Wow...I have spent sooooo many hours here trying to decide and finalize my design - need some input

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Original poster
Well, just as the title implies, I've spent numerous hours here searching, reading and studying pictures & sketches.

Where to begin?

I'm impressed with the building skills of numerous craftsmen on here.  Some of your capabilities are simply nothing short of impressive.

I've decided that I have to create the best of both Worlds so to speak.  I've looked out on my back porch and counted no less than 4 outdoor cooking devices.  Two smokers (one electric and one charcoal) and two grills (one charcoal and one gas).

As time has marched on, I have decided that I like the charcoal soooo much better, but from time to time, gas is needed for convenience.  Having been inside the back of the house in the restaurant business, I know from first hand experience that a gas chargriller can make a fine burger as well.  I digress...

So, I've looked at the fine design put on here by Spankerchief - and noted his "if I had to do it again..." comments.  Point well taken - damn nice smoker - would be interested in knowing how the gas burners worked out.

I've also read through Dragon's breath and Rib Wizard posts - you guys rock.  Truly an inspiration with your metal working skills. Seems as though RW has had the same thoughts as I have regarding the extra gas option.

Looking at these threads - I'm looking at perhaps incorporating another thought as well.  Insulating the unit (both FB and CC) with 2" VHT mineralwool insulation I think will make for an efficient unit.  I've calculated the weight of the access doors and think I can use gas struts for the access door instead of counter-weights.

Want to hinge the top of the FB with an extra grate atop to make it a wood/charcoal grill.

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Cant wait to see what u come up with! I'm in the Charlotte area too, 521S so if u need a hand some welding or cutting help gimme a shout. I'm no pro but dont mind helping!!
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I'm cutting open the cook chamber today, so I should be able to mock it up and start some posts of that part soon. The burner will take some time to build, I have a lot of holes to drill!
I'll qualify this with "this may take awhile" (based on free-time to devote to the project, available budget and of course

Because of some limitations like those listed above, I have to order many of the items on-line. Looked up a few places here in the Charlotte area and basically was told right up front - we can't beat the prices on-line for metal.  So much for supporting the local economy. 

That being said, my go-to places include McMaster-Carr and Metals Depot. 

Got the insulation in yesterday.

From McMaster-Carr (one of my all time favorite source for goodies).

VHT Mineral Wool Insulation, Plain Faced, 2" Thick, 24" X 48" Sheet - $11.77/sheet

VHT Mineral Wool Insulation, Plain Faced, 1" Thick, 24" X 48" Sheet - $6.82/sheet

The 2" will surround most of the FB and all the CC.  The 1" will be used in areas where over laps exist and in the Ash Tray on the bottom of the FB.

Makes me itchy just thinking about it. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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