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Thread: Built a "Jimmy" for a friend

  1. #1
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    Built a "Jimmy" for a friend

    After finding this board a couple of years ago and getting inspired, I built my own Mini WSM and Jimmy projects. To date, I'm very pleased with both smokers. I had a buddy recently buy a new house and I wanted to make a nice housewarming gift for him. So I built another "Jimmy" to give to him. I based this design on the original design posted by KeithFWI I found here a couple of years ago. This time however I built it with some different features in mind.

    For starters I used the Weber Original 18" Kettle. The reason I did this was because my friend has a bad back and I didn't want him to always have to bending over to check food, make adjustments, etc. Because the bowl is designed different than the 18 inch Jumbo Joe, the same sized 80 Quart pot I used on my last project did not fit perfect. To solve that issue I purchased a Winco AXS-80C Stock Pot Cover to make the pot fit just right. (I went thru 4 lid purchases until I found this one that fit "perfect")

    I then mounted it to the bottom of the pot with pop rivets and then cut out the holes for the fire basket in both the pot and the lid. To make sure the lid sealed perfect to the bowl, I purchased a half inch wide Nomex gasket and trimmed it to fit the lip of the pot cover. Another change from the first "Jimmy" I built, was I wanted a bottle opener on this unit. I purchased a stainless one off of Amazon and mounted it to the back of the pot. (Got to stay hydrated right? Got to be able to open those refreshing glass bottles!) My final addition was to make a digital therm holder. I accomplished this by taking the piece I cut out of the pot and trimming it down to make a gauge holder. All in all I'm pleased with how it turned out. I'm doing the first burn in tonight and will deliver it this weekend to my buddy. I've added pics below. Let me know what you guys thing. BTW without this forum and it's resources I would never have ever been able to build something like this or my other projects. Thank you all for the inspiration to tackle these types of fun jobs.

    Shot of the pot after first cutting out the bottom. At this point the edges have not been ground yet to make them smooth. Shortly before this shot, I also drilled the pot and added the bolts for the grill grates and the diffuser. All cutting was done with a plasma cutter that I borrowed form my father.



    Shot of the pot with the hole ground smooth as I could get it and the temperature probe hole installed as well:



    Fire/charcoal basket. I cut expanded sheet metal in a 4 inch tall strip and and my father welded it around the original charcoal grate (My welding sucks. I'm good at cutting, grinding, etc.. my father is the welder in the family):



    Holder for digital thermometers. I had the Thermoworks smoke in mind when I built it. I made this piece for the bottom portion of the pot that was cut out. I still need to polish it with some 800 and 1000 grit sandpaper:



    This cooker will use a BBQ Guru ATC, here is a shot of the guru port mounted and test fitted in the Weber kettle bowl.



    Upper lid damper handle mounted. I will eventually finish this so it is weather resistant. The wood is red oak:



    Bottle Opener:



    Action shot during the burn in period:



    So far the only air leaks have come from a small gap between the riveted aluminum lid and the pot base. I will seal around the small gap on the exterior with high temp RTV to remedy that problem. In addition the ash sweeper does not seal all the way as expected. However after some ash builds up it "self seals" so I'm debating on making any permanent lower vent modifications to close that area up. All in all it held temp during the burn in period. I had it hold steady at 350 for two hours. I then cranked it up to 450 and it has been staying there for the last 45 minutes. Another 15 and I think I'll be done breaking it in.
    Last edited by Brandon_Lutz; 07-26-2017 at 05:54 PM.

  2. #2
    TVWBB Wizard Rusty James's Avatar
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    Great work, Brandon, and welcome to the forum!

    Central Louisiana...is that Cajun country? (Atchafalaya basin)
    18.5", 18.5", 14.5", & Royal Oak Lump / Briquettes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty James View Post
    Great work, Brandon, and welcome to the forum!

    Central Louisiana...is that Cajun country? (Atchafalaya basin)
    Close to the basin, where I am at, I'm about an hour North of it. Where I live at now, is not exactly Cajun country, but where I'm from originally(Evangeline Parish) it is very much the start of Cajun Country

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    TVWBB Olympian ChuckO's Avatar
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    Man Brandon, I wish I was your friend. That is a full on amazing Mini SJ Smoker
    85 78

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    TVWBB Guru rich langer's Avatar
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    Can someone supply links for all the parts?

    Thanks
    rich the vegan
    Its all part of life's rich pageant

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    TVWBB Wizard CaseT's Avatar
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    Looks great. I wouldn't worry about the leak between the lid and bottom of the pot. as it gets used and grease drips down there it will seal up nicely. That has been my experience with all of my mini-wsms.
    18.5" WSM, 14.5" WSM, (4) Mini-wsms, Mini-Za Oven, Minitisserie, GOSM Big Block, 1967 Casa Q

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    Quote Originally Posted by rich langer View Post
    Can someone supply links for all the parts?

    Thanks
    Here is most of the build, a few other things you can buy locally, like the stainless bolts, nuts, and lock washers.

    The 18" Weber Original Kettle: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...04RALW/tvwb-20 (Please note, if you go with one of the other 18 inch kettles such as the Jumbo Joe, you won't need the aluminum pot lid listed below. The bottom of the pot should sit perfect in the Jumbo Joe. (At least it did on my older Jimmy build))

    Concord 80 qt Stainless pot: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...5ZNXZ6/tvwb-20

    I suggest searching around for that pot however on Ebay. The price goes up and down frequently on Amazon but sometimes I see them on Ebay for 85$ to 95$. I originally paid $90 for mine.

    Bottle opener: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...83PVPE/tvwb-20

    Temp probe port. (I chose the 3/8 to 3/8 option): https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...E110L4/tvwb-20

    Additional grill for the second cooking rack: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...WEPFOK/tvwb-20

    Terracotta saucer for the heat deflector: https://www.lowes.com/pd/15-75-in-Re...Saucer/3062267

    Winco pot lid that I riveted to the bottom of the pot: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...HEUN76/tvwb-20

    Rope gasket for the top lid: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...KKICBY/tvwb-20

    Nomex gasket for the bottom of the setup. I actually had some of this on hand already. I just cut the half inch wide strip in half and applied to the bottom of the lid lip to seal against the kettle base: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...LB75MA/tvwb-20

    Other materials that you can source locally are:

    1/4 in.-20 Acorn/Cap nuts (stainless) I used 10 total.
    1/4 in.-20 Coarse Stainless Steel Hex Nuts. (I used about 10 to 11 total)
    1/4 in. Stainless Steel Lock Washers (Again I used about 10 to 11)
    1/4 in.-20 x 3 in. Stainless Steel Round-Head Combo Drive Machine Screws. (You will 3 of these for the heat deflector support at the bottom)
    1/4 in.-20 x 1 in. Stainless Steel Round-Head Combo Drive Machine Screw. (You will need 6 of these for the grate supports)
    1/4 in.-20 x 1/2 in. Stainless Steel Round-Head Combo Drive Machine Screw (For the bottom hole of the bottle opener. For the top hole I use ran one of the grate support bolts thru it.

    A word about the bottle opener. The holes are advertised as 1/4 in diameter. I found that I had to slightly enlarge them with a 1/4 drill bit so the bolts would fit thru.

    Another note, I used HSS drill bits to drill the stainless steel on the pot with a drill press. With a drill press, you can get all of the holes drilled out in about 5 minutes. If use a hand held drill, it will take much longer. Because I don't drill a lot of real hard metals often enough to invest in a high dollar HSS drill bit set, I went to Harbor freight and purchased their set. (I'm actually surprised by the durability, usually Harbor Freight drill bits and me do not get along because the break/dull quickly)

    Hope that helps! I got all my nuts, bolts and washers at Lowes. I used a combo of the weathermax and hillman branded stuff that they sell.
    Last edited by Brandon_Lutz; 07-27-2017 at 09:13 PM.

  8. #8
    TVWBB Guru Mac's Avatar
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    For the vent leaks I'd apply some Aluminum HVAC tape to the outside over the slots. It can removed easily if he want to use the grill for regular grilling.
    Nice job on the build.
    Mac,
    Hickory Kissed BBQ ---

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    For the vent leaks I'd apply some Aluminum HVAC tape to the outside over the slots. It can removed easily if he want to use the grill for regular grilling.
    Nice job on the build.
    I'll probably go that route. Much easier for him to manage.

  10. #10
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    The HVAC tape did the trick. We smoked ribs this past Saturday, and the smoker ran at 230F the entire cook. Couldn't be more pleased with the build. My buddy was excited to take possession of the smoker. Now when we cook at his place I don't have to haul mine over there anymore. I just show up and relax.

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