How to Build a Smoker Firebox

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A smoker firebox is used in most store-bought smokers or any large homemade smokers. It's where the wood or charcoal is placed and ignited, for the fire during the smoking process. To properly build a firebox, it's best to have some experience working with metal as it requires cutting, filing and welding a steel plate and other materials. Without any experience, this can be a hard and dangerous task without taking safety precautions.

Things You'll Need

  • Steel plate 18 by 18 inches
  • 2 steel plates, 18 by 17 1/2 inches
  • 2 steel plates, 17 1/2 by 17 1/2 inches
  • 7 1/2-inch hand grinder for steel
  • Arc welder
  • Metal work bench
  • C-clamp
  • Place each steel plate onto a metal work bench. Use a C-clamp to keep the plates sturdy while working with them.

  • Grind the edges of each steel plate with the 7 1/2-inch hand grinder. This will make the edges smoother, making the welding process run smoothly.

  • Turn on the arc welder, turning the knob to the highest setting. Remove one 18-by-17-inch steel plate from the C-clamp and one 17 1/2-by-17 1/2-inch steel plate. Lay the 18-inch steel plate down flat and place the other piece of steel vertically, pressed down snug to join the side of the first piece of steel. Hold the plates in position and move the arc welder from end to end on both sides (inside and out) of the steel plates, welding them together. The smaller piece of steel acts as one wall of the firebox.

  • Repeat the previous step with the other 17 1/2-by-17 1/2-inch steel plate, welding it into place. You will now have a bottom and two sides of the firebox.

  • Weld one 18-by-18-inch steel plate to one end of the firebox, welding inside and outside the frame. The box should now have two sides and one end, keeping one end free for the opening. The open end of the firebox is where you will place your fire source. Allow the firebox to sit for 24 hours before using.

Tips & Warnings

  • Steel plates are available at any home store or from an online retailer, cut to size.
  • Wear safety equipment, including a welding helmet, safety glasses and gloves. Never work with any kind of metal without using safety gear specifically made for metalworking.

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