Learn how to make your own wood burning smoker for your backyard with a Forney Easy Weld machine. For the beginner or novice user, the small size of this smoker is ideal to begin perfecting your smoking skills.
- Forney Easy Weld machine
- 3 BBQ size (30 lb) propane tanks
- 3′ of 4″ round tubing
- 3′ of 6″ round tubing
- 2’x2′ piece of diamond plate
- 3’x3′ piece of expanded metal
- 10′ of 2″ round tubing
- BBQ/smoker thermometer
- 2′ of 1/2″ bar stock
- 6″x6″ 8 gauge sheet metal
- 15′ of 1/2″ angle iron
- Metal wheel (to move smoker)
- 2 latches
- 3 hinges
- Cutting wheels
- Grinding wheels
- Angle grinder
Step by Step Instructions:
1. Clean propane tanks with water and soap to ensure no propane is left inside.
2. With a cutting wheel, cut the tops off two propane tanks and weld them together to make one large tank.
3. Cut out smoke chamber door to desired size on the large tank. On the smaller propane tank (fire box), cut out a door to the desired size.
4. Next, build the piece to connect the two tanks. Cut two 4″ or 6″ pieces (depending on your desired size) from the 4″ tubing. On one end of each pipe, cut a 45 degree angle. Weld these angles together to create an “L” shape (90 degree angle).
5. On the top of the fire box (small tank) and the bottom of the smoke chamber (large tank), cut a 4″ hole in diameter to weld the “L” shape tubing to. This “L” shape connects the smoke chamber to the fire box and allows the smoke to cook the food.
6. Weld hinges on the doors of the smoke chamber and fire box. The smoke chamber gets two hinges on the top of the door on opposing sides, the fire box gets one hinge on the top of the door in the middle.
7. Cut the diamond plate 2″ wide to create a finishing trim to the smoke chamber door. Weld these strips to every side of the smoke chamber door except the hinge side. On the inside of the propane tank, weld the last 2″ wide diamond plate strip to the hinge side only.
8. Repeat Step 7 for the fire box as well.
9. Cut out a 6″ round hole in the top of the smoke chamber for the smoke stack.
10. Out of the 6″ tubing, create a smoke stack, 6″-12″ high (depending on desired height). Tack weld this to the smoke chamber and complete with full welds. For added strength, weld the smoke stack on the outside and inside of the propane tank. (Cap pictured is optional, but if you leave your smoker outside it can help protect it from the weather).
11. Cut the leg supports out of 2″ round tubing to desired height for the smoke chamber. Make this high enough to easily look into the smoke chamber without bending over (customize to your height).
12. Tack weld leg supports from Step 11 to bottom of smoke chamber, finish with complete welds.
13. Make the support leg from the fire box to the ground by cutting 2″ round tubing to desired size (again, this depends on the height you made the smoke chamber legs; customize to your preferences but ensure the smoker is balanced and square). Remember, include the height of your wheel to the length of the support leg.
14. Tack weld leg support from Step 13 to fire box, finish with complete welds.
15. Create a shelf in the fire box and smoke chamber with expanded metal and angle iron supports. For the smoke chamber, weld angle iron in large chunks around the inside of the propane tank. Use large chunks instead of small pieces for a sturdier shelf for heavy meat. Cut expanded metal to the diameter of the inner propane tank to rest on top of the angle iron pieces. Don’t tack weld expanded metal to the angle iron because you want to be able to remove the shelves for cleaning. To make the shelves removable, cut the expanded sheet shelf in half (pictured below is additional shelving made to smoke chicken wings and smaller meat, this is optional).
For the fire box, make sure your shelf is welded in at an angle, with the highest point closest to the door. This ensures oxygen can get in from the air intake adjustment on the outside of the smoker box (Step 16). Tack weld 1″-2″ pieces of angle iron around the fire box and finish with complete welds. Again, don’t weld the expanded metal to the angle iron in case you want to remove the shelf for cleaning.
16. Create an air intake in the fire box. Cut out a small square hole in the bottom of the fire box. Cut the metal sheet a little bit larger than the shape of the hole to create a cover. Weld on angle iron as a guide for the cover door so it can easily move back and forth to regulate the air intake to the fire. Weld expanded metal inside the air intake.
17. Weld one latch to the smoke chamber and one latch to the fire box.
18. Weld the bar stock to each door to create a handle. Remember, these will get hot when in use unless you put a handle cover over them (optional).
19. Drill a hole the size of the thermometer in the smoke chamber and attach the thermometer. Most BBQ thermometers can bolt on.
20. As an additional option, weld on a shelf to the front of the smoke chamber. This shelf can help hold the meat when checking to see if it’s finished or can act as a support. To create this shelf, use angle iron and expanded metal. Weld diagonal supports under the shelf for support.