250gal Reverse Flow Trailer Build

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by jwsimpleville, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    JW, It looks like you are at about 1500 - 1800 #'s including the trailer...  If you go too heavy on the springs, they won't "spring" .... Check the tires and rims to see if they are the same size...  You could also add 1 leaf to each side...  A helper spring type thing ... For all the driving you do...  or loosen the u-bolt on the axle on the high side and add a spacer to raise it, if the lopsided height is a big deal... I wouldn't worry about it...  You probably will never find a level spot to set the trailer for cooking anyway, and some adjustment will be needed.... or, you could get one off size tire for the low or high side...  
  2. I put notches in the doors and spot weld the flanges on from the inside. What you're seeing is the small gap in the door/tank seal.
  3. Looks great...you have me second guessing the center of gravity on my build. Nice idea tying it into the trailer.

    Regarding leveling the unit, I'm not sure if you're referring to hauling or cooking. If it's for cooking, here's what I'm doing. I've only installed one so far pending mounting the smoker. These were at Harbor Freight, about $20 on sale and I had the 20% coupon:
  4. So I moved the axle under the springs and that raised the firebox enough that I now have 11" clearance on the left (cooker) side. Also got some of the firebox inner parts welded in place.
    Didn't get a picture of the change in suspension, I will upload one tomorrow.
  5. Absolutely beautiful Job my man.  Moving the axel was a great way to get your height.  I would still take Dave's advice and put a skid plate on....it's a cheap insurance policy.  Keep up the great job.  Post pics after paint please.
  6. Does anybody have a picture or link of what the skid plate should look like and how it is mounted?
    Is it just an additional piece of 1/4" to add thickness to the leading and bottom edge of the firebox should the firebox hit something going down the road?
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    JW.... Something like this... to keep the firebox from hanging up when going over a hump, and causing damage.... Maybe.... The narrow width will cause less drag on the smoker.... 

  8. 05sprcrw

    05sprcrw Smoking Fanatic

    The smaller surface area on the skid straps would definitely help reduce drag if/when they are needed.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  9. As promised here is an updated picture of the new height after moving the axle under springs.
    Just for reference, I put the 12"x3" firebox vent cutout on end beside the firebox.
    Also got some more work done on the firebox, finished the base for the wood basket and got the door flange on and the whole firebox door re-enforced.
    Realized at the end of the day I ran out steel tubing and round rod to make the hinges, but I set the door in place and it lines up perfectly.

    All the intricacies within the firebox seems to be taking FOREVER!!!
  10. Well i got to work on the smoker a bit this morning. Made up two hinges that were 6" each for the firebox.
    Here is a picture of both hinges in place.

    And here is a closer shot of the top section of the upper hinge.

    I set everything up so that I can remove the door to the firebox if needed.
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice looking hinges.... Good idea to make it removable.....  Dave
  12. stanton

    stanton Fire Starter

    I built my first big smoker out of a 325 gallon tank and had the same problem (door shape).  I was told by one of the people as the gas company that the tanks are not round when made, but under pressure they round out.  During construction of my firebox, I discovered the tank was an inch taller than it was wide.

    So, to prove (or disprove this) take a measurement inside.  Check from top to bottom and front to back.  See if they are the same distance.  If not, then you know the tank is not round.

    If not round, use a car jack in the orientation that you want to increase (inside the tank) and expand the tank slightly and see if that helps make the shape of the tank more closely match the shape of the door.  If it doesn't work on the first try, shift the orientation 15 degrees or so and try again.  Do this until you get the best fit and weld in a brace that will hold the tank in the position you want. 

    I tried everything to change the shape of the door without success, but 1/4" steel doesn't give.  Metals have a strength per square unit of area called Youngs Modulus (for tensional strength) and Shear Modulus for shear strength.  In the case of mild steel, that number is 30,000,000 psi (Wikipedia. Sorry, It is the only reference I had).  If a force is applied to a metal, it will return to its' original shape until the force is equal to or exceeds the Youngs/Shear Modulus.  When it fails, the failure is along the weakest axis.  It doesn't fail uniformly.  If you have ever seen a rolled steel tube, they usually have a series of flat edges and are not perfectly round.  So, I am trying to say that bending the doors uniformly at home without folding them up, is probably impossible.  The doors will resist the bend until failure occurs and then the force being applied will continue the bend the door beyond what is desired.  That is why I think you will have better luck trying to distort the shape of the tank instead of the doors.

    I just accepted that the door would be leaky.  So I put flanges on the doors and used high temp RTV as a gasket material to get most of it sealed off.  The next year I built an upgraded smoker and just spent the money to have some 3/16" steel rolled for the cook chamber.  The doors on that one are much better.  Not perfect, but much better.

    Good luck with whatever you do.

    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
  13. stanton

    stanton Fire Starter

    I was looking at the pictures you posted and have a question about the supports under the tank.  Is it just one in front and one in back, or are there pairs in front and back?

  14. Actually there is a pair at 3 seperate intervals on the frame of the trailer, 30, 60, & 90 inches.
    The firebox is at the 90" point and with it being 30" deep the frame plus firebox is 120"
    The brace pairs are 17" apart as the original tank supports were when removed.

    Here is a picture I took when is was laying out the braces.
    I actually cut each brace 3" shorter than whats seen in this picture.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
  15. stanton

    stanton Fire Starter

    Looks real nice.  From the picture I saw before, I couldn't tell, and it looked like only single file supports, and was going to recommend a change where the firebox connects to the right side of the frame.  Good luck.

  16. Really looking good!   I know what you mean about time eater.  I worked on my tanks tonight for 3 hours and all I got done was two more racks made and the hole cut for smoke stack.  There is WAAAAAAAAAAAY more work in this than I had anticipated.  But I love it and just keep on building until it's right and I'm done.
  17. Cut up the pipe for the counterweights. Let me say, that was the MOST FRUSTRATING part of this build to date.
    I tacked and cut loose only to reposition and tack again simply because things weren't lining up right.
    At least now it's pretty darn close to flush. Oh and I cut one of the 4 support pipes to short so I found myself filling in about a 1/4" gap with weld.
  18. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Lookin great!

    When I made my smokehouse as I was going through it. I would find a ton of little time eating details.... But I did enjoy it the whole time.......

    Keep up the work. Your doing a great job and will have many great cooks from it soon enough.
  19. The welding gods laugh at my attempts at perfection too. Easier to add to metal than wood, though!
  20. Ok, so I've come to the conclusion that anyone against "Child Labor" has obviously never tried using it to their advantage.

    So this is my 10yr old son who loves nothing more than to mess with a grinder and a mig torch, so I showed him what I needed done next and he couldn't have been more happy.
    As you can see he is getting the inside of the tank ready for the baffle plate to be installed.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013

Share This Page