Your making some great progress Ken,
It's coming along nicely.
Plasma cutters are nice, and the extra hands are a big help.
Keep up the good work
OK, we had a very productive day yesterday, 9-14-11. Got all of the materials to the work shop and realized that we did not yet have the hinges that have been on back order. Time to improvise as we need hinges welded on before the final door cuts are made. I had some fancy hinges ordered, 4 inch with grease zerk. Well, they never came and never were mailed so I canceled the order and had to go with a bolt & barrel design. I think they turned out fine. This guy made handy work of cutting the doors with a plasma cutter. Nice & clean cuts will grind down very nicely.
Now working on the handles. Again credit to Raptor for the idea of the chipping hammers for spring / heat proof handles.
Seems like the more we worked, the more people started stopping by to see what on earth we were doing. We picked up a couple of helpers along the way. :))
Plasma cutters RULE !!!!!!!
At last, 4 PM came and my help needed to go for the day. I wanted to at lease get a good burn going to get rid of any propane FUNK inside the tank. Turns out, the place where the work is taking place had a bunch of downed HICKORY TREES out back. Is this KARMA or what? Wifey suggested that I should have bought a lottery ticket. It was a great day for building. Tomorrow is going to be an OFF day due to Bow Season opening day in Missouri. I don't bow hunt, but the important people in this equation do, so maybe Ill come back and put a second burn on this tank, drink a beer & dream about the next phase... More later, Ken
Looks like you're making good progress on your build. Looks good!
I was wondering if you decided to go with two short doors instead of one long door. I read where you were going to kinda copy Raptor's design and just wondered if or why you decided to change the doors.
Well, more progress in this last week. I'm at the point to where we could pull this thing out of the work shop. The MAJOR part of the build is complete with only finishing touches to be done. All of us needed to get back to our normal lives for a couple of days, fall back and regroup. Mainly, clear this Nice man's work shop so my generous benefactor of the work shop could resume his life as well. This thing is a real WHOPPER and I cant wait for the first real cook. . I need to do a little more grinding on seams, shop vac all of the metal dust & filings, and put a good burn on to get rid of the petroleum product they put on the expanded metal to avoid rust during storage. Then your gonna see some Q-Views. I think I'm gonna start with a load of skin-on chicken for the grease factor to get a good coating on all the walls.
Gotta get this cut correct with a laser..
Its AMAZING how many helpers start showing up when word gets out that I bought some beer...
The first rack got installed, YIPPY!!!
These doors were tuff to get hinged correctly, good thing we have a guy here I call McGyver that has MAD SKILLS when it comes to custom fabrication. It took some head scratch'en, but it at last got figured out. I'm glad because these doors are way to sweet to give up on.
The last things left are making the upper racks, install the glass back into the FB doors, clean everything up, fresh paint for the trailer (Fire Engine RED) and fresh 1200 degree paint for the smoker. Oh, I still need to get the Center Line Aluminum Mags mounted for the tires for the PIMP Factor... More coming soon, but good progress all the same.. Dreaming of my first Q-View to share with the masses... More later, Ken
P.S. Lake of the Ozarks is about 3.5 hours northeast of Branson. Thats Table Rock Lake. My In-Laws live there. If you havent been there in that long, your gonna have a big surprise if you return. I would describe Branson at an even mix of Nashville and Las Vegas with no gambling, just the shows & the lights and plenty to do. :))
Yes, the racks do slide out. The angle iron on either side serve as the guides, and a small angle on the top of each one as to support the rack when completely out.
OK, 9-26-11. This weekend, I thought it would be a great opportunity to burn this thing out again. Get the racks burned off and test the flow of smoke, etc. Honest.... I'm just plain chomping at the bit to see this baby in action, any action.. I just wanna see some smoke come out for GOD's Sake... So, I loaded up the smoke chamber AND the fire box with wood and started the burn. After it got going real good, I put the racks in for a good burning off. Loads of strange noises.. POP, CREEK, and other noises, but I'm sure being exposed to the extreme heat for the first time makes things happen that tend to make noises. I have not yet installed the glass doors on my fire box doors, or made the upper racks. I still have a ton of grinding to do and general prep for the paint, but I thought the perfect weather was just right for a good seasoning burn...
Ill start posting more as it starts getting pretty, or my first Q. Which ever comes first... Ken
OK, its 10/4/11. My fellow smokers know when a guy just cant take it anymore. This thing is not PRETTY yet, but IT LIVES.... Saturday was the virgin voyage of the Grizz. Being already burnt off, I wanted to get some grease on it as soon as possible and see what this thing would really do. I found a local tree trimming guy and was able to purchase a quarter pick up load of already split hickory that was just downed, so it was still fresh. I had a rack of ribs eating a hole in my freezer door and I found some chicken drum sticks on sale so I thought I would throw 5 pounds of chicken on along with my baby backs. I just got my thermometers in the mail yesterday and have not installed them yet, so I was smoking blind, relying on pure intuition. I had no idea what my interior temps were, but one with some experience can somewhat tell based on several factors. I did learn that getting this thing up to full tilt boogie takes more than I was used to. I currently own a POS side smoker for my char griller, and will not complain about it because I have produced MANY perfect Qs with this baby, but I can get it ready with meat on in about 30 minutes. Ole Grizzly seems like its gonna take about 30 to 45 minutes BEFORE I can think about putting meat on the racks. Maybe I was being a bit tentative about overloading the fuel on the first Q. I started with an entire Webber chimney, about 7 pounds of charcoal, and 2 split sticks of hickory. While this seemed to produce the desired amount of smoke, the heat was weak. I now know that I need to STOKE this baby and not be afraid to feed the need. In other words, no FRITZen around when it comes to bring this thing on line for being ready. Again, the amount of smoke this thing makes is enormous. I can not complain. Maybe its the 1/4 inch reverse flow plate that needs a little time to get to temp. Believe me, once I got it to what I think the desired temp should be, things came together quickly. My lesson here is... "I think" was that I put my chicken on the rack when it was still not hot enough. End result.. the skin on the chicken was like raw hide, but the inside was perfect. Or maybe the 4 hours it took was not completely enough. After 2.5 hours, I wrapped the ribs in foil along with one of my favorite beers and the ribs were near perfect. I could have let them go for another hour, but I got a late start at getting the meat on at 4 PM, so it was getting dark at 8 and my belly was saying FEED ME... here is some Q-View of the maiden voyage for Grizzly....
I thought I might try a water pan directly on the baffle, just as it enters the smoking chamber thinking it might throw some steam at the smoke inside the chamber.
Now, for what some have been waiting for. Here is the fire box doors with the GRIZZLY GLASS back in. Also, I was getting real leery about painting these doors since they have moving parts in the bottom being the vents. When I was at the local hardware store looking for some fiberglass rope to line the doors with, I found some pot belly stove wax. It claims to protect from rust and keep a tidy appearance. Well, it went on like black shoe polish, and my finger is still BLACK. I thought I would be accused of voting in Iraq "finger in the inkwell... haha" but I'm hear to say, it worked wonders on black cast iron stove doors. Have a peek...
Ain't the glass KEWL?
Sorry, I just had to get that first Q outta my system. Now I can go back to getting this baby prettied up. More grinding, painting, etc... More later, Ken