New RF Smoker Trailer Build

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by xxrodzillaxx, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. xxrodzillaxx

    xxrodzillaxx Newbie

    Hey guys, i am new to the forum, but not to smoking. Up until now, i have borrowed pits when i had to smoke large amounts of food, but it is now time for me to build my own. I just picked up a 37in round x 82in long x 7/16in thick tube a guy was selling on craigslist for $100. I also was given a trailer that is 12ft long by 6 1/2 ft wide that needs some new angle iron and axes, but over all in good shape. Now i have an idea on how this rig is gonna be set up, but i have a question on a side vertical smoker.[​IMG]

    Now looking at the design i want, getting smoke and heat to the vertical smoker is an issue. Being it is on the reverse side of the firebox, i know i cannot open up the wall between the vertical smoker and the smoking chamber or this would defeat the purpose of an RF smoker. I do not want the vertical above the firebox because of weight and balance. My idea is to get another smaller steel tube or two (im thinking 4-6 in) and run it from the firebox, underneath the RF plate and into the vertical smoker. My question is do you guys think this will work? I am pressed to get this done pretty quick, i have a cookoff i am in in April and would need to season the pit before it's debut. Any input from all you pitmasters would help!
  2. xxrodzillaxx

    xxrodzillaxx Newbie

    ok i got pics of my material and what i am working with.  Again any feedback on the vertical smoker would be very helpful!



  3. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

    Looks like it will be a cool build.. Can't wait to see the pic's in progress..[​IMG]
  4. xxrodzillaxx

    xxrodzillaxx Newbie

    ok well the plans have changed considerably since i started.  I have a time frame, so i need to get this going.  I went to a steel supply company to get the rest of the metal, but the only 1/4 plates were new.  after all was said and done, they wanted about $800 for the sheets of metal i needed to get this project done ( 3x3x21/2 firebox, 21/2x3x5 vertical smoker, and reverse flow plate 6x3).  I ended up buying a 24" round, 1/4inch, 3 foot steel tube from them for $200 with the end plates for this.  This will become my firebox for the main cooking chamber.  it will be mounted sideways on the cooking chamber, sorta like a "T".  I already had my welder weld the end plates on it, so all i have to do is put hinges and cut the door.  We plan on working this saturday on it, so i will have some pics on the progress.

    The trailer has some issues with it, and by the time i finish with it, i will have to put in about $500 to get it to par.  I have found a local guy who sells brand new trailers pretty cheap with a 1 year warranty.  I am looking at getting a double axle 6'4"x12' for around $725.  this will allow me to concentrate on the pit and not have to worry about the trailer so i can make my deadline. 

    Now my biggest obsticle is getting the paint off the steel tube.  The tube was an old 500 gal propane tank.  I called a sandblaster after i spent hours with a wire brush connected to an angle grinder with little results.  The sandblaster said that the paint is either powdercoated or epoxy paint.... either way hard as hell to get off. he said he could get it off, but it would take a lot of hours and would probably cost me a pretty penny.  He also mentioned it could possibly have lead in the paint, so i would have to take it off before any cooking in it.  So i decided to take matters in my own hand.  I bought some Klean Strip epoxy stripper, and applied that to the painted surface.  20 mins later, the paint was comming off pretty good down to the steel.   I did the whole tank being careful not to get any of the chemical in the actual tube itself.  I have another coat of this to do and about 99% of the paint will be off.  Afterwards, i will wash it inside and out, then burn half a cord of wood in it to burn off the impurities and any residual of the chemical that might be in it still. 

    A lot of work to do still, i am going to go look at the trailers tommorrow and see what type of deals he might have for me.  I plan on getting a lot of cutting and progress done, so i will update with pics. 
  5. smokingohiobutcher

    smokingohiobutcher Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sounds like you are a man on a mission!!!!   Looks like alot of work!  Enjoy!  I know I would!

  6. xxrodzillaxx

    xxrodzillaxx Newbie

    Wow, what a long weekend!  It seems like i did so much, but had little to show for it.  I gave in and bought the trailer.  I needed to get this project going and did not have time to figure out the trailer part of it. It is 6'4" x 12', tandem 3500 lbs axles.


    Now as for Saturday, I recruited help and got the steel tube to stand upright on cinder blocks to get the burnout going.  Once this 1100 lbs beast was standing upright, i filled about halfway with oak and mesquite wood, and used some old pecan wood that we had in the back yard from dead trees caused by Hurricane Ike.  A little lighter fluid and we had us a bon-flame.  It burned for about 10 hours and all the paint is now off.  Sunday I pressure washed the inside and out, so i have a nice clean surface to work with.


    Thats it for now, more will come later in the week as i get the end caps welded on, hinges and doors on, and firebox attached. 
  7. dnovotny

    dnovotny Smoke Blower

    Your idea will work you started out  just like i did and see pictures how it turned out... just a idea when building your fire box might

    want also to be a grill,,, the key is to

    get good air flow,, with dampers

    want to concerner also use it as a grill,,, [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  8. xxrodzillaxx

    xxrodzillaxx Newbie

    [*]  dnovotny , [*][*]Awesome rig you have there!  Looks like that thing can spit out some que!  Not too shabby looking dog too (I have a female Boxer).  Well as i said previously, I don't want to pull my life savings to build a pit, the price of steel is through the roof!  I cut out the vertical smoke stack because of the cost and went to a round firebox because it was cheaper and less welding involved... I am on a time schedule.[*]   I have the ends of the firebox capped, i am getting the door cut right now and the end caps for the main smoking chamber cut and tacked.  Once i have the door cut, i can get a better visual on where my dampers need to be.  I plan on making a rectangular slide damper on both sides to help with the air flow.  on the back end of the firebox, i will have the endcap cut in half and on a hinge so i can open it to clean out the ash.  If need be, that too can be propped open to help with airflow.  But with the dampers on both sides, i dont think i will have a problem.  I will have pictures in the next few days to update my progress!
  9. fourashleys

    fourashleys Smoking Fanatic

    Looks like ya got a good thing going there. dnovotny let me know if ya get your club together. Lincolns a drive but would love to get together for some Q-ing time.
  10. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    On a mission is an understatement, 

    Nice work so far, I love the tank.

    A few years ago I stood up a piece of pipe just like what you did with yours. My goal was to burn leaves, YIKES I had jet engine flames out the top of the 16"x42" long pipe, about 20 feet into the neighbors tree. 
  11. xxrodzillaxx

    xxrodzillaxx Newbie

    Mission... yes I am!  I actually went out and bought a welder last night, got a Lincoln arc welder 225   at Lowes for $269 - 10% veteran discount (My dad went with me and he served in Vietnam[​IMG]).   Now I should have no excuse from my welder that he is not available... I'll learn to weld and put this thing together if i need to!  More pics coming soon!
  12. sunman76

    sunman76 Master of the Pit


    looks like fun good luck can't wait for your progress...
  13. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Awesome deal man, 

    The only time I ever weld with AC would be if I was having trouble with arc blow, Sometimes you have to use a magnet to hold something and DC current does not like it at all. 

    With that said, I think my choice of rod would be 7018 AC. I really like the way they run, but I do have and use several other rods as well. Maybe someone can chime in on this one, I use a 5P rod when making a full pen weld, the 7018 tends to not freeze as fast and all the metal you are working with will plop out right on the floor.

    Grab you 5 or 10 lbs of rod and burn away, weld stuff together and then beat it apart with the biggest hammer you have. That way when your buddy backs out you will have a pretty decent feel for whats happening. 

    I run almost all 1/8" rod, but when I stick weld its ussually on thick stuff. I hear alot of good stuff about the 3/32" rod the thin stuff.

    If you don't have a helmet yet, a 50 dollar harbor freight auto dark hood is a very helpful part during the learning curve.

    Good Luck.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  14. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That is an amazing transformation - Things that make you say WOW
  15. xxrodzillaxx

    xxrodzillaxx Newbie

    Yeah my uncle said he has a stack of P5 that i can have.  I am going to crack open the wleder tonight and learn me to weld.  I know it take time and skill, buti am usually a pretty fast learner when it comes to using my hands.  I might run the P5 as the joint weld, then cap it with 7018, i have been told this is the way to go.  But once again, i am a noob when it comes to welding, so i will have a lot of practice before i attempt it.  Ohh, i already picked up the auto dark helmet and gloves, so i am good to go.  [​IMG]

  16. xxrodzillaxx

    xxrodzillaxx Newbie

    OK well my Uncle came through and brought over about 30 sticks of P5 and a piece of angle iron.  By the time i was done with those sticks, i was getting an acceptable weld to his standards.  So i am feeling pretty good about some welding.  I marked up the pit and plates for doors and the rf plate.  I also marked where the RF plate and the opening needs to be on the pit.  Uncle brought over the firebox with door and we set it up against the pit to see how it will fit, it looks pretty good! 




    Uncle is coming over today while i am working to cut out doors and weld the flat iron around it for the trim.  He is also going to try to get the rf plate tacked in place so i can start to weld that on the inside[​IMG].  More pics and updates to come....
  17. dnovotny

    dnovotny Smoke Blower

    like i said good  job ,, with  alittle elbow grease and a imgination  you can build anything,, my  bbq. only had around 800.00 into it but

    that was tires, and stainless steel , but before that it was asking and finding ,, i make steel for a linving so the angle

    flats, channel ect..didn't  cost  me anything... but the deals and junk is  out  their just  got  to  look,,  i'm  sure

    after you get your bbq built  the fine -little things  will come---temp. gauges, handles, crome this and that, pots, pans, little things----  ,,,

    that's  when the wife  says  you spent how much  for

    that can't  wait  until  we see the finish...
  18. dnovotny

    dnovotny Smoke Blower

    thanks on the boxer,, it's my sons dog ,, but  quess who gets  to watch it 99% of the time,, her  name is zoey  and she's

    three years   old,, she  will have pups in a couple of months--first  times--- more dogs to watch and
  19. sunman76

    sunman76 Master of the Pit

    lookn good bud..

    good job on the welding for just starting, you shoud be pretty good by the time your done[​IMG]
  20. xxrodzillaxx

    xxrodzillaxx Newbie

    thanks for the encouraging words about the welding.  Unfortunatley, i cannot take credit for it.  My Uncle is my welder, but he said my welds are getting better.  He is going to be doing the end caps, exaust pipe,and door trim for me.  i will be doing the RF plate and shelves and any smaller welds; that way it will not fall aprt on me when i am driving down the highway! 

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