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RF trailer smoker "rebuild" (it's a turd right now)COMPLETE NEW PICS

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by top shot bbq, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. So I had a customer that found this jewel on Craigslist and surprisingly it does not function correctly....lol. Sooo he wants to make it right and safe to pull to be used as a back up smoker to his other. After agreeing on a price I took the rebuild and put it on the books.

    A sledgehammer and a 2 cuts was all that was needed to separate it from the awesome trailer !!! It's in the shop and tore down to its basic pieces. Hope to get it finished this weekend/Monday morning I normally don't take a lot of pictures until now that I joined up on this forum it is nice to be interactive with folks that appreciate hard work !!! more pics tomorrow evening.. I coach my daughters archery team and first tournament is tomorrow. so I'll jump on it soon as I get in mid day.

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2013
  2. looks like a nightmare!  Might be easier to build him a new one>
  3. WelI tried to talk him into it..lol. it will get a new trailer frame, the running gear is in ok condition. I have the FB and CC already cut down and patched up. so at this point it gets rebuilt as i would a new one. The old trailer is already at the scrap yard.

  4. I'll bet your loving the way those hinges look on there, LOL
  5. Hello Top Shot.  I built a few smokers back in my welding days ( now the eyes aren't so good ).  Isn't it amazing some of the things you see.  Seems folks don't value craftsmanship.  Just SLAP any ole cr** on; it'll do.  Looking at some of those old welds, I've seen mud daubers do a better job.  You are a braver man than me.  I agree with Ribwizzard; scrap it and start from scratch.  I know, he's the customer.  I don't think I would have taken on the rebuild.  Most times that is harder than building from scratch.  The other thing I found was that folks thought you lost your mind when you quoted a price to build a pit.  "HOW MUCH??"  Like steel was cheap as newspaper and you should work for less than minimum wage.  They tend to forget a custom built pit properly cared for will last a life time.  Good luck.

  6. Yea so custom I took hem to the scrap for someone else to enjoy.. lol
    Oh believe me I don't work for "beer money" like some of the guys out there that get a welder and think they are gods gift to the fabrication world and don't carry insurance, licences.. bla bla the list goes on. 

    The main reason i took it on it I knew it would break down pretty easy and a plasma torch makes sort work of anything stubborn. He is coming in under what a new build would cost just because his axle, tires and springs are in pretty good shape. I mostly have time in it and little material. I have a reputation locally around to be able to fix or undo someones mess... but it cost and they know it will be done right.

    My truck is set up as a mobile welding rig and we do onsite smoker repair and resto all over Mid Tenn for units to big to move and be cost effective.

    this afternoon I got everything patched up and its ready to start putting back together so from this point forward its a new build. I'm 5 man hours in so sitting pretty good for the rest of the build. I'll get some picks up in the morning sometime or after church. 

  7. Hello Jason.  I started welding back in the late '70's.  Started as a helper, with a grinder in my hand.  Learned from old-timers and then started working in fab shops building and repairing oil field pressure vessels and pipe work in south Tx..  All x-ray stuff.  The oil field was BOOMING.  You could quit your job in the morning and have another before the end of the working day.  Did almost 20 yrs..  Back then rig welders were making $21-25 an hour if you didn't own the rig.  If memory serves they had a requirement of $1 million insurance before they would let you in the refinery.  I always wanted my own rig but was never able to swing that sort of money.  As a shop welder I was making $12 per hr. and the shop was charging the customer $35 per hr. for my work.  I used to look at the old guys and wonder if I wanted to be welding when I was 60.  1 day got my answer.  Company sent me and a helper to a refinery.  Met the head maint. man ( or so I thought ) and he took me to site and showed me which pipe work to cut out and replace.  We started setting up and luckily a gold hat ( BIG dog supervisor ) walked by and asked what we were doing.  The response I got from him was that's a live natural gas line.  The line you are replacing is over there.  I told my helper to roll up.  Drove back to the shop and quit.  I know sounds hard to believe but things like that were common before all the health and safety rules REALLY came in.  Now it's just my crackerbox doing my own stuff; but I do still remember the feeling of cutting into oil field equip, or that 1st cut into a propane tank.  You have done it THAT many times but your toes still curl up and other parts of the body tighten up.  [​IMG]   Sorry to bore you.  Just an old man relating how it was back in the day.  Keep fighting the good fight for craftsmanship and pride in your work; I fear we are losing that in this society we now live in.  Good for you.  Good luck on the rebuild.

  8. Danny I love to hear from the "old timers" that's how I learned in my dads fab shop. It's amazing the things you can learn just by pushing a broom and listening and observing. I don't have a huge shop, I have a couple part-time guys and Me. I'm the CEO and the garbage guy..lol. I thought about pipelining as a young man but chose to follow my dream of being a firefighter. In 2001 I had a hunting accident resulting in a below the knee amputee. I stayed on the dept for 7 years after my accident as a frontline regular duty firefighter one of 3 ever in the US. You and I have the same way of thinking about todays way of thinking, seems most are concerned about how cheap they can get something over paying for quality craftsmanship. I try to show my kids daily the value of working hard and doing things the right way. 2 girls 9 and 7 and my boy is almost 4. They all sweep the floors and put up tools. My little boy stays in the shop with me almost everyday and he can read a tape measure the 1/4" pretty accurately. I hope they never have to work as hard as do but hey will know what they are in for if they do :) 

    Got a little side tracked today, forgot I promised a friend he could come over and help build his smoker, so taking a little break then jumping back on the resto build.


    I know the feeling you are talking about even if know its ok. The propane company I have a deal with de-valves and off gasses the tanks before I get them. 
  9. ooops double post ..sorry
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  10. So, what are you planning on using for hinges, the standard 1/2 round stock?
  11. most likely, or I think I have some 4'' flange piano hinge 60'' long. Got side tracked yesterday with family stuff and a buddy coming over. should have some pics up this evening.

  12. Im trying to come up with something a little better than what I have used so far, just wish I had a cnc machine.
  13. You and me both... what have you used thus far? I have used custom cut hinges with oil impregnated bushings with pretty good success. For my basic RF smokers the normally get the big piano hinge. It has a 1/2 solid pin.

  14. Ive used a little bit of everything, I like the custom cut ones the best, but takes way to long to make them out of flat bar. I keep watching the scrap bins looking for something better to start with, but never find anything good.  I like them to be at least 3/8 think, 1/2 is better, but if you dont take your time they look too home made.

    I just ordered six 4ppr1 ( 5 29/32"  x 1" with a 1/2" pin weld on ) from grainger for my current build. At $5.74 a piece, I'll settle for them, but wont be totally happy with the look......but I dont want to waste a whole day cutting hinges either......
  15. Everything is patched up ready for final weld up, firebox door tacked and vent done. Gunna be busy tomorrow customer pick up Wednesday night.

  16. Sorry guys got busy with other builds, rebuild is complete and turned out pretty good compared to what it was when it was dropped off. Took a few pics , still need to get some of it in a better light and setting.

  17. Customer finally got to cook with this rebuild, said it did great and ran flawlessly !!

  18. Nothing like a happy customer,