Access door question


Brandon A

TVWBB All-Star
I guess I'll be the guy to bring it up since it hasn't been already. (elephant in the room?) Since I joined TVWBB over a year ago I've read hundreds of posts concerning the access door. Issues with misfitting doors have continued with the new line of WSMs and I have to think, how hard is it to manufacture a door that fits tightly? I work in a manufacturing enviroment and we don't have the luxury of letting our customers fix our mistakes. I don't mean to sound hostile, it just seems to be the most glaring complaint about the WSM was not fixed in the new production and I wonder why. By the way, I'm not so talented at bending doors so I siliconed mine shut. Weber woulden't like it but I "hot squat"
I didn't find that many posts. A few here and there and then Chris' info on how to adjust them.

First, the door does not have to fit air tight. There are air leaks all over on the smoker. If it's heavily tweaked, that's one thing. But any air leak can generally be accounted for with the vents at the bottom.

This isn't rocket science as much as we'd like to think. I even do this: nudge that vent ever so slightly. but i know it's not making a difference. But i think it's part of my cooking process.

It's low temp, slow cooking over hours at a time. Look at all the home made smokers out there that make grate food.

Now the actual door: Look at a good fitting door of the 18 1/2. it's easy to see in a side view that it's sloped and there is a different radius at the end where there is the knob and the end that fits into the center ring. This compound shape is there so when you latch the top of the door, there is a light engagement and snugs the door up. (across america everyone is holding up their doors on edge..)

The other key is that the shape of the cylinder (the center ring) has to be true. So a person may be taking off the door and cursing it when the real issue is the center ring.

hope that helps...

I'll keep towing the line for as long as I'm a WSM fan that the unit is not air-tight and doesn't have to be made air-tight to be able to cook great barbecue...but it is frustrating to see the photos of doors in the closed/latched position where the top left and top right corners are a good 1/4" off the surface of the middle section.

I would like to see someone check the door fit before shipping the product.

This is true. thats clearly something out of whack.

i have found this in my years of used to be in the old days when tooling was made you had real craftsmen and tool and model makers that would spend long hours gently filing, sanding, milling forming. real art! now they expect the engineer to spit out a solid model drawing in a computer to a file that is loaded into a machine that spits out the part. that is fine for production of easy parts. some complicated ones too.

But there are some things that need that human touch, experience, and analysis..

i know those people are out there.