So I am building my first smoker! I decided to build a double 55 gallon barrel smoker. I started by buying the cast iron kit from volgelzang http://www.vogelzang.com/barrel_stoves.htm i have a few questions about what to do next. i had asked about the smoke stakes. from what every one said it seems the best configuration was with two of them. one on each side. it seemed it should come in at the cooking rack with like 3/4 below the rack. now i cant remember if u all said i should make them 4 inch or 3 inch diameter. does it mater how tall they are? the stove pipes going into the smoking chamber are two six inch pipes. i have a question about them. i have the damping collars. i was thinking would it be better for the dampening collar to be on top of fire barrel or bottom of cooking barrel? ! I will post some pics in a few days and keep up with my progress. i heard these have hot spots where the pipes come into the cooking area. i was planing of taking the peace i cut out to make the door and drilling several holes in it and placing that over the bottom as a baffle. how large should the drill bit be. is this a good idea. the other idea for this i had was to place a sheet of expanded metal down there and placing aluminum pans over the holes with fluids in them. which seems better?