Vertical Insulated Cabinet

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dtheis12
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Vertical Insulated Cabinet

Post by dtheis12 » July 2nd, 2019, 9:38 pm

Hi all - I've been a member of this forum for almost 5 months now. I've stayed pretty quite, mostly looking over the previous builds and gathering inspiration. I started my own build now and decided to share it with you, hopefully giving someone else ideas and inspiration to start their own build.

Just a little background on me and some of the drivers behind my decisions:
1. I have an engineering background, I'm fairly competent in drafting, I have access to a plasma CNC and GMAW welding machines.
2. I wanted to minimize the welding scope of my build. I was really impressed with some of the GF kit builds I saw that involved more bending than welding.
3. I wanted to minimize the painting scope. I think this was a weakness to my build...I would change things if I did them again, but I'll show you what I did anyways.
4. I've never built a smoker before and have very limited experience with smoking (old ovens with wet wood chips to smoke fish as a kid and kamados more recently).
5. I live in a townhome in a very large city - as much as I would love a large smoker...I don't have room. I bought plans for a mini GF, but decided a vertical cabinet would be a better fit.
6. I decided to build a reverse flow cabinet - I don't know why exactly, but that's what I decided.
Last edited by dtheis12 on July 2nd, 2019, 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Vertical Upright Insulated Cabinet

Post by Big T » July 2nd, 2019, 9:50 pm

Welcome aboard!! Post up a sketch or some pictures and let us check it out.


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Re: Vertical Insulated Cabinet

Post by dtheis12 » July 2nd, 2019, 10:15 pm

The first steps were cutting out the parts and bending them. I used 14 ga. sheet for most everything. I used 11 ga. for the coalbox, but that was because I had some extra left over from another project. I forgot to take pics of the coalbox construction. I welded the grate slides to the inner cook chamber before bending.

I then welded the inner cook chamber to the the deflection plate. I used 1/4" for this because it's supporting most of the weight with my design. The deflection plate will hold a full size hotel pan. I kept the inside cutout from it too, so I could just plug it off if I don't want to use a water pan.
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Re: Vertical Insulated Cabinet

Post by dtheis12 » July 2nd, 2019, 10:29 pm

I welded coalbox slides onto the outer chamber and the stack onto the inner chamber. I then welded the inner chamber to outer firebox chamber. I planned to use 2x4" tube steel for the stack, but couldn't source it in time so I ended up making my own. I messed up the dimensions of the stack and didn't realize it until after I had it welded on. I had to take the cutting wheel after a few parts, resulting in a big gap I filled in with ugly welds. So excuse the ugly welds around the stack.

I welded the top an bottom plates the the outer firebox chamber after that.

There are also tabs in there for a deflector plate under the water pan.
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Re: Vertical Insulated Cabinet

Post by dtheis12 » July 2nd, 2019, 10:38 pm

Once the entire outer firebox chamber was welded together, I slid it into a 1.25" angle iron frame. If I made another smoker, I would tweak my design get rid of this frame and incorporate the supports in the outer chamber. I think it just took up time to cut, weld and grind everything to make the frame. The doors were bent and welded together.
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Re: Vertical Insulated Cabinet

Post by dtheis12 » July 2nd, 2019, 10:44 pm

The outer chamber was then stitch welded onto the frame. I stitch welded around the front and on the bottom supports. I added 1.5" couplers for the air intake. The photos are of a cast coupler I cut in half and welded on. I did not like how the cast couplers welded on, so I cut them off and replaced them with forged half couplers. The forgings resulted in a much better weld, the last picture includes the forged couplers. The doors/hinges were welded on next.
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Re: Vertical Insulated Cabinet

Post by dtheis12 » July 2nd, 2019, 11:06 pm

Up next was painting. I originally planned to only paint the exposed surfaces, but I ended up painting everything. I don't have access to an abrasive blast booth/cabinet large enough to fit this, so the surface prep was less than ideal. I gave the frame a light abrasive blast before welding and then a phosphoric acid etch prior to painting. I'm also not allowed to spray flammable paint in the booth I used, so I found an engine epoxy that fit the bill. It sprayed and built-up well, but I have concerns about the longevity. We'll see how long it lasts...

The mineral wool insulation went on next. After that, it was time to apply the aluminum skins. I decided to tape aluminum skins onto the frame with 3M VHB tape, like enclosed trailers are fabricated. It's supposed to be good at 300°F for intermittent use. I assumed you would smoke at a max of around 275°F and the skins would be colder due to the insulation and convection from the ambient air. If my paint doesn't hold up, the taped on skins will not work very well. The skins are 0.04" aluminum with an anodized finish. A 4x10" sheet was $120.

If i was to do it over again, I would use thinner carbon steel sheet for the outer skins. I would rivet it on to reduce welding and then get it all powder coated. I like the way mine looks, but I'm not sure how long it will look that way. I think it would be more cost effective to powdercoat.
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Re: Vertical Insulated Cabinet

Post by dtheis12 » July 2nd, 2019, 11:13 pm

Here are the final pics of it during the first fire I lit. Somehow the side skins ended up 1/2" shorter than planned, so I had to make a few last minute modifications with a hammer...pretty disappointing after all the planning and work that went into it..

I have a BBQ guru that got it up to temp very quick, It held the temp well and did not use much wood. There are a few minor items I need to adress (the galvanized plug will be removed ASAP - It's all I could find on short notice) , but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I'll post pics of the first brisket I cook on it.
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Re: Vertical Insulated Cabinet

Post by dtheis12 » July 2nd, 2019, 11:29 pm

Most of the photos ended up rotated 90° from how they are on my computer, if someone knows how to fix them, let me know.



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Re: Vertical Insulated Cabinet

Post by dtheis12 » July 3rd, 2019, 12:03 am

Here are pictures of the inside.
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Re: Vertical Insulated Cabinet

Post by ajfoxy » July 3rd, 2019, 2:40 am

Well that came out nice. :kewl:


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Re: Vertical Insulated Cabinet

Post by Pete Mazz » July 3rd, 2019, 3:46 am

:yth:


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Re: Vertical Insulated Cabinet

Post by mp4 » July 3rd, 2019, 4:17 am

dtheis12 wrote:Most of the photos ended up rotated 90° from how they are on my computer, if someone knows how to fix them, let me know.
I crop mine just a fuzz that end up rotated and it typically orients them the right way.



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Re: Vertical Insulated Cabinet

Post by mp4 » July 3rd, 2019, 4:18 am

BTW - Very nice build!




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Re: Vertical Insulated Cabinet

Post by Dirtytires » July 3rd, 2019, 4:13 pm

Welcome to the site,....



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Re: Vertical Insulated Cabinet

Post by Big T » July 3rd, 2019, 5:40 pm

:LG: :LG:


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