Firebox question

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Original poster
Jun 30, 2007
Walker, LA
I am currently building a wood burning smoker out of a 7ft long x 30 inches diameter tank. I have another tank for a vertical chamber (see image), but my question is about the firebox. Since this is obviously bigger than I'll ever need for smoking, what if I put a center divider inside the tank at dead center and used the half to the right as the firebox and the grate above it as a grill. The other half including the vertical chamber would be used for smoking.

I tried to draw out an image of what I'm talking about, the shaded in area is where the fire would be.

Would this work or should I stick with building an offset firebox? I'm going through all this trouble to build it so I want it done right for the best smoking results. Just thought this may save some time and materials.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

IMHO, it should work ok. My brother made a smoker with the firebox on the end and it works fine. His tank is 3/8" thick and takes a while to warm up but holds temp real well. Just be sure to make your air intake big enough to allow the fire to burn properly. Brother made his to small and took us a long time to figure out why we couldn't get the temp up, after he made it bigger temp is no problem. Hope this helps.
Hi Matt!...

I'm a little concerned that the outlet from the firebox side of the tank may have to be too high up relative to the cooking grate height in the cooking side of the tank to the left.

If the heat enters the left side too high up you won't have some of the heat below grate level and the chamber may be too cold towards the bottom.

The fire grate will have to have enough space underneath it to allow for ash accumulation ans still allow room for the fire to breathe properly.

Other than those concerns, I see no reason why it should not work.

You would probably need only 1/4 to 1/3 the tank length for the firebox area.

Please take a look at Post #3 and Post #21 in This Thread as there may be something that could be of help to you there.

You can find the formula for determining the exhaust flue size relative to the air intake vent size
in Post #11 in This Thread and may find it helpful also.

At any rate...Hope this info will be of use to you!...

Best of luck with your project Matt!...
...and don't forget the pics!...

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