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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    DFW
    Posts
    35

    Default Reverse Flow Smoker / BBQ Pit Project - Lots of Pictures

    Hey guys- I haven't been on the forums in a while, but thought I would throw this out there.. I searched and searched for plans to make one of these, but ultimately had to design most of it. Even the wheels were fabricated. It is a reverse flow smoker, so the temperature only varies about 5 degrees from end to end. I had around $550 in the project, but everything that is exposed to heat is at least 1/4". The Lang's are going for 1500+. It's a beast to move, weighing over 500 pounds! Hoping it'll give someone else ideas if they're looking to build a reverse flow smoker.


    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8388/8...81e18a2c75.jpg

    18" diameter, quarter wall water pipe found on craigslist.

    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8388/8...6a76aeaca1.jpg

    12" pipe was cut down with a band saw to make the outer ring. Cut the spokes, and will sleeve pipe with bar stock for the axle.

    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8526/8...856da8245d.jpg

    Tape was an awesome way to mark where the lid would be cut. I then cut flat soaker hose a few inches larger than the pipe diameter, clamped it, and used that as a plasma torch guide.

    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8520/8...4f19bafee9.jpg

    Door cut, and trimmed out- weld the hinges on BEFORE you cut the entire door out.

    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8245/8...1407023a27.jpg

    Reverse flow plates installed- I actually ended up raising them up about 3", but this is the only clean picture I have of it. Make sure that the fire to chamber entry is at the top of the firebox, not part way up. Otherwise it won't draw correctly.
    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8365/8...79e07754e2.jpg

    Cooking rack / grate installed
    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8378/8...e75e9be999.jpg

    Fire box door in the works. I used a vent I bought from etrailer that is used for the top of livestock trailers. Works perfect to regulate the air intake. Cheap to replace.

    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8366/8...887a47023a.jpg

    Finished wheels close up

    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8520/8...535996391e.jpg

    Finished- and painted!!

    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8237/8...cb1241858a.jpg

    And the best part..

    Email or PM me if anyone is needing any details on building one. Reverse pits in this thickness go for 1500+. So glad I took it on myself, and now I have a pit that will outlive me.
    Last edited by rl.robertson; 02-15-2013 at 07:14 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Bossier Parish La.
    Posts
    542

    Default

    That's a nice looking rig you built for sure, and extra heavy duty wheels too. May need another pair up front to make moving it easier. If you close in the bottom shelf on 3 sides with expanded metal, you can store your split firewood down there to have it handy where ever you move the grill to for cooking. That's what I did with mine, and I don't have to move the wood seperately when I move the smoker, it's all right there in one move. Since you made the top of your firebox flat you can cook a pot of something there, which I'm sure is what you had in mind when you made it, but you can also preheat the wood that you are going to use next to help get the fire hotter if you need to. What paint did you use for the finish? I don't think I have seen gloss heat resistant paint before. Looks good though, when is the next cooking, and need driving directions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northern Arizona
    Posts
    457

    Default

    x2 on the directions. I can be there in about 2 days. Give or take. I can't wait!

    I'm actually just putting materials together to build a little bit bigger version of that. Smoke chamber will be 24" sch10 pipe. I'm going to put the firebox directly underneath and the divert the smoke/heat around to both ends.

    Do you have any tips before I build mine? Any issues that came up during the build?
    MillerMatic 251
    CST 280 w/tig torch
    HF-251-D1
    Cutmaster 42
    Victor Journeyman OA

    A rockcrawler, er money pit, in progress...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    DFW
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bistineau View Post
    What paint did you use for the finish? I don't think I have seen gloss heat resistant paint before. Looks good though, when is the next cooking, and need driving directions.
    Never thought about pre-heating the wood.. I've been using the flat top to cook garlic corn, or whatever else we want to go with the meat.. That's a good idea. For the paint, I used the high temp rattle can paint for grills.. I think it was rustoleum, but don't have any left to verify. I remember there was 2 kinds, and I used the one that cost a little more. It has a nice gloss to it. On the firebox, just above where you load the wood, it is burned a little. After a smoke while it's hot, I like to rub it down with PAM spray on a cloth- seems to season the pit like a cast iron pan. So far though it has held up great; and I get the cook chamber up to 375 after a smoke to clean it.

    Quote Originally Posted by elvis View Post
    x2 on the directions. I can be there in about 2 days. Give or take. I can't wait!

    Do you have any tips before I build mine? Any issues that came up during the build?

    There will have to be lots of practice before it's worth a 2 day drive! haha.

    24" will be a nice pit!! I can get about 3 briskets on mine, wish I could've went bigger, but for a rolling backyard pit, that's about all I figured I could manage.
    Cutting down the material was a beating.. Eventually, I used a section of that flat rubber soaker hose that you use in flower beds. I cut it a couple inches longer than the outer diameter of my pipe, and clamped it really tight since it had some stretch to it. I used that as a guide for my plasma torch. It yielded a better cut than free handing it. I also used that for cutting the curved areas of my door. I just clamped a 2x4 down for the horizontal door cuts, since it was closer to flat.

    http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20871

    I used that pit calculator.. your ratios don't have to be exact- in fact I made my firebox a little bigger since it is reverse flow, and I knew it would take more to keep the heat going down and back. That will help you figure the right proportions though. Before you cut your doors- I cut out just the area under where the hinges would be welded, then welded my hinges on with the rest still uncut. Then, you can cut the entire door. That way when you cut the door, you're not trying to get it realigned, it's already perfect since you have the hinges welded. That will save you some time. Also, if you make your own hinges, make sure you aren't sending the weld current through them.. I learned the hard way that it will arc inside of the sleeved hinges. Had to redo mine on the firebox door. I didn't do fancy dampers, or other internal regulating mechanisms.. I use the air intake damper, and the stack damper and I can keep her anywhere between 160 and 375 degrees.

    If you make your own wheels, make them bigger than I did. It would have been much easier to roll it over things if I'd went with 16" wheels at least.

    Keep us posted on the smoker! Lots of guys are swearing by the vertical ones. That's the big issues I can think of, but if you run in to something else let me know. I'm no expert, but I learned a lot through trial and error on that one.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    116

    Default

    Looks real good, nice job.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18

    Default nice pit ! !

    Looks really nice. I like the handles on the plates and the custom wheels. Glad you posted this, gets me motivated to modify my offest to a reverse offset. Should be a fun project, on mine the firebox and opening need to be lowered to accommodate adding the plates.

    did you put any slope on the plates themselves for grease/liquid drain or did you put a little slope on the whole barrel?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    DFW
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by weld on View Post
    did you put any slope on the plates themselves for grease/liquid drain or did you put a little slope on the whole barrel?
    Mine has a slight slope, but it doesn't seem to make it run off as well as I would have liked. They are are actually 2 pieces free floating in there, making it easy to clean and remove. They each slide under a lip, and I have a piece of angle welded on the firebox side that it slides under. I just use a grill brush when I'm done to scrape it all off.. I also
    put a drain valve at the bottom of the smoke chamber, just beside the firebox so that I can rinse it out and drain all the yuck out of it. My friends cook on standard offsets, but the heat discrepancy is what swayed me towards a reverse flow. It took out one more variable- didn't want to be flipping/turning the meat.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Northern Arizona
    Posts
    457

    Default

    I think I'll be starting mine next week. I found a good piece of pipe. I can't wait! I'll share pictures as I build it over the next couple weeks.
    MillerMatic 251
    CST 280 w/tig torch
    HF-251-D1
    Cutmaster 42
    Victor Journeyman OA

    A rockcrawler, er money pit, in progress...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    18

    Default

    thanks RL,
    A good setup drain is priceless. My last cook session I forgot to put a can to catch the fat, just by luck a box that had wood in it happened to be there saved the patio from about half a pound of grease. (and me from an angry wife)

    Enjoy those good eats, picture making me hungry!

    elvis - i'll be looking for your posting on your pit project

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Looks great thanks

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