I think I ended up using 14GA. 16GA would have worked as well.
- 338 Posts. Joined 5/2011
- Location: Algoma, WI
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Well, let's wrap this thread up. I test ran "Reefer Madness" with a favorable outcome. I did an initial burn a few days ago, I ran it up to 400 degrees to burn off any cutting oil and other nasty stuff. I got a few whole chickens and a fresh, not frozen, rack and a half of baby backs from Sam's. I did nothing special with them. I injected the chickens with a store bought Teriyaki marinade and rubbed with Famous Dave's chicken rub. I rubbed the BBs with Famous Dave's rib rub.
With the smoker loaded, it got up to temp quickly and held temperature relatively decent. It wasn't rock solid, but good enough. Anyways, here are a few pics:
THIN BLUE SMOKE
A close up of the color
Food loaded up
The chicken was moist, a beautiful golden brown and tasty. The ribs were excellent, beautiful smoke ring. No 2-2-1 method, just left them on until they were done. I did use the AMNPS for a little while with apple, but figured I'd let the pellet pooper do the work. There was always some degree of TBS coming out. With the insulated cooking chamber, the smoker used a small amount pellets, just a little over 3 small coffee cans, so maybe 4 or 5 pounds on a 5 hr smoke. Not to shabby considering it was only about 40 degrees today.
Well, anyways, she's done and ready for a ton of Q. Thanks for looking!
Nope, not as wide. Maybe 6 - 7 inches narrower. The gap from the end is about 2 to 3 inches. The aluminum plate you see will eventually be tipped at an angle. That is more of a drippings shield. There is another 10 x 10 piece of steel sheet under the diamond plate that is acting as the diffuser plate. That stands off the burn pot by about 3 inches. With the diamond plate in the flat position, it is a great spot for the AMNPS to sit. It was somewhat isolated from the direct flame and worked quite well the short time it was in there. I may have to build a gizmo for the AMNPS to sit on when it is tipped up or maybe I'll just leave it alone....we'll see.
I did a few calculations on pellet consumption. Over a 5 1/2 hour smoke on some Country Style Ribs, it used a measly 1.125 lbs/hr. I have a source for pellets in Kewaunee, WI, just 10 miles to the south of me. He sells Lumberjack pellets, 20 lbs for $12.99....maybe $12.00, can't remember. Anyways, that puts the cost of operation at 73 cents an hour, plus whatever electricity it uses to operate. CHEAP!!! Mind..........blown!
A few questions about your paint: How is it holding up? Is it a single stage or a multi-stage? DId you use an overlay material for the gold logo and the pin striping? Just curious. I'm about to paint my conversion. Does your white have any pearl in it?
It's holding up great. Being the fridge is so well insulated, heat is not an issue. The outside of the smoker remains cool to the touch when in operation. As far as specifics on the paint, it actually is considered a 3 stage paint job. I used the Createx Auto Air paint system, which is a water based system, followed up with conventional clear coat. The system consists of 1) sealer, 2) color coat, 3) pearl coat, and 4) clear. First I pounded out some dents and filled with body filler. My body work skills.......amateur at best, but it turned out OK. After scuffing with scotchbrite pads, Createx sealer white was applied as a base. That was followed up with the 2-tone color coat, which is Createx Auto Air 4300 Series Opaque colors. Then, the pearl coat is applied. That is a mixture of Auto Air's clear carrier base with a gold sparkle dry pearl, which I got from Paint with Pearl.com. He sells it in little baggies and is an extremely good value. That was sprayed over the entire fridge for the pearl effect. Then, the final stage is the clear. I used some clear from Napa Auto Parts. I believe the brand is Acme. The lettering and pin striping is all cut vinyl, even the gold leaf. I am a sign maker on the side. Also, I got all the Auto Air stuff from Coast Airbrush.com.
All in all, it turned out pretty nice. I know where the mistakes are, but generally, I like it. If you have experience with automotive painting, that is a plus. The Auto Air paint, in my opinion is a departure from normal paint. It is laid down in very thin layers, up to 4-5 layers for the color coat. But, it can be force dried with a heat gun, so it goes quick. I purchased a Concours HVLP gun from Eastwood with a 1.3mm tip, which is a tip size recommended by Auto Air. I definitely recommend using Auto Air's newly released high performance reducer if you use the system. Also, the sealer is hard to lay down without this gritty shit getting in the surface. Strain it really good before spraying.
If you are interested in any custom cut gold leaf lettering, or any color for that matter, PM me. My rates are reasonable. Here are some examples, http://scottsmadness.smugmug.com/Portfolio/The-Signworks-Photo-Gallery/i-Dvg6cxV.
Hope this helps.
Here are 2 more items I painted using the same Auto Air system.
This is my 1990 ZX-6. I had to replace the cam chain, so being it was stripped down that far, I figured I would strip it down to the frame and freshen up the paint on the frame, engine, wheels, calipers, disk carriers and swingarm. This is the same method used on my fridge: Auto Air base, dry pearls and clear. Frame is pearl black and calipers and disk carriers are pearl yellow.
My oldest son decided to "modify" his scooter. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it? Big bore kit, clutch kit, after market pipe, body mods and custom paint............you know, the usual. This thing sounds like a chainsaw on crack! Anyway, Auto Air Pearl Blue and my mix of dry blue pearl over white. Here it is partially assembled:
Let me think on a design and i'll message you, I like the engine turned aluminum surface, so that could be neat. Just need to think of something interesting.
I think I will have the smoker sealed up pretty well and was contemplating painting it a light cream with a gold pearl; my concern was that the exposure to smoke would overly discolor the exterior and make it less attractive. Its just a smoker but it sits in plain view in my backyard.
I was also considering a stainless steel paint... I've seen interesting results but no idea how well it will hold up.
So far I've only got epoxy primer on the carcass.
Thank you, sir.
So far, so good. It's working great. I will be putting it through the paces this weekend. I'll be doing just about 80 lbs. of Boston Butts this weekend. 2 loads, 6 butts each load, 12-14 hrs. per load. The smell is going to drive the neighbors nuts!
She burns pellets at a rate of about .75 to 1.25 lbs/hr. It burns more in the dead of winter (below zero) because the burner unit is drawing in cold, outside air and the cook chamber temp falls just a tad quicker. I'd have to guess the hopper will hold AT LEAST 15 lbs., if not more. So to answer the question.....a good long time. If I am doing an all night smoke, there is no fear of running out, that's for sure.