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post #141 of 148
Originally Posted by SHOLMES View Post

I fired up the smoker again the other night. I notched out my exhaust pipe a bit on the inside of the cook chamber. My top temp gauge still runs 150 degrees hotter than the lower two. I am not sure if i need to open it up more, or if I have some other problem. I will get some pics posted later today to show what i notched out.

When i started the smoker this time i used about 1/3 of a bag of charcoal and once it was burning good i started adding wood. It was taking quite awhile to get warmed up so i got impatient and added some more wood. Then the fire got too hot and the temp was running about 350 to 375 and i could not control it until the fire died down some. I shut all of the intakes and opened the cook chamber door a few times and when the fire died down i was able to maintain 225 to 250 by adding a couple small splits of wood every hour or so.

I am starting to learn how to run this thing a little. I need to be patient and make small adjustments. It takes awhile to get all of that steel warmed up but once it is hot it only takes small amounts of wood to keep it happy.

My door still warped a little bit when i got the fire going too big. I hope that if i keep my fire smaller and get my door seal on it will seal up tight. I need better latches also. I can not believe how much things warp. The inside skin of my firebox has warped also.

Hopefully I will figure out how to run this thing with a little more practice and some small adjustments.



If you can not control the fire you are always going to be fighting a losing battle.  If you shut down all the intakes to the firebox the fire should die very quickly.  If it does not then you are leaking way too much air into the firebox.  It would have to be coming from your vents and or door seals.  I know you have had trouble with the door warping and I would think this is the likely culprit.  I have seen situations on cheap store bought smokers where if you shut down all the intakes the fire actually grew because the air was moving quickly thru smaller openings and was acting like a bellows blowing on the fire.  This could be the situation here.  I would work on getting the door tight and a seal in place along with the things that Dave suggested.  It is going to take some work to figure it all out but once the bugs are out I am convinced you will have a first class smoker.  Weedeater

post #142 of 148
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help guys,

I have removed the damper between the firebox and the CC. The air should move freely into the CC now. I will post a pic of the opening.

Once i get the CC up to temp and steady i had one of the bottom air intakes open about 2" and the upper intake in the door open about 1".

I know that i have some air leaking in around my door with the door seal not installed yet. I was hoping to make sure all worked as it should and i did not have to change much on the door before i glued the seal in place. I think that i will have to go ahead and install the seal in order to prove that everything else is working correctly. If i have to replace the door later i will just have to buy more rope seal.

What do you think about the temp being high in the top of the CC?

Is there a general rule as to how to start up and maintain temp on smokers this size or is it just trial and error? How big a fire do you start with? How long should it take to get up to temp? how far open should my intakes be? I know that no two homemade smokers work the same, but i am not sure if i have a problem with the smoker or if it just operator error.
post #143 of 148
What is the FB temp..... Open the inlet in the door wide open..... that will cool the FB and move heat into the CC.... and remove the lip where the damper was.... you need a smooth transition between the FB and CC..... Also from your numbers, the opening between the CC and FB looks like you used Feldon's calculator.... that will cause a high FB temp because it's a little small...... Dave
Edited by DaveOmak - 3/22/14 at 6:22pm
post #144 of 148
Thread Starter 
Here are a few pics of the smoker and the modifications that i have made. After opening up the exhaust stack inside the CC my temp is still too high in the top of the CC.

Do you think that i need to open it up more?

Damper removed.

I also bought a new trailer. I loaded the smoker and the gator just to see how the load looked. Smoker fits sideways on the trailer real nice. I should be able to cook on the trailer and have plenty of room to move and load fire from the ground.

I do not know what the firebox temp is. Where would i check it? I have a temp gun i will try to check it next time i fire up.

I am gonna see what you guys suggest and maybe make a few mods, then try again some night this week.
Edited by SHOLMES - 3/23/14 at 8:43am
post #145 of 148
I would definitely raise the inlet of the exhaust even more. I'm no expert but heat does rise and I would say any area above the inlet of the exhaust is gonna be hotter. My exhaust came right out of the side all the way at the top and it seems to do fine.
post #146 of 148
Thread Starter 

I cut some more out of the exhaust pipe inside the cc.  The temp is still staying too hot in the top of the cc.


I am thinking about cuting the whole thing off.


I ran the smoker for a few hours last weekend.  It takes an hour or two to get the temp up.  Is that normal?  It holds temp very well once it gets warmed up and doesn't take a whole lot of wood to keep it at temp.  The firebox door still wants to warp a little bit but not nearly as bad.  i ran it with the top intake in the door wide open the whole time.


Here are a few pics of the fire.


i am going to get some much better latches for the firebox door.  I do not care for the ones that i have,  they are just not as heavy duty as i need.

post #147 of 148
Thread Starter 

It's been awhile since i have checked in.  I have painted the smoker and been doing some cooking and adjusting.  I am looking for some some heavy duty door latches for the fire box door.  I am going to build a much smaller fire basket to put inside the firebox.  I just never need a very big fire to keep the temp good.  I wish I had more time and more reason to cook on this big smoker because it really does work well thanks to all the help i got from all of you.


I will get a  few pics of the smoker and post them soon.

post #148 of 148

These guys have about every type and size you may want...



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