New build. Vertical gravity feed smoker with side firebox in one cabinet. Insulated and on wheels

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by r290, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. r290

    r290 Fire Starter

    Hi.  I am building a vertical smoker with a firebox on the side, all in the same cabinet.  

    Day 1: 

    Brought home some metal and started cutting and welding.

    Basic frame, 50" x 43" x 30"   Fire box will be on the right in that smaller section.

    Here is what it looks like right now:

    Pile 'o steel:

    Cutting mineral wool with a steak knife for the tubing:

    I found I needed to use a broom handle and a large washer to push the insulation all the way to the end of the tubing.

    Repeat until full.

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  2. r290

    r290 Fire Starter

    Day 2  Was able to get 4 interior panels installed.   Lots of welding for sure.

    Well back to work on Monday.

  3. r290

    r290 Fire Starter

    Day 3 building the fire box. Well being my first build, I have some changes. I want the charcoal grate removable and some sort of ash pan for easy clean up.

    Edit couple pics of the fire box. Its just tacked as I have some more pieces to cut for the chimney section. The fire box bottom is 1/4" the main burn area is 1/2" the chimney will be 1/4" The metal store had 10" x 1/2" flat bar. :icon_eek: So the main burn section is 10" tall Can't see it, but the hole in the cook chamber matches a hole in the main burn section.

    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  4. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    this aughta be interesting.. I'm in...

  5. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm following this build! I'm liking the way you think!
  6. r290

    r290 Fire Starter

    Doing some reading on this site and decided to add a rack on the outside to hang utensils from. The need for quick access to some basic tools seems like a good idea even on a smoker. Some where to hang a pizza peel (huge spatula). lol
    Also going to see if I can add some handles to the racks, not 100% sure on that
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
  7. r290

    r290 Fire Starter

    Day 4. I did not make any build progress. I did order a ton of stuff. Those parts really add up.$$$
    Kason latch for the door, t handle latches for the fire box, 2" and 1.5" ball valves, nemex gasket for the doors, SS wire handle for damper, pipe to connect the ball valves, thermostat, wheels, hinges.

    Still need to order damper plate and make or buy a cast iron charcoal grate
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
  8. r290

    r290 Fire Starter

    Day 5     No major progress, but I did get some 1/4 metal plate cut and tacked together.    The fire box is coming together nice.  It's tapered 10" bottom and 8" top so the charcoal does not stick as it burns down.

    One set back is I had to cut one of the 2x2 bars so I can slide the fire box in once I fully weld it.   That was the easy thing to weld back in once installed, so not a huge deal.  The fire box will stick up 2" above the top and 2" out the bottom side.  

    The second bummer is I can't find some 10" C channel, I have a piece of 8" which means cutting down the middle and welding in some flat bar.  Everything is cut for 10" so I will just march on.   Maybe I try a few other metal supply houses, but a lot of places only sell 20' sections and not by the foot..

    Like every welding project its taking a lot of time.

    The next thing will have to be finish up the bottom and weld on the casters, then install the fire box.  

    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  9. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looking good!

    Also, just like any welding project, the plans change a bit here and there as you go!

    Keep up the good work!
  10. r290

    r290 Fire Starter

    Day 6  Got all of the fire box welded up.  Thank god for mig welders or it would have been 10 pounds of stick rod for sure.  Still need to add the C channel before welding into cabinet.

  11. r290

    r290 Fire Starter

    Day 7.     

    Had an hour or so.  Your looking at the bottom, its really hard to see but in the far corner I cut and welded in the 1 1/2" drain pipe.   I bought a SS ball valve on e-bay for 1/2 the price of a brass one.  In fact I bought a lot of misc stuff on E-bay.   Its been like Christmas opening package everyday.

    I was seeing some flash rust so I wiped the bottom pan with some vegetable oil then installed the mineral wool insulation.    Tomorrow the plan is install the bottom 16 ga sheet metal and get some wheels on this thing.   I'm short some 16 gauge sheet metal, so I will need to get one more sheet.  I bought two 4x8 sheet and one 4x10 sheet.  But even if I stitching pieces together I still need 1 more 4x8 sheet. $$$     

    FWIW  This is not a cheap build so if anyone wants to copy it, its going bite you in the wallet.   But its only money and more can be made.   My goal is to build a high quality and really fuel efficient smoker.      


    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  12. Excellent build you got going. Built one simular a few years ago myself. The materials do add up during the build but in the end you got yourself a 3 to 4 grand smoker for the fraction of the cost. And it will be efficient as heck. Able to do 8 plus hour smokes on one bag of lump on mine. Looking forward to seeing the final pics.
  13. r290

    r290 Fire Starter

    Day 8

    Not sure where the day went, but I did work on it all day.    Got the bottom  sheet metal installed along with the feet and casters.

    I finished up the fire box, which took a lot of time to get just right.   Can't see it in the pic but I cut the C channel down the middle and installed some flat bar to make it 10" wide.    There is a small piece of 9ga expanded metal at the fire box to keep coals from falling into the smoking chamber.  

    The fire box is all welded in place.    The idea is you can put a small pan on top of the C channel to add moisture, i.e beer, apple juice, water,etc.

    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015
  14. ahumadora

    ahumadora Smoking Fanatic

    Nice looking build. It will be interesting to see how your idea of the C section works for dispersing the heat. I am in the middle of building a commercial smoker and working 12 hour days to get it completed before opening of the restaurant. (see other builds)

    A lot of work, but at the end of the day you have something built with your own hands and can be proud of it for many years.
  15. r290

    r290 Fire Starter

    Thanks. It a lot of work for sure.
    Once I use it I can see if the c channel needs some adjustments. I could extend the sides down right at the fire box. The idea is that plate you see on the bottom should direct the heat sideways
  16. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Starting to look like a smoker! Keep up the hard work.
  17. r290

    r290 Fire Starter

    Day 9-10-11

    Sunday had to get more sanding disc and cutoff wheels for the grinder. Monday picked up another 10' of 2x2
    Got the rest of the frame peices installed around fire box.

    Then the frustration begins. Cutting 45 degrees to box in the door frame. These go on the frame for the doors to close on.

    It's not easy with a chopsaw to get the length just right, but the real issue is welding it so it stays flat. Welding just makes metal move. Even with lots of tack welds.
    Got the top one done after cutting it and straighting it out. I did the bottom one after work yesterday, but forgot to stuff the tubing with insulation. Arrg! Not a performance issue, just trying to make everything insulated.

    I'm going to move on to making the racks, and decide later if I'm cutting that tubing off to insulate.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  18. r290

    r290 Fire Starter

    Day 12

    Got all the steel cut and prepped for installation of the racks. Wow my pile of steel is about gone. :)

    edit couple pics.

    The fire box side

    The rails for the racks installed
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  19. r290

    r290 Fire Starter

    Ok got the racks all welded, its like 80 welds per rack times 5 that's 400 welds.  

    Starting to take shape.   

    I just realized that with the air inlet on the side it might not fit through a standard door.

    Need to decide quick if I should move it to the side.

    Edit..  I could find a 90 and that would keep it down to 33" wide.

    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015
  20. r290

    r290 Fire Starter

    Ok day 16 I think.    I worked like a mad man over the weekend.    Got a lot done.

    Almost got the door finished, should get it mounted in a day or 3.

    I used some of the scrap steel to hold the insulation in place.  it's stuff in tight, but this will hold up to traveling too.

    Welded like a fool too.   The door has over 26 ft of continuous weld.  :-o

    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015

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