Smoker Build - Novice seeking advice from this awesome community!

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Original poster
Aug 4, 2021
Hey Folks,

First off, this community is fantastic. I love bbq (WSM owner), and have been wanting to take it to the next level with an offset, so seeing everyone's builds and feedback has been very eye opening. I am an engineer, but have 0 welding experience, so I am excited to learn along the way!

Regarding the build, I am in the materials gathering / tool gathering phase, so I have a few initial questions:

1. Is equipment for lifting tanks, positioning FB/CC while welding together, general stabilization, etc required? If so, what is the most critical to buy / rent. If not, what have you guys used instead to move / position these hunks of metal? I will most likely not be working with anything larger than a 150 gal tank
2. Is there a thread that exists regarding metal flex after cutting? I have heard a good bit about doors being crooked / having an air gap after cutting, so I am wondering if there is specific cutting technique, cutting location, thickness of tank, etc that would help mitigate doors with poor fit after cutting. Right now, the tanks I am looking at are 3/16" wall thickness.
3. Is a cylindrical firebox better than a "cube" firebox? I feel like, from reading other builds, this decision is usually driven by material availability, but if I had the choice, which would you recommend? In my mind the benefit of a "cube" is the ability to maybe cook on top of it as well as maybe a bit more spacious. The benefit of a cylinder may be airflow? Not sure. As steel plate is pretty expensive, I may be opting to buy a second tank for less than $200, cutting off the ends, cutting to a length that gives me the proper FB volume, welding plate onto each end, cutting out the door and FB/CC opening, and welding to the CC.

Those are my questions for now. appreciate any feedback you guys can provide! is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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