Fire Box ( how thick 1/4" or 3/16 " )

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Feb 4, 2011
Need help on how thick i should go. 1/4" thick will be about 300+ lbs 3/16 will be about 100lbs less. will 3/16 warp ? the box size is 30x30x24 . my steel guy is trying to talk me into 3/16. i know 300 + lbs is alot of weight but i think if i brace it to the frame of trailer i should be ok. Need your help on this one. Thanks
I have the same decision to make. My firebox will be 35x35x35. I have been told that 3/16 will be heavy enough but I am still uncertain.
I have built many wood burners for my hunting friends for their tents. I used 10 ga for the box and 3/32 for the cooking surface. Weight is a big issue. The firebox was filled about 3" with dirt. Worked fine. Firebrick or sand works well also. Thermal mass is used to achieve consistent cooking temps. It is a preferance thing. 

Personally I use firebrick in my whole pig cooker. It seems to keep more heat in the firebox. The bottom of the firebox stays cooler.
3/16 will not warp,, but as alway 1/4 will hold the heat a little better, I live in florida and our winders are not an issue and I use 3/16".

Good luck on your build and let us see some pictures too.
My recommendation would be to buy the thinest 1 1/2" square tube and build a box frame.Skin the inside with 10 ga or roughly 1/8". Insulate the middle. And skin the outside with 16 or 18 ga. Have the sheet metal shop break it in 3 places being the back and both sides. Have um make you a top with a flange so it overlaps the sides. And then just a single sheet for the bottom. 

All in all you should come in at or about the weight of the 3/16" plate. And you will have a firebox you can set your hand on.

I have been doing alot of reading about the stumps clones cookers and it seems this is an awesome way to go. 

I know it sounds like a ton of work but I really think its worth it. My next rig will be built in this mannor. 
If weight is an issue I think Tom37 has your answer. I used 1/4" on the firebox with a 1/2" door but weight didn't matter and I couldn't beat the price. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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