First Build - DIY Trailer Offset

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SweetSavour2Cor2:15

Newbie
Original poster
Aug 16, 2022
5
7
Indiana
Hi guys. I've been here awhile soaking up all the information. I have been working on my DIY trailer smoker build.

The tank is a 240 gallon tank that was from a water bottling facility. The trailer was an old camper that had been stripped. I got great deals on both.

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trailer.jpg

They sat for awhile until I could get the time and money to start! A friend of mine works metal and concrete so he offered up his shop and whatever scraps I wanted out of his bin. He had some partial sheets left over from jobs that gave me as well. Did i mention he is a really good friend!

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I am somewhat modeling it after a meadowcreek smoker with the warming cabinet above the firebox. The bottom and dividing piece are 1/2in steel with the rest of the firebox being 3/8".

I've had to change my design or use different size materials based on what he has available but FREE determines the design!
 
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JLeonard

Smoking Guru
SMF Premier Member
Apr 17, 2020
5,558
4,204
Southaven, MS
Interesting start. Look forward to progress pics. And free is a good price considering the cost of things now a days.
Jim
 

tbern

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Dec 27, 2015
2,195
1,048
Southwest Minnesota
hi and welcome to the forum from Minnesota! great place to be, so enjoy your time here. looks like a great project you have going and will be fun to follow it's progress. always great to get good deals and have awesome friends to help with the costs!!
 

chp

Meat Mopper
SMF Premier Member
Sep 30, 2020
156
133
Colorado
Hi guys. I've been here awhile soaking up all the information. I have been working on my DIY trailer smoker build.

The tank is a 240 gallon tank that was from a water bottling facility. The trailer was an old camper that had been stripped. I got great deals on both.

View attachment 641018 View attachment 641016
They sat for awhile until I could get the time and money to start! A friend of mine works metal and concrete so he offered up his shop and whatever scraps I wanted out of his bin. He had some partial sheets left over from jobs that gave me as well. Did i mention he is a really good friend!

View attachment 641017

View attachment 641019

I am somewhat modeling it after a meadowcreek smoker with the warming cabinet above the firebox. The bottom and dividing piece are 1/2in steel with the rest of the firebox being 3/8".

I've had to change my design or use different size materials based on what he has available but FREE determines the design!
The advantage to a budget friendly build is that it allows for more modifications and keeps the creativity high. You can use the information you get from this site and whatever other resources you have and build your best idea. Then fire it up and see how it performs. If it doesn’t function how you want just bring out the tools and start changing. Looking forward to seeing your progress.
 

SweetSavour2Cor2:15

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Aug 16, 2022
5
7
Indiana
To start off with the tank I had to get the pipes and check valves off. They were on their pretty good until the 4 ft pipe wrench came out. The right tool for the job.

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With everything off the tank it was mounted to the trailer. Some beefier cross bracing was added to the trailer and the tank mounted to them.
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On the side opposite of the tank will be a wood rack and charcoal grill box added later.

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The tank was marked and cut for the box attachment. Most of the cutting work was done with the plasma torch after it took forever trying to get through with a cutting disc.
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I cut the tank where the weld was where the dome part started. In retrospect i should have cut closer to the end. There was a thicker reinforced section right at this weld that 1. made it hard to cut through and 2. once the tank was cut it deformed some without the support from that reinforcement. If I were to do it again I would leave that support ring and cut closer to the end at the spot where the firebox and tank are the same size.
 

SweetSavour2Cor2:15

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Aug 16, 2022
5
7
Indiana
With the tank mounted to the trailer it was time to continue building the box. The bottom half will be the fire box with the top half being a warming cabinet or potentially a small smoke cabinet not sure completely yet.
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Because I was using all free scrap there was alot of piecing together but it gave me some great welding practice. I have a small flux core welder at home that I have used for little things here and there but most of this build was done with stick welding and I had never done that before. So the welds are ugly but by the end of the project they were starting to look better.
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I cut out the throat to the cook chamber and welded on a 6' baffle of 1/4" steel set at about a 22.5 degree angle


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With a hook welded on the top we started to move it over to the trailer. HEAVY!!

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After only a little finagling the tank and cook chamber mated really well. We were extremely surprised how quickly it went on and was level in all directions.

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After tacking it in place then welding fully to the tank and to the frame it was done. It was really starting to look like a smoker now.


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Like I mentioned in the last post you can see where the tank is slightly larger than the firebox. Cutting further down the rounded part of the tank would have allowed me to match that size to the firebox as well as leave that supporting ring inside the tank. We used a portapower hydraulic jack inside to reshape the tank and left it in while we welded the firebox fully on.

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SweetSavour2Cor2:15

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Aug 16, 2022
5
7
Indiana
I welded on the firebox fully and the filler strips on either side of the firebox and then let it cool completely before ever cutting the doors to hopefully minimize warping.
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The top of the doors were cut and then the flange and hinges were welded on. I did everything is stages, (cutting, flanges, hinges, etc) letting things cool in between.
I used some nice heavy duty gate hinges for the cook chamber doors.

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Hinges tacked on.


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The doors were cut out with a plasma cutter and then an angle grinder with cutting disc was ran through the cut to clean everything up some. All sides were cut but leaving the corners and then allowed to cool.

I got a good full day to work on the smoker so I pushed it and didn't stop to get a lot of pictures but here are the doors cut out and almost done welding the flanges on.


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I am not extremely happy with how the fire box door came out but there's always room for improvement later. I still need to make the vent cover the top vent hole and cut a bottom vent in the door. The trailer itself is being modified now as well to accommodate the firebox access. Taking a few feet off the trailer helped balance things out and and the tongue weight has a nice balance to it, not too heavy or too light. I will still probably make some kickdown stands for the back of the trailer to make it steady while using it.



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After a 14 hour day working on the smoker I am extremely tired, sore and filthy but excited knowing I am really close to firing this thing up!

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tbern

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Dec 27, 2015
2,195
1,048
Southwest Minnesota
really looking great!! tremendous progress made! great looking shop to do the work in. nice job on what you got done!
 

SweetSavour2Cor2:15

Newbie
Original poster
Thread starter
Aug 16, 2022
5
7
Indiana
I completed the racks for the main shelf. There are 4 and they are 16" wide by about 28" deep.
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Fit in the smoker like a glove. I was going to do pull out racks and I'm sure I will regret not doing it later on but I an hoping to get two shelves in the smoker and be able to do pork butts on both shelves.

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I have the latches to keep the doors closed while in transit done. I will get some more detailed pictures tomorrow. I have to build the top shelves, and a cap for the stack but I couldn't wait anymore so I hauled it outside at the end of today and lit a fire.

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I was worried that the height of the stack wouldn't be enough (and I may still add another 12" to it before I am done) But the fire burned well and praise the Lord the first smoke has rolled out from the smoker.

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There was only minor leakage around the door flanges and that occurred mostly when the wind was contrary to the direction the smoker was going. A application of some gaskets and it will be sealed up really well!