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Scuba tank mini reverse flow - first build - Page 7

post #121 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobycat View Post
 

Thanks Dirtsailor! wanted to ask you if you know any of the landsailors from Santa Cruz? When I was building boats I had a co-worker that built some pretty fantastic land yachts, I've always wanted to try sailing on dirt.

Well a bit of a play on words with my screen name. I am a sailor but land locked now, living in the desert. So I don't actually sail the land yachts. I do build wood boats though. I have been out to the Alvord desert in Eastern Oregon when they gather there to watch them go screaming across the playa. I have thought about building a small land yacht, as I have a couple sail rigs that I could tinker with!

post #122 of 150

Tobycat,  Great smoker really enjoyed watching your build, kind 'a felt like I got to know you. Let us know how it cooks, can't wait to show my neighbor your pic's.

 

Gary

post #123 of 150
Thread Starter 

Thanks Gary,  appreciated your advice on the paint and wheels. Got some pretty good wind right now, hopefully it will lay down soon so I can fire it up.

post #124 of 150

Very nice build there Tobycat!

post #125 of 150
Thread Starter 

Thanks Bama BBQ!,   I am on Q watch right now, have been fiddling with it since 6pm when I finally got the ribs on!.

post #126 of 150
Thread Starter 

First Smoke Failure!

Had the single rack of ribs on for 6 hours last night and ended up having to finish in the oven.  I started with a half dozen cheap Safeway briquets and then chunks of apple and cherry. Had the air intake vent wide open and the chimney wide open as well, it flows well but I am about a hundred degrees too low in the cook chamber.  My cheap thermometer only hit about 160 with the meat in the chamber.

I am inexperienced at running a side firebox and not sure if I should have closed the chimney a little to help retain the heat. Also wondering how much of a difference it would make burning a good quality lump charcoal. 

The only easy things I can think of to try and bring temps up are,

1. Burn better lump charcoal

2. Raise fire grate another  inch or so for more air under the fire

3. Add another air intake above fire inline with cook chamber opening.

 

Any advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

post #127 of 150

Was it plenty hot in the firebox? If so, adding the intake inline with the CC opening would help draw hot air into the CC.

post #128 of 150

Well Bummer!!! I would try some better fuel to star.  I would raise the grate in the firebox and then see what happens. I always smoke with the chimney full open. I am not an expert on the side box by any means, but have used them. To me it really sounds like an issue of not enough combustion air.

post #129 of 150

TC, afternoon.....   Looking at your air inlet, try another run and crack the door open to see if more air helps....  The 2 holes, if they are the only air in, might need some help..   Hard to tell for sure... just guessing....    Check the FB temp and CC temp.... If there is a BIG difference, more air is probably needed... and maybe it's a hole across from the FB/CC opening....     We are in uncharted waters as far as I know....     

 

Dave

post #130 of 150

Have you tried cracking the door while smoking to see if adding more air helps? Oops I see Dave and I were typing the same thing at the same time!

post #131 of 150

Looking back at the picture of your two holes for the vents, I'm thinking needs more air, Like Dave said crack your door a little and see it that helps, if so maybe drill out your vent holes bigger or add #3, Still a good looking smoker. Showed my neighbor, (scuba guy) owns Scuba Steve's here in Tyler thought it was neat.  Anyway keep us posted on the smoker situation.

 

Gary

post #132 of 150
Thread Starter 

I did try cracking the door and left it against the latch so I could see in the firebox, it did not seem to make much of a difference in the burn rate. I was using mainly wood chunks once it got going.  I am wondering if  using lump will make a difference.  Would holding a hair dryer towards the air intake simulate a bigger air intake? Also I do have a little infra red temp gun I could use to take readings but where and how should I be checking the firebox/cook chamber and what kind of temps should I see?? I was having to add wood about every  hour  but I am not really sure how much fuel I should be loading in.

post #133 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobycat View Post
 

I did try cracking the door and left it against the latch so I could see in the firebox, it did not seem to make much of a difference in the burn rate. I was using mainly wood chunks once it got going.  I am wondering if  using lump will make a difference.  Would holding a hair dryer towards the air intake simulate a bigger air intake? Also I do have a little infra red temp gun I could use to take readings but where and how should I be checking the firebox/cook chamber and what kind of temps should I see?? I was having to add wood about every  hour  but I am not really sure how much fuel I should be loading in.

Personally I'd like to see more space between the grate and the bottom of the firebox so you have more room for ash to fall. Lump is going to burn a bit hotter, but not last as long but ti may be what you need to get it going. Try a run with just lump and see what happens. If that's not upping the heat try the hair dryer.

post #134 of 150

I know this is a mini smoker, wondering if the wood chunks aren't burning up to fast before temp get to where it needs to be ?  you might try some lump just to start process of elimination .

 

Gary

post #135 of 150

Tc, Fill the FB all the way to the top....   Get her humming.....  Check the temp on the top of the FB and check the CC on the valve end and where the stack hooks to the CC...  If the stack sticks down very far into the CC, cut it off at a 45-60 degrees from vertical... about 4" up from the food grate....   or flush with the inside of the CC..... 

 

Dave

post #136 of 150

I read an article just in the past day or two (might even be on this forum, but of course I cant find it again)  and it discussed this topic exactly.

The compared fire built on the floor of the FB, then on a grate, then air below, air on top and both...

long story short.

The best clean air fire was in a firebox that had a grate - air flow under the crate and additional air flow above the grate.

 

I have to say  - this is exactly how  my fireplace works and we get fantastic fires... our backyard firepit is the fire on the bottom (big bowl) and it does not burn nearly as clean...

 

I get the fire below the grate - but they had a good reason for the fire above the grate too... I just forget what it is.

all said - more air would help it seems.

HTH

post #137 of 150
post #138 of 150
Myself... FIRST... I would try more lit charcoal, 1/4 -1/2 of charcoal chimney, instead of just 6 briquettes... and use your heat gun (all over).... compare temps as mentioned....

I must say... that is a neat little smoker..
post #139 of 150

Tobycat, have you tried it again ?  I am thinking a good fire will make a difference

 

Gary

post #140 of 150
Thread Starter 

 Spent the morning trying to get ready for test #2, went and dug through my tools and found my infra red thermometer, the battery was dead, I went to two different stores and both were sold out of that particular watch battery. Did not have any small metal to modify the fire grate to make it higher but did find a little round trivet rack in the kitchen cabinet to elevate the first rack. Mrs Tobycat is very understanding in these situations because she knows when a part is needed everything is fair game- well mostly. Bought another half rack of ribs and some Lazzari's Mesquite lump. Harvested the only two large sweet peppers the deer did not eat this year (Thanks Bucky) and made two ABT's with pepper jack.  I dumped a large part of the bag of lump and selected the largest pieces I thought would fit in the firebox once they had burned off a little and then stuffed the box full when they were ready. I opened everything up, firebox vents, cook chamber door and chimney damper wide open. Once the fire was really going with a decent layer of coals I shut the cook chamber door and shut the firebox door against the latch which leaves it open 3/16". According to my "CMT" - (cheap meat thermometer) I was hitting 260-300 degrees.  I have been trying to keep the firebox stuffed but remember it only measure 6"x 6". The elevated grate in the firebox and the lump charcoal has made a big difference. I kept experimenting with shutting the door completely but kept losing 50-60 degrees.  I figured you only live once and went ahead and drilled a 3/4" hole across from the firebox to cook chamber opening, ..while I was cooking! :first:. I am seeing good results ! I am getting a bark on the ribs and I can hear the ABT's slowly sizzling.

edit: I lost a lot of temp when the sun went down.


Edited by Tobycat - 10/5/13 at 10:51pm
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