New to me smoker

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Original poster
Apr 18, 2014
Madison, wi
Hello my name is Doc and I have been wanting to try smoking for some time. Been looking for a budget way to get into smoking and found the right deal today.

$30 netted me this smoker from my neighbor. He had several and had gotten this one as a spare. Never used it. Heavier than hell but needs some work.
I didn't want one of the smaller smokers. Wanted something taller and more capacity

It needs some work any ideas on some mods? I'm a former welder by trade.

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Hey Doc, good morning, I would start by looking it over and replace and rusted out worn out pieces. Then check out the mods that other members have done. Great find, I know you will enjoy it.

Gary S
Welcome, sounds like ya have some good advise on cleaning up & moding your new toy there. Congrats & can't wait to see er in action !
I assume the grate that was in the fire box is for direct grilling. Yeah it's had it. Also I read a lot of the mods but haven't seen anything about the intake vents. Wouldn't it be prudent to have a way to close them off?

Also my fire grate is just flat steel with a handle. Many mods say to raise it up. If it's flat plate with no air holes how does raising it help? Or is my fire grate missing and the flat plate is a ash pan?

What I would do since you weld, is make your own racks, angle iron and expanded metal,  I didn't see a good picture of your fire box, most all the ones that work well have a grate and or charcoal basket that is set above the bottom with air vents in the door or side to allow for air under your charcoal/wood . I also put a vent higher up for better air flow and efficiency .

Here is a picture of a vertical, insulated RF we built, you can see what we did for racks, we pretty much do the same style on every smoker. Also here is a picture of my door, Mine is a different type a RF.

What you just luckily stumbled across is a New Braunsfeld Bandera smoker and man am I jealous.   It's a very nice smoker.
I agree with Demo - for $30 you have got yourself a great versatile smoker. I brought a Bandera back to the UK from Texas 13/14 years ago and it has been used very successfully for ribs, butt and brisket. These days I use it mainly for cold smoking but sometimes it gets fire in its belly again. If yours has not been used in a while it may look in a poor state but providing it has not rusted through the body then it should be fine. If the base tray between the wheels has rusted then that is OK as it is easy to tack another piece of metal there.

The first thing I would do is to give all of the components a good scrub down with hot soapy water then give it a blast with a pressure washer. You will probably find that most of it will come back to nearly new. If the outside of the fire box is slightly rusted then give it a bit of a rub down with a wire brush and coat it with a good heat resistant paint. Do not use any paint inside the smoker itself though. Once cleaned, load a chimney full of lit briquettes into the fire box and get the smoker up to temperature for an hour or so to let any remaining grease/dirt soften. A second scrub out and you are ready to go.

They are good smokers and you should produce some great food in it. It is worth taking a look at the recommended mods tho in order to get the best out of it. 
I fired it up today to burn off whatever was in there. A lot (well to me a lot ) of smoke comes out the door.
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