THoey's WSM Mod Thread

THoey

TVWBB Super Fan
I have been trying to show some mods I did to my 22.5" WSM by linking to a thread over at the Brethren, but I found out today that you have to become a member to see the thread. So, to make it easier to share the info, I am going to create a thread here and link it to my signature.

Before I get started, I know there are those purists that have not made any mods to their WSM's and feel they are not required. I graciously accept your opinion and feel you are right to do with your WSM as you wish. In that same token, I feel that what I have done to "upgrade" my WSM has enhanced my smoking experience. Negative comments are not needed.

Please, if you feel that WSM mods are not required or are an abomination, please just step back from the thread and read something else.

Thank you.
 

THoey

TVWBB Super Fan
WSM Gaskets from BBQGaskets.com

When I first got my WSM, I had a lot of leaks from where the main pieces fit together and around the door. While these may have sealed up over time, I was impatient and ordered the WSM gasket kit from BBQGaskets.com.

1. First I did a good scrub where the gaskets were going to go. I used Fast 505 degreaser from Home Depot and a scrubby pad. Not too difficult, but I only had a couple cooks on her so far.



2. Nice and Shiny...



3. Starting on the bottom of the center piece, I gently measured the gasket around the rim. I did my first quarter of the way, but didn't put down enough of the sealant, so I had to do it again. You get a whole tube, so don't try to use it sparingly.



4. Now you can see a little bit leaking out. I stretched this gasket to make it a little thinner as I had heard of difficulties in getting the pieces to fit together.



5. That's how much I started using and it held well. I used a toothpick to roll the cement back and forth until it was even.



6. After stretching it around, you can see how much extra I had.



7. Trimmed and this half done. Let it sit for a while before I started the other side.



8. Working the top of the center piece now. Instructions made it sound like I wanted the gasket on the vertical edge, but research and my common sense told me to put it on the horizontal edge so the lid could sit on top of it.



9. Tried not to stretch this piece at all.



10. Top completed.

 
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THoey

TVWBB Super Fan
Stainless Steel Door for CajunBandit.com

While the gaskets around the barrel sealed that section up, the door still leaked pretty bad and no amount of shaping by my clumsy hands was able to get it to seal. Enter the Stainless Steel replacement door from CajunBandit.com.

Since I had extra gasket leftover, I decided to seal the door as well. Some mount the gasket to the WSM barrel, but that usually ends up showing. I read where some put it on the inside of the door and decided that this looked better.
Attached Images


Door:

 
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THoey

TVWBB Super Fan
Replacement Compression Latch for the door

When you get the CajunBandit door, you use the original door latch handle that came with the WSM. Unfortunately, with this HEAVY door, and the added thickness from the gasket, that latch wasn't going to last long. Added the Southco Compression Latch that I got from Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002DHHDEY/tvwb-20

This requires the hole from the original latch to be drill out a little larger using a Step Bit that I was able to get at Home Depot.

The latch also doesn't come with any directions. Someone found them. Page 6 is the latch linked above.

BBQ Compression Latch 62-30-15.pdf
 

THoey

TVWBB Super Fan
Fire Basket

The coal grate and ring that comes with the WSM are great, but it would be nice to have a way to pick the whole thing up and shake the ashes off the partially used charcoal. A mod I saw showed how to create a "fire basket" with two handles just for that purpose. I later thought about it and decided if I put four such "handles" I could set my upper cooking grate on them and be able to direct grill over the charcoal.

I bought the following from Home Depot:

18.5 replacement coal grate
Stainless Steel Eye Bolts, nuts, flat and locking washers. (set of 4)
Stainless Steel Zip Ties

For health reasons, make sure to get Stainless Steel.

First, I laid the 18.5 coal grate on top of my existing grate, but rotated it 90* to create a cross hatch design. This will help keep small pieces of coal from falling through. I set the coal ring on top (fits perfectly with the 18.5 grate) and then using the stainless steel zip ties, attached all three together.



Note: Stainless Steel Zip Ties are tightened with a specialty tool. The following video shows how to tighten them with needle nose pliers:

[video=youtube;Kf8oIF_3s4E]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Kf8oIF_3s4E[/video]

Next, I installed my "handles" at the 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, and 9 o'clock positions through the grates.





When all done, it looks like this:



Throw the top cooking grate on it:



And I can cook on it like this:

 
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THoey

TVWBB Super Fan
Pitmaster IQ 120 and Rainbox

The next item is not so much a mod, but more of something to be able to do an overnight cook and still get some sleep. I bought the Pitmaster IQ120. It works great for what I need. I don't use it all the time, just those long cooks when I may need to sleep or work while she's chugging along.

The IQ120 is not water proof, so I guess I did a mod by building a water proof box for it. Their tutorial video is here:

[video=youtube;lS5L7l9VZLU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lS5L7l9VZLU[/video]

Mine turned out like this:



I will say, it was a pain cutting that hard plastic with just a razor blade knife. But, it works. Keeps my IQ120 dry and has enough room to put a couple little things like probe clamps in for storage.
 
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THoey

TVWBB Super Fan
Lid Hinge from Unknown BBQ

The most recent mod I did was to install the lid hinge from Unknown BBQ. I was leery of the strain that this would incur on the barrel, so I checked with others that had installed it and after months of use they could not detect any strain.

The hinge is heavy duty and will probably last as long as the WSM (forever!). It has a removable pin that allows the top to be taken off if needed. It requires six holes drilled into the WSM and it works great. No more looking for a place to set the lid.
Attached Images


 
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THoey

TVWBB Super Fan
Flame Thrower

Another non-mod, but something that makes my smoking easier is my Flame Thrower or Weed Burner from Harbor Freight that I use to light my coals. I started out using a chimney, but I saw all the sparks from that when I was doing a late night cook, and it scared the heck out of me. Texas is really dry and my old deck is even worse. Don't get me wrong, I know this has sparks too, but I can control the flame force and reduce it some...

Here's a shot of me using it to start my coals:

 
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THoey

TVWBB Super Fan
Tables

The following is not a mod that I have done yet, but something I am seriously thinking about if I can find a friend or a place to do the manufacturing.

A fellow member from the Brethren, Smokesignalsfromtx, created a set of tables that attach to the WSM via four replacement garage door handles mounted to the barrel of the WSM. You can see the initial build thread here.

His finished product:



FYI, Smoke said I should mention that the tables affected the stability of the WSM, so he made another mod to the bottom of it. You can find that here:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=194967
 
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THoey

TVWBB Super Fan
Water pan - To fill or not to fill?

Not a mod, but another frequently asked question is about the water pan. I use mine empty but wrapped in foil for ease of clean up. I have a Terra Cotta planter base (also wrapped) inside the pan to help with temp stability when opening the lid. Inside this, I also throw one of those cheap aluminum turkey roaster pans to catch most of the drippings. I clean this out after every cook and toss it when it gets too dirty.

When cooking things at high temps, like chicken, I remove the pan completely.
 

TMerriam

New member
Hey THoey, The directions in this link do not work. They take you back to BBQ Brethren Forum and it asks for a username and password. Any chance you have a direct link to the PDF?
 

THoey

TVWBB Super Fan
Hey THoey, The directions in this link do not work. They take you back to BBQ Brethren Forum and it asks for a username and password. Any chance you have a direct link to the PDF?
Sorry about that. I don't see any way to attach a document and I don't have any file shares where I could put it. If a mod can help out, it would be appreciated. Until then, if you PM me your email address, I'll send it to any that need it.
 

THoey

TVWBB Super Fan
Thanks John. I am not as handy as you are, so mine are simple enough for a non-handyman to do. Some of yours you show some skill that I lack... ;)
 

Charles H.

TVWBB Super Fan
Nice tip for using stainless steel zip ties to attach the fire ring to the grate.
This worked very well and makes handling the leftover charcoal much easier.
 

TOM BAUER

TVWBB Pro
It looks like if you turned two of those eyes on the charcoal grate 90 degrees, it would be more stable when you use the cooking grate on top of the eyes.
 

THoey

TVWBB Super Fan
Sorry for the bump, but I had to edit these posts to use Photobucket. I was using links from Facebook, but they started changing filenames and started losing images.

BTW, thanks for allowing editing of older posts. Other sites don't allow that...
 

THoey

TVWBB Super Fan
Been offline for a while. Just checked in today and I see several new posters asking about gaskets and a couple other mods. Will bump this up to see if it helps.
 

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