A few months ago I decided I needed a more efficient and less labor intensive smoker than my current stick burner. I came across the Prairie BBQ Association Forum and started reading about gravity fed, insulated smokers modeled after the popular Stump's Smoker. Being from Texas, I has never seen or even heard of a Stump's. The closest think I've seen used around here was a Backwoods smoker. Anyway, I decided I would build my own gravity fed smoker and add a few modifications that I had in mind. I began drawing the plans and ended up with a cook chamber 40" tall by 30" wide and 24" deep. This was going to be big and heavy so I knew I would have to mount it to a trailer to haul it to competitions. After the plans were drawn I ordered the steel from a supplier I knew and prepared to start building. First off, I had to by a welder and learn how to use it. Yes, I had decided to build my own steel smoker and I had never
welded a single scrap of steel. I bought a Hobart 140 at Northern Tool and a cheap plasma cutter from China off Ebay. Lack of experience had never stopped me from other endeavors. I had taught myself how to build and recondition old tube amplifiers just a few years ago with no experience in electronics. Before I knew it, I was welding decent beads and it was time to start my build. So far I have built the frame, drain pan and charcoal chute/fire box.
I think I have a few novel ideas that differ from the traditional "Stumper". I'm going to add a convection fan inside the cook chamber and well as a pellet feeder to serve as the smoke source. I've also decided on a tubular heat diffuser that will go across the full width of the cook chamber bottom. Construction is slow for it's cooking season and I've been going to a few comps. The weekends are about the only time I have to work on it. Maybe I should take a week off and knock it out.
Here is a link to a photo album with the construction picture up to now."LINK"