Outstanding build, I think that the pit looks just about right for what I learned on. Tim, the gentlemen who taught me, always cooked below the rim of the pit, that was important to them. They said that was why you had the cranks, to lower and raise the meat out of the pit. I love that large fire door that I see as well, again, quite close to the pits I learned on, you can actually open and shovel coals into the fire chamber that way.
Other than the fact that it is ridiculously clean, I can see some very good "Santa Maria" style cooks coming off of that pit. Now, if you build yourself a nice little two level kiln, with a fie grate between the two levels, you can burn the oak splits in the kiln, knock the embers down to the lower level and shovel the hot embers into the cook pit. Allows for longer cooks and less wood consumption, plus, you can control the heat a lot better. Or not.
I'm feeling bearish, and I'm packing a Wusthof Grand Brisket slicer from MABA
"perhaps...but then again...maybe not..."