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Old 10-28-2010, 04:39 PM   #1
kyle corn
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Default Offset build- firebox thickness?

I'm building a large compressor tank into a trailer based offset. I've determined that the firebox will need to be approximately 30" square, but I need to determine the thickness of steel I should use. I'm definitely thinking 1/4" is the bare minimum, but I'm wondering if I'll notice much performance improvement with 3/8". The price difference is about $140 which isn't bad, but I'm wondering if there will be any noticed improvement and if it's worth the extra wait.

Any opinions are welcome! Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:06 PM   #2
jestridge
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I have one with 1/2 steel but the steel was free , also have one with 1/4 steel it work great. Maybe do 3/8 split the difference. Also you might visit a junk yard or construction site and find some scrap
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:12 PM   #3
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Once you get it hot, it will be more efficient with everything else being equal.
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:40 PM   #4
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Where are you going to be using it? Back before David Klose starting insulating his fireboxes, he was recommending 3/8" for normal climates, and 1/2" for people wanting to use the smoker in the winter. I went with the 1/2" on my offset. For the $140 I would go 3/8 over the 1/4. You don't want it to ever burn through.
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Old 10-28-2010, 06:10 PM   #5
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In riverside the thicker metal will not make as big of a difference since it doesn't get too cold in the winter - but you'll burn less to keep the same temp the thicker the steel so I'd use 3/8". If I had money to burn I'd use 5/8" SST
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:35 PM   #6
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Was just at a local custom pit maker in my neck of the woods (Meadowcreek BBQ supply) checking out a backyard pit. All their fireboxes are 1/4" steel, sales guy said they will not warp at high temps. Don't see how 3/8 could be anything but better though.
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:25 PM   #7
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Thicker the better.
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:47 PM   #8
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The only problem with thicker is more weight. Not a real problem on a trailer, but on a backyard unit, weight is a factor.

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Old 10-28-2010, 11:21 PM   #9
kyle corn
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Thanks for all the help, I think I'll go with 3/8.
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:45 PM   #10
kyle corn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBQ View Post
Where are you going to be using it? Back before David Klose starting insulating his fireboxes, he was recommending 3/8" for normal climates, and 1/2" for people wanting to use the smoker in the winter. I went with the 1/2" on my offset. For the $140 I would go 3/8 over the 1/4. You don't want it to ever burn through.
This is just to settle my curiosity, how do pitmakers insulate their fireboxes?
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Old 10-29-2010, 07:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle corn View Post
This is just to settle my curiosity, how do pitmakers insulate their fireboxes?
I don't have first hand experience but if I was doing it I would either user mineral wool or firebricks. And since I mentioned firebricks why doesn't the OP go with 1/8 firebox but insulated it on the inside with firebricks? The weight might go up but if you ever need to move the smoker by hand you can take out the firebricks and move them individually.
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:00 AM   #12
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With 1/2 metal you don't need insulation
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:05 AM   #13
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I used 3/16.....I watch fuel go down the drain..... :o P
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:02 PM   #14
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Mine is 3/8th, I realy don't see much difference that 1/4 thick pits I have used. I think the big difference comes with a double wall firebox with insulation between. That said thicker can't hurt.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:37 PM   #15
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My firebox is 30" wide, 26" deep and 26" high. I went with 3/8" steel and am really glad I did. My smoker is a 250 gallon propane tank that I made into a reverse flow smoker, and once I get it up to temp, its rock solid. Hope this helps.
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