Build a custom bbq smoker part II

Building your own bbq smoker is no small feat, but it is a lot of fun. This is how I approached it.

This is part II in the series. You can find part I herepart III here and part IV here.

Finding a trailer

I finally ended up buying a used trailer. I quickly realized a proper trailer comes in very handy even for transporting the smoker shorter distances. Said and done, I bought one I can use to mount the smoker on.

A trailer to mount the smoker on

A trailer to mount the smoker on

The build takes a new turn

After a lot of thought I couldn’t shake the feeling that the big tank’s weight would be a problem. I need a hydraulic crane to be able to get the tank onto the trailer, and the same for taking it off. So I decided to build my own tank instead, in dual layers of sheet metal. But in order to do that I need a frame or jig to build it around. Said and done, I put one together in a few hours:

A wooden fram or jig to use as template

A wooden fram or jig to use as template

In order to encapsulate the entire wooden frame with sheet metal I visited the local steel monger’s. I made the end pieces in 3 mm steel. It took a good while cutting these out, but they turned out great. The first task was to fabricate a pair of compasses so I could draw a circle that big.

Food chamber end pieces

Food chamber end pieces

Now it’s time to make a cutout for the chimney on one of the end pieces. Said and done, I fired up the jigsaw and cut a hole. I then welded the chimney attachment in place.

The chimney attachment

The chimney attachment

Since the chimney is rather large (long and heavy), I decided to reinforce the end piece from the inside with a piece of angle bar.

The chimney attachment from the inside, with reinforcement bars

The chimney attachment from the inside, with reinforcement bars

Back to the firechamber

I’ve had plans for a while to put feet on the firechamber, but haven’t gotten around to it. I did have some time today, so now it’s done. A very simple construction:

Putting feet on the firebox

Putting feet on the firebox

The New Design

So, it is finally time to begin constructing the food chamber. It is made of thin sheet metal, in two layers, with air in between. An isolated chamber in other words. Here I’ve started “dressing” the wooden frame with sheet metal. I can’t help but think of an airplane when you see that thin metal tube 🙂

Beginning construction of the inside layer of the food chamber

Beginning construction of the inside layer of the food chamber

The first blooper

Well, it was bound to happen. Every now and then my brain takes a short vacation, without telling me 🙂

I mounted the smoke stack flange backwards. Very frustrating. However, all I could do is bite the bullet, fire up the steel grinder and cut it off, then re-weld it into place with the flange facing outwards. The way it was meant to be.

Smoke stack flange correctly mounted

Smoke stack flange correctly mounted

Here you can see the 90 degree bend in place.

90 degree smoke stack bend mounted

90 degree smoke stack bend mounted

Read more in part III here.

Posted by Henrik

Passionate food lover and a big fan of traditional barbecue.

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