Hinges for smoker doors?

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Original poster
Jun 30, 2007
Walker, LA

I'm brand new to the forum, just happened to stumble by when doing a Google search. Anyway, I am beginning building a smoker out of a large propane tank (7' x 28"). The tank has been sitting full of water for about 2 weeks and I was able to make my first cuts today successfully.

After looking at all the designs, I have a question about hinges for the main doors on the tank. Is there anything wrong with using commercial grade door hinges (rated for 1.75" thick steel door) say in a series of 3 per door. My door cutout size is 18" x 28".

The majority seem to be using cold rolled steel with tubing. Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated. I hope to learn a lot here and provide advice (what little I know at this point!) as well.

i used regular hinges i bought at lowes on my first smoker. on the one i am building now, i used some hinges we have at work. they are piano hinges, cut to length. i cut two a few inches long, and wire-feed welded them on.
Door hinges will work fine, cut your door where the hinges go, tack on the hinges then finish cutting out the door
door hinges do work fine but gate hinges work better, provide better support, and look good too. also thats excellent advice on tacking you hinges on before you make the final cut on your door opening.

Hi Matt!...

Thought I'd try to give you a hand with the door and hinge project you're working on.

Yeah!!...Ditto what Bubba said!... If you don't do it in this manner, you'll
never be able to get the hinges lined up correctly so they'll work right.

Remember also...The hinges must be offset a little bit towards the tank
side of the cut (top of tank) to allow the overlapping flange (gap sealer)
to swing freely without binding, yet still be able to seal the gap when the
door is closed.

This offset will amount to no more that approximately 1/2 inch, give or take.

I've created some graphics to guide you through the process, kind of a step by step.

Here's the first three graphics:

...And the next three:

...And the last one, depicting the finished door:

Notice the difference in offset of the flange strips in Plate No. 4 compared
to the amount of flange offset in Plate No.'s 2 & 5.

Hope this will help you get that door finished and working good like it's
supposed to!

If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to call on me...

Until later...
Wow! Thanks for all of the helpful information. I ended up trying a different method from the hinge idea. This was a last minute change yesterday when I began cutting the door. I believe I will try the hinges for the vertical chamber by using the drawings listed above (btw, thank you for taking the time to compose them!).

Anyway, here are some pics of what I have. Any suggestions or advice on the next steps would be appreciated. The cutout on the end is for the vertical chamber, I have not drawn out the hole for the firebox. I was given a 4x8 trailer today to mount it on, all I have to do it go pick it up and put 2 new tires on it.

So far, total cost into this project is $46.00 (not counting welding wire).

sure looks good to me. I would love to start a project like that but I lack a few things such as material, money, knowledge, and skills :-)
I'm still trying to figure out how my dog got in your yard though.
Keep us posted
Ha, yea devil dog as we call her!

I still haven't cut out the firebox because I didn't know how far up and how far in I should make the cut. It will be an offset firebox on the opposite end of the cutout for the vertical rack. Also, how big should the box be? I was thinking 18"x18" cube, but should it be bigger? smaller?

So far I got the tank for free and a 4x8 trailer for free (needs new tires and cleaning up though) so I am not complaining....free will make the meat taste that much better!

Any suggestions on the cutout for the firebox would be helpful.

So does anyone have any suggestions on what size the firebox should be? I was also thinking about lining the bottom of the box with firebrick, but would that be a waste of time or worthwhile?

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