wind screen


Todd Randall

Hi All,

I've scoured this forum using a search for wind screen and read everything I could about all the great ideas. Such a great site this is.

I think I'm going to start building one similar to these pics, And I saw another guy that built one very much the same but out of plywood.

I want to do the same with the 4 sides and a top all hinged together type idea.

I would like to use a material that is not only study, but lightweight, and heat resistent. I would like to build the hinges as such that I can fold it all up together basically into a single sheet for easy transport.

I'm not as much concerned about the insulation factor because I think I'll take and create a separate jacket for that later on.

I was thinking of plexiglass but I do not know if it would hold up under the heat and I guess if it's too thick, it gets pretty heavy.

Any suggestions for material type that is lightweigh, but stong and sturdy, and if I make the sucker pretty air tight, it won't melt under the heat?

I made the windscreens out of sheets of 2'x4'x1/4" plywood that are set into 2'x2' (ripped 2x4s) frames that are dadoed so the plywood sits in a groove on all 4 sides. pic, pic This because it was cheap. You could do the same, make 2x2 frames and inset pieces of sheet metal. I would think this would be lighter than plywood.
I don't know how heat resistant plexiglass would be.
As far as mobility, mine fold up into just larger than 2'x4', and unfold to being over 4'x4'. I made 2 so they will completely surround a single WSM. Since mine ar against a wall, I can use both screens in unison with the wall to completely surround 2 WSMs.
Ya, that's the ticket. Nice idea with the frames and groves. I like those. Sheet metal...excellent idea and should be a lot cheaper than plex. Thanks for the response and pics.
I'm cheap and lazy. I just cut a 4x8 sheet of plywood in thirds and reconnected the pieces with piano hinges. It makes a nice triangle around the cooker and leaves just a small gap at the front should I need to access the door or front vent.
I don't have the cold weather issues some of you have in the winter months, so I'm thinking of a different route. Since I don't need the insulation due to the cold, I was thinking about using a 55 gal drum. Cut both the top and bottom off of it, then cut it in half. You will then have 2 rings (I have 2 WSM's) that could be lowered around the bottom section of your cooker to block the wind from your vents. Then again you might be able to cut the rings in half and place hinges on it and kinda clasp it around the bottom, in this way you would have access to your door. If its too tight around your cooker, I guess you could drill some air holes around the bottom of your ring for some ventelation but still block the brunt of the wind. Just a thought....I'm not sure about the diameter of a 55 gal drum.
I use the 55 gallon drum which I have cut in half and hinged the back side. I use hinges that I can pull out the pin so the halves fit inside each other for storage or transport. I also added handles on the front to help in opening and closing. Also, I added a bracket with an aluminum tube into which I can insert and old umbrella to ward off precipitation. This really works great, especially out on the ice when cooking for our guiding clients. Works well with the Weber kettle as well.
Thanks all for the ideas. Clark, I want to go with your suggestion. I like the idea of having 2 bifolds basically being able to fold together for easy transportation. I need them to be weather resistant. The sheet metal is an excellent idea, but I found out that neither home depot or lowes sell it in sheets larger than 48"x24" and even those are very expensive. So I was looking at fiber glass sheet board, like what goes in a bathroom, but the guy at Lowes didn't think it would stand up to the heat very well. He suggested treated plywood. But, then I'm getting real heavy again. I toyed with the idea of aluminum flashing but that only came in 20" wide. Lastly, I found some metal roofing that came in 3' by 8' sheets which would work, but it's corrugated, which might be ok. It's about $28 per sheet and I'd need 2 so I'm still looking at $60. But it might also be pretty heavy. For the framing, I found 2"x2" composite deck railing spindles at Grossman's Bargain Outlet for $4 per 12', which seems like a very good price. I think I would need about 5 of them so $20 doesn't seem bad for that. I'm still up in the air as to what to use for the panels.
I purchased a car interior insulation blanket from J.C. Whitney after reading about it in an earlier thread. You can stand it up in a circle around the WSM with a clearance of about 2 inches. Velcro is used to hold it almost closed. A small gap is necessary for air flow.
The cost is about $30 and the item number is ZX268584. When it is placed around the WSM the bottom edge turns in and acts as a foot. A really strong breeze may push the upwind side against the WSM, but it still works fine and the blanket is not damaged by the heat. And it is easy to store and transport.
Belt and suspenders?

If you do the car insulation thing, do you think you would still need a wind break.

Also, if you do the car insulation and the box, will the temperature of the get hotter than what "Clark's Box" could handle?
Yes, the same very things I've thought about.

I'm looking for the most flexability. I don't think I would want to try and do the car insulating thing in the middle of summer, 90 degree days, and the wind is blowing 25-35. If I keep them both separate, then I can use one without the other and be more flexible.

I'm more worried about the cooker in the box with no insulating jacket (and if it had a top/roof like I plan to do), as that would put out the most radiant heat off the cooker into the box. Say I was cooking those pizzas (which by the way, I have no plans to do, but again, trying to be the most flexible) and I had the WSM running 500 degrees. How hot are the panels going to get with 6" of clearence? And say it was raining outside, so I have the top/roof on. How hot inside the box are we going to get now?

I would think that having the insulating jacket on and the cooker inside the box (even with a lid/top exhaust vent) would not be a big deal because the jacket is containing most of the heat and the heat that is radiating would be from the top exhaust vent and out the top.

The essential factor is to block the wind. Because the blanket is not wrapped tightly around the WSM the insulation value is minimal. I have used it both winter and summer and the only difference was having to open the vents slightly more in the winter. It is simply a convient , lightweight, and compact way to block the wind for stable temperature control. With little or no breeze winter or summer I do not use it.
I have a 5 ft. eve off of half of the rear of my house. Snow has never been a problem, I still set up the WSM on the patio. For rain I set up the WSM under the eve.
This is interesting. I will be moving to cheyenne in a year or two and the wind is always blowing up ther so I will need a wind screen.
Thanks Milt.

I have to go back to the flexability thing then. If you wanted to take your WSM camping, you have no eve. If you wanted to take it to a friends house, he might not have what you need. If you are cooking for an event and it's raining cats and dogs, in either situation above, you might end up with a charcoal bowl full of water. Snow, probably not so big a deal.

My idea (well, not really "mine" as many people here have done something like this) is to totally enclose the WSM inside a "box". And put a slopped roof over the top. The intention is not to be fully air or water tight, I wouldn't be using this for long term outside storage.

Building a "L" shape frame (two of them) and hinging it together should work great for easy setup, storage, and transportation. Pop a sloped roof over top (could cut a 4" hole in the top and use a bathroom exhaust / laundry dryer tubing exhaust both of which can be purchased with vent caps to prevent water from entering the vent), and bring on the downpours, should harmlessly run off and away. 35 mph winds blowing rain/snow sideways, the screens should block all but the slightest moisture entering from the crack created by the hinges. I doubt any of it would actually penetrate the smoker.

When you are on the run with the smoker, don't know what to expect out of the weather, all you need to bring is your two "L" hinged screens plus the top, and I would think you would be able to tolerate almost any weather condintion in any location execpt for the most severe (which would probably be enough to cancel any event anyway).

I think I'm going to keep moving in the direction of the box idea.

I just need to figure out the type of material that I can attach to the frames that is not too expensive, weather resistant, lightweight and sturdy, and heat tolerant.