Old fridge - slow build will start soon

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Door frame is coming together!

Thankfully, I'm a better grinder than a welder. 35813C6A-4DB6-4453-8BE9-80E0303C8B90.jpeg
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Started putting in the insulation and inner panels the other day. Taking my time with fitment of the 12ga chamber steel to get it as tight as possible.

Things are starting to come together!
Well, the sides and floor are now insulated and covered.

While this picture is from a few days ago, I've since done a lot of welding to close up seams for this inner cabinet.

Hole to the left is for the meat probes, hole in the back is for the temp controller on the pellet hopper. Lower/right side hole is for the cold smoke.

Need to make the heat deflector/drippings plate. Plan on using some 1/4" plate that I have laying around.

Undecided if I'm going to make it at an angle to funnel the meat goo into a bucket (inside the smoker) or if I'm going to put a decent lip on it to just catch it and clean it off later.

Either way, will be a nice chunk of 1/4" plate on top, and then some 1/4" plate under it to make a "V" above the burn pot.

Also need to make the racks to hold the shelves. Was flip-flopping between using angle iron or using C-Channel. C-Channel seems like it's a better idea because it will automatically prevent tipping of the shelves as they slide in/out.
Also need to make the racks to hold the shelves. Was flip-flopping between using angle iron or using C-Channel. C-Channel seems like it's a better idea because it will automatically prevent tipping of the shelves as they slide in/out.
Good idea on the C-channel. That will also let you slide your racks out part way to move stuff on them around if you need to.
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Curious what thoughts are for 2 drip plate design options:

1) Flat with a 1" lip, catches grease to be scraped out later. Some grease will likely burn off/carbonize on the plate.

2) Angled with a mechanism to permit grease dripping into a bucket. Grease will still burn off at times and likely carbonize on the plate still.

This smoker will likely only see Jerky/Sausage/Turkey use. I have my Yoder if I'm going to smoke pork or brisket.


Gunna go with option #2. Probably a better idea for the long-run
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Started working on the grease management for the smoker.

Picked up a 2qt stainless steel bucket - the drip pot will be inside the smoker, I screwed up and didn't prep for it to be outside of the smoker. This just "is what it is" - one advantage to this method tho, is my dog won't be able to try to drink/eat out of the bucket like he tries to on my yoder.

Took the original deflector plate from my yoder (put a different one on it the day I got it), cut some off the width and took about 5" out of the middle to make it the size I needed for this build. When I welded it back together, I welded it at an angle to help funnel drippings into where the hole/bucket will be.

The welds on the top surface will get ground down so that it doesn't cause drainage issues. Don't care about the welds on the bottom.

Got the C-Chanel cut for the shelf supports in the cabinet. Waiting on some layout fluid to get here so I can see my score lines easier inside the cabinet when I'm attaching them. Want to make sure everything goes in square/level. Will strip out the layout fluid before painting.

Going to use 1x1/2 tubing to slide into the C-Chanel (depth), and 1/2x1/2 for cross supports (width). Have enough expanded metal to make 6 shelves to start; will have mounts for a maximum of 10 shelves 2" apart in the end - not including the space for the Sausage hanging mounting. For that I'm going to use some 1/8" angle iron near the top. Probably way overkill as I'm only going to be doing batches of 25# of sausage at a time.
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Finished the deflector plate; it's not pretty but it'll work.

Wanted a 1" gap along all the edges between the drip pan/deflector and the cabinet.

Welded 2.5" L DOM Tubing to the walls, and cut angle iron to fit on it. Welded the modified yoder plate to the angle iron & then welded a 10ga plate below to further act as a deflector above the burn pot. The DOM Tubing is mounted 10" from the floor on the left side and 9" from the floor on the right side to assist the grease in going where it's supposed to.

On the deflector I capped off the end of the plate and put a hole for the grease tube. The grease tube is at an angle so that the bucket can sit where I want it to (in the corner as far from the burn pot as it can get)

Pardon the cabinet looking like a Smurf exploded in it. Sprayed some layout fluid so I can see my score lines better when I start welding in the rack supports.




Wanted a 1" gap along all the edges between the drip pan/deflector and the cabinet.

If one were to keep playing with this gap it could be made so the smoker will only run at a certain temp ... no matter how wide open the intake vent is ...

So when you get up and running and temps won't go up... This gap may have to be made larger ...
I checked against my other grills, and this gap was on par.

My main concern with the insulation is too much heat; hence the vent down low on the back - strictly to vent heat out if needed.

The 5” stack will have a damper to further assist temp control/balance.

Since this is going to use pellets/a controller I’m okay with the config. I would have zero clue on how to build a stick burner.
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Past few days have been slow progress. Ran out of gas for the welder, fortunately the spool of wire finished at the same time.

As I went to put the new spool in, I noticed everything felt loose in the welder. Took off to YouTube and then a parts diagram for my welder to find out there were several parts missing or just flat out wrong for how the welder is setup.

Lesson learned, I bought this thing used and the guy I bought it from had things all screwed up. New rollers, spacers, and other parts are in place now and this thing welds like a completely different machine. Huge improvement with consistency of wire feed. Also replaced the regulator with a name brand versus the china-knockoff that it came with (dude musta kept the good one that came with the welder when he sold it). Again, huge improvement.

Got all of the C-Channel welded in place; probably way overkill... but hey, why not at this point.

Disclaimer: I'm a better grinder than a welder.


Gunna try to get as much done as I can before September, I'll be going in for some wrist surgery that'll take me out for a few weeks/a month.

To Do List:
-sausage hanger support above the top rack support
-insulate/weld top to fridge (it's just mocked up right now)
-build shelves (going to make a "fixture" on my welding bench for this to keep things consistent)
-cut sheet to enclose door
-Paint inside cabinet & door
-Paint door exterior, attach badge, hinges, latching and then weld the door enclosure on. Touch up paint from that process.
-Body work/paint the damned thing.

Felt like one heck of an accomplishment to be past the half way mark. Lot of little things to do. Hoping to get this thing done October-ish.
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Been an interesting build to follow! Best wishes on your surgery as well.

Thanks for the well wishes on the surgery. Should be a simple process; just cleaning up a tendon after I broke my hand a few years ago. Wrist was never right afterwards
Before anyone asks.... no, this wasn't all of my clamps :emoji_laughing::emoji_laughing::emoji_laughing::emoji_laughing::emoji_laughing:

Top had a slight twist in it - looks like this thing had tipped over before I got it, hence the dent in the corner. Worked it as straight as I can, a little body filler will take it the rest of the way before I paint everything.

The top had a light coat of primer, after sandblasting it started surface rusting almost immediately.

Starting to feel like I'm making decent progress

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Few weeks ago my dad asked me if I needed to borrow his angle grinder for the project; told him I have 5 already.

When he asked why I have 5, I explained that I despise having to switch between various abrasives on angle grinders - so I got one for each kind.

He laughed at me.
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