Nice job on your build. When I put my thermometer in my door I used an o-ring that fit over the threads so it would compress between the nut and the coupling that way I could seal and orient the gauge how I wanted it.
Although my mini gf works fine I built an economical temperature controller for mine, it lacks the fancy bells and whistles but does everything I need and is rock solid for under $75.00 and I am next to technology/electronic illiterate and had no trouble building it.
Smoker Clones are your own version of a commercially available Smoker. Examples are Stumps, Jambo, Backwoods, or any other you want to try to copy.