My build, a work in progress. (W/ Q-View!)

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by truckerbob, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    I may have bit off more than I can chew, but here it is, in all its glory (So far).  Some of these pics are in my Roll Call thread, sorry for the doubles.

    39" diameter x 5' long, best I can figure, it is a 300 gallon tank.

    Grinding the paint off, and marking out the door.

    My son trying his hand with the cutting torch.

    Burning out the tank.

    The firebox is a 50 gallon hot water tank.
  2. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    Just so everyone knows, I am basing this build off of these plans:  Of course, I don't have access to propane tanks, so I'm making do with what I have.  That being said, I do have a couple questions for the smoke gurus. 

    1, What category of smokers would this fall under? 

    2. I have 2 2.5" bungs on the top of the CC.  Will they create enough updraft with a stack of reasonable length, or should I look at putting a single larger stack on the CC?

    3. Is there any issue with making the door on the FB open outward from the top of the FB?  Most I have looked at open upward and toward the CC, Im not sure I gave myself enough room to do this.

    4. Will fiberglass rope hold up to the temps on the FB at the door?  I have enough to do the CC door, but didnt think about the FB when I bought the rope.

    Thanks for the help!
  3. 05sprcrw

    05sprcrw Smoking Fanatic

    Looks like a good start, as far as the questions I can't help too much.   I do have a concern on the size of the bungs I don't know if they will give you enough flow for sure. I would plug the numbers into the calculator and it should give you an idea of how long of a stack you would need using them.

    The fiberglass rope might hold up it just depends on how large and intense of a fire you build.  you could have a firebox door open outward but that will be a real long door and you will need to have a lot of space for it to swing but it would be possible to do without any issues that I can see but maybe some of the more experienced pit builders know something I don't.
  4. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    "Outward" may not have been the right word.  What I meant was to cut the normal firebox door, and instead of putting the hinges at the top, put them on the bottom of the door.

    I have a feeling the chimneys are going to be a trial and error thing, I havent found a site that discusses dual chimneys.  I realize two 2.5" stacks arent going to move air as efficiently as one 5" stack, but who knows?  Using the calculator, my box is too small, and the opening is too large, but is is not a "traditional" RF smoker.  I guess time will tell!
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  5. I think the FB door hinged at the bottom would be pretty awkward to close and be hard on your shins. Judging by the pics it looks like you can go a couple inches toward the CC from the top center of the FB and still have a functioning door.

    If you run dual stacks you can calculate the volume of the two and check it against the calculator recommendation. If you are putting a reverse flow plate in with openings at both ends one stack in the center would probably work. There are a couple builds on here set up that way. One that I can think of is by Dragons Breath, you might want to check it out if you haven't already.

    How much too small is the firebox? You can insulate it to help out with some heat loss. If you find the opening too big to the cook chamber you can always close part of the hole off with some flat bar later.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  6. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    According to the calculator, I'm at 52%, but I'm hoping the larger and longer openings help with the heat transfer. I will be installing a RF plate, I will have to look at Dragons Breaths build!
  7. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    I was able to get some work done, and thought I'd share some pics.

    Welded a 1 1/4" to 1" nipple on the bottom for a drain.

    Rebar and 1/2" black pipe hinges never fail!

    A Harbor Freight welding hammer makes a good handle!
  8. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    I was also given this monster, I need to decide what to do with it!

  9. 05sprcrw

    05sprcrw Smoking Fanatic

    Sweet, looks like you should make another one, you could possibly sell off to cover the cost of it plus some of the cost on your cooker.
  10. okieleo

    okieleo Fire Starter

    Hey truckerbob you have any update for us. I am building one very similar to this and would like to see a few more detailed pictures about your RF plate you were gonna install. Any tips or tricks you can give would be helpful as well.

    .... and a small bit of peer pressure....

    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  11. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    Sorry, got busy with work, family and scouts! I spent some time in the sweatshop (errr garage) today, and I'll post some more pics tonight.
    okieleo likes this.
  12. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    So, I haven't had enough time to work on this project... but I guess thats the story of my life.

    My son has been helping me when we have time.  He built the fire grates leaning against the garage door, and has enjoyed the chance to weld with dad.  I cut three 3x4 vents on the bottom of the fire box, and made a slider to open and close them.  I'll have to get a better picture later.

    Fitting the chimney, a piece of 6" well casing.

    Got the stack fitted, good thing I am using a MIG welder, that gap on the lower right was close to an inch wide!

    Got the stack welded in today!

    OkieLEO, the flat plate leaning up against the ladder is my deflector.  I'll post some pics once I get it welded in.

    I scored a trailer for the smoker for $50, I still cant believe that!
  13. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    OK, I finally got it put together!!!

    It is bigger, and heavier than I expected it to turn out, but that well casing for a chimney doesnt help!

    I wrestled with the idea of 2 thermometers, but decided on one in the center (for now)

    I had to put the angle iron braces across the door to try to keep everything square.  On the positive side, they give me somewhere to clamp the door closed, and the bottom ones function as a handle too.  They dont get too hot to grab.

    Picked up a 6" cast damper for $5 at a local garden center... go figure!  It doesnt "seal" the chimney, but I can fine tune the temp by opening and closing it.

    Heat deflector and cooking rack.

    Firebox with end damper closed (and ashes from my test burn)

    End damper open. The dampers are just sheet metal for now, I'm really not sure how much they help.  If I decide I need them, I'll have a friend plasma cut me some 1/8" dampers that look better.  If not, I'll just cap them off.

    Another pic from the back side.

    Chimney and cooking rack.

    Im taking it to a neighbors in 2 weeks to have the whole thing sandblasted so I can paint it up right.  He quoted me a fair price, maybe he'll take a brisket in trade!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  14. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    Ok, now the fun stuff! 

    On 1 chimney of charcoal, I was able to get the temp up to 195F, and I came close to 350F with 2 chimneys of charcoal, with the bottom dampers open, and the flue closed.

    2 chimneys of charcoal, 1 decent sized chunk of wood will maintain 230F for 1:45 without messing around with it, and 2 hours if I start opening dampers, and closing the flue.

    I am really surprised at how well the heat transfers to the cooking chamber, I figured I'd be adding charcoal by the bag, not by the chimney.

    Ive started my first cook tonight, I'll keep updating!
  15. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    So, what do you do with a smoker with a 15 sq ft cooking area?

    You do 1 brisket, 2 fresh picnics, 2 chickens, and some sausage!
  16. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    I really hate skinning the fresh picnics, but IMO, they make the best pulled pork!

    Seasoned and rubbed with a combination of Rufus Teague and my own rub.

    Hard to believe thats almost 25 pounds of pork on that smoker...
  17. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    Brisket is trimmed, and cross cut for the marinade

    Marinating over night, it will go on at 8am tomorrow.

    Ive had people look at me cross-eyed when I tell them I make a marinated brisket.  It is called a "Fiesta Brisket", and it gives the brisket a hint of fajita seasoning taste.  Ive done a few of them now, and everyone loves them!  The recipe comes from the "Big Book of BBQ" cookbook.  I know I cant post it (copyright), but I have made some changes, and maybe I'll share my take on it when I get it perfected.
  18. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bob, evening.... I'm really glad the smoker build work out well for you....  It looks like it will be fuel efficient and do a great job of grub....   Throw some beans in there and some veggies and you are on your way to a great dinner....    I'm standing by for your "perfected" Fiesta Brisket.....  [​IMG]    .....   

  19. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    Thanks Dave! I found out the hard way that the smoker likes briquets over lump, and I swear by my lump charcoal. I only got an hour out of a chimney of lump. I've got a double batch of my wife's kick butt calico beans to put on in the morning, and who needs vegetable??? Just kidding, I've planted a whole garden, and I'm on year 2 of my asparagus bed... Next year I can start cutting!
  20. truckerbob

    truckerbob Smoke Blower

    Picnics, 3 hours in.

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