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redchaserron 08-14-2019 08:40 PM

Franklinstein's Monster
9 Attachment(s)
Sunday was pretty much the last cook I'll get out of my old OK Joe Longhorn as the firebox is now completely shot. I was pretty much resigned to going to Academy and getting an Old Country Brazos because $1K is about as much as I'm comfortable forking over for a pit at the moment. I could afford more but when I start thinking about priorities, single dadhood, having a daughter starting 9th grade etc... I have a bit of a mental block about paying any more than that for a pit at this time.

On a whim, on Monday I flipped all the local online classifieds. I've done this hundreds of times and rarely ever seen a pit I would be interested in at any price much less at the prices that were normally asked. Monday was different, I was perusing FB marketplace and stopped cold when I saw a pit with a very familiar design. As I scrolled through the various pictures, it was obvious that the builder had paid VERY close attention to the way Aaron Franklin builds pits, and it was listed at a really low price. I messaged the seller and arranged to go look at it that evening. Although it looks really rough cosmetically, he assured me it was solid. That was an understatement.

When I got to the sellers house I mentioned that he must know who Aaron Franklin is. He laughed and told me that he saved the episode of Aaron's show featuring the pit build and would watch and rewind through it as he worked his way through each step of his pit build. It was obvious, he nails pretty much every detail of what I've seen of Franklin's pits .

The cooking chamber is made out of a 32x60 inch tank with a 52x31 grate, plus a removable upper grate. The cooking chamber is 1/4 inch thick. The outside of the firebox is 32x33 but is insulated with a piece of steel casing with a 22 inch inside diameter that is 2 inches thick. Yes 2 inches thick steel pipe, no burning out this fire box (by the way I did a little research and pipe that diameter and thickness weighs 513 pound per foot, so the firebox is about 1400 pounds). The stack is grate level and built onto a flange that he built off of the end of the pit like Franklin does.

The propane tank the pit is made from was spiral welded which put natural tension into the steel so when he cut the door some of that tension unloaded and the bottom left corner of the door doesn't want to shut completely, he solved that by welding a little hook clamp to the tank and a loop on the lid so it can be latched shut tight. It works well and I'm cool with it. The pit was built about a year ago.

We agreed on a price a little less than he had it listed for. I called a buddy of mine to see when I might be able to borrow his trailer to pick it up. My buddy asked me to send him a picture of the pit and when he saw that it was on skids he had the bright idea that we could hang leaf springs and an axle on it and build a tongue up front to be able to pull it. I thought that was a great idea.

Knowing about what an axle, springs, wheels and a tongue would cost I decided to search the local classifieds for trailers. Again, I've done this about a hundred times looking for a trailer I could possibly build a pit on and never found anything very suitable at a reasonable price, this week however was my week because I quickly found a listing for a heavy duty trailer that was previously used to haul a 3500 pound generator at a very good price.

Tuesday afternoon I drove about an hour to the seller and made a deal on the trailer. Today I used the trailer to pick up the pit. I'll eventually permanently mount the pit to the trailer. Now here's the kicker, I got the pit AND the trailer for the price of an Old Country Brazos at Academy. Actually $95 less because I didn't have any sales tax. My buddy works at a fab shop and is going to get me a brother in law deal on getting the pit sand blasted (basically just for materials) and I'll repaint her.

Honestly this is a dream pit for me. Exactly the size I wanted in the exact design I would choose regardless of cost, perfect sized trailer and all at a crazy good price. I'm not a superstitious person, but I think it all came together this week because today is my birthday. I'll update here as I work on the pit.

16Adams 08-14-2019 09:03 PM


BillN 08-14-2019 09:34 PM

Now that's a pit and that 2" thick heat sink should keep your heat constant just don't get it too hot cause bringing the temp down could take awhile. Congratulations.

Hoss 08-14-2019 09:40 PM

Congrats on your good fortune.You will enjoy that for many years.

pjtexas1 08-14-2019 09:54 PM

Happy birthday! Seems like there is no need to make a wish when you blow out the candles.

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Clay-b-que 08-14-2019 10:08 PM

That is great! I had to laugh at the title because I too have a Franklinstein! Great find. You will get a lot of great smokes off of that thing. Happy birthday to you!

FrkYrPrk 08-14-2019 11:25 PM

Score! Happy birthday - and many more:clap:

redchaserron 08-15-2019 05:59 AM


Originally Posted by Clay-b-que (Post 4216292)
That is great! I had to laugh at the title because I too have a Franklinstein! Great find. You will get a lot of great smokes off of that thing. Happy birthday to you!

Ha, great minds and all that. I just checked out your build thread, very nice!

creek bottom 08-15-2019 06:43 AM


4ever3 08-15-2019 06:52 AM

What a score!!!

DanB 08-15-2019 07:19 AM


charcoalwilly 08-15-2019 08:04 AM

That one is going to be fun Once in a blue moon, Craigs List serves up a gem

Big George's BBQ 08-15-2019 08:06 AM

Nice Congrats and Enjoy

redchaserron 08-15-2019 08:09 AM


Originally Posted by charcoalwilly (Post 4216362)
That one is going to be fun Once in a blue moon, Craigs List serves up a gem

In this case it was FB marketplace. Craigslist didn't have much on it.

ModelMaker 08-15-2019 08:17 AM

Hey man, if your happy than we're all happy for you!

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