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A South African in UK builds first BBQ smoker
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BurnBern
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Joined: 17 Jul 2015
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Dec 25 15 8:42 am    Post subject: A South African in UK builds first BBQ smoker Reply with quote

Well here we go. I'm building an offset smoker with tuning plates and I've never done any metal work like this before and NEVER done welding either. My experience with metal work is; installing pipework for fire supression sprinklers. The current project is being built in my workshop/storage area that my youngest son and I built.



I had to buy the pipe and plates for the end caps and firebox, they were all cut to size. I also had to purchase all the other metal and have it delivered (not cheap). I did not have a welding machine so off to trusty eBay I went and bought this lovely little welding machine and all that goes with it.



I'm quite impressed with it. But what do I know, I've never welded before!Shocked

Here are some pics of my CC and 1/4" plates.





In my eagerness to get going; I cut the frame, welded it together. Then asked a question on here about how wide the base should be. Got an answer, then slapped myself Embarassed only because I couldn't give myself a good kick in the butt.The frame was too narrow. Ah well, live and learn and it won't be my last mistake on this project. Rolling Eyes



I cut the frame and installed another block piece of 2" tube to the frame and welded it up. It came out badly as the heat from welding had warped it. The only solution was to start over again! What a waste of time and tubing!



Eventually I got the legs, frame and casters on. I had to struggle to hold everything as I ran out of hands, I then had my son help me. We had to put up dust sheets as the grinding was making a mess. It was far to cold to work outside.



Here is a pic of my weld under the frame where the leg meets the frame itself.



Marking the spot where the 2" nipple and drain is to be fitted.



It's all welded and in no going back. I still have to weld the inside of the chamber but i'll wait 'till I turn it over. Much easier to get to!



A closer look at the welds around the nipple. It was a strain to do, but I got there in the end. I'm using 6013 rods 2,5mm and 3.2mm rods. I bought 7018 3.2mm rods and will try them tomorrow.



To all the welding gurus what causes this and how do I stop it from happening again.



Nipple is in with drain valve installed temporarily.



Another view of the above.



So this is my progress so far. I've been going around checking all the welds to see if I've missed any before she gets turned over onto the casters.

Let me know what you think or if there is something that I've missed or should consider before it's to late.
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wango
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25 15 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking good so far burnbern
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 25 15 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well your off to a good start BurnBern. Very Happy That pic looks like where you terminated the weld. You may have pulled back instead of carrying over.
My advice is leave the 6013's for the thin metal work and use the 7018's on this project. I noticed on the leg pic that your weld carried onto the cooker but not the tubing very well. You need to carry equally onto both metals unless welding much thinner metal to a heavier metal. In that case you concentrate your heat on the heavier piece and work into the thinner.
I hope this helps. Very Happy
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26 15 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
Well your off to a good start BurnBern. Very Happy That pic looks like where you terminated the weld. You may have pulled back instead of carrying over.

k.a.m not sure what you mean? I'm not a welder so not sure what you mean here?

k.a.m. wrote:
My advice is leave the 6013's for the thin metal work and use the 7018's on this project. I noticed on the leg pic that your weld carried onto the cooker but not the tubing very well. You need to carry equally onto both metals unless welding much thinner metal to a heavier metal. In that case you concentrate your heat on the heavier piece and work into the thinner.
I hope this helps. Very Happy
I used the 7018 today and it does take a bit of getting used to. I struggled with starting as this rod is very difficult to start than the 6013. But I did find that I got a better finish weld though. I just have to remember to slow down a bit more when welding.

wango thanks I'm enjoying the build
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 26 15 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: A South African in UK builds first BBQ smoker Reply with quote

BurnBern wrote:
To all the welding gurus what causes this and how do I stop it from happening again.


This is the pic I was referring too. It looks like you maybe pulled up before finishing the weld instead of carrying over the start point. But that is just a guess from the looks of the cave in.
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01 16 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely these figures for my firebox to Cook chamber can't be right. Here's why my build is a 24"x 43" pipe with end plates and my firebox will be 19"x19"x19".

When I do the calculations on feldons it gives me a fb to Cc opening of 54.87. But when I use the trapezoidal shaped throat cut-out calculator with 1' dam it shows that the top cut needs to be 19.312 long but my FB is only 19" wide. Have I calculated this correct or am I missing something. If I make the FB 20" wide this will make it 111.4%. That is quite a bit oversized or will this be ok. If the FB is 19" the size would be 105.8%.

Please check my figures and let me know what your thoughts are.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01 16 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have calculated it correctly BurnBern. Very Happy
You can use a half moon of 12" wide x 6" tall and put a 1.5" grease bridge in and be fine.
If you want to use the trapezoid Then you could use a top measurement of.
Top = 17.25"

Height = 4.25"

Bottom = 8.75"
The area of this Trapezoid is 55.25 Sq. in.
I hope this helps. Very Happy
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Pete Mazz
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01 16 5:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most FB are the ~same width as the tank. In your case you can trick the calc by entering a smaller tank diameter to get the cut-out the size you want.

I'll reprogram it to add a max size for a narrower FB like yours.
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Pete Mazz
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01 16 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Updated a couple of the throat calcs to account for smaller firebox widths.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01 16 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Pete. Very Happy
I rarely ever have a firebox the same width as my cooking chamber unless it involves using the same diameter pipe. My square fireboxes are almost always narrower if I can get away with it when figuring the area.
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01 16 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Pete and k.a.m the changes really help make it easier to calculate the needed sizes. Very Happy
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Pete Mazz
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01 16 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It takes feedback like yours to help fine tune these things.

Glad it helped.
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15 16 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m I sent you a pm. Bern
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gandrfab
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15 16 5:18 am    Post subject: Re: A South African in UK builds first BBQ smoker Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
BurnBern wrote:
To all the welding gurus what causes this and how do I stop it from happening again.


This is the pic I was referring too. It looks like you maybe pulled up before finishing the weld instead of carrying over the start point. But that is just a guess from the looks of the cave in.


It's a stop point like KAM said. being the tig'r that I am, stop points are easier to make look good.

Doing it nice with stick is a talent I would have to relearn.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15 16 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BurnBern wrote:
k.a.m I sent you a pm. Bern

I apologize for not seeing this earlier BurnBern.
I never got a P.M.
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15 16 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kevin thanks all the help. I'm going with the dimensions that you gave me

k.a.m. wrote:

If you want to use the trapezoid Then you could use a top measurement of.

Top = 17.25"

Height = 4.25"

Bottom = 8.75"

The area of this Trapezoid is 55.25 Sq. in.
I hope this helps. Very Happy


I'm going with the trapezoid as it's easier to cut with angle grinder as I don't have a plasma cutter.
Please can you check this figures if they're OK.
Grease dam 1" + height of trapezoid 4.25"= 5.25" That leaves 6.75" from top of opening where the tuning will be to top of 1st grate 6.25". Or should I make the grease dam 1.5" then I will have 6.25" to top of grate.

What height will be ok from top of 1st grate to second one.

As I said earlier that I'm using tuning plates when I install them should there be a fall on them towards the drain.
Sorry for all the what must seem to you silly questions but I would rather make sure before I cut and weld.

Thanks again much appreciated Bernard
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15 16 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 6.25" and 1.5" grease bridge will work fine Burn Bern.
No slope on the tuning plates they can run level with your grate.
If you can squeeze 6" between grates that is good 6.5" to 7" better.
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15 16 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
The 6.25" and 1.5" grease bridge will work fine Burn Bern.
No slope on the tuning plates they can run level with your grate.
If you can squeeze 6" between grates that is good 6.5" to 7" better.


Thanks will start cutting today and post some pics also
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29 16 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi to all just an update.

I've been quite ill these last few weeks and when I was well enough I put my back out helping the wife by putting some washing in the washing machine. Now that will teach me for being helpful around the house instead of sitting in front of the TV watching rugby!

I have managed to do a bit on the smoker though, in that I've welded the ends on and cut the door and the throat opening. Also my son helped me tack weld the FB together yesterday. Hopefully I will be able to weld it properly tomorrow afternoon.

I'll take some photos and post them as soon as I get a chance to. That smoking day is coming closer and I can't wait! Shocked
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 29 16 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well, but glad to hear you're back on the mend. Springtime is just around the corner so hopefully that will give you some extra inspiration.
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