First ever build: 35Gal RF

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Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Jun 9, 2020
Hi everyone, I’m David I live in the UK, I’ve used a cheap drum smoker for a few years and have enjoyed the results but the build quality and design has been frustrating to say the least.
It’s time to build a nice piece of kit that will last me a life time.
I want to build a RF smoker from a compressor tank, I’ve been trying to read as many forum posts as possible for research.
Today I took the plunge and bought the tank for my project- from the outside I make the measurements 1200mmx400mm (47inx16in).
40gal/ 150l?
A baby sized smoker compared to most I’ve been reading about on here!
I’m looking for some help along the way, I want to make sure I do everything in the best possible way.
So now I have the tank, what’s next?
Thanks in advance, D.
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Congratulations, next step is to run your tank numbers through Dave’s calculator. The information will help you decide what else is required to make that compressor tank work. I am am always surprised when people begin cutting and welding before they understand what is actually required to build a successful design.
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This weekend I’d like to make a start on the smoker, I’ll dismantle all the unwanted junk and remove all the unwanted attachments.

I’d like to get a accurate internal measurement of the length and diameter of the CC so I can run the calculator again but I understand you shouldn’t cut the CC door before welding the FB on to prevent warping the CC.

Should cut the FB opening in the CC first so I can get some internal measurements?
Should I cut it just below halfway down and in past the dome end a couple of inches?

Thanks, D.
Today we stripped the tank down, smoothed everything off and marked out the CC/FB opening.




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Would someone like to cast their eye over my calculations before we make the first cut?

Thanks, D.
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This Friday we made the cut to the CC, not to the original measurements, but to what daveomak daveomak recommended due to me using such a long and narrow CC.


Thanks to daveomak daveomak for the revised calculations!
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Shortly after that we had time to cut the steel for the FB
Hi everyone! After a massive delay (nearly 3 years, oops!) we're going to get building again.

I just would like to ask some advice with the usual order of play. Does this seem correct?

1- build the fb independently.
2- cut the and attach door on cc.
3- clean and burn rust out of cc (any tips welcome! its quite rusty)
4- weld fb to cc

Thanks, David.
Crikey, nearly 4 years on since my last post 😳
Today we actually did something!

FB all tacked together, Chop will finish welding it in the week, and attach it to the CC.
Hopefully Friday we will cut the door opening.


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This weekend we sorted the sliding vents on the FB, milled a groove in the FB door and glued in the the rope, also managed to fabricate the hinges for the door and got it all attached 😃


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Hi David, I like your style - no point rushing these things !!! I've just started my own build (in the UK) and have severe workshop envy - that looks like a superb spot to work in. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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