Plain old offset 250 gallon

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by r hagan, May 28, 2015.

  1. r hagan

    r hagan Fire Starter

    I was hoping to get some advice for my propane tank build. I'm all set on doors and hinges and calculations but my father in law who is going to help me put the firebox together INSISTS I don't need anything thicker than 14 gauge. I don't plan on going any less than 1/4" I just wanted some reassurance from you all.

    Also, on the smokestack, does thickness matter as much? I figure since that's where all the heat and smoke escapes, I might be able to get away with something thinner than 1/4". I have a virtually unlimited supply of 16 gauge.
  2. smokejumper

    smokejumper Smoking Fanatic

    Hello R Hagan,

    14ga is way too thin for a firebox.

    First of all, heat loss through the walls is inversely proportional to thickness. The thinner it is the more heat you lose.

    Most would consider 14ga way too thin for the cook chamber as well for the same reason unless you are insulating it.

    Second of all, the temps in the firebox can be high enough to warp 14ga.

    Third of all, the firebox will deteriorate faster than the rest of the cooker due to the high temps and corrosiveness of the ash. Thicker steel will last longer as a result. This is why I went with 3/8" for the bottom of my FB and have a sacrificial 1/4 plate in the top of the FB. It is why the firebox of a Stumps style smoker is made of 1/2" or thicker steel.

    For the stack, the thickness is not as critical. For a point of reference the smoke stacks of wood burning stoves is quite thin. For the short lengths of a smoker stack, there is not much danger of the smoke cooling too much before it exits.

     I hope this helps.
  3. r hagan

    r hagan Fire Starter

    Ok, thanks for reassuring what I was already thinking. I think I'm gonna try the smoke stack out of the 16 gauge just to see. Might get cracking on it in the morning, we'll see.
  4. r hagan

    r hagan Fire Starter

    This is what I've done so far. Not much but I want to finish by July 4th so I'm gonna be on it. I'll be sure to keep everyone posted with pictures as progress moves forward
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
  5. smokejumper

    smokejumper Smoking Fanatic

    Looks like you are off to a good start.
  6. Cool keep us posted

  7. fliptetlow

    fliptetlow Smoke Blower

    I did a similar set of doors on mine and used a 4 1/2" cutoff wheel to cut the doors out. Took a bit longer and about 5-disks but gives you a nice cut and keeps the doors flat, tank I used was 1/4" thick. Just an FYI, good luck.
  8. r hagan

    r hagan Fire Starter

    Got the first door cut yesterday. I took some photos on my phone, but I lost it somewhere around the house. 

    When I started I thought using a sawzall would be a good idea and while it gave a clean cut, the blades wore out way too fast and once i got the first door done, I had trouble fitting it back into place. I'm not a metal expert but I guess it's better to have a gap for expansion. So what I ended up doing was using a cutting torch. The cut isn't exactly pretty but it'll be covered up with some flat bar around the perimeter of the door. 

    By the end of next week I'm hoping to have both doors completely functioning and hopefully I'll have started the firebox construction. 

    One question, and although I'm not there yet, I see some smokers have their thermometers mounted so that only about an inch or so enters the cooking chamber. Is this just so it doesn't get in the way when you're trying to grab stuff off the grates?

    I'll be sure to post some pics once I find my phone.
  9. smokejumper

    smokejumper Smoking Fanatic

    With door mounted therms, they are usually out of the way with the door open, so you could use longer ones that extend further into the CC.

    The reason I went short is so that when the door is closed, the end of the therm will not come in contact with the meat on the grate. If they were longer, I would have to be more careful about where I am placing the meat on the grate.
  10. r hagan

    r hagan Fire Starter

    Thanks smoke jumper.

    Here is a pic of the first door
  11. r hagan

    r hagan Fire Starter

    All I got done today was I finished the frame for the first door. I also ran the cutting torch along the the top of the second door

  12. r hagan

    r hagan Fire Starter

    OK, so I ran into a a slight conundrum. I was planning on going with a firebox that was 32" X 32" X 24" which, according to Feldon's was 127.7%. Perfect right?

    So I ordered the steel and had it cut before it was delivered so I would have one less thing to mess with. SO I got one full 4' X 8' sheet and had it divided up into 6 equal sized pieces of 24" X 32".

    It came in yesterday and I realized with this I would have to make the firebox 24" X 24" X 32" which Feldon's has at 95.8%. 

    Is the 4% gonna kill me? I'm assuming not. I could, if I had to, buy a small piece of 1/4" steel to fill in the gap but I was hoping to put this together tomorrow morning and I won't be able to get steel anywhere.

    Thanks for any help.
  13. r hagan

    r hagan Fire Starter

    Finished...... For now

    Got it bare bones now. Still need door stops and some handles on the doors and I'm gonna put a couple thermometers on.

    Here's some pics from my Fourth of July cookout, which was on July 3rd.


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