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Old 06-06-2013, 02:31 PM   #15
Got Wood.

Join Date: 01-02-10
Location: Houston, TX
Default In answer to PM about Pitmaker BBQ Vault.

Hi Dobdabomb,

I tried a return PM on this, but your message box was full. I hope you don't mind me posting my reply in here. Looking over your original PM, i am sure there is no information of a sensitive nature, so I am re-posting it here along with the reply. Hopefully, others find it informative as well:

Originally Posted by dobdabomb
I am down to a Stump which was my only one of a couple weeks ago, a Rebel/Assassin or your Vault. I saw you comment on a post 3 years ago explaining the building process. Can you please give me more information that isnt on your website, I am most concerned with a cooker that will last me 20 years without an issue with rust and replacing(re-welding) things. I have two large big green eggs and a primo xl so I am use to the quality and low maintence of a ceramic cooker.
Originally Posted by dobdabomb

Thanks for anything you can provide, looking at ordering here in the next couple weeks if I can. I also need a freight quote for shipping to Huntsville, AL zip 35xxx. Do you guys take paypal and/or amex?

Team Smokin' Hot Racks.
Hello Robert,

Thanks for reaching out with the inquiry on our products. This requires some analysis of our competitors, but I am game. On the build process of the BBQ Vault:

First of all, in comparison to the Rebel/Assasin and Stumps smokers, we use thicker material. I believe they are using 14 GA. (roughly 1/16") whereas we use 11 GA. (1/8") thickness. This inherently would make it more resistant to corrosion. Then lets talk of the material itself. On our BBQ Vaults and Safes, we use 304 Solid stainless on every area of high wear and tear. This from the doors (inside and out), slam-latch handles (solid cast stainless), smoke stacks, air damper plates, bottom cooking chamber door frame, drip shield shelf (in between firebox and cooking chamber doors), and the top of the inside firebox, which is also the reinforced water pan/drip pan for the cooking chamber. Even the door hinges and hinge sleeves (which are painted), are solid stainless steel because they are metal rubbing on metal. If the paint chips off these sleeves, they will not rust. The drip shield shelf and the bottom door frame are especially important areas as these get the drippings from meat that come down when you slide out the racks. These drippings typically are very corrosive due to salt and spice content. The stainless area here on our pits is impervious to that.

Secondly, it seems that they are using some riveted construction. Primarily on the "roof" of the pit, which may or may not be rivets or screws, and in attaching the smoke stack. Also, rivets look to be on the hinges of the door, and internally on the door panel. It also appears that the door panels on are in two parts on the Rebel/Assassin smokers. Any area with seams is more open to corrosion, as this is a problem area for covering with paint/powder coat. Also, paint is usually not on the inside of the sheet underneath the seams, so water/moisture seeps into these areas through osmosis and surface adhesion and causes problems.

It looks like this would especially be a problem area where there is a lip attaching the smokestack to the top of the Rebel/Assassin smoker, as this is a flat area that will tend to catch and hold water. Our smokestacks are solid stainless steel and welded integral to the body. We went to an all stainless smoke stack design to prevent corrosion from the condensation that tend to drip down all smoker smokestacks. This condensation typically has salt/spices and liquid smoke all of which are corrosive to paint/powdercoat finishes.

Rivets themselves are also an entry point into the sheet steel. They are typically done after the paint process. Water/moister will go around the lips of the rivet, or through the hollow center. Our entire smoker body is rivet-less. All seams are welded solid to prevent this type of corrosion. There is only area rivets are used and they are solid stainless and extremely strong used to attach the slam-latches of the doors. Inside of our double doors, we use solid stainless steel sheet metal screws to attach the solid stainless inner door panels. We like to make these door panels removable, so that the door gasket can easily be replaced in a few years. I don’t believe their rivets are stainless, or even the "piano" style hinges on their doors are stainless.

On our finish, we take every piece of "P&O" carbon steel on our pits and take it down to a mirror bright pure steel, before doing a thinner wash and coating in zinc epoxy primer. This primer is extremely strong and durable and the zinc content bonds chemically with the carbon to almost form a "surface stainless" to inhibit corrosion. From there a urethane auto enamel paint is applied. We would put this finish against commercial powdercoat or paint process on our competitors pits for durability and longevity.

I think those are the primary construction point interest. Hopefully, you can see the thought and care that went into making the BBQ Vault and Safe pits that can truly last through two decades of service with less maintenance then most if not, per your specification. Also, there is also the solid stainless option, if you want it to last longer!

There are a couple more key points to highlight for your decision:
1.) We are now offering the option of adding dual Ball Valve air intakes into our Vaults or Safes for $240, to compare apples to apples in the instance of precision air intake control.
2.) Cost. The Stumps Stretch which is comparable in capacity to the Vault, size runs $4400, with Slam Latches at an option of $150. The Rebel 32 runs $3500 with no apparent options available on the website. The BBQ Vault is $3445 in any color you want off of our website. Given the more expensive materials (stainless and thickness), and extra labor involved with our pits, hopefully, you can see the extra value that is there .

Shipping fully crated with a residential lift gate drop to your driveway at zip code 35xxx for the BBQ Vault is $575. There is a little extra cost there for the full wood crating and custom pallet, but trust me, it is worth it. I hear some of our competitors have had problems with dinged and scratched smokers arriving to customers because of cut-rate packaging. We do take both Paypal and Amex as forms of payment.

Thanks again, Robert for your interest. Hopefully, this answers some of your questions and then some. We are working at putting more informative information like the above out there on our website and elsewhere. Please feel free to share this information above in this forum or with anyone interested.


George Shore
George Shore, Pitmaker Interceptor Trailer, Pitmaker Magnum Sniper Trailer, [URL=""][/URL]

Last edited by Zenbbqmaster; 06-06-2013 at 04:18 PM..
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