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Old 06-28-2018, 12:39 AM   #1
AKMIMNAK
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Default How to build my own charcoal basket and ash pan?

Bros, I have a new LSG 20X42 offset and a friend who can weld. To save over $200, I did not order the LSG charcoal basket or ash pan because my buddy will build for free. Some questions:

CHARCOAL BASKET
1. Would you build out of expanded metal, or other material?
2. How much smaller than my internal firebox dimensions should I build it? In other words, what percent of volume should it take up?
3. Other considerations I'm not thinking of?

ASHPAN
1. What's the thinnest steel I can get away with? I don't want a 40 lb pan, but a cookie sheet probably isn't best either.
2. How much smaller than internal firebox dimensions should I make it?
3. How tall should it be (I have 3 inches under my fire grate)?
4. What am I forgetting?

Any other mod ideas that'd be great for this unit given a welder buddy? :)

Thanks for input!
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKMIMNAK View Post
Bros, I have a new LSG 20X42 offset and a friend who can weld. To save over $200, I did not order the LSG charcoal basket or ash pan because my buddy will build for free. Some questions:

CHARCOAL BASKET
1. Would you build out of expanded metal, or other material?
2. How much smaller than my internal firebox dimensions should I build it? In other words, what percent of volume should it take up?
3. Other considerations I'm not thinking of?

ASHPAN
1. What's the thinnest steel I can get away with? I don't want a 40 lb pan, but a cookie sheet probably isn't best either.
2. How much smaller than internal firebox dimensions should I make it?
3. How tall should it be (I have 3 inches under my fire grate)?
4. What am I forgetting?

Any other mod ideas that'd be great for this unit given a welder buddy? :)

Thanks for input!

Just my opinion, I think its easier and less messy to deal with ashes without an ash pan. You will find that theres very little ash anyway (using wood). When it does build you use a metal rod or square tubing under the grate to push the ash pile to the side of the firebox. Takes 5 seconds and you dont have to handle a 300 degree hunk of metal with hot coals in it, and you dont have to find something 20"+ wide (I used my Kettle)to dump them in while your hands are burning. And then when you are pulling the ash pan out the top of the pile catches the grate and hot coals go everywhere. Its just a mess.

1) Dont use ash pan

2) Push ashes aside when a pile forms.

3) Clean out ash after the cook when its all cooled down.
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Old 06-28-2018, 07:50 AM   #3
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I would just buy a sheet of expanded metal and cut/ bend to what you need.
For the ash pan you can use a sheet of aluminium flashing and also cut/bend to the size you need. A couple screws to hold the corners and you are done. I've used both and they work very well. The aluminum will not melt, may warp a little when hot but will last and not rust. No need to add more things that rust in your firebox.

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Old 06-28-2018, 08:46 AM   #4
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Ash pan is only good if you can remove it without lifting or touching the charcoal basket. On my cooker, the 80 pound ash pan has a 50 pound charcoal basket sitting on top. Gah...

I think I have some ash sitting in it right now. It's just too farking heavy to reach in and get them both.
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:57 AM   #5
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Don't know that you really need a basket as such, more of a flat floor (sides not required imo). Could build a basic framework out of 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 x 3/16 angle iron, lined with #9 flat expanded metal. Include legs on the framework that will keep it off the floor of the firebox to allow the air to come up from the bottom, and let the ash fall onto the floor of the firebox. Make it large enough to hold enough of your fuel in a coal bed, but not too large that you can't remove it from the firebox for cleaning. I'd personally forget about the ash pan and just shovel the ashes out of the firebox after the fire is out. It is important to get those ashes out soon (next day), as they will become corrosive and cause undue rust on the floor of the firebox.
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:03 AM   #6
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Here’s an ugly charcoal basket. I’m going to have a charcoal basket sitting on top of another charcoal basket.

The most expensive thing was the $20 expanded metal from Home Depot. I didn’t want to drive to the steel shop 40 miles away to pick one up.

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Old 06-28-2018, 09:49 AM   #7
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If you need something bent in wire, let me know. we do a little wire fabrication around here. t

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Old 06-28-2018, 09:50 AM   #8
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Offset pits are not real good candidates for charcoal baskets. I would forget about the basket. You might get away with the snaking style but even then offsets don't often seal well enough to control the burn rate. Also, charcoal will create a huge amount of as when compared to straight wood.

For an ash pan I've used an aluminum baking sheet trimmed to fit. Mine has about 1/8" play all around and has lasted a couple of years. As cited above, there's a bit of warpage but it still catches the ash just fine. The lip is only about 3/4" tall.

For other mod ideas and pics you can check out what I did to my LSG pit.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=239363
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:53 AM   #9
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I call it a charcoal basket because it holds the coal bed for the wood to sit on. A wood basket would be confused for the one that sits outside. I’m sure the OP has the same use of verbiage.
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Old 06-28-2018, 12:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
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If you need something bent in wire, let me know. we do a little wire fabrication around here. t

Whoa, Tom it looks like you have expanded the operation. Hope all is well.
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:00 PM   #11
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Best i could do quickly to explain. Build your basket with expanded steel same size or slightly smaller than ash pan, with legs to give room to pull out and dump. Use anything for ash pan. Long term, you could always buy multiple baking pans if you think it wont last. Not sure how big to say compared to the chamber. I would want room for airflow, maybe fire bricks to line the outside?
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