FINALLY SOME FABRICATION!!
My Dad and I walked around a BBQ smoking competition last night to get some ideas. So I was ready to get started!
Laying out the parts.
Laying out the parts, building a mental image of the final product in my head.
Action shot while revealing the inner smoker with the plasma cutter.
Mostly cleaned up.
Lifted the smoker up and set it on some stationary jack stands. Where it is sitting now should be very close to the final ride height after the suspension is added.
This is a full floating 14 bolt axle that has been sitting in my backyard for years. I was not surprised to discover that the drum brakes had locked up. So out came the plazma cutter.
As it turns out, on 14 bolt full floating axles you can take the axle shaft and spindle nut off then cut the backing plate and slide the whole assembly off without actually disassembling the brakes.
After getting the assembly off the axle, it was time to separate the brake drum from the wheel bearing which is the only part I will be using
Made a hell of a mess. The two tubes at the bottom of the picture are the parts that I will use to make the new axle.
The two axle tubes getting cleaned up so I can weld them together.
This next step could fall back into the “Doing MORE with less” category. I do not have a lathe or access to one where I could mount this wheel hub assembly and “turn” or cut down the surface where I had cut off the brake drum. So by clamping the axle tube in the vice and re-installing the wheel hub and bearings I could grind on the cut surface with a grinder while it slowly spun on the bearings. While not perfect, this can create a pretty even concentric surface without expensive time in a machine shop.
Clamped the axle tube in the vice and installed the wheel hub so I could clean up the surface where I cut off the brake drum.
After cleaning up the cut surface
To get the tubes straight with each other, I actually placed both of them in a piece of angle iron (which in this case is permanently attached to my fabrication table) and checked alignment with a straight edge.
Beveled the edge of the tubes and tacked them together.
Finish welding the axle tubes together.
Measured and cut the hole for the 3″x3″ tube that will become the frame of the trailer.
Welding the 3″x3″x1/4″ frame tube into the front of the smoker.
The reason I cut a hole in the front of the smoker is so that I could stick the frame tube all the way through the front plate to weld on both sides and add a strengthening gusset.
Frame welded on and added ball receiver and trailer jack.