New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Let's hear about your ideas for smokers and grills.
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New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by towtruck » August 21st, 2019, 2:29 pm

Yesterday I dropped off the plans for my new charcoal BBQ at the metal shop. I am going to replace the round bbq that is on my smoking trailer. The shop is going to cut the pieces out for me and bend what needs to be bent. I have to make this fit the space that is available on the trailer. The cooking surface will be 4'x2'. There will be a cool zone at the front edge about 6" wide and 4' long for a place to drag food that needs to get off the direct heat. The fire/coal tray will be adjustable from the outside of the BBQ and the lid will have two hinges to open it half way or fully. It will be able to function as a smoker as well with the lid down. There will be an ash pan in the bottom that slides out the end. Drip rails inside will direct everything into the pan that falls from the fire tray or grill.

I will be able to get the heat really close to the grill for steaks and a pizza stone and I can drop the fire down for low and slow bbq'ing as well. When I smoke my ribs this new bbq will allow me to pull all the ribs at the same time and finish them on the bbq to firm them up. There will be plenty of room for corn and other stuff on the grill as well.

I have yet to design it but the cooking grate will pull out and stay level so I can add more coals without moving the food.

I'll take some pictures in a few weeks once I get the pieces from the shop and document my build here. I cant wait to have a better grill on my trailer!



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by bvbull200 » August 21st, 2019, 2:49 pm

Sounds exciting! All of the features sound great. Looking forward to some pictures so I can better visualize it!



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by towtruck » September 8th, 2019, 10:07 am

Well, I'm still waiting for the shop to cut my steel but I did pull the trailer off the patio and back behind the shop so I can work on it easier when the time comes. I have most of this new bbq/smoker figured out in my head and my only sticking place is the cooking grate. The grate frame will be angle iron at least 1"x 1" and I would prefer bigger but the bigger the material the less space I will have above the grate for tall meat. My original thought was to have the grate welded on the inside of the angle on the "L" shape to keep it low as possible. The issue I am having is if I do that I will not be able to support any of the grate from underneath as the grate will slide out of the front of the smoker. If I turn the angle iron over and weld the grate to the bottom of the "7" shaped top leg like most are made then I can add stiffeners under the grate that are no bigger than the frame. It's only an inch or so difference so I think that is how it needs to be done. I have been toying with making the grates out of something other than the standard flat expanded metal too......just not sure what else would be strong enough. My goal is to not have the grates sag.

I have to wait for the metal to get bent to know just how much room I will have above the grate. I have designed four bends in the main sheet of steel and I told the shop that the lost material in the bends can be pushed all the way to the last measurement I gave them. I designed a 1" flat area in the front of the smoker body that the grates were going to sit above. That 1" area may/will shrink and that means my grates will be lower than drawn on the plans. I'm hoping he lost 1/2" in the bends and then I can go with 1.5" angle iron for the grate frame and keep the same clearance as designed.

To refresh memories the round bbq on my smoker trailer is what will be replaced. I will still have the camp stove attached to the new bbq/smoker. I may end up losing my little water tank but I may be able to move it up front under the camp stove. The new bbq will be square/rectangle to better match the look of the rest of the smoker and storage box.
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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by towtruck » October 18th, 2019, 5:34 pm

Just checked with the fabricator that was to cut my sheet steel out and bend it......he smugly says he has not gotten to my project. next week I am going to go by again and if he has not started on it I will pick up my cut plans and walk away from him. I will then have my buddy order me the metal and I will just cut it all myself. I won't do any bends and just cut and re-weld everything myself.....the guy told me two weeks...he's a good fabricator but apparently he puts small jobs off in the corner and must be bugged daily in order to get them done. I don't work that way...do what you say and get it done or I'm on to the next guy.



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by Dirtytires » October 24th, 2019, 11:13 am

Yep....if he doesn’t want the work, walk away. Funny part is that small job today could lead to a big job down the road but, unfortunately for him, it will go elsewhere.



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by Big T » October 24th, 2019, 4:15 pm

I know your frustration all too well. The closest town to me with fab shops is in Mobile and there are so many shipyards that keep them busy that they don't care about the small jobs. Every time a small shop opens up they get the overflow from the big shops and they end up not caring about the small jobs either.


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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by towtruck » October 27th, 2019, 9:38 pm

I went in the other day and he still has not gotten to it. I have some things to do where I cannot get started on anything just yet so I told him I needed it yesterday and to please get it done asap. He said he would get on it. His business is impacted by the power shut off's so he will probably put it off longer now. Once I get my other obligations taken care of I will either pick up my cut metal, if he does the work,or get my cut plans back and find another shop to do the work.



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by Dirtytires » October 29th, 2019, 11:18 am

Yep...hard to fire up the water jet when PG&E has decided to turn off the grid. Hang in there!



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by Chromeski » October 31st, 2019, 4:38 am

Doesn't he know what this is for? Its not like you are building a hospital. Bbq is important. I bet he cooks on propane



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by towtruck » December 30th, 2019, 2:11 pm

Well crap!....life got in the way with me and that metal guy kept promising me he would get it done......that never happened so I fired him and dropped off my cut sheets at my buddies shop. He will get the metal in on Thursday and he will cut out the pieces for me. I am going to bend everything myself and skip having it done.....I'm tired of waiting on others. I should get all the metal cut up on Friday and brought home. I have to leave town next week but once I'm back from that trip the build will start. 4 months is way too long to wait for any shop to do work....if life hadn't got in the way I would have fired him 2 months ago......water under the bridge now.



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by Big T » December 30th, 2019, 9:01 pm

That's defintely not good for business :-q


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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by Dirtytires » January 2nd, 2020, 12:16 pm

Glad you are back on track.



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by towtruck » January 4th, 2020, 1:16 am

I got a start on it.....Main shell is together....it's 49"x24" and will have a pull out ash drawer out the bottom, an adjustable fire tray, bi-fold lid, and slide out cooking grate. I'll get a little more done on Saturday then it will have to sit as I have to leave town for a week. it will give me time to plan out all the little details.
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Last edited by towtruck on January 6th, 2020, 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by towtruck » January 4th, 2020, 8:14 pm

Got the lids made up.....I also installed the drip rails above the ash pan. Lots more work to do....I did get the lids framed and now I need to pick hinges and get my cooking grate material so I can frame in the slide track.
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Last edited by towtruck on January 6th, 2020, 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by Big T » January 4th, 2020, 9:42 pm

It looks like you're off to a good start :beer:


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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by Dirtytires » January 5th, 2020, 11:19 pm

Looking good!



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by towtruck » January 12th, 2020, 8:12 pm

Yesterday I bent the ash pan sides up, next I need to put the ends on and trim the excess length off the back end. I welded in the bottom rail for the cooking grate to slide on as well. Today I welded the stack onto the back half of the lid. I need to hit up my buddy and gather more metal and see what he has for hinges on hand. He has a really interesting hunk of metal that may make a great cooking grate....it is flat plate with 1/4" holes all over it. I'm just not sure it's big enough for my needs as I need a 4'x24" piece. I'm still debating what to make the fire tray out of.....I'm thinking heavy expanded metal, maybe two layers to make the gaps smaller....I'll have to see what my buddy has on hand.
No pictures today....I know, I know....I'll get some next time I work on it.

My well pump and piping are having issues so I have the pump guys coming this week and most likely I am in for a new pump and pipe in my well...we have been living for a week only turning the well on to shower and do chores in the morning and evening then shutting it all back off. My luck it started having issues when I went out of town leaving the wife to deal with it all week.



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by Big T » January 12th, 2020, 8:42 pm

That sucks that your pump is acting up, I know that feeling all to well as we're dealing with the same issue at my Grandfathers house. If you decide to go with 2 layers of expanded metal I've found that rotating the pattern 90 degrees works well.


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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by towtruck » January 12th, 2020, 9:17 pm

I had issues a few months ago and it ended up being a broken pipe in the yard. I thought the water was going back down the well but turns out my ground will suck up 3 gallons a minute and not bring water to the surface. I found that leak hooking air to the line and listening for the leak in the ground......this time the air is blowing up out of the well head...so the hole/problem is in the well somewhere.

I still have to decide what I'm going to use as intake vents and where to put them. I'm thinking round vents on the 45* slope area, one in front and one towards the rear. That would make them on either side of the fender once on the trailer. I have lots of little details still to work out.



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by towtruck » January 14th, 2020, 1:20 pm

I had a thought.......what if I made the air intake into the ash pan end cap and let my intake air come in from the bottom on that one end?
I can make the end plate on the ash pan have a sliding vent in it or make an adjustable latch that lets the ash pan be pulled out a bit to adjust the air so I can leave the rest of the bbq intact and just let the air draw from one end....thoughts?
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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by towtruck » January 14th, 2020, 4:11 pm

I went and saw my metal guy today and picked up a big piano hinge, enough for both halves of the lid and I got a piece of Perf plate for a grill grate. It has 1/2 holes all throughout the surface and will make an excellent grill surface. I will have to support it on the underside as it's not super thick material. I have to add up a little more material and get my angle iron for the grate and fire tray frames. ...it's slowly getting there.



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by towtruck » January 15th, 2020, 2:49 pm

I got the lid hinges on today. I still have to trim out the lids and make handles for them. The stack is on and I will make a damper for it next. I am not liking the idea of the lid folding over and resting on the other smoker behind it so I will make some stops on the back to hold the lid just past 90* that way it wont have to lay on top of the other smoker and cause the front lid to swing out like in the last photo. The lid would not go that far back once it's in place on the trailer but I still want it's own stop to hold it.
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I have to get some angle iron for the trim and some for the cooking grate frame and then even more for the fire tray.....slowly it comes together.



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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by ajfoxy » January 15th, 2020, 3:10 pm

Looking good... :kewl:


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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by Big T » January 15th, 2020, 8:29 pm

:yth:


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Re: New BBQ for the trailer is on it's way!

Post by towtruck » January 17th, 2020, 2:48 pm

This morning I made a trip to my buddies for steel. I think I got everything I need to finish it up. I cleaned up some of his drop pile and odds and ends stuff.
I am going to make the fire tray frame out of heavy angle iron and then use expanded metal for the bottom but I am not going to weld the bottom in. It will have a removable bottom so I can get into the bottom of the bbq better for cleaning and I will be able to replace the bottom fire grate material easier. If I can find a heavy plate later on I will cut holes in that plate and drop that in for a bottom to the fire tray.
I put the final touches on the fire tray lifter design and I know how that is going to go together now. This weekend I am going to make a push to get all the fabrication done.....after this weekend I should be able to test fit it on the trailer and get the mounting brackets located. There may still be small finishing touches left but I am going to try and get it knocked out.



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