it simple no foil no nothing.


    While all this was going on I did manage to work on the trailer some. And brother in law had a darn good idea. I liked it so much that I ran with it. I had to change the way my doors will open but its for the better good of things. I can open both doors or just one, makes no difference. Now if I want the front flap up, then I need to have both doors open, since the doors are what will hold the front flap in the up position. I have an angle support that the door will rest on when its all the way open and this way there is no load on the hinges. There is also an angle at the top for the roof to rest on. Both will have holes and hitch pins for safety.



  10. bamaboy

    bamaboy Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Awesome man just Awesome
  11. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Another day has came and went, made a bit of progress today.

    I got the doors frames and the plywood set in from the back. I had a heck of a time with warping today, [​IMG]  It really ticks ya off when you build a door and all said and done its straight and true, until you weld little tabs on and WOOOFFFFFF it transforms into a pretzel. I was good from the floor to the midway point but from there to the top, we were in serious trouble. I ended up getting all the welding done on the door and then I had to lay down about 30 inch's of bead on the back side to pull the door back straight. I wish I had taken a pic of it messed up and then one fixed. Needless to say I was pretty happy when it worked.

    The passenger door side got a super duty hasp and lock, as the drivers side had tabs and stops so that when the front flap is down the door is locked shut. That was I only needed one hasp and lock, if its to cold or to windy to have the front up, then I won't need the side door open either. I guess I have an hour or two left to get the roof rest done on the drivers side door along with drilling the holes to pin the doors open. Gotta have them, I sure wouldn't want the roof falling on my head, might hurt!!!!!!

    I sure hope its not windy tomorrow night so I can get some paint on the bare wood before the weather turns bad again. Aside from that I am at a point where, if its cold I can take my tools and heater inside and work on the inerds. I do still need to rewire all the stop/tail/turn lights and such but that can wait awhile.

    I'm trying to decide if I want to plumb the propane front to back along the frame.



    Here is a shot from the tail end of the trailer right where the smoker sits looking to the front.


    And another looking from front to back.

  12. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    great progress........thx for the play by play!
  13. smokey mo

    smokey mo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Good looking start Tom.  Keep it up.  I know from my side, waiting till the next time I can work in it drives me crazy.  

    The trailer is a major score!  All of the trailers I have looked at fell through.  Maybe this will work out better for you. 

    Can't wait for the TBS to trickle out and the Qviews for that great looking food!

  14. bamaboy

    bamaboy Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I agree with Rick.cant wait[​IMG]
  15. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Gonna try this again,

    Last night I tried to post and WOW, I was less then happy when I tried to add my last pic and Woofffff!!!  The site locked up tight. Wasn't my computer since I surfed 3 other boards before bed. And this morning there it was still locked up on the load pic screen. I always ctrl a and c before I click submit but never thought of it before adding pics till now.

    Anyways the update of the week is I got latch's put on the doors and wing flaps. I scavenged them a few years back from the dumpster at work, I just couldn't pass them up.



    I shall make another post just in case it gets hung up again.
  16. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In the last post I forgot to mention how ugly the welds are, the white fluffy looking stuff is the result when galvanized gets hot enough to burn the bad stuff.

    Today I was able to take some of the failed attempt metal drip edge off. Welded up square tube and capped, then glued and screwed it down right along the edge.

    My thoughts behind this was to give me a place to attach the conveyor belt rain flap.

    It should hang down straight when in the closed position and then when I open the wings it will just bend and slid on the roof material. I hope.

    Its a big fat bummer when I have to do stuff like this with no helper.

    I can't really decide how I want to do the back end. I want it all closed in for security but I don't want to do to much since I would like to change out the smoker sometime next year. But this is where I am at so far. Been thinking about mounting my three burner propane camp stove under the smoker on pull out drawer slides. I use one burner only for lighting charcoal and the other two for breakfast or lunch snack.



    This was the second to last piece of plywood, one more left on the door below the firebox.

    So many choices and decisions, its almost overwhelming.
  17. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks like you are going to be up and cooking real soon. Just a thought about the front, use a couple sheets of corrugated sheeting and screw it to the frame. You can take it off easily when it comes time to remove the smoker next year and it's secure for now. Just a thought.....Shoneyboy
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2010
  18. bamaboy

    bamaboy Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    I just ordered a couple destaco latches like those,I been thinking of using one on my firebox[​IMG].looks better everytime you post.congrats
  19. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    After loosing track of my debit card yesterday afternoon and not locating it until tonight, I found it hard to get going after work. But I did cut up some ½" armor resistant plate for a hitch lock for the trailer. They get around or over 100 bucks for the set and this way I only have to buy the puck style lock and I'm set.

    If I don't have to work late tomorrow night I should get it welded up and primer on it so its nice and pretty for pics.

    Shoneyboy, I'm on the fence for just what I want on the back. My goal is to take it somewhere and hear the people say wow what a cool rig, that makes it tough.

    Bamaboy, I was actually impressed with how tight these latch's will pull down. In the case of your firebox door, I would say that if theres a gasket, that latch will work fantastic. I did mess up a little since my hooks are bent from 3/8" square bar. I had to cut tabs to raise the handle a little bit so that the break-over point worked out correct, not a big deal just a spacer under the latch.
  20. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last night I crashed out and did nothing at all. But tonight things moved right along.

    I decided to leave the pintle hitch on the trailer vs a 2 5/16 ball type. For two reasons, 1 being this way if all I have to do is move it here at the house, I can hook it up to my work truck and move it instead of moving all the cars and using my pickup. Second being, it still has the hyd surge brakes, and the slack in the pintle ring helps give that extra little thump to slide the surge mechanism.

    I didn't want to spend 100 plus dollars for a hitch lock so I copied and adapted the locks we use at work. I think this is better then the ones we already use and feel very confident that without alot of work, no one will be taking my trailer.

    The top and bottom base plates are ½" armor resistant plate, 3/8" for the lock tang and 5/16" bent around the puck lock. Nothing fits tight making it harder to do damage with a hammer.

    The lock tang to the ½" base plate.


    On the left is the one from work and my new one made from scrap and the only cost is the puck style lock.


    Here it is on the trailer, not to worry, I have to replace the adjustable bracket and bolts. When that's done and the

    ring is the correct height, I will weld the nuts so no one can take the ring off.


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