my first 250 gal reverse flow

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by dragons breath, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. Well here we go. I've never built one of these before, but with the wealth of information here this should turn out good indeed. I'm going to build a center fire box, Thanks 57vette guy. Your build is an inspiration. First of all thanks to everyone at SMF for all the encouragement and for doing all the R and D. The ideas are fantastic.

    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]

    The first and second photos are a burn out of the tank. That's a Pexto 10 ga. roll form. I rolled the flat bar and tacked it to the tank as a guide for the plasma cut. The ASME plate on the tank indicates that the tank is 3/16 inch, but after cutting it turned out to be 5/16 inch thick. It must weigh over 600 lbs. This will last a life time.


    Here's the little Harbor Freight trailer I plan on using. It's rated at 1980 lbs. It should be plenty up to it.


    We finally got it out of my truck.  That's my grill. Dragon's Breath
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    This is going to be a good one!

    Sure looks like you have a great workshop!
  3. [​IMG][​IMG]

    Getting her welded. After this I think I'm going to flip her over and cut a couple of damper holes in the bottom for the fire box. I was going to cut 1  8 inch hole but that might not be enough so I'm going with 2  9 inch holes. They can always be damped down.
  4. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Trying to figure things out as I go along. I had to stop and make a little A frame to get the tank high enough for the trailer. I wanted to position the tank over the trailer to see how to fit in a fire box. Right now the center line of the tank, top of main grill, is 39 inches off the ground. I wanted the grill surface to be as low as possible for ease of use. At this height the fire box would rest on the axle if it was only 20 inches high. Actually the lowest point of the tank would be 14 inches above the axle. I can insulate the fire box to protect the axle but the clean out might not be as efficient as I would like. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Maybe I will have to raise the tank higher to accommodate the fire box. 
  5. Looks great so far!
    I ran into the same problems designing the Buffalo.
    I started with a Harbor Freight trailer similar to yours, but by the end of it I'd modified everything out but the springs and light kit.
    You're going to have to decide if you REALLY want that center-mounted fire box because the only way I can see you getting it while still having the grill at a workable level is to double wall the fire box and split the axle, welding the ends of the axle to the outer shell (away from the worst of the heat) and then buttrussing the heck out of it to keep your frame together.

    You might consider getting some channel and redoing the frame. (Or at least welding the frame rails together)

    This is gonna be interesting!
  6. Oops, I should note:

    You can keep the springs if you build a pin into the firebox/axle connection.

    Something like this maybe?

  7. Thanks for the input Spankerchief. The middle frame's definitely in the way. Cutting the axle is a good idea except I would lose the leaf spring action. I would still have to leave at least an inch between the fire box and axle so the trailer didn't bottom out on those pesky road bumps. I dreamed up a solution while asleep last night. I could have the ash clean out drop down on either side of the axle giving an extra 4 or 5 inches with the air dampers located there also. This is more complicated but I think doable.
  8. I think I see what you mean. It would work like a Volkswagen swing axle right?
  9. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    I love the gantry. Wish I would have had one when we built ours. Looking good so far Dragon!
  10. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    Looking forward to seeing it finished.
  11. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The only problem i see with this set up is... you would have to connect the axles to the fire box in the right position so that your tires would ride square on the road after the trailer is weighted down. Meaning that if you leveled the trailer and then leveled the axles, when you get everything mounted on the trailer and loaded up with wood and what have you that the trailer is gonna "squat" down and the your tires will not be square on the road resulting in premature tire wear. Tires will wear excessivly on the inside of the tire. Hope you catch on to what I am trying to say here.
  12. Thanks for the heads up. I see what you mean and I don't want to design more problems into the smoker. I think I found an alternate solution. I'm going to move the tank forward so the fire box sits just to the front side of the axle. This will also give me tung weight. Maybe more than I want, but the other way the trailer would be almost balanced. I do not plan on having anything on the

    trailer other than the smoker.


    I fit the reverse flow plate and started welding it in. It's 7 ft. long right now and adds up to over 30 feet of weld. I still have to add small end pieces to reduce the end flow space to about 6 inches on each end. The overall dimension of the tank is a little over 9 ft. Looks like I will be welding for a while. All I have is a Lincoln 250 Idealarc. So I bought a 50 lb. box of 6011. I hope that's enough!
  13. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    6011's ? 3/32 or 1/8 ? It won't take long.. you'll be done before you know it
  14. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Maybe I'm missing something, but how do you get a RF smoker from a FB directly under the cook chamber?

    Just asking [​IMG]
  15. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Nothing like getting into your work...It looks real good so far but I know nothing about a reverse flow...
  16. I bought 3/32" because it's easier to control. But I should have bought some 1/8" for welding speed. Some of the fits left a small gap that would have went faster with 1/8".


    Actually this is a double reverse flow. I'm building it like 57vette guy's build. The smoke comes up through the middle and goes both directions with the chimney in the middle. It also gives the smoker a more symmetrical look and I hope that translates to a good smoker! I talked to the guys here in Stockton at Fat City Griller Supply and they explained that the chimney lets the smoker breath by allowing the smoke to exit the chamber right at the main grill area. That's where the action takes place and having the exhaust at that location facilitates the smoking process. That's why the chimney is located down by the grill and not at the top of the smoker. The way they explained it, it makes since to me.
  17. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Now I get it.........................Thanks for clarifying how it works.

    This will be an interesting build    [​IMG]
  18. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    A whole hog, NO, TWO whole hogs, I see it happening.  Great work, and too much fun to watch.[​IMG]
  19. I got the trailer boxed in today.


    You can never have too many C-clamp vice grips. I also installed a 1500# trailer jack because there will be tongue weight with the smoker moving closer to the front of the trailer. In fact there won't be any reason to keep the last section of trailer, so I have to decide whether to cut it off or leave it on.


    The trailer has really stiffened up. No wobbly tongue. These trailers are engineered to carry what there rated at and no more. It's starting to come together finally. Unfortunately I will not be smoking a turkey tomorrow. Hopefully in the next week or two. I positioned the tank on the trailer to design the fire box. It's going to be......... different difficult. I decided not to go below the axle for towability reasons. Sometimes I have to drive over the curb to access the cooking area in the park. The fire box is now going to be 26" x 35" x 42". I figured bigger is better than too small. The door will be double by having the top as well as the side open to make it easier to load wood and charcoal. I'm thinking about having a pull out clean out at the bottom. Trying to make it efficient as I can.
  20. smokingohiobutcher

    smokingohiobutcher Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hell Yeah!!!!  DB this is how I want to build my Backyard smoker!!! I am glad you are working out the bugs and giving me more ideas for my build! Thanks!

    By the way!   WOW WOW WOW!!!! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]  Love your work area!!! The smoker is looking great!

    Keep up the great work!


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