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Thread: 18.5" WSM Cart Build

  1. #1
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    18.5" WSM Cart Build

    Hey everyone,

    Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm starting this thread to catalog the build of my WSM cart for my 18.5" smoker. I love the WSM itself, but am constantly plagued with lack of storage for my extra charcoal, chimney etc between smokes. My wife would also like me to stop using our brand new firepit as a place to wrap my Brisket (haha), so a table top is a must. I can't take any credit for this idea, as I stole it from "SWright" (https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?775...g-Cart-for-WSM)

    I plan on doing a similar setup as him using a Harbor Freight cart I bought for $60. I have built up a frame using 1x4" common boards which I plan to stain and urethane once I decide on what I want to do with the top. I thought about ditching the metal top completely and just securing the boards to the vertical supports directly, but settled on keeping it as it provides a nice base for the table top I'm going to build. I used sheet metal screws from the inside to bite into both the metal frame and the wood underneath. In the second photo, the tape measure is set to the diameter of the cut I'm going to make; this should leave about 2.5' of table top for working space.

    As for the top, I'm going to cut a 20" hole in the metal, and probably a slightly larger 21" hole in the top above it. Like SWright, I'm going to offset the smoker to one side to give ample storage underneath. The biggest unknown so far is what I want to do for the table top. I've narrowed it down to a top of eastern red cedar with a thick coat of urethane, or small/mosaic tiles. I really like the tile idea, but would have to build out extra support for the backer board where the frame overhangs away from the cart. Would be open to any suggestions here!

    I'll keep updating this thread as the build continues!


    Last edited by KKelm; 10-21-2019 at 08:09 PM.

  2. #2
    TVWBB Fan J Grotz's Avatar
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    What a great idea! I was looking at that HF cart this weekend trying to decide if my 22.5" WSM would fit.
    18.5" 22.5"

  3. #3
    TVWBB Honor Circle Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    This cart is one of the best ideas I’ve seen in a long time and I have a buddy with access to a good metal shop and he’s still claiming he’s going to make three of them, one for me one for himself and one for another buddy. I have spent a fair part of time thinking about the whole top concept too. I have thought of all the options you have mentioned as well as diamond plate but, I keep going back to the tile for its aesthetic appeal but the whole substrate thing is a puzzlement for me too.
    I obviously have plenty of time to do further design work so I can ponder it for quite a while.
    One thing that struck me last weekend is rain protection, I’m thinking about having a piece of pipe large enough to fit an umbrella post for that addition and taking two pieces of sheet metal and mounting them on a piano hinge, or not, to act as a bit of a windbreak which could be pointed into the wind easily enough. The ideas flow like the smoke from a good long cook!
    Distinguebant Sed, Ignoret In Particulari!
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease too big a skillet!" J. D. Clampett

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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy F. Lewis View Post
    This cart is one of the best ideas I’ve seen in a long time and I have a buddy with access to a good metal shop and he’s still claiming he’s going to make three of them, one for me one for himself and one for another buddy. I have spent a fair part of time thinking about the whole top concept too. I have thought of all the options you have mentioned as well as diamond plate but, I keep going back to the tile for its aesthetic appeal but the whole substrate thing is a puzzlement for me too.
    I obviously have plenty of time to do further design work so I can ponder it for quite a while.
    One thing that struck me last weekend is rain protection, I’m thinking about having a piece of pipe large enough to fit an umbrella post for that addition and taking two pieces of sheet metal and mounting them on a piano hinge, or not, to act as a bit of a windbreak which could be pointed into the wind easily enough. The ideas flow like the smoke from a good long cook!
    The umbrella thing is a great idea! I was hoping I might be able to find a generic cover that fits it, but I may be out of luck.

    My thoughts on tile: there is a 3/8" gap between the top of my wood frame and the sheet metal below... think I could get a good bond between backer board and the sheet metal? If so, I could probably find some lower profile tile that would end up almost flush with the wood frame. Otherwise, I could add a piece of plywood over the top and then attach the back board to it. Because the size is relatively small, I think I could get some pretty decent tile and not shell out a bunch out of pocket. I walked through Lowes today and saw a few mosaics and pebble backsplash that would look great.

    ** Edit: now that I think about it, I probably would want to add some plywood or OSB anyways to prevent any flexing that I might otherwise get from the think sheet metal.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Grotz View Post
    What a great idea! I was looking at that HF cart this weekend trying to decide if my 22.5" WSM would fit.
    I can measure it out for you if you'd like. 21" across the width ended up with about 2.5-3" total room on either side as I recall. Another option which I strongly considered was to forgo the metal top completely, and just build the wood frame around the vertical metal supports which would mean you should be able to fit it easily.

  6. #6
    TVWBB Honor Circle Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    I think the tile would be really nice! Up here I need to consider the seasonal difference in temperature so, I’d probably end up needing some crazy expensive epoxy mastic and grout, besides, that wouldn’t match the table on the double barreled performer carriage, not that it really needs to but, I will have time to think about the project. It’s coming into cold wet weather so, that’s putting the brakes on most projects for now.
    Good luck, buddy!
    Distinguebant Sed, Ignoret In Particulari!
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease too big a skillet!" J. D. Clampett

  7. #7
    TVWBB Fan J Grotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KKelm View Post
    I can measure it out for you if you'd like. 21" across the width ended up with about 2.5-3" total room on either side as I recall. Another option which I strongly considered was to forgo the metal top completely, and just build the wood frame around the vertical metal supports which would mean you should be able to fit it easily.
    It fits:



    **Not my cart. Just something I saw on IG.
    18.5" 22.5"

  8. #8
    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Rich Dahl's Avatar
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    Looks like you're on your way to building a very nice cart.
    I wanted one for my 18.5 WSM. I converted my Genesis 1000 into a 2000 and had the smaller 1000 frame available. I cut off the shelf frame extensions on the left, extended the lower left hand frame rails. Built a platform on the extension for the WSM, added the leftover side burner and a 20# tank to offset the WSM.
    I put 75 pounds of rocks in the WSM bowl and assembled it which was way more weight than the WSM would ever see. Even with an empty tank it stayed completely planted with no tendency to tip forward. I also put a tile shelf where the fire box used to be and found my jumbo joe fit nicely on the shelf. I use the side burner to lite the coals for both and I have storage on the shelf underneath it.

    [IMG]DSCN3595 by Richard Dahl, on Flickr[/IMG]
    "Rescuing just one dog won't change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one dog."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Dahl View Post
    Looks like you're on your way to building a very nice cart.
    I wanted one for my 18.5 WSM. I converted my Genesis 1000 into a 2000 and had the smaller 1000 frame available. I cut off the shelf frame extensions on the left, extended the lower left hand frame rails. Built a platform on the extension for the WSM, added the leftover side burner and a 20# tank to offset the WSM.
    I put 75 pounds of rocks in the WSM bowl and assembled it which was way more weight than the WSM would ever see. Even with an empty tank it stayed completely planted with no tendency to tip forward. I also put a tile shelf where the fire box used to be and found my jumbo joe fit nicely on the shelf. I use the side burner to lite the coals for both and I have storage on the shelf underneath it.

    [IMG]DSCN3595 by Richard Dahl, on Flickr[/IMG]
    Wow! This thing has it all! Really creative design! Any issues/concerns with the proximity of the smoker to the wood, or does it stay pretty cool?

  10. #10
    TVWBB 1-Star Olympian Rich Dahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KKelm View Post
    Wow! This thing has it all! Really creative design! Any issues/concerns with the proximity of the smoker to the wood, or does it stay pretty cool?
    No problems at all, been using it for a couple of years. Another advantage is it raises the WSM up about 8 inches making access much easier.
    "Rescuing just one dog won't change the world, but it surely will change the world for that one dog."

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