Minimizing Door Spring When Cutting?

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Original poster
Mar 17, 2021
I've seen a lot on this topic but also not a lot on how people solve or deal with it. I'm doing a 51"x24"x.25" diameter pipe build and really don't want to have to deal with it getting super out of whack.

Does anyone tack L metal onto the inside of the door before cutting to help minimize warping? For a ~40" door I could see tacking maybe 4 pieces vertically to help keep it true.

I plan to weld on one side of the smoker before cutting the door and I think that will help with the integrity. I suppose I could weld on one side, weld in supports to the back of the door, weld on the firebox and other side, then cut the door last? I plan to weld the hinges in place before the door is fully cut as well. I'll most likely be using an angle grinder, not a torch or plasma.

Looking for tips and tricks besides the obvious of going slow and leaving the corners. Thanks!
Welcome. When I made my Beast it was a 500g propane tank and I cut most of the perimeter of the door and put hinges on then cut it. It wasn’t to horrible when it did try to flatten but I countered that with a way clasp that pulled it tight and a flange around the perimeter I put a firebox rope around it to help seal it. I ended up taking the rope out because it caused more trouble than good. The flange seemed to cover a multitude of my fabrication sins.
I have seen a few builds that fabed up some curved sections to match to door curve that became the handle supports and they were welded on before the door was fully cut. They looked pretty cool. Adding internal supports will only work till you cut them off.......
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If I'm envisioning your door correctly and if it looks like a traditional smoker door.... what I've seen many fabricators do is lay out the cut lines but not cut the door out completely, rather leave sections uncut. And they balance the cuts.... so instead of making a long cut from left to right for example, they make a 10" or 15" cut in one spot, then jump to another area and make another cut. This balances the heat input. Next they let the whole thing slowly cool like overnight. The hinges are welded on next, again jumping around to balance the heat input, and those cool overnight. On day 3 they make the last of the door cuts. The goal is a door that is straight, and on square, but sometimes even when you are careful, a door on pipe can still warp. Are you going to have the heads or flat ends at least tacked on before cutting the door? This can stabilize the pipe as well.
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