New Smoker Build

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by niallam, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. niallam

    niallam Fire Starter

    I'm sure most have looked at their own build but have come across a similar problem as me, just can't find any old compressor tanks anywhere over here.

    The biggest readily available is a 1250 x 380mm (external) 34kg propane tank, or the slightly shorter one as well.

    My brother is pricing a rolled mild steel tube with about a 500mm (20") diameter. Once done we'd weld round sheet to the ends to make our cylinder.
    Length doesn't matter once over 2' as a friend is an amazing welder and helping us with the build.

    First question is how thick ideally would the cylinder need to be? Cylinder will hopefully be 1000 x 500mm.

    Firebox will be square with insulated wall and a thicker steel I'm guessing.

    Thanks for any info :)
  2. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Niall. As you are in the early stages of design and build you may want to take a look at the calculations needed to get the balance of air flow  and heat correct.

    It is important to get the fire box the right size for the cooking chamber and the flu the right diameter and length for the right amount of draw. Feldons calculator is a defacto standard tool for people designing their self build smokers. Simply plug in the sizes of the bits that you already have (or are about to get) and it will give you dimensions of everything else that you need.
  3. niallam

    niallam Fire Starter

    Thanks Wade.
    Great site for doing the hard work for me :)

    Thinking 3mm steel for the cook chamber and 5mm for firebox which we'll insulate as well.
  4. Hello.  Those thickness should be fine.  Spend time cleaning it up once built and a GOOD  paint job.  After all that time and work you want it to last.  Can't wait for the pictures to start.  Keep Smokin!

  5. niallam

    niallam Fire Starter

    Thanks Danny. My brother has a good sandblaster in his job so will give it a good going over with that and will have a look on the forum for paint recommendations.
    Powder coating worth it or necessary?
    I noticed a lot just use an engine spray paint or similar high temp job.
  6. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Meat Mopper

    Hi Niall, my pal runs a powder coating shop and he said it would withstand cook chamber temps, but not firebox temps. When I eventually get my UDS built, I'm just going to use automotive paint as I reckon as long as it doesn't come into contact with a flame, it should be fine.
    Across from the powder coating shop is a pile driving company and they have some great sections of thick walled steel pipe stacked up in the yard that look very tempting.
  7. Nial, you can buy tins of BBQ spray paint, you just spray it on and then light a fire in the BBQ for a few hours to cure it. I've used it on mine and it worked great, it's lasted 5 years so far.
  8. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    Yeah Europarts do a hi-temp paint for £6.99 a tin some others are on EBay. Used on both my UDS's No problems
  9. Hello.  I'll pass on a tip I have picked up on SMF from a good friend back in the States.  After your smoke, when the smoker is JUST warm enough to lay your hands on; wipe down the outside with paper towel soaked in veg. oil.  All over.  Let it cool completely and then use paper towel to wipe off any excess.  Same process as "seasoning" a cast iron frying pan or Dutch Oven.  When hot the oil gets into the "pores" ( for lack of a better word ) of the metal and helps protect it against rust.  YES! It will smoke a bit when you fire it back up but that will not affect your meat; it's on the outside.  Hope this helps.  Keep Smokin!

  10. smokin monkey

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

    Get two lengths I am on my way to pick one up!
  11. niallam

    niallam Fire Starter

    Hardest thing to source here is a tank.

    My brother is pricing a 500mm diameter x 1,000mm 3mm steel cylinder. We are going to weld 3mm steel circle to one end and a 5mm to firebox side to create our cook chamber.
  12. niallam

    niallam Fire Starter

    First step completed.
    480 x 1000mm cylinder rolled and welded in 3mm steel and 2 x 3mm 486mm circles to seal ends.
    €140 for everything, or £98ish.

    Worked it out at 48 gallons so need to know if people think that's big enough?
    I can get any size made for not a lot more increase in €.

    This is going to be for home use really, the odd party to feed 20 people etc :)
  13. Hello Nial.  I would have gone larger but as this is your first build I would go with it.  Start using it and then decide what upgrades and changes to make.  Keep this one for smaller groups oe sell it and build the second with all the knowledge aquired from this build.  Good luck.  Keep us informed and post drawings and pictures.  It is better for us to post advice BEFORE you have welded it up.  Keep Smokin!

  14. niallam

    niallam Fire Starter

    And the first semi finished pic.
    Removable stainless chimney, foldable tray and inside we used stainless for tray runners and the full tray as well.
    Should have fire baskets done today and hopefully first cook this Saturday.

  15. niallam

    niallam Fire Starter

    Bit easier to transport now :)
  16. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Meat Mopper

    Looking good mate !
  17. smokin monkey

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

    That looks great, got any step by step build pictures?
  18. niallam

    niallam Fire Starter

    I cheated and got a welder to put it together. I can't weld and have no time with work and young kids.
    Made 3 units in total.

  19. niallam

    niallam Fire Starter

    Got them with the welding all done and had to sand and spray them. Everything from then on was on me 😊

    Expanded metal for the bottom tray

    Stainless tray runners inside with stainless mesh.

  20. niallam

    niallam Fire Starter

    For easy storage the chimney is like a sleeve of 4" pipe that fits tight over the butt of the chimney on the smoker. The stainless tray folds.


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