OK, You Finally Talked Me Into Building a MIni WSM

Discussion in 'Mini-WSM' started by disco, May 21, 2014.

  1. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have a Bradley and I am perfectly happy with it so I didn't see any point of making a mini. However, the Bradley does have one weakness. You can't get it to a very high heat.

    So, I broke down and made a mini.

    The hard part was getting the tamale pot here in the Canadian Mountains. I finally got an IMUSA 32 quart pot on Ebay. Don't get me started on buying from the states from here in Canada on Ebay. I would rather go on a date with Bear. Nothing personal, Bear, you are just not my type. Eventually it came. I had purchased a Smoky Joe Gold at the local Home Hardware store.


    When I put the lid of the Smoky Joe on the pot, the pot had about a 1/8 inch too large a diameter. The lip of the put had a folded over lip so I got my rubber mallet out and pounded the fold over flat. The lid now fit perfectly.


    When I set the pot in the bottom of the Smoky Joe it fit quite well but didn't feel that stable to me. I noted the lid fit perfectly on the bottom.


    So, I decided to attach the lid to the bottom of the pot to get a nice stable fit. First, I had to cut the handle off the lid with my jigsaw so it would fit against the bottom (I started by drilling 4 holes to accommodate the jigsaw blade). Then, I drilled four holes an inch from the edge of the pot and lid and riveted the lid to the bottom of the pot.


    Then I drilled a hole in the middle of the bottom of the pot. Using a nail, a string and a marker, I drew a circle on the lid and used my jigsaw to cut through the lid and bottom of the pot at the same time. It fit the bottom of the Smoky Joe perfectly.


    I drilled three 1/4 inch holes around the pot, 4 inches down from the lip. I put three 1/4 inch bolts with a lock washer on each side through the holes and the grill fit perfectly resting on them.


    I drilled a 1/4 inch hole about 1 inch above the grill. I cut a piece of brass threaded lamp pip to about 3/8 inch length and put it through the hole and secured it with brass lamp nuts. This is where my probe wires will go.


    I had purchased what was advertised to be an accurate grill thermometer. I drilled a hole about 1 inch below the grill and inserted the thermometer there.


    I made a cylinder of hardware cloth and lashed that to the rack for the coals to make a basket so I could stack coals in the bottom of the mini without them resting on the Smoky Joe. I also made a handle for the basket.


    I put the pot on the bottom, the steamer rack in the pot, the grill on the nuts and the lid on the pot.

    The MIni is done!


    I will post my first smoke in the next day or two.

    Disco
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
    waterinholebrew and bdskelly like this.
  2. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Dude....you ROCK.....great job...looking forward to the virgin Que.....Willie
     
  3. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the dark side Disco.
     
  4. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Chef. It wasn't that hard to build but I will have to learn how to control the heat and charcoal amounts.
    I know what you mean. I have dark fingers from the charcoal now.

    Disco
     
  5. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am sure you will get the hang of it quick.

    Nice build.
     
  6. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    My second smoke was way better than my first (posts coming). My big problem is the amount of smoke. I had less the second time but it still seems like a lot of smoke that comes out when the coals near a wood chunk ignite. It may be my expectations that are off.

    Disco
     
  7. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It should clear up some.  I place my wood so only one chunk smokes at a time.

    I get fairly heavy smoke when the chunk starts to burn.
     
  8. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    As I say, I think it is my expectations. When the coals got to a chunk of wood, I seem to get heavy smoke for about 10 minutes then it settles down.
     
  9. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks great Disco! If you can control an oven, you can control a Mini. You'll get the smoke figured out. 2 or 3 fist sized chunks will get you through most smokes.
     
  10. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    LOL...Disco i remember you telling me you'd never build one!      Looks great!
     
  11. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit


    Here's how i reuse my charcoal.  I burn from side to side.  After a cook i'll shake out the ash.


    Stack the charcoal from most burnt to least burnt 


    ...then add new and light the partial with a torch or a Weber cube. 


    Lighting with a weber cube


    lighting with the big torch



    Lighting with a small Harbor Freight torch....this is my Go2 lighter!
     
  12. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yay Disco!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome to the mini club! I was just about to PM you the other day and ask how it was going!

    I have been using Keith's method of just lighting one side using a propane torch. Only difference is I can stick the torch in one of my side vents. For a full basket of lump or briquettes I typically only use (4-5) 2"-3" chunks mixed into or laying on top of the charcoal.



    Before you know it you'll be stacking mini's high into the sky!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  13. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    [​IMG]  Nice build, Disco! Enjoy!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  14. Nice build Disco  [​IMG]   You guys are gonna convince me to make one of those yet...
     
  15. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks but I think you underestimate my lack of intelligence. However, I will carry on and try to learn.
    Thanks. It is not the first lie I have told.
     
  16. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks. I am getting to be able to maintain lower temperatures. My desire is to cook at 350 F or higher. I did way better when I lit more coals for my second cook. I will try your lighting method though.
    Thanks DS. I love the Mini Tower!
     
  17. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks. It was fun except for getting a tamale pot. I guess Canada isn't the capital of tamale cooking.
    Thanks. The interesting part is the proof that anyone can build one if I did.

    Disco
     
  18. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey Disco, since you have the SJ Gold you'll need to add a vent to the bottom to get the high temp smokes going. Keith is your man for that mod! Go figure the silver comes with the bottom vent and ya have to add side vents, the gold comes with side vents and ya need to add a bottom vent. I think those guys at weber are messing with us!!!
     
  19. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very nice build Mr. Disco ! Thumbs Up Gonna have to do one of these soon or Adam, Case & Keith are gonna come after me ! Nice step by step and the build looks awesome ! :yahoo: :points1:

    Justin
     
  20. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    More mods? You tax an old guy!
    Thanks, Justin. I hate to admit it but at my advanced age, I succumbed to peer pressure.

    Disco
     

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