A am not entirely new to smoking meats, I used to have an sfb vertical cabinet type, I think it was a new braunsfeld. It burned out several years ago, and I have been using my gas grill that has a built in but tiny insulated smoker in it. after some persuading with the missus she agreed to do the look into it thing to find a larger model. then she finally just said "so how much is a good smoker?" I gave her some numbers and she decided I should replace my stolen welder and get to building. I am not going to profess to be a master fabricator, nor welder but have done both as hobbies for years. that being said I have a terrible habit of not wanting to over spend on something if can be avoided. To that end I have comprised most of the parts and pieces needed to build my new smoker for the grand sum of $25 thus far. it has a 24 x 24 x 30 tall CC with an over sized FB 19x19x28. I am cursed with an over active imagination and always see the next change or modification. I recently started reading posts and found out about the calculators on here to get the proper sizes. I was actually pretty close just going off my gut but will make the adjustments soon and try it out again. I currently use charcoal for heat and wood for flavor, and have experimented with tons of types over the years. I normally prefer mesquite for beef, and hickory, pecan or fruit for pork. I make my own sauce, as I'm not big on the "Carolina" style. we prefer Georgia or KC types in my house. Sorry this is so long, I am addicted to smoking meat, and all related things and can talk about them for days on end.