# First Build 20" Offset

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#### jason31

##### Newbie
Original poster
Good Morning All,

Joined the forum back in July, have been trying to read as much as I can about a traditional offset; the wealth of information on this forum is incredible and I am appreciative for all those who have posted help and ideas on different builds. Just as I think I have it almost figured out, it seems three more questions pop up!

I have been smoking on a WSM for years but always wanted a traditional stick burner. Have no experience in welding so took a class over the spring at a local college and have a buddy who lets me practice my welding most Friday's and destroy whatever scrap metal he has lying around. Now ready to take the plunge and build my first smoker. To all those who do welding and fabrication for a living, much respect for what you folks do, it is truly a craft and one I wish I had learned a long time ago.

I purchased a 20" dia pipe, 1/4" thick; CC length is 42" and the FB length is 15". My plan is to have this sitting on a cart built out of 1 1/4" x 1 1/4" tubing with heavy duty casters, borrowing ideas from AleSmokers build. I also want to install tuning plates similar to the ones I saw in the post http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/54542/building-an-italian-offset-smoker. Seeing as it is a traditional off set, I used Feldon's calculator and came up with the following:

So according to this, the opening of my FB to CC should be 37.7sq in., the opening diameter 9.8" and using a circle calculator I found on one of the post's, the height of the opening should be 5". I am planning on using a 4" exhaust stack and it recommends an 18 3/4" high stack.

My first questions are:

1) Are the FB / CC opening dimensions correct (image below)?

2) For the stack, is 18 3/4" too short? I thought I had read in a number of posts that the stack should be in the 30" range for smokers the size I am building. I also read that you don't want the stack too tall as it could cause problems with stale smoke and draw?

3) Is there a benefit to building a plenum for the stack or would an elbow work just as well?

I have a number of other questions but will wait to ask until I am at the part of the build.

Thank you in advance for looking through my post and I appreciate any feedback anyone has.

Jason

check out my 20" smokers I build.  \$5 for each idea you steal

No reason to fun the horizontal tube for the base, just weld the legs straight to the smoker.

Make the firebox opening to cook chamber larger and add a 1" grease dam to stop it running into the firebox.

Thanks, much appreciated! Great looking smoker!

How did this smoker turn out? I plan on building one similar except my pipe is 3/8” thick and I’m planning on going with a 20” fb length.

Jason,

Not sure if you’re done with this build but 15 inches for firebox pipe seems a bit short to me. You will have to cut your wood really short to fit it in this box. Just a thought.
I just had a side firebox smoker built and my firebox is 2ft long and it think I could have had it like 2.5ft.
I’m sure you can make it work if it’s done already.

How did this smoker turn out? I plan on building one similar except my pipe is 3/8” thick and I’m planning on going with a 20” fb length.
Hello JuanC, has been slow, between my paying job and family am way behind where I thought I would be. I will post some pictures later. Currently I have the frame built, cc door cut, smoke stack built. Will try to post pictures in the next couple of days. Lots of learning during the process!

JuanC
Jason,

Not sure if you’re done with this build but 15 inches for firebox pipe seems a bit short to me. You will have to cut your wood really short to fit it in this box. Just a thought.
I just had a side firebox smoker built and my firebox is 2ft long and it think I could have had it like 2.5ft.
I’m sure you can make it work if it’s done already.
Thanks. I am stuck with the 15" but prefer smaller logs to control temps (maybe it is just me, and it is more time tending the fire) anyway so not too worried but appreciate the advice!

Hello JuanC, has been slow, between my paying job and family am way behind where I thought I would be. I will post some pictures later. Currently I have the frame built, cc door cut, smoke stack built. Will try to post pictures in the next couple of days. Lots of learning during the process!
Looking forward to them. Just got most of my materials for my build. Plan on using a 20”firebox.

Started the journey on building my first offset, a year ago. Took a welding course, learned some basics and then practiced for a few months at a friend's shop and started the build. The shop I was building at, got sold in November so I had until just last week to get finished. Ended up using materials my friend had lying around the shop but think it turned out pretty well. Thank you to Kam51 for your help as well as those that responded to my thread and those who posted before me as I was able to learn a lot from all.

Frame was made out of 2"x2", 1/4" thick tubing, originally was going to go smaller but this was what ws readily available at the shop.

The pipe was rolled 1/4", welded at the shop.

Was going to use a 4 1/2" elbow but ended up making this after reading a few articles:

This is placed at grate level...

Drain, handles, hinges and firebox door added...

Firebox grate is 2 1/2" above the bottom...

Handle will be maple, still waiting for it to arrive from the wood shop.

Installed two Tel Tru gauges and just back from the paint shop. Paint looks amazing.

Added the Star of Texas for my grandson who was born in Dallas in 2016, horseshoes on the stack from Ft Worth for luck.

Overall, really happy with how it turned out, while some rough welding spots, it adds to the character! Will be firing up this week for a test burn.

Have to add a rack at the bottom, maple handle as well as a counter weight for the door as it is pretty heavy. Wasn't able to do before as we were getting moved out of the shop but have a neighbour who has a MIG machine and will add on.

Some lessons learned:
1. Should have made the firebox a bit longer as noted by jbellard
2. Would have added tuning plates but figure I can add later
3. Worried too much about the "little things", i.e. look of the welds (I have become great with the grinder!)

Thanks again to all who helped me on my way, will post an update after the first burn and then the first cook.

Jason

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Jason,

Smoker turned out amazing. Those welding classes sure did the trick. Piece of art!
I’m sure you’ll make the firebox work.
Let us know how it works once you get it fired up and give us some pics of some food!

Jeffrey

Thanks Jeffrey! Weather has been cold up here, 32 degree range, finally had a full day and some sun on Sunday and did a seasoning run with some chicken thighs. Spent the better part of the afternoon just getting familiar with it. Was pleased to find the two ends were pretty close in temps. After seasoning, I ran it up to 325, temps on either end were off by 20 degrees at most during the process. While the logs I had worked fine, next time will build with a bit more space and possibly would insulate the firebox with the cold temps we have in the winter. Planning on building a hut / shack for it in the spring. Thanks again to everyone that helped along the way. Still waiting on my wood handle to show up as well, oven mit doing the trick for now.

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