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Time to Shoot the Engineers
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Catman
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Joined: 17 Dec 2011
Posts: 171
Location: Fullerton, CA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22 12 12:59 pm    Post subject: Time to Shoot the Engineers Reply with quote

So I have finally decided I have designed enough and it is time to start building.

Here is my smoker kit:



Lots of 1/4" plate sheared to width. Final panel cut-outs will be with my cutting torch. Just got the regs back from rebuild, and everything is working like new.

Also got a torch guide to help me make straight cuts. Since nearly all my cuts will be straight, this seemed like a good investment. Had to order it from Australia to get the one I wanted.

The first cut:


That is 12" diameter schedule 20 pipe.
It sprung 2" when cut, which is a pretty good illustration of how much stress is in the metal.
Not the cleanest cut, but pretty good for being as rusty as I am. That is what the grinder is for.

I only have time to work on it on the weekends, so progress will be slow, but I'll keep y'all posted with the requisite pics (proof of life) Wink
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Last edited by Catman on Wed Feb 22 12 1:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22 12 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please read PMPNLT650pxOTLS!
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
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Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22 12 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catman, your off to a great start. Very Happy I will be watching for more pics and updates. Very Happy
What does the roller skates have you ordered that others did not if I may ask.
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Catman
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Location: Fullerton, CA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23 12 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks k.a.m., the training wheels I got from down under have a cast brass body and a sleeve that snugly fits my Harris torch tips. It looked sturdier to me as well.
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Awning Guy
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Location: Riverside Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23 12 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catman, Looking forward to the build. Do you have a sketch of what your building?
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Catman
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Location: Fullerton, CA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23 12 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Awning Guy,

Here is what I came up with:



It is a RF Offset with a fabricated square cooking chamber with the grate area 18" high x 36" wide x 20" deep.
Should be able to fit three racks easily, but will normally operate with two. The exhaust exits just below the lowest grate. Firebox is 20x20x20.
The entire cooker will be made out of 1/4" plate except for a couple curved sections to smooth air flow (cut from the 12" dia. pipe).
Planning to insulate the entire thing.
The whole thing will sit on a square tube frame with wheels.
I am still looking for a 20" square section of 3/8" plate for the firebox bottom if I can find one.
BTW, thanks for the tip on Schorr Metals. It is my new favorite place to hang out on Sat morning diggin' through the scrap bin Smile
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Awning Guy
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24 12 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you a good plan. you should be able to feed a nice sized gathering with those dimensions. I'll look around the shop and see if I can help you out on the 3/8 plate.
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Catman
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25 12 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Awning guy, if I don't find a piece of 3/8' I'll just toss in another piece of 1/4" and double it up.

Picked up this Montgomery Ward welder on CL so I could give DC a try.
Seems to work pretty good. I had to replace the ground clamp and the electrode holder, other than that it was good to go.


Got the bottom of the cook chamber done. Woo Hoo. Small victories.


Most of the day was spent getting the ground clamp and electrode holder from Harbor Freight and installing on the welder, then cleaning off the welding bench, and finally cutting the bottom plate to length.

I saw these at Lowes, and since they were named "The Torch" I thought I would give them a try and see how they fared compared to a real torch:


They cut well at first, but after about 10" it started to drift to one side even though I was using a guide. I think it was due to the blade bowing.
Not bad considering I was cutting 1/4" plate, and if you didn't have a torch, this would get the job done, but IMO a torch does a better job.
More to come tomorrow.
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Maniac
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Joined: 02 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25 12 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey catman... looking good you got a good start on her. As far as the torch there is nothing like liquid metal....but we use these a lot at work where fire is not a good thing. they seem to be like Q....they like low and slow Laughing But do hold up well.
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Catman
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27 12 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is what I got done this weekend:

Cook chamber just missing top and right side.


Another view.


As seen from the firebox end.


Next up is the fire box, after which I can put in the RF plate then the right side and top of the cook chamber.
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Catman
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29 12 2:40 pm    Post subject: Time to shoot the engineers...RF Plate conundrum Reply with quote

My RF Plate is a solid 35" x 20" x .25" with a diagonal bend so one corner is .75" higher than the opposite corner. Since I don't have a brake large enough for 1/4" plate (and the metal store charges $86 and 2 day lead time) I figured I would just use my trusty grinder and cut a groove on the backside, make the bend and weld out the groove. seemed like a great plan to save $86. I figured welding out the groove would make the plate bend, so I compensated by bending it to 1.5" hoping for a final dimension of .75". But to my surprise, after welding it out (using 7014 rod) it did not bend at all; it stayed at 1.5". This would not do, so I ground out the weld and re-bent it to .75". After skip welding a few beads (now using 7018), it had already pulled itself flat. WTH? I ground out the beads and split the difference, bending it to 1.25"; skip welded again (using 7014), and again after it was half welded out it had pulled itself flat again. Just about ready to spend the $86. Any ideas?
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29 12 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catman, I am gonna need to see some pics on this one. It is early and not enough coffee cause I am not seeing what your wanting.
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Catman
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30 12 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a pic of the RF plate.
It has a groove cut diagonally from one corner to the other.





The groove is 1/8" deep leaving 1/8" material thickness which I can bend.

Then I weld out the groove so it is again 1/4" thick.
I want the weld on the underside leaving the top side smooth.

The goal is to end up with a diagonal bend such that one corner sits 3/4" higher than the others.

When installed in the cooker, the front and right sides will be the highest points; the back and left sides will slope down to the low corner where the grease drain will be located.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30 12 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catman, bring the plate up to the angle you want then add some temporary strong backs across the bend. Place the plate in the chamber and weld it then remove the strong backs.
Just a note:
A plate with a 1/2" drop down the center will work on your design as well with a few less headaches. Smile
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Catman
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PostPosted: Tue May 01 12 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:

A plate with a 1/2" drop down the center will work on your design as well with a few less headaches. Smile


True, but where's the fun in that?
I'll git 'er figured out.
Thanks for the advice, strongbacks sound like they should do the trick.
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Catman
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28 12 1:44 pm    Post subject: Time to shoot the Engineers - RF Plate In! Reply with quote

After a few weeks of inactivity (graduations, fishing trips, turned ankle) I finally found time to install the RF Plate.




Here you can see the diagonal slope to the back corner where the grease drain will go.


Used pipe clamps to position the plate for tacking.



Plate is welded out now. Next up, the diverter channel and grease drain, then the clean-out drain.

Since this cooker has become a long term project, I am throwing together a UDS this weekend for a cook next weekend.

More to come.....
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seattlepitboss
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29 12 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting build. What is the point of adding the pieces of pipe that narrow the firebox opening?

seattlepitboss
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Catman
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29 12 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The curved firebox opening is to smooth the flow and prevent turbulence.

It was also a fun exercise in mitering curved surfaces.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29 12 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catman wrote:
The curved firebox opening is to smooth the flow and prevent turbulence.

It was also a fun exercise in mitering curved surfaces.

I will go with the mitering exercise the other reason not needed. Wink Very Happy
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Catman
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Location: Fullerton, CA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 28 12 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Summer winds down, the smoker winds up.
Here is what I have done recently.....


Got the grease channel installed.


Grease drain hole in the side of the cook chamber.


Clean-out drain hole in the side of the smoke tunnel under the RF plate.


Outside view of the grease drain and clean-out drain holes.


Got the firebox tacked together and fit checked to the cooker


Air intake holes were cut and fire grate supports installed prior to tacking up the firebox.


Strongbacks were added for some overkill insurance against warpage


It was a good fit. Had to use my beer and some magnets to level it out on the hook.

Next up is to weld out the firebox and attach it permanently.

More to come....
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