It is Begun! My First Smoker Build

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by rowsdower, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. rowsdower

    rowsdower Fire Starter

    After doing a whole lot of research, planning, re-planning, un-re-planning, and general head-scratching, I have begun my smoker build project. Thanks to my brother in law having a number of well placed local contacts, we were able to practically steal the 1/4" plate, plasma cut to my design. We've begin tacking the cook chamber together, and I'm really liking how it looks. Here's my CAD drawing showing the basic dimensions and design:

    And here's where we're at right now:

    While I tried to plan in as much detail as I could, we're winging it in some areas, such as support and wheels / axles. But I'm confident it will all come together.

    The fun part of this one is that I'm going to make it a firearms themed smoker as much as possible. I will be using gun parts in the build wherever I am able, and I already have some dynamite ideas and parts in hand that I can't wait to show off here.

    A great deal of the design of this unit came from this forum, mostly from my studying builds and sage advice from the likes of Ribwizard, DaveOmak, and MTMSeven. I'll post updates as we go, which will be sporadically as we both find time here and there to work on it. So feel free to follow along and let me know if you see me doing something dumb along the way.
  2. smokingunny

    smokingunny Meat Mopper

    Looking forward to the progress.
  3. brimcconnell

    brimcconnell Fire Starter

    Nice build.  Will be watching this one.
  4. Looks nice, I would advise against the flat top above the cooking surface. Moisture will build up and drip back onto the food. 
  5. rowsdower

    rowsdower Fire Starter

    Stanley, that's something I hadn't thought of. Unfortunately we're beyond the point of no return on that, so it'll have to stay as-is and I'll deal with any such issues as they arise.

    So here's a progress report:

    Despite the large wheels, it's not gonna be towable. This axle was eating wheel bearings, so we got it for free. Good enough to roll around the backyard. Not sure how I'm liking the fenders, though.

    The smoker will, when finished, sit the other direction, with the firebox on the wheel side. We set it like this temporarily to make it easier to weld the FB on. 

    The lid pieces are mocked up and ready to weld. She's really coming together now!

    I got the idea for these hinges (and a lot of other good info) from a post on here by MTMSEVEN, and my brother-in-law found some suitable chain and it's looking like they're gonna be awesome.

    Right now I have a couple quandaries still to hash out; what color(s) to paint the thing, and should I try to put a propane burner in the FB. Hearing some serious safety concerns with burners in these applications, and I'm not keen on blowing myself up for a brisket! lol
  6. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    this is looking great.... as for the propane assist... i would just use a weed burner to start fires with...

    Thumbs Up
  7. rowsdower

    rowsdower Fire Starter

    Keith, I'm going to make up a charcoal chimney starter burner, and that will probably be about as far as it goes.
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    when you weld the chain links.. think about a spacer under the link pin portion to elevate it... doing that will keep the link welds from springing the door....

  9. rowsdower

    rowsdower Fire Starter

    Dave, my welding teacher gave me the exact same advice tonight. Great minds and all that! lol
  10. rowsdower

    rowsdower Fire Starter

    Dave, we've been using 6013 rods for the smoker, but it was recommended that I use 7018 for the chain links. Your thoughts on that?
  11. For a smoker it shouldn't make much difference, but I would probably use 7018 for the rest of it. 6013 is a light penetration rod typically for 3/16 and thinner. Gives a nice looking weld but not as strong as the 7018.
  12. rowsdower

    rowsdower Fire Starter

    Thanks Stanley, I think I will go pick some up.
  13. lendecatural

    lendecatural Smoking Fanatic

    7018 seems to be less moisture tolerant than other rods I've used so treat it like gunpowder and keep them dry. You can put them in the oven @ 150 degrees for a couple of hours and it will dry the flux back out.
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well, 6000 series rod has about 60,000+ psi strength.... and considering, a weld is about 130-150% the strength of the parent metal, and the thickness of the chain link is about 3/32", JB Weld would probably hold it, even through the heating cycles of the smoker...

    You can get 6013 to penetrate as far as you want.... an old time welder took a 1/8" 6013 rod and "pushed it through a solid piece of 3" mild steel stock.... My son in law welder, watched me burn into T-1 on his excavator to "reweld" a stress crack on the bucket lip.... pushed it in about 1/2" and slowly worked it back out to fill it in.... over welded it with 7018 and hard surface rod... Takes some practice from some "old fart" that welds outside the box....
  15. Dave is right, you can over amp any rod and use it as a torch, and like Dave pointed out 6013 is not the end all of welding rod. That's why he went over it with 7018 for added surface strength and then hardfaced it for wear resistance. So for a smoker it's not that critical what rod you use, but there is a reason they make more than one. Keep up the good work on the smoker, can't wait to see more.
  16. rowsdower

    rowsdower Fire Starter

    Dave, it sounds like you've probably forgotten more about welding than I'll ever learn. Thanks for you insight, it's much appreciated. Thanks to all who have offered help, it's all helping me along the path to see blue smoke coming from my baby's chimney. (that kinda sounds like a euphemism...)
  17. rowsdower

    rowsdower Fire Starter

    I'm having a hard time finding what should be basic info... What is the preferred material to use for the stack? I know I want to stay away from galvanized, other than that am I just looking for a massive hunk of steel pipe? I didn't find any black duct pipe that seemed suitable. I may just be too tired to think, but any nudges in the right direction would be much appreciated.
  18. lendecatural

    lendecatural Smoking Fanatic

    You should be able to find pipe at the junkyard.
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  20. You could also try calling around to your local metal fab shops and steel suppliers and see if they have any scraps you could buy.

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