|Project by Derek Lyons||posted 07-18-2009 06:53 PM||5870 views||2 times favorited||10 comments|
I bought a new smoker this spring, and after using it the first time I discovered that while it wasn’t very heavy it was very awkward to carry from the garage to the patio. Of course, being a Lumberjock, rather than being a problem – this was an excuse to head out to the workshop and build a solution!
After the problems I had getting my planer cart (LJ project link) to finish up square, I decided for this project to mill 2×4’s square and to consistent dimensions.
What I forgot to do was to also prepare some extra pieces for testing my setups – so a couple of the lap joints ended up a little dodgy. (I also learned that nibbling out the waste the way Norm does it is nowhere as easy as he makes it look…)
You can also see how I screwed up screwing the joint together – the top screw should have been like the bottom one. Oops!
Here is the main assembly complete and ready for finishing.
I really wished I’d prefinished the main pieces, as each coat required two steps. Because of how the frame had to be clamped into the Workmate I had to do all but one rail, wait for it to dry, flip it and do the rail that had been in the clamps, then wait for that to dry before doing it all again.
The cart is finished with two coats of spar varnish since it will be outdoors in all weathers. The front of the cart is exposed to meat drippings when the trays are pulled out, so it got two additional coats.
Here the wheels are being fitted – 10” wheels so it easily rolls over the grass when I forget to cut it. I used thread locking compound on all the nuts.
Four wheels on the ground! NASA couldn’t be prouder of it’s little rovers on Mars than I was at this moment… Between my injury (LJ blog link), and then June and early July being crazy busy, it has taken two months to get to this point.
The legs are powder coated sheet steel, and ‘fold under’ on the bottom to form the base of the foot. Originally I was going to bolt the smoker to the cart, but decided on toggle blocks to avoid drilling into and cracking the powder coating. While building the prototypes I found that they really didn’t work all that well, so I decided to use clamping bars running from front to back.
Here the clamping bars are being fitted. They turned out to be a bit of a bear to make as they needed to be beveled on the ends, beveled on the side against the legs, beveled on the corners where the legs bend – and have a bit nibbled out of the bottom to accommodate the foot! I know most of you guys could turn these out in your sleep (and GaryK could do so in coma, a hundred miles from his shop), but these were the most complex pieces I’ve attempted yet… And since they were mirror images I ended up getting confused with my setups and having to make three bars to get two usable ones.
Here are the bars being finished. If you click on the picture and go to the large size, the right hand one shows the portion nibbled out to accommodate the foot.
Here are the clamping bars bolted into place.
And here is the finished cart! The wheels sit outside the legs a little bit in both dimensions as there is a slight hill and bit of bumpiness between the garage (where the smoker is stored) and the patio (where the smoker is used), so the additional width and length keep the CG a bit lower and make the cart more stable overall.
The inaugural smoke will be tomorrow starting at o’dark thirty and I’ll be liveblogging it on the Smoking Meat Forums – I’ll post a link when I start the thread for those interested.
Discovered a nice bonus while using the cart for the first time this morning (live thread linked in the comments), the cart raises the smoker to a much more convenient working height – no more stooping over!
-- Derek, Bremerton WA --