Sorry for starting a new thread on a subject that has been covered many times but I wanted to post a few pic's of a few modifications I am making and also to asks opinions on what I am thinking for a tuning plate. First mod I made when I purchased the smoker was adding a dryer vent tube to help keeping the heat and smoke under the hood and more at grate level. Next step was filling all unneeded holes with ji-temp fireplace caulking. I am also still thinking about Debi's suggestion and running a bead of caulking around the edge of the lip of the cover and laying plastic wrap over the caulking and closing the lid for a formed tight seal and letting it dry and then removing the plastic wrap. Still unsure if this is needed? I also took the cheap thermometer that came with it out and replace it with a better one and used the hi-temp caulking to seal this in place also. The original one was just snapped into place with a metal O-ring and smoke seep out the cover around the thermometer. Next I replaced the wire briquette rack that came with the firebox, hot coals had melted this badly and I was having problems keeping the coals out of the ashes which was not helping me keep the smoker heat up. I cut out 2 pieces of heavy expanded metal and double layered them and positioned them higher than the previous briquette rack. Should have plenty of air flow under the coals now !!! Now on the tuning plate is where I am starting to question my thinking and curious how others have mounted or positioned a tuning plate in their Char-griller. I do not want to drill holes in the belly of the smoker to mount the tuning plate; I feel this will just promote rust and possibly stress the metal body when it is under heat and make the belly and hood not fit snug? The metal tuning plate I am using is 1/16" thick steel, very solid and very heavy. So I set bricks in the belly to prop the tuning plate into position. The tuning plate is snug against the firebox wall with about a 1/4" gap between the grill and the tuning plate around the other 3 sides. Is this enough air flow so the firebox is not smothered? Also I am thinking about cutting a hole in the tuning plate to insert a water pan.