Eyes wide open

Custom manufactured BBQ Pits, Do-it-Yourself projects, parts and ideas.

Moderator: TBBQF Deputies

User avatar
BladeRunner
Rustler
Posts: 187
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 8:10 am
Contact:

Eyes wide open

Postby BladeRunner » Wed May 18, 2016 8:04 am

Hey y'all,
New here, fairly new to smoking, complete novice to building a pit.
None the less- that's what I want to do.
I have a brinkman style no-brand offset smoker. I got it for $100 off Craigslist and it's been great as an introduction to a hobby. Well, as you'd expect from a $100 used pit, there's a lot of draft and a little rust. And I just learned from someone else's post on here that I should empty the ash ASAP or risk the bottom of my firebox getting eaten through...

So that's the story- here's the question:
What tools and what materials do you use for every build?

I have an angle grinder.
A buddy has a stick welder.
I found a place with pipe.

What else do I need to do a pit build successfully?

- bonus points if you can get me a link where to buy it.
User avatar
iRIDElow
Wrangler
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:22 am
Location: Houston TX
Contact:

Re: Eyes wide open

Postby iRIDElow » Wed May 18, 2016 8:45 am

On my project I have all my tools on a roller cart, and I just roll that cart out near my pit everyday when I start working.

The tools Ive used for my build:
4.1/2" grinder (1/4" disks, cut off wheels, sand paper flap disks, etc)
Torch/plasma
220V welder w/ gas and welding helmet
band saw
Drill
chop saw
3ft level
torpedo level
hammer
C-clamp style locking plyers
screw drivers
soap stone and straight edge
squares
Pipe angle finder
Safety goggles
gloves
ear plugs

I may be forgetting a few items

As far as certain materials.....Check my current build thread and Ive been pretty detailed on exactly what I used. lots of pictures
User avatar
BladeRunner
Rustler
Posts: 187
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 8:10 am
Contact:

Re: Eyes wide open

Postby BladeRunner » Wed May 18, 2016 11:35 am

Thanks for that list of tools- a few items don't make sense immediately, but I'll eyeball it again and see if I still have questions.

As for the list of materials in your build post- I am following that, but I didn't see anything like what you've done here with the tools.

Pipe I can get. I assume the pipe place can get me some plate. I have no idea what size or why I would pick one over another.
What about hinges? doors, grates, whatever it is that the grates are made of, and the racks that hold the grates...

Total newbie stuff, I know. But that's why I'm here asking the question.
User avatar
OldUsedParts
Deputy
Posts: 7328
Joined: Sun May 15, 2011 7:09 pm
Location: Montgomery, Texas
Contact:

Re: Eyes wide open

Postby OldUsedParts » Wed May 18, 2016 11:40 am

BR, I have never built one but I can promise you that there are Members here that can lead you on the right path for sure - - - some of the units they've built are works of art and they cook good too :laughing7:
OUP

" Country by choice, Texan by the Grace of God "
User avatar
iRIDElow
Wrangler
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:22 am
Location: Houston TX
Contact:

Re: Eyes wide open

Postby iRIDElow » Wed May 18, 2016 1:15 pm

BladeRunner wrote:Thanks for that list of tools- a few items don't make sense immediately, but I'll eyeball it again and see if I still have questions.

As for the list of materials in your build post- I am following that, but I didn't see anything like what you've done here with the tools.

Pipe I can get. I assume the pipe place can get me some plate. I have no idea what size or why I would pick one over another.
What about hinges? doors, grates, whatever it is that the grates are made of, and the racks that hold the grates...

Total newbie stuff, I know. But that's why I'm here asking the question.


Ask away about any tools your not familiar with

pipe yard will probably be where you get your pipe, but all your other metals will probably come from a steel supply (expanded metal, plate, angle, flat bar, solid rod, etc)

check my thread out and you can see how I built my pit (everyone does them a little different, that's why its your pit) take whatever you want from that thread. you can see I built my shelving out of angle and uses expanded metal for the cooking grate. Hinges are up to you, google bbq pit handles and many options will pop up. Some you can buy directly off line so you don't have to fabricate them. my pit is made from .375" thk pipe, and the angle I used was 1/8" thk for my cook chamber. I used the angle to make the shelves the racks slide in on, and then I made my shelves out of the same angle, cut a piece of 3/4 - No. 9 expanded metal for the grates and you have a cooking rack. I used a piece of 3/16" thk plate for my tuning plates and the track the tuning plates sat on was made from angle also. now for my firebox I upped my thickness because it is in direct heat/fire. I am using 1.1/2" angle 1/4" thk, and using 1.1/2 - No 6 expanded metal for the hot side just so it last a bit longer. my stack is a piece of 6" std pipe, with a 6" std 90 elbow. Ill post some pictures below but I would start by doing your research, find out what you want out of your pit, lay things out in your head or on paper, and try to execute them.

Some examples:
Here are the hinges I ran with I found on ebay. it was faster and well worth the money that I didn't spend making these.
Image

the beginning stages of my doors. make your top cuts, weld your flat bar and hinges on, then make your bottom cut welded you flat bar across the bottom so the door doesn't fall in on itself, and then make the remaining cuts and the door is done. take your time and don't throw a bunch of heat at the doors or they will spring on you and not hold their shape.
Image


Stack material
Image

Finished stack
Image

This is how I made my legs 4x4x1/4" thk square tubing with a small base plate
Image

this is how I started building the tracks for my cooking racks to slide in and out on, aswell as my tracks the tuning plates sit on.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


These are my shelves I built from angle. just cut them to length, each end at a 45 and weld them up making sure they stay square (watch your heat or they warp), clean the welds up and make them look seamless
Image
Image

Use expanded metal for your grating
Image

I made my own handles for the shelves from 1/2" solid rod by heating them up and bending them
Image

again everyone does things differently I am trying to get you on the right path forward. some would do things differently but if you have any specific questions Id be happy to help you out. you can PM me if you need
User avatar
Finatic
Bandolero
Posts: 581
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Elgin, Texas
Contact:

Re: Eyes wide open

Postby Finatic » Wed May 18, 2016 2:00 pm

There are tricks and ways to get around not having certain tools. Usually that means more work though. If you don't have a torch or plasma cutter (they range from a few hundred to a few thousand $) you can get by with a circular saw and some metal cutting blades. I'd strongly recommend at least one 4-1/2" angle grinder (it helps if you have 2 so you don't have to keep changing from one disk to another) and a chop saw. Everyone has there own ways of fabricating but most will agree a chop saw is nice to have and a time saver.

When you go to buy blades (whether it's for your grinder, chop saw, etc.) don't buy cheapos. You'll spend a lot more time and money trying to save a few bucks and end up changing a blade or wheel every 5 minutes. Diablo makes excellent products IMO.

It's a lot of work but the satisfaction you get out of it is well worth it!
User avatar
BladeRunner
Rustler
Posts: 187
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 8:10 am
Contact:

Re: Eyes wide open

Postby BladeRunner » Thu May 19, 2016 11:31 pm

I didn't get a notification that y'all had replied. But thank you for the information.
I have a chop saw and a circular saw, so that's good.
How do you know how much angle pipe to buy?
User avatar
iRIDElow
Wrangler
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:22 am
Location: Houston TX
Contact:

Re: Eyes wide open

Postby iRIDElow » Fri May 20, 2016 6:50 am

BladeRunner wrote:I didn't get a notification that y'all had replied. But thank you for the information.
I have a chop saw and a circular saw, so that's good.
How do you know how much angle pipe to buy?


just lay everything out in your head or on paper, know the length of your pit and know the depth then just start counting pieces, and lengths. Its never exact I used more than I anticipated and Ive been back to the steel supply a few times since I started my build. just know a rough figure and if your short o'well. try to account for some drop though I usually ad about 15-20% more footage than needed
User avatar
Finatic
Bandolero
Posts: 581
Joined: Thu May 07, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Elgin, Texas
Contact:

Re: Eyes wide open

Postby Finatic » Fri May 20, 2016 7:38 am

BladeRunner wrote:I didn't get a notification that y'all had replied. But thank you for the information.
I have a chop saw and a circular saw, so that's good.
How do you know how much angle pipe to buy?

For me it helps a lot to draw it out on paper. I go through the process of building it piece by piece in my head while I'm drawing it out on paper. This saves me from having to cut pieces out and re-do any work. On my recent charcoal grill/smoker build I made a sketch on my computer using Microsoft Word. It didn't take long and it's very basic but it helps identify issues before I get started and I have a pretty accurate list of what I need material wise. There are a couple of free cad style computer programs available if you want to get really detailed. I recommend at minimum putting your ideas on paper with as much detail as possible. It will help save time and money.
Attachments
Charcoal Cooker- Profile & Cut List.doc.jpg
Charcoal Cooker- Sheet Steel Layout.jpg
Charcoal Cooker- Left.jpg
User avatar
BladeRunner
Rustler
Posts: 187
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 8:10 am
Contact:

Re: Eyes wide open

Postby BladeRunner » Fri May 20, 2016 8:06 am

Thanks again- this is really helpful!
User avatar
k.a.m.
Outlaw
Posts: 2083
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:38 pm
Contact:

Re: Eyes wide open

Postby k.a.m. » Fri May 20, 2016 3:21 pm

My normal arsenal is.
25' tape.
Torpedo level.
4' level.
Speed square.
Combination square.
4' straight edge.
As many C clamps, vise and bar clamps as I can muster.
Various weighted hammers.
Center punch.
Soap stone.
Cut off wheels, flap discs, and grinding wheels.
4.5" grinder.
6" grinder.
Porta band.
Chop saw.
O/A torch.
Welder (Stick)
3/32" 7018 rods.
3/32" 6010/6011 rods.
Welding hood.
Grinding shield.
The rest of my stuff is just in case stuff like chains and binders, come along, hydraulic jacks, porta power.

Material lists for a cooker build vary from one to another and will change with every person that answers.
Here is a link to my entire Hybrid build in a condensed version. This will show you some of the material needed.
http://thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic ... 19&start=0
Here is a link to my newest build that will show some of the material needed.
viewtopic.php?f=67&t=25909

The best advice I can give is once you start you build ask plenty of questions about specific items before you purchase the wrong material.
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

Image

My Hybrid cooker.
Competition trailer #2.
User avatar
BladeRunner
Rustler
Posts: 187
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 8:10 am
Contact:

Re: Eyes wide open

Postby BladeRunner » Mon May 23, 2016 12:29 am

Thanks K.A.M.,
it would probably help to know that I'm a project manager by trade- so walking into something without at least trying to gather all the information goes against my nature.

I'm talkin with my buddy (the one with the welder), and we're gonna spruce up the firebox on my Craigslist smoker. I'll be using the cheap weld-able steel from the big box stores, nothin too thick. That will give us practice on a smaller scale and provide practical experience with hinges, doors, sizing, cutting, etc. The only thing this won't help us replicate will be the chimney install. Plus, since we plan to build a proper pit anyway, this firebox doesn't even have to be pretty.

I'll let you know how it goes.
User avatar
BladeRunner
Rustler
Posts: 187
Joined: Fri May 13, 2016 8:10 am
Contact:

Re: Eyes wide open

Postby BladeRunner » Tue May 24, 2016 7:04 pm

Ok- sand blasting-
Mandatory or nice?
User avatar
k.a.m.
Outlaw
Posts: 2083
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:38 pm
Contact:

Re: Eyes wide open

Postby k.a.m. » Tue May 24, 2016 7:28 pm

BladeRunner wrote:Ok- sand blasting-
Mandatory or nice?

I will put it this way. If you can swing the sand blasting do it! In my opinion there is no substitute in the finished product.
Always remember slow and steady wins the race.

Image

My Hybrid cooker.
Competition trailer #2.

Return to “Custom Built Pits, Build Your Own Pit & Pit Modifications”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests