First time build- Design review and build

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Higee
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First time build- Design review and build

Post by Higee » November 1st, 2016, 9:54 pm

I am attempting to build a pit and relearn how to weld at the same time. If the welding doesn't turn out too well I have a couple options to save me.

I'll post a quick sketch of what I'm looking at building as well as the numbers that I'm working with. A few questions that I do have is around the door opening and the stack itself. In the design I am looking at allowing 5 inches from the end of the CC for me to install the stack. Will I need to give it 6 inches and then squeeze my door in as close as I can?

Also, how much steel should I leave on the left side OR should I start the door and what will be the rack directly over where the baffle plate ends?

What is your preferred door for your Fireboxes? I am leaning towards making one piece the door but also like the way the others look where its cut into that piece of the FB.

Thanks for taking a look and taking the time to give me some direction.

Pit numbers.bmp
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Last edited by Higee on November 7th, 2016, 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Higee » November 1st, 2016, 10:03 pm

Another question, how does the door height and lower cut look? I was going for about an 11 o'clock top cut and a 3 o'clock cut on the lower end.



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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Dirtytires » November 1st, 2016, 10:51 pm

Just my 2 cents, but I believe Frank has this exact size smoker on his website. It lays out all the dimensions and is a proven design so will save you a lot of time from having to redo or recut pieces. It pretty much lays out each piece and gives you the overall order to best assemble it. In my opinion, it was worth every cent and good for reference/piece of mind even if you choose not to follow it.

with that said, you can push the stack all the way to the end. You will need to leave room for the door to swing. Remember you will most likely have a piece of 2 inch strap to seal the edges of the door so calculate in the overhang portion as it increases door width.

I would make bottom door cutout a bit lower than 3:00. It will allow you a little wiggle room and prevent you from smashing your fingers if you ever slam the rach back in and grab the rack by bottom edge.

I see no problem aligning the rack with the baffle plate gap. It will probably create a bit of a hot spot on that side but, if so, push your food over a few inches. I think my bp runs about 2 inches longer than my rack....I can measure in the morning if you want.



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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Big T » November 1st, 2016, 11:07 pm

I build my racks to start at the end of my BP and I leave the same amount of spacing on the FB end (I'm a little OCD) I usually run my stack out the end of the CC over the FB if I'm not building a WC but you can squeeze it out the top. I wouldn't put the stack above my racks to keep any drippings off of the food. If you make your bottom door cut 1'' below 3 oclock it'll let your bottom rack be as deep as possible, the top cut is fine. It looks like your BP is 6'' below your bottom rack, that is about the max distance that you'll want to be. I would try to get it a little closer and take advantage of the radiant heat from the BP. I like to be in the 3''-4'' range if possible but that's just my preference. The last FB door I done I used 1/2'' plate cut to fit the door opening and framed it with 1/4''x1'' flat bar.


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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Higee » November 1st, 2016, 11:47 pm

Thanks guys.

If I move my stack over the firebox, I think I read that I don't count the bend but still keep my stack length the same from the top of the pit. I'll see if I can find that link or let me know if I'm wrong.

Big T, I like the idea of keeping the spacing the same on both ends. If I lower the rack to 4 inches above the BP does it looks like my door opening will have an almost 4 o'clock lower opening (new line in the drawing) is that around where your door openings are since your lower rack is closer to the BP?

It's a smaller pit but I want to add a counterweight so I don't think I'll have any problem with the door weight.

For the FB door, 18 inches isn't a whole lot to work with so I think I've talked myself into making the whole thing the door.
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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Pete Mazz » November 2nd, 2016, 2:43 am

I would keep the lower rack at 3:00 and raise the FB. Use the same cut-out for the throat but just move it up so you'll have a border around the bottom of the CC.


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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by 10pinto » November 2nd, 2016, 4:31 am

Also i would make the FB height at least 21" or 22" and have your grate at 18" and put a ash pan in and have you air intakes below your grate.



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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Rodcrafter » November 2nd, 2016, 6:52 am

This is a great sized smoker. You are doing a good job on the calculations and the rest is really personal preference. I really like combining what BigT said and what Pete said that is lower the 3 o'clock cut by 1" allowing the main rack to be as large as possible being in the center of the pipe. Then if you want to raise the throat cut don't change it just move it and the FB up. But looking at your drawing it looks like it may be closer than 6" if you just lower the bottom rack the 1 inch. You are also correct about the stack length only count the portion that is above the CC.

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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Big T » November 2nd, 2016, 6:08 pm

Yep what they said.


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Higee » November 3rd, 2016, 10:56 pm

20161102_140556.jpg
new stack for the setup, getting closer to assembly stage.
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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Big T » November 3rd, 2016, 11:02 pm

:kewl:


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Dirtytires » November 4th, 2016, 1:10 am

Not being negative....as it looks great. However, it's tough to put a damper on the top of a miter cut.



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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Pete Mazz » November 4th, 2016, 1:48 am

I'm guessing the 2 mitered parts get welded to make a 90?


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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Rodcrafter » November 4th, 2016, 5:18 am

I feel pretty sure you're right Pete.
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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by ACC » November 4th, 2016, 10:31 am

A word of warning. I am a newby and have never build nor cooked on a real smoker. So discount my opinions appropriately. There are people on this sight that have great knowledge and experience. Listen to them. They have helped me tremendously. That being said here are a few of my observations.

You might consider cutting the top door seam a bit past 12:00 (on the backside of top dead center. Cover the seam with flat bar/flange welded to the CC door. The thought is that rain water would run downhill away from the top seam. If you cut it at 11:00 (on the door side of TDC), The flange may not protect the seam. Rain water would run towards the top seam and into the CC.

Are you using the inside dimensions for the pit calculator? Might not make much of a difference. The inside diameter of your CC is probably 23.5".

You probably don't need a counterweigh on the door. I'm building the same size pit. The door is not too heavy, but it is a personal preference thing.



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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Higee » November 4th, 2016, 11:05 am

20161104_105203.jpg
made some changes to my design based on your recomendations. Stack to the end and raising the FB.

That is making me raise my BP but no big deal. I reversed/caressed the calculator to figure my length across the CC and it's giving me a width of just over 22.5" at 8 inches high. That should give me plenty of assistance from the BP and cooking.
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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Squiggle » November 4th, 2016, 12:06 pm

:kewl: :beer:


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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Higee » November 4th, 2016, 3:24 pm

2016-11-04 15.21.56.jpg
practice welds are improving with the proper settings.

It's been since early High school if anyone is wondering, and that was the late 80s. :)
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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by temurf » November 4th, 2016, 3:39 pm

:LG: :kewl:


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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Higee » November 4th, 2016, 4:27 pm

making my own hinges like fellow Texan Franklin.

Learned to use the right size pipe and angle iron for the hump.

For future reference, 10" piece of 1/2" steel rod inserted 2" into the Jig.
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Last edited by Higee on November 5th, 2016, 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Big T » November 4th, 2016, 6:08 pm

It looks like it's coming back to you. I've seen guys on here build pits with welds that looked way worse than that, they just done a lot of grinding.


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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Squiggle » November 5th, 2016, 8:06 am

:LG: :beer:


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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Higee » November 5th, 2016, 11:32 pm

Here is what I'm looking at for the design and the numbers based on the changes.

I think the pictures match the calculation 100% now and the Diagonal line across the CC is where the Door will be around 11ish and possibly 1 to 1 1/2 inches below 3o'clock.

Moved the FB up, it had been only 4 inches from the bottom of the CC, it is now 8 inches high with my Throat now an equal 2 5/8 opening across the top of the FB.

updates #'s and images so hopefully they can be seen.
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Re: First time build- Design review

Post by Gizmo » November 6th, 2016, 8:19 am

Now THIS drawing just looks right! :kewl:


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