Building a bbq pit/smoker and started cutting the doors. Cut some of the top of the door and welded the hinges on. Decided to stop and ask for some help before I finish cutting the door out.

The pit is 11ga rolled steel. Do I need to weld the ends on before I cut the doors out to maintain rigidity? 20" diameter, 40" long. Cutting a single 32" door with 4" on each end left.