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First smoker build from the ground up - Page 2

post #21 of 51
Thread Starter 

With the top door completed, I began the bottom door. This is where I will load wood chips and adjust the heat without opening the big door and losing all the heat I built up. In order to have proper venting and air flow to the smoke stacks, I need a fresh air intake. I need to prevent unwanted intruders from entering the smoker (mice, wasps, etc) so I folded over the edges of metal window screen material and screwed to the inside face of the door and I added a set of hinges.




The front of the door as a floor register vent that I can open and close to adjust the air flow. The white metal around the outside edge of the door is aluminum angle use for suspended ceilings. It was just the right size and color and material for this job. It covers the cut edge of the siding and the edge of the aluminum I wrapped the door with.



Both doors get a weather-strip seal all around.



To make moving the smoker easier, I added steel casters. I don’t want rubber casters that will take a flat spot after sitting plus the hard rubber caster will eventually rot from exposure to the outside.




Then it was time to hang the doors.





Just for grins (and because I would not be able to see myself) I set the timer on the camera and placed it inside the smoker to see how the door fits and looks from the inside. All seems well.



Now I need to build an attached side table and test fire it up.


post #22 of 51





No Creosote! A-Maze-N Smokers

post #23 of 51

Looks like you are getting close to compleation.


post #24 of 51

That smoker is a thing of beauty for sure. You are a great craftsman.  You might want to consider talkeing to Todd Johnson at A MAZN SMOKER on using one of his units for cold smoking. I bet it would work really well in your chamber.

Looking forward to seeing your smokin posts too  

post #25 of 51
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post

Man, you did a beautiful job on that smoker!!!



post #26 of 51
Thread Starter 

I added over-center catches to draw the door tight against the seal. The upper door gets two and the lower door gets one.





Then drilled a hole for a heat probe. I will have one in the door and another digital remote version.




I fired it up using two electric hot plates rated for 1000 watts each. I put a rack in to support the probe.




The temp in my garage was 55F. It took over an hour to heat the inside to over 200F.



Then I took the legs off my propane turkey cooker and placed it inside to see how propane would fair.



And placed a heavy cast iron griddle used on Scout outings over the flame to act as a dissipater.



In two minutes I was over 230F and I kept having to turn the burner down till it was just a faint flicker of a flame. This is no longer an electric smoker project. It is now a propane smoker project. This burner is rated at 45,000 BTU. I will shop for a lower rated burner and make accommodations for the hose to leave the smoker.


post #27 of 51
Thread Starter 

Im adding a side table to the smoker because when I carry racks of things to smoke, out to smoker, I need my hands free to open the door. The table will make it easier. I want the table removable without tools so I can store it inside the smoker when I’m not using it. Because I’m working on the outside of the smoker and it’s a nice day, I bought several varieties of local made cheese to cold smoke (it was 55 degrees this afternoon) But first I needed some sawdust. I cut down a sugar maple 2 years ago so I passed a piece of it through my table saw until I had enough sawdust to smoke the cheese.


As I said, I want to remove the table without tools so I used a Dremmel tool to key-hole-slot the tops of all 4 holes.




Then screwed in large screws but left them sticking out a little more than the thickness of the bracket.




The almost finished cheese product.




Back to working on the side table. I want a  table that is easy to clean and removable without tools. I made a wooden frame that sits on the two shelf brackets and then covered it with plywood. Then I wraped it in aluminum. This is a heavier gauge than I used inside the smoker so it was a bit harder to bend.




The sheetmetal edge was a bit too sharp for my tastes so I put an edge of aluminum strip that is an 1/8 x 1 1/2. I held it in place with stainless steel screws since it will be exposed to salt and the elements.








When not in use, it fits nicely in the smoker.





post #28 of 51

Man that is a great job on the smoker.. icon14.gif

post #29 of 51
Thread Starter 


I was able to find a propane burner that I think will work well for this project. It has 3 separate burner rings with adjustable settings. I found it at Northern tool for $40. I hope to have it in a few days.



When I was going to use electric heat, I was content with the aluminum over wood smoke/heat chamber. Now that I will have open flame, (and the potential for flare ups) I have decided to line the lower chamber with ceramic tile. The biggest consideration is the temperature extremes. This smoker could be -10F one day and with me using it, 225F the next day. Because of this, I can’t line the chamber with ceramic using conventional methods. I have to allow for a large amount of thermal expansion. To account for this, I will loosely hold the tiles in place with a roofing product that is used for soffit and fascia. The Home Depot carries it under the name of “J” channel. Its made of aluminum. I will screw it to the side walls of the smoker.  




I used 12 inch by 12 inch tiles (.57 cents each). The tiles on the floor will not be in “j” channel and will be allowed to float.



Completed. This might be overkill but I think its cheap insurance against burning this thing to the ground.



I was going to use 16 inch tile so I bought a sample (.77 cents each) but ended up using the 12 inch. I will place the large 16 inch directly under the burner.



Lining the door with ceramic proved to be a bigger challenge due to the air vent. I used an abrasive cut-off blade in my 7 inch circular saw to cut the openings.



They will also be held in place with “J” channel.




The completed tile lined lower chamber.




post #30 of 51
Thread Starter 

Once the burner arrives and I figure out where to run the propane line, I will have to cut a hole in a tile and the side of the smoker for the line to exit the smoker.

While I’m waiting, I painted a sign. My Son named my first smoker “Old Smokey” and insisted I paint a crescent moon on the door. I can think of no reason to break with tradition so this smoke will be dubbed “Old Smokey II” and also bear the crescent moon. While taking pictures, a neighbor stopped over to ask how I got a permit to put an outhouse on my property? After a bit of explaining, he understood.

Here is what “Old Smokey II” looks like so far.











Now I'm waiting on the UPS delivery Driver with my burner.


post #31 of 51

Wow ! Very impressive - you are a master like Picasso !!!


How much do you figure your build cost you ?

Take care


Dave in Ottawa

post #32 of 51



You should be very proud of that build.


I can't wait to see the great smokes that come from that piece of fine craftsmanship!




post #33 of 51
Thread Starter 

Seems I am a poor cost estimator. I sat down with the receipts tonight and it came to $475. Still far less than the $4,000 commercial unit that didn’t do cold smoking and had fewer racks. It was a fun project and will produce many years worth of good eats.. 

post #34 of 51

Wow that looks great.


post #35 of 51

Inside that bottom door would also be an awesome place for an AMNS, and with that louvered vent right there, it would work really Great!




post #36 of 51
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post

Inside that bottom door would also be an awesome place for an AMNS, and with that louvered vent right there, it would work really Great!





Yes, I already made a few and yes, they work great.


post #37 of 51

The electric would work, but you are movivg too much air. You only need a half inch hole in the top and bottom. IMHOP

post #38 of 51
Thread Starter 

The propane burner arrived. It’s a heavy and durable piece of equipment. The only mod I made was cutting 2 inches off of the legs to lower it. Then I went and got some iron pipe and fitting so I don’t have to have any rubber regulator line inside the heat of the smoker.



Then a notch in a tile and a hole drilled through the side wall.


I’ve got gas.


I lit the smallest burner ring and let it burn to see how hot I could get it at its max setting. I brought the inside temp to 270F which is way hotter that anything I will be needing but I wanted to test out the door seal gasket and see if the whole thing would take the heat. Each burner is adjustable so I will be able to tweak the heat as I like and have extra to spare for when it below zero outside.


Time to put some meat in this thing. 

post #39 of 51

Man you are one crafty fellow. Looks awesome!


Wish I had the space and the tools to build something of that magnitude, eventually I will, patience.

post #40 of 51

Wow, impressive build.


Are there any concerns about the ceramic tile emitting bad things when heated? I'm also thinking about building my own and really like your idea of lining the bottom portion with tile, both for fireproofing and improvement in insulation as well. If nobody thinks the tile is a problem I might just steal your idea!


Thanks, and looking forward to seeing the results.

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