Need some advice on whether converting a T&G garden shed would be safe

Discussion in 'Smoke Houses' started by mike w, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    So I live in the UK, and building a plywood smokehouse like Pops is beyond my ability and would cost more in the long run than converting one of these tongue and groove garden sheds. It only needs to last two years and it can't be a permanent structure on the property I rent.

    The highest temps I would try for is 250F to do brisket and pulled pork. This will mainly be for cold smoking and sausages and hams though. Stuff like that.

    This is the one I am looking to use.
    I emailed their customer service to ask about if they are available untreated.
    The CSR said that it is not dip or pressure treated.
    She did say that there is some treatment used for delivery purposes.
    I emailed back to see if I can find out what that would be.
    I have looked all over ebay here and can't find sheds that are untreated.

    I will update this post if the CSR emails me back with more information.

    Much obliged.
  2. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'd stick with that.

    Looks like it would make a great smokehouse though..

    I wonder what the "treatment used in the delivery process" means.

    How were you planning on getting up so high in temps?
  3. Hello Buddy.  That is what I was thinking of.  Most companies use a water based treatment but I don't know what it is.  There are folks on E-Bay who build to order, maybe you could get one built without treatment.  Yes; these are pine but with the temps you are talking about and the positive air flow into the shed; maybe good enough?  It will probably leak smoke like a sieve.  The best thing would be to line the interior with???  I don't know if sheetrock would work.  But; the price is now going up.  Paint the inside with a high temp paint to seal everything??  I think you may need to line it to reach temps; price again.  This has me stumped.  I have racked my brain since we first talked about this.  Maybe we are being over cautious buddy.  Glad you started this thread.  We will see what others have to say.  The hot plate will hit the mail tomorrow.  Keep Smokin!

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2016
  4. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    A 1500W hot plate would be the heat source. I do have a turkey fryer but I'm worried about the high winds I get around here on a consistent basis. I plan to insulate the hell out of it and since it is a small area to heat I thought I could get some good temps. It's a wild assed guess though.

    Yeah I am curious to see what the CSR has to say about it. Fingers crossed its something I can work with.

    DRMO on the military base is having a furniture sale on Saturday so I'm going to go and see if they have anything I might be able to use. I saw 7 refrigerators sitting in the recycling yard so maybe I'll get lucky and find something useable.

  5. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    I have been emailing companies all day looking for an untreated one with no luck haha. I even thought about using a metal shed, some of those were cheaper but they are much larger also. Too bit to heat.

  6. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    I got a response back. The CSR called the manufacturer and they said that it is lightly dip treated with Cromar water based treatment. Cromar is a manufacturer of sealtants and similar things.

    I would imagine T&G and other woods in the US would have something similar to protect them from the processing points to delivery right?

  7. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    Thoughts on whether this would be safe to use?
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm guessing.....  If you "bake in" the box at 250-300 for several hours... then add smoke for a day or so to coat the inside with a good smoke residue at a cooler temperature,  then do not let any food come in contact with the wood.....   You will have a great smoker for years to come...   Anything they put on the wood will not "jump off" and contaminate food...  It would have to be "somewhat" safe for kids and pets in todays world... With a mild amount of care there should be no problems...

    That unit looks like it will make a dandy smoker....   Fair price too...   Pictures when you get stuff going.....

    May I suggest getting a       ...  or something similar.....    Hot plates do not work..  they have an overtemp safety device...   A table top 5th burner will work IF you disassemble it to deactivate the safety mechanism....  below is a table top burner I gutted and installed in a Totem smoker.... on pic to enlarge......

  9. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Dave, this may be the route to go if I can't find anything at the furniture sale tomorrow. Thanks for the link to the burner. Edit *I'll need a 240V burner which I can get here I bet. Electric here isn't 110v.*

    I stopped at a garden center today that had sheds and the cheapest untreated they could build for me (6H'4W'x2D') was $500. Granted they specialize in much larger structures. Way too much for something I can only use for two years when we move back to the US.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
  10. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    I placed the order today for the shed. It should get here sometime after September 7.

    After I season the wood I was thinking that I may get some of this 0.9mm aluminum sheet cut to size and line the interior with it to serve as some heat reflection and protect the food. The price for the sheets look reasonable. I did check stainless steel and it is way too expensive.

    Initially I am planning to line the interior with heavy duty aluminum foil and secure it with staples.
    My general rough plan is to cut the airflow vents in the sides of the shed. One at the top and one at the bottom on opposite sides.
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you find uneven heat distribution in the smoker, you can fab a short duct from the exhaust port to the center ish of the smoker like I did on my MES..... Really works well...  This duct stops about 3" short of center so heat comes from the center ish......

  12. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    I like that idea. I planned to cut the bottom vent as a 100mm circle so I can run aluminum duct into it for cold smoking. I can get a piece of duct and run it in a little farther.

    I'm taking the box and duct from the cardboard smoker i made.
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A short piece of duct will work great...  
  14. Hello buddy.  I am with Dave on this one.  From the time we first talked I have given it alot of thought and done some research.  I find no reason not to go with it.  Bake that sucker in with some good smoke and give 'er a whirl.  Keep Smokin!

  15. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    The shed arrived on Thursday late in the afternoon so I was only able to get some exterior sealant on it.

    Since I only have a jigsaw and a drill I'm kind of limited to what I can do. Today I picked up two boards roughly 2x4s and cut them to be the braces for the meat hanging rods. I'm not going to use dowel rods. I'm going to get some aluminum square tubing and use that instead since I have no way to rip the 2x4s.

    I've gotten 4 braces in place, and I'll use the 4th one for drip pans. 3 ought to be enough since the shed is wide. Also another reason to use aluminum rather than thick dowels. Those are expensive.

    The next step will be to cut air vents and once that's done I should be able to assemble it for the heavy smoke to seal amd season the inside.

    I'm slammed this weekend so I think I might get some work done on Monday if the weather stays nice.

    Thanks for everyone whos contributed help and advice. I really appreciate it.
  16. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    Lots of progress today since I had some help.

    Lower vent with sliding vent cover to adjust airflow.

    Upper vent with some smoke

    Inside with the AMNPS running to see how airflow is working and to start curing the inside and maybe identify where I need to seal it. I've got 4 2x4s set in the walls to hold racks.

    Nice and smoky!

    Crooked door. I really don't like those hinges so I may replace them with something sturdy later.

    Still more work to do, but I'm making progress.
  17. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like an awesome smoker...    I like it... 
  18. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That looks really impressive!
  19. mike w

    mike w Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks I really appreciate it!

    I'm going to call a metal company tomorrow and see if they can tell me how much weight their aluminum square tubing will support. The inside length of the supports is just shy of 1 meter so as a wild guess I think 3 pieces of tubing per shelf would support the weight of 2 or 3 briskets. So I need 12 meters.

    The tubing I am looking at is 19mm x 19mm x 16swg. (3/4" x 3/4")

    With shipping that will be around £63 or $80ish.

    I also need some aluminum mesh to keep bugs out of the vents. But I haven't seen a screen door or window screen in the UK. That may have to come from the US.
  20. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mile, have a look at 3/4 equal angle. Then use it the opposite way to this pointing upwards, v that should give you the support you need.

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