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My Offset Cooker Build
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Backyard Smoke
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Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 35
Location: Buna, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Mar 25 10 2:36 am    Post subject: My Offset Cooker Build Reply with quote

I have been watching and reading the forum for ideas for my cooker. You guys really rock. I have a 120 gallon propane tank that im building into a cooker. I removed the valves and cut out two of the four openings on it and patched them like I seen k.a.m. do on his RF build.The other two I will use for drains . The bottom was rotated to the top with the seam up. I started out cutting it without much thought and ended up removing the end cap. I was planning on replacing it with a piece of flat plate but I noticed that most of you use the rounded end cap and place the hotbox under that. Is there an advantage to keeping the rounded part on the firebox side.? I am actually thinking about putting it back on. Same amount of welding involved
Here is a picture of it.


The following are pics from start to present.

Bringing it home. It was about 6ft. long.


The cut. Big"pucker factor" here. I actually stopped right after this pic because it belched water out and drenched me and the roof of the patio.


After the piece war removed.

Burning it out.


The Firebox is 20x21x20. HxWxL. Still not complete.



The Frame and craddle for it.

With Wheels bought from Harbor Freight. Hope they hold out.

This is the pit mounted to the frame. Just tack welded for now.
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Jon D. Q.
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Joined: 12 Nov 2008
Posts: 404
Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Thu Mar 25 10 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love it. another build to follow on The Smoke Ring forum. I am unclear on one thing however. Are you planning a traditional det-up or a reverse flow build?
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bigjoe
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Joined: 05 Jul 2008
Posts: 849
Location: Parma Hts, OH

PostPosted: Thu Mar 25 10 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweet!!! I love watching pits getting built. Very Happy Very Happy Don't usually comment on em since I'm still tryin to get a clue on making these things and having them act like they should. Learn more on every build I watch. Very Happy Very Happy

Keep the pics coming. Wink
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Backyard Smoke
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Joined: 26 Feb 2010
Posts: 35
Location: Buna, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Mar 25 10 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon D. Q.
I was watching k.a.m.s RF build thinking about that but decided to build a tuning plate smoker instead. Thinking I have better heating options with tuning plates.

bigjoe
I've done a lot of watching also. These guys on here build some fine pits.
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BluzQue
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Joined: 28 Jun 2009
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Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: Thu Mar 25 10 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lookin' Good Backyard Smoke Very Happy
Will be followin' your build for sure!

Cool
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Backyard Smoke
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Location: Buna, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Mar 25 10 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BluzQue
Thanks. I'm anxious to get it complete but the progress is slow. I'm a bit hesitant to cut out the doors being that my tourch skills and a steady hand are lacking.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25 10 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Backyard Smoke, your off to a great start right there. Very Happy Your cooker build is looking fantastic. I look forward to seeing some more updates. Very Happy
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killswitch505
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25 10 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

man you got one heck of a build going. I think if it were my build I would go RF tuning plates are great donít get me wrong on my build I would have gone RF is I didnít have the vertical chamber.
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Backyard Smoke
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Joined: 26 Feb 2010
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Location: Buna, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Mar 25 10 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks k.a.m. I look forward to getting it complete.

Thanks killswitch505. The tuning plate vs. RF has been a big debate with me. I was leaning toward a RF build especially after watching k.a.m.s build but then I like the idea of adjusting or removing the tuning plates as needed.

Perhaps you and K.a.m can help me with my original question which I should have asked after posting all the pics instead of before.

I started out cutting it without much thought and ended up removing the end cap. I was planning on replacing it with a piece of flat plate but I noticed that most of you use the rounded end cap and place the hotbox under that. Is there an advantage to keeping the rounded part on the firebox side.? I am actually thinking about putting it back on. Same amount of welding involved.
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daddywoofdawg
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25 10 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thought on it is it's easier to just cut a hole and put your firebox in then to cut off the whole end and then buy plate to cover up a hole that you didn't have to make.Is my thinking on why most leave the ends on.Now that you have the end off why not mount a vertical chamber there and put your firebox on the other end?
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Jon D. Q.
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Joined: 12 Nov 2008
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Location: Middle Tennessee

PostPosted: Thu Mar 25 10 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The biggest advantage to having the endcap is that you have more potential cooking grate surface. Assuming that this is going to be a 2 cooking grate set-up you should easily be able to have the capacity to smoke 3 or 4 more butts in the cooker. Remember almost everyone has times that they wished they had a bigger cooker. I would suggest putting a lot of thought into your grate spacing and door cut locations. There is no reason that a cooker this size cannot have 2 large cooking grates in it fully capable of smoking the largest cuts of meat.
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killswitch505
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25 10 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you go RF you would have that extra area for your exhaust stack so it would not take up any of your cook space I would weld it back on I mean your going to have to weld up the end ether way
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Backyard Smoke
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Location: Buna, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Mar 25 10 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

daddywoofdawg. That is an interesting idea adding the vertical chamber on but im not to sure those tires will take much more weight and I am trying to keep it on the patio and not mounted on a trailer. The plate didn't cost me anything for that cutout. I got that piece free so no money lost there. Just wasted time and gas cutting.

Jon D. Q.. I will have a double doorwith main cooking grills at the 9 0clock position or so and they will each have an upper grill about 6 inches above that. I was planning on replacing the end anyway but was wondering if there was any advantages that I was not seeing. Besides the little extra space I think it'll look more even.

killswitch505. I have not ruled out the RF yet and have already notched out the end piece for the firebox and smoothed out the ends to weld it back on.

I'd like to thank everyone for there input.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 25 10 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Backyard Smoke, after looking at your progress again. I think I would wait on putting either cap back on. What I would do from this point is finish out my fire box enough to mount it. What I would do is set it in place and tack it up level and square to the tank. If you go back with the dome before this you will then have to lay out the fit for the fire box. Doing it this way you can make the dome fit the tank and box. Of coarse if you go back with the plate none of that will matter they will simply kiss each other and weld up.
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Backyard Smoke
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Location: Buna, Texas

PostPosted: Thu Mar 25 10 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m.. Thank you for the advice. I was actually going to tack the end piece on and then place the firebox but what you said makes more sense.
I don't have much knowledge about the design of pits and don't really have anything good to go by around here.

This is a picture of my first and only pit I built in 1985. Shows my experience LOL.

Scary aint it LOL. It works really well just aint much grill room. Also figured out after I made it that the wheels are on the wrong side. Its a bear to move like it sits.

I know you are building a RF right now and killswitch505 has mentioned a RF on here a couple of times.
I am still not sure if I want plate or a RF

I have another question.

Does tuning plates and a RF plate need the same amount of space from bottom of pit to the plate?
Right now the way I measured it, with my main grate at 9 oclock I would have 5 inches from grate to firebox and 7 inches from there to the bottom.
And can I or should I go below 9 oclock to have more grill space?

I have a lot of questions and I'd really like to do this right the first time. I try and page through the forum searching for answers to try and keep from repeating questions already asked but it is easier and faster to ask direct.

Thanks again for all of the help on here.
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rjv57chevy
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Joined: 10 Jul 2009
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Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Fri Mar 26 10 2:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Backyard Smoke wrote:
BluzQue
Thanks. I'm anxious to get it complete but the progress is slow. I'm a bit hesitant to cut out the doors being that my tourch skills and a steady hand are lacking.


My steady hand torch skills also are also not the best. For me, using a 4" grinder with a pack of cut-off wheels from harbor freight did the trick. I made straight clean cuts. I used masking tape to mark the cuts, scored the cut which tends to eat up a blade, then made the cut. I also would cut the hinge side first for the doors, weld the hinges on, do the side cuts, weld your straps to seal the edges, then complete the rest of the cut on the bottom. Keeps things from warping and everything stays lined up. Keep the blade turning the direction where it's not trying to jump out of the cut.
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Jon D. Q.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26 10 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I often fly in the face of conventional wisdom. But now that you have asked I would 100 percent recommend having the bottom grate below the 9 o'clock position. What is the actual diameter of your tank and what is it's thickness? This information would aid us on giving you actual recommendations.
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Backyard Smoke
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Location: Buna, Texas

PostPosted: Fri Mar 26 10 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjv57chevy. Thanks for the advice. I have either seen your build or one similar that used tape to mask off the area and ground the line first. I was definitly considering this. I did find some small conduit that I bent to the shape of the tank and was considering tacking that to the line and using it for a guide.

Jon D. Q.. Sorry, I forgot about the tank dimensions. The tank is 6 ft. long and 24 inch diameter. I dont believe it is 1/4 inch thick. Looks more like 3/16.
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Jon D. Q.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26 10 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you basicaly have a 23 and 1/2" cavity inside the smoking chamber. Measuring down from the inside top of the chamber I would put the top of the top rack 7 1/2"s down. You do not want any meat in the top 1 1/2"s of this chamber. Measuring down from the top of the top rack 6 1/2"s to the top of the bottom rack. Measuring down from the top of the bottom rack I would place the top of my reverse flow or tunning plates 4 1/4"s . I would also have the top of my firebox at the same height as the plate or plates. I would put the exhaust pipe in the end cap from the top down to a height 1 1/2"s below the top of the bottom rack. I would use a 4 1/2 or 5" inside diameter exhaust tube extending up above the top of the cooking chamber 19 1/2"s. When doing smaller cooks I would cook on the top rack. If you go with these measurements and make it a reverse flow design you will have near identical temps from right to left and average right at a 8 degree difference from top to bottom cooking grate temps. Just my 2 cents worth.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26 10 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Backyard Smoke, ask all the questions you want. Very Happy I feel that no two cookers are the same and applications change constantly. My thinking is tuning plates need less room than an R/F plate the reason being is that the heat/smoke on a cooker with tuning plates can disperse up easier than traveling to the opposite end of the cooker. You should be fine lowering your grate below 9:00. You can raise the R/F plate to 1.5'' of your grates if you go that route. Or let your tuning plates run 4'' to 5'' off the bottom of your cooker. None of this is really exacting science. So get as close as you can and then learn your cooker. If you choose to go with the flat plate and want your stack low you can simply miter cut it and drop it as low as you want. There is no positive reason in my thinking to keep the dome if you choose not to. The grate space is minimal, the lay out is more of a chore and I could go on and on. So it will boil down to what you want in the end. These are just my thoughts.
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