Building my first RF smoker

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by mikes, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. mikes

    mikes Newbie

    So i have read a bunch of great info here, tried to do a bit of research etc., and now i'm about 3/4 of the way through the build of my first smoker.  I'm hoping to be completely done within a week, two at the most. (depending on weather)

    all the structural stuff is done, just have to get the trays built, a bit of sandblasting and painting, the lips on the doors put on with the gasket material, and of course, adding my gadgets and "bling".

    for the "bling", i'll have a polished stainless smokestack, as well as diamond plate covered area in front (door side) of the smoker.

    for gadgets, i'm putting in a temperature control system, with a blower on the fire box (the pipe that is sticking out the side), and due to the weight of the door, i'm installing a 60 lbs gas spring on each side to assist as well as dampen (smooth out) the opening and closing, which will be performed by a 225 lbs capacity 12 volt linear actuator.  so the big door will be a push button open.  i could have gone with traditional counterweights, but i wanted something a bit different.  the door weighs just over 200 lbs by the way.

    the main tank is 56" long, x 42" in diameter, made out of 1/4 inch steel plate.  There will be 3 racks, with the lower cooking surface at centerline, and additional cooking surfaces at 7 and 14 inches above.  My primary use will be whole hogs, so the upper racks won't get much use, but i certainly wanted the capability just in case.  With the 3 racks, i will have just over 46 square feet of cooking surface available.

    the whole thing weighs about 1,700 lbs (including the trailer).

    i will post more pictures when i get her done.

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    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  2. bigmatt

    bigmatt Newbie

    Epic build!  I like the idea of the push button door, that is going to look slick.

    What size is your fire box?  It looks a little on the small size compared to the huge smoke chamber you have.
     
  3. mikes

    mikes Newbie

    the fire box is small, as is the connection between the two, (holds 2 12" x 18" grates) and would never work if the unit wasn't forced air.  i'll have 50 cfm of blower power forcing the hot air and smoke into the smoker chamber.

    btw here are some updated pics!

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    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010
  4. duck killer 1

    duck killer 1 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    about the PM, you answered my concerns with your post on here. looks great!
     
  5. mikes

    mikes Newbie

    few more pics ... should be done within a few days now

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  6. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Man that is real nice and you did a great job...but them tires sure look small....
     
  7. mikes

    mikes Newbie

    they should be ok ... i ordered them through a marine supply place that indicated they are typically used for pontoon boat trailers.  8 ply radials load rated at 1150 lbs each.  i have about 450 lbs to spare (between the two of course).
     
  8. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice work, you came out with a great looking rig.

    I most likley will regret asking this, but what the heck.

    Where is the pipe going off the left side of the fire box??
     
  9. mikes

    mikes Newbie

    that goes to the blower unit on the underside of the trailer.  as stated previously, the fire box size and the connection to the smoke chamber are undersized, so it requires forced air to get up to temp.  to keep my overall envelope small (but with huge capacity) i had to get a bit creative to have a completely separate fire box, unlike the traditional offset one.
     
  10. mikes

    mikes Newbie

    where there's smoke ...

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  11. que-ball

    que-ball Smoking Fanatic

    Looks great, but with forced air won't you get ash in the cooking chamber too?  I could see the RF design keeping it off the food, but won't it accumulate under the heat plate?
     
  12. mikes

    mikes Newbie

    i put a 2 inch ball valve on the passengers side (which is barely visible in the second picture from the top in the original post) and a plug (shown in pic) on the drivers side to be able to clean out under the RF plate with a pressure washer.

    i realize much of what i've attempted to do is far from the norm, but when i've acquired an idea (no matter how dumb) i stubbornly stick with it and find solutions to problems as they arise (those i don't think about from the start anyhow).  I really liked the concept of a separate fire box, so i could have a huge smoke chamber on a trailer without it being too high to comfortably access from the ground, as well as having the fire box relatively hidden when in use.

    i had it going for about 45 minutes today, got it up to about 230 degrees ... i marked all my leaks and will be working on them first thing in the morning.  i still have to weatherproof all the electrical as well (running conduit, weatherproof boxes, switches, etc.)

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  13. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Matt and sorry, maybe I missed it maybe I just forgot about it. Who Knows.

    I really like the way its turning out. It looks great.
     
  14. bigmatt

    bigmatt Newbie

    Great job!  The diamond plate pig puts it over the top!
     
  15. mikes

    mikes Newbie

    so it turns out i'm a tinkerer .. and i went to a flea market this morning.  the results of that combination are shown below.

    only tacked up at the moment, but once it's done and repainted, it will look pretty slick.

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    meateater likes this.
  16. matts

    matts Smoking Fanatic

    oh ya, now thats a set of duals there.  That really sets off all the diamondplate.
     
  17. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I like it, its different and custom. [​IMG]
     
  18. mikes

    mikes Newbie

    ty ty .. been a blast building it ... even learning from my mistakes has been fun.  would have enjoyed it more if it weren't 95 degrees every day, but you can't have everything.

    $40 for the pair of them was too good to pass up ... i thought they would be cool to have from the get go, but about $175 (each) was the cheapest i could find, so i got REALLY lucky with the flea market find.

    i also installed a propane pre-heater in the smoke chamber so i'm not taking an hour to get up to temp.  i'm cooking sunday, so i'll have some qview soon!

    i will probably steal your damper linking idea Matt, but i'm gonna do some temperature mapping first.  i'll spread out a half dozen oven thermometers and play with the dampers to get temps as consistent as possible, then link them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  19. matts

    matts Smoking Fanatic

    $40 is a heck of a deal.  I looked for those for mine but like you, I didn't want to spend all that money on them.  Good luck on your first smoke this weekend.
     
  20. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    That's a nice lookin rig. I always like seeing someone step out and do something different. That's how innovation happens.
     

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