Fixing doors that have sprung other way?

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by rikun, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. rikun

    rikun Fire Starter


    It really looks like my doors have sprung inside from the corners (most gap on the middle) . I tried using a bottle jack, but it was really impossible to get the door to sit "upside down" on it.

    Any tips? A sledgehammer?
  2. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    A picture would help, if possible.....SB
  3. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

    [​IMG] And a little history would help.
  4. Hello.  Pictures would help.  What is the thickness of the door??

  5. rikun

    rikun Fire Starter

    Ya, I'll post some pictures. Got the jack and chain to work (both ways), but now it's a little bit worse :D

    I'll post some pics after I've had a go at it.
  6. uga fan

    uga fan Smoke Blower

    I had the same problem on my build. Seems like the flanges pulled my corners up. I used 3 bar clamps 2 on the ends and one in the middle. I slowly tightened them up, maybe about one turn at a time, working from one to the other. I had made a cutout of the correct radius with 1/4" thatI used to check the progress. When the door fit the guide, I tacked it in place. Then slid my pipe through a 1" hole and used it to open and close the lid.
  7. rikun

    rikun Fire Starter

    Tried fixing them, some progress got made...

    But now I found out my tank has sprung outward from the center between the doors! That explains why the doors fitted better on center than sides...

    You can kinda see that from this pic, look at the two halves of the rf plate, how they slope towards the center where the bulge is. And no, luckily I haven't welded them in yet:

    Any idea how to fix that? I tried to use a ratchet strap and some wood block around the tank, but couldn't tighten it enough to make a difference.

    It has sprung quite a bit, looks like around half an inch difference between the center and the sides...
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
  8. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

    You half to reshape from the inside of the tank. Weld re-bar and a bolt to tighten from one side across to pull the tank back into round. Could also use a turn buckle to pull. Use 2X4 inside cut to exact length to push out. What ever you come up with it needs to be done from the inside.
  9. Sometimes each build is different and needs different remedies to tweak it just perfect, but here is another method I use sometimes when the corners don't fit just right....

    Grab a couple c-clamps, decent size, and cut them in half, toss the non handle half in the scap bin so you don't trip over them. Now just tack weld the handle half to the front of the cooking chamber at each corner so as it allows you to use the clamp to push the door into place.

    Now you can take your time and put wedges behind the center of the door, close it and tighten the clamps at each corner to bend the door back into shape.

    Sometimes no heat is needed, sometimes it is.

    If it is, just clamp the door into position as described above, heat the door evenly around each corner, where the bend is. That's important, don't heat where it's not bent, or you may end up with additional bends.

    This method will also work when your whole door has sprung, but you will need enough heat to heat the entire door, so get a good size rose bud. Start working it from the center, working left to right until it's heated all the way across. Once it's hot enough ( your spit vaporizes instantly) cool the door from the inside faster than the outside. I usually just stick a air blower in the exhaust stack, and walk away for a half hour or so.

    But I always wait until all fabrication is done before I start tweaking the doors,
  10. Fixing the tank is another story,

    Most of the time, when manufactures roll the steel for a tank, they leave the roll sprung out wards slightly. It's easier for them to push it in, than to pull it out when assembly welding it.

    So picture the steel wanting to unroll, and that's what is causing the distortion. Understanding where the stress is and what the tank is wanting to do is the key to fixing the problem.

    I preach all the time about not cutting the doors until firebox is welded on, but your past that point so I won't harp on that. ....

    The weak point in the tank is now that center strap between the two doors,..I'm going to ass-sume ( that's the way we spell it around here) that that strap is straightening out as what's left of the center of the tank is trying to unroll? If so, pulling your 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock position closer together should push it back into round, using the reverse flow plate to hold it there. Try just using a pipe or bar clamp, with the dead end tack welded to the back, inside of the tank and your clamp pushing in from the outside bottom edge of the door opening.

    Don't worry, this happens to just about every build , and it's all fixable!
  11. Pipe clamp, very cheap at any box store,

  12. A couple of c clamps like this, with the bottom leg cut off is invaluable in any weld/ fab shop. Just grab them and tack them on to push what you want into place instead of man handling it with a pry bar or something and trying to weld it at the same time,

    And it really doesn't take that big a spot weld either I usually can just knock it off with good smack of a hammer after I'm done.

  13. rikun

    rikun Fire Starter


    I tried to shape it with a bottle jack with some chain wrapped around the tank. Not so easy to manhandle.

    I guess I'll need to get my longest pipe clamp and spot weld it to the inside. My "shop" is just a bunch of rudimentary tools outside, makes things more interesting [​IMG]

    Am I right thinking I should do this just before I'm welding my baffle plate in, so that it keeps the cylinder from unrolling after I take the clamp out? I can probably even see when it's getting close by looking at the baffle plate halves starting to level.

    Here's a pic of me holding a straight edged plywood on the center band, you can see the large gap at the other end. I didn't notice the center band being out of round, but I guess it must be since there's so much outward bow.

  14. rikun

    rikun Fire Starter

    Just had a though,

    Ain't those clamps cast iron? Am I going to have a hard time spot welding them with regular rods like 6013 or 7018?
  15. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is a good video...
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  16. rikun

    rikun Fire Starter

    Hmm, digging up an old thread.

    This build is now in hiatus, since I have a new bigger tank with less problems...

    Just had a though, what's the harm if I complete this tank as it is, out of round?

    Sure I'll get more play on my grates and I'll have to fiddle with my doors a bit more. But is there anything that affects the functionality of the cooker beyond cosmetics, if I don't straighten it out?

    I could relocate my drain to the center where my two RF plate halves meet to get "built in" slope into it...
  17. lendecatural

    lendecatural Smoking Fanatic

    I don't see a problem with working around what you have. If it were me, I would burn a hole between and below the two doors and a corresponding hole on the back side so you can run a piece of 1/2 or 3/4 all thread rod through the tank. Put washers and nuts on and pull the tank in some, then install your RF plates and after they are welded in, remove the all thread and patch the holes. You could likely get it fairly close that way and then just tweek the door till they fit good enough and use gasket for the final seal. You may be surprised how close you can get it back to round. You've got a good bit of work in that tank, it would be a shame not to use it. We promise not to come over there and put a dial indicator on it when it is finished! [​IMG]
  18. doug kiser

    doug kiser Fire Starter

    We call those halfass clamps,they work excellent !!!
  19. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Thumbs Up

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