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metal thickness?

 
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llbts1



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07 08 12:26 pm    Post subject: metal thickness? Reply with quote

Okay, I am looking at a smoker that a man builds here in town. Question is, on the firebox, he uses 3/16 inch steel instead of 1/4. Being a novice, and just learning, is the difference worth being concerned over? The smoker pit itself is made from a propane tank. Would it be worth having him make the fire box out of 1/4? Thank you , a newbie
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T00lman
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Joined: 21 Dec 2007
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Location: warren michigan

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07 08 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes 1/4 will hold heat better if you live in a cold climate it will cool down slower hold the heat into the cooker longer
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llbts1



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08 08 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply John. Do you know, if all propane tanks are the same thickness? is there a standard thickness required?. Thank you, Larry
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rgwiazdzinski
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Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 340
Location: Mount Holly, NC

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08 08 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i built my smoker's firebox out of 3/16, i made the bottom of the smoker out of 14 gauge and the top out of 16 gauge. i have been doing test burns in it the last few nights when the temp was in the low 30's here and i have had no problem holding a consistant bbq temp in mine. the reason i went with the 3/16 was that it would weigh a little less and it would cost a little less to buy a full sheet of 3/16.
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Alien BBQ
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Joined: 12 Jul 2005
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Location: Roswell, New Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08 08 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Assuming we are talking about a square firebox.......... Use the 3/16 but have him make a pull out liner (of the same material), only the bottom pulls out inside with a one inch air gap. I have it on my stainless and it works great
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BabyHuey
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Joined: 01 Jul 2008
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Location: Lake Barkley, Ky

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08 08 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3/16" will work just fine! I have been working on a smoker that has a 1/8" firebox and it has just rusted through after 20 years. Theh guy leaves it outside, and doesn't clean it. Your not going to see much heat loss difference between 3/16 and 1/4.

If you are concerned, you can do like Alien said and put a 11 ga sheet on the bottom as a liner, but I wouldn't worry about it. Worse case in 15 years you have to replace the bottom, no big deal!
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Petunia
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Joined: 19 Jun 2008
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Location: Philly/South Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09 08 8:53 am    Post subject: depends on your climate Reply with quote

I have a Klose GrilChef that has standard 1/4 inch steel for the cook box, plus since I'm in the North East (Philly area) I also opted for the 1/2 inch steel on the firebox.

Dave Klose says the heavier firebox is the first thing he recommends in the way of upgrades.

Can't figure how thicker metal wouldn't be a good thing when you're talking about regulating temperatures outdoors, but I guess it all depends on your weather.
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llbts1



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09 08 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, I appreciate your recomendations. Let the party begin Very Happy
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Petunia
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Joined: 19 Jun 2008
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Location: Philly/South Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09 08 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW - as a comparison, my first offset smoker, a New Braunfels from the Depot, started to rust heavily after 3 years and had a 50-cent piece sized hole that rusted through the side panel within 5 years. It, too, stayed outside and was not cleaned out regularly (ash plus moisture plus steel equals rust).

20 years on a 1/8 inch thick smoker that's left outside and never cleaned out? C'mon. Someone's pulling my leg...
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BabyHuey
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Joined: 01 Jul 2008
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Location: Lake Barkley, Ky

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09 08 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Petunia wrote:
20 years on a 1/8 inch thick smoker that's left outside and never cleaned out? C'mon. Someone's pulling my leg...


Sir, you can insult my looks (that easy to do) you can insult my intelegence, but I appreciate it if you do not insult my integrity!!! Thanks

Now, with that being said....It does seem it would not last that long, I agree. But, it did believe it or not!

Thicker steel does have it's benefits, I built mine out of 1/4 wall then insulated. But, I understand the budget issues many people are facing these days and feel very confident 3/16 will work fine.
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Link to my pit build slideshow:

http://s333.photobucket.com/albums/m398/LilBabyHuey/?action=view¤t=4675c7d7.pbw
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Petunia
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Joined: 19 Jun 2008
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Location: Philly/South Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09 08 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing

No insult intended, BabyHuey. I learned long ago never to impune the integrity of a man who makes his living with smoke. My apologies if it was taken as such.

Maybe I'm just pissed because instead of getting a Harley at 40 I got a Klose.

Embarassed
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bbbrown
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Joined: 13 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10 08 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You didn't say how big the firebox is but I wouldn't go with anything less than 1/4 inch. Your going to get warpage with the lighter material and your tank is going to be 3/8. For all it will cost you will be much happier with the heavier steel. Bryan
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llbts1



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11 08 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bryan, I talked to the builder today, and he suggested like what Alien suggested and that is to put a 3/16 liner in the bottom of the smoker to protect the bottom. This is the route that I am leaning toward, but am still open for suggestions. Thanks, Larry
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bbbrown
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Joined: 13 Feb 2005
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Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12 08 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't be concerned about the firebox rusting thru with 3/16 plate. My concern is with the heat loss from the thin plate thickness. Remember, you get what you pay for. There's a reason Klose Pits are the best offsets money can buy. Good luck with your pit. Post some pics when you get it. Bryan
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Jet_deck
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Joined: 20 Jan 2008
Posts: 254
Location: Between Houston and Mexico

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12 08 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

llbts1 wrote:
Bryan, I talked to the builder today, and he suggested like what Alien suggested and that is to put a 3/16 liner in the bottom of the smoker to protect the bottom. This is the route that I am leaning toward, but am still open for suggestions. Thanks, Larry


Just line the firebox bottom with firebrick. That's about as lifetime as you'll get.
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llbts1



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22 08 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some had asked for pictures, so here you go. I picked the smoker up Friday. This is my wifes Christmas present to me! Yes I am a little pumped!. Need to buy and install temp gauge(any suggestions?) and get down to business. Thank you for all of your input, Larry[/img]
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Chuck
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Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 529
Location: Mission Kansas

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22 08 5:02 am    Post subject: metal Reply with quote

IIbts1 I like to make my fire boxes out of 1/4" steel
after a few days after I have cooked on it I clean it out.

Here is a picture of a fire box I made 22 years ago out of
3/16" steel, the reason why , because that is what I found
in the scrap yard that day.

We reworked the pit this summer, the only thing I had to fix
on the fire box was the ash door because Billie riped the handle
off the bottom of it.

On the redo we but fire brick in the bottom of the box and raised
the door up to allow for the brick, after 22 years the bottom showed
some ware but no holes.







The brick cut down on the amount of wood when running a fire in it
and sent more heat into the smoker.

These days I stick to 1/4" steel just my 2cents


Stilwell Chuck
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