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First RF smoker- 115 gal propane tank - Page 6

post #101 of 147
Thread Starter 

T - 3 days


Long day and not much progress. 


I just welded on little tabs that I bent.  They seem to be sufficient.  I had some leftover fiberglass rope so I pulled out about 10 inches of thread and used it to tie the two ends together.



Bad closeup of the tabs.


I spend a lot of time thinking about how to latch the door shut.  I have all night and tomorrow at work to figure it out.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

post #102 of 147

how does your door shut?  can you put up a couple of pics of the door in a closed state? that way we can have a better look and get light bulbs popping in our heads.


there are several ways to keep the door shut.  draw latch is one, and a rotary type is another.


I immensely enjoy checking out this thread and those pics of your build have been fantastic.  keep it up!

post #103 of 147



You could always take a drop from your fire grate and make a plate with a modified V and take a flat bar mounted on the door with a stud welded to the door.  You can take the spring end from a chipping hammer and weld to the flat bar. Lots of ways to skin that cat.



post #104 of 147

Kind of like this.

post #105 of 147
Thread Starter 

This is my canvas.  I considered the latch design. I'm leaning towards a slotted tab on the door and a threaded rod with a big wing nut kinda thing.

post #106 of 147
Here is how I did mine. I'm still building mine though so I can tell you how it works just yet but I think it will be okay.

post #107 of 147

Here are some options from McMaster Carr, they have a very good selection of hardware. Prices are higher for the one stop shopping, quality, and they always have speedy delivery. You could make something that looks good and could be cranked down with this stuff.





Good Luck!



post #108 of 147
Here is how I did mine. V shaped groove in FB
door frame makes it tight. Further the handle down the tighter.


post #109 of 147
Thread Starter 

For dessert:  A slice of humble pie.


I finished the FB latch and had to add one to the CC door, despite having a 1" Nomex gasket.  I'm eating the proverbial humble pie because after building a smoker and seeing how difficult it is, I really respect the work that a lot of guys are doing.  I am clearly in the Bush league.  


Without further adieu:


Finally have most of the smoke coming out of the chimney.


The latch design.  Thanks to everyone for the ideas.  I was limited on resources and time so it isn't ideal but it works.


3/4-10 bolt with a big nut.  The bolt is on a bit of a hinge so it can be swung out of the way.


CC latch.  The door has a smaller radius than the cylinder.  A side effect of cutting it w/o any bracing I presume.  Now I really appreciate people being able to seal a door w/o a gasket or latches.  Putting on the Nomex stuff with the Super 77 adhesive was pretty easy.  We'll see how long it lasts.  If could double it up in a few places, I could have gotten away w/o the latch.  



The bow in the top of the FB is hard to make out.  According to my IR temp gun, it's about 600F and that explains the new shape.



How long would yall expect it to take to get the cooker up to 250ish?  With the FB so hot, I expected the CC temp to get hot pretty quick.  After about 30 minutes, it's still around 170.  There's a lot of iron in there so I don't expect it to be instant but I figured it'd be faster than that.  The instructions for the gasket adhesive say to get it to 450 for an hour but, at this rate, I don't see that being possible.  

post #110 of 147
I'm looking at the FB door...... Is that an upper air inlet that looks silver ish.... in the top portion of the door.... If it is, open it... If it is not, you need to put an air inlet in that position to move the heat from the FB to the CC......
post #111 of 147

to start it fast, throw the dampers wide open.

post #112 of 147

Latches look like they work great!

post #113 of 147
Thread Starter 

That is an upper air inlet.  Heat seems to blow out when I open it.  Could it be too high?  For the record, it is silverish because it still has zinc plating.  Still need to dezinc them...

post #114 of 147
If heat/smoke blows out of the upper air inlet, you have a problem with flow in the cook chamber or the FB/CC opening or too many air leaks... air should be drawn in through that upper air inlet..... try closing the lower air inlets to about 1/4 open and see what happens when you open the upper air inlet.....

post #115 of 147

How high did you install the upper vent?

post #116 of 147
Thread Starter 
It is an inch or so from the top of the FB.
post #117 of 147

Agreed with Dave, if you are getting smoke and / or heat out of the upper inlet, you have some flow issues from the firebox to the chamber.  I am also not so sure about the upper intake being that high...when I installed mine, I put it where the top of my fire would typically be...have you tried lifting the nose of the pit up just a bit out of level, this will help heat rise and flow from the FB to the CC.

As far as the heating up problem, with about 25 lit charcoal and 3 sticks of approx. 3" x 12" wood, I can get my 150 gallon RF pit to an easy 250 in less than an hour.  From there on, a small fire with a good bed of coals will maintain a steady 250 for the cook.  When running like this, I usually have the lower intakes closed down to about 1/4 open while the upper is usually from 1/2 to fully open.  

post #118 of 147
Thread Starter 

I'll relocate the intake and see what happens.

post #119 of 147

The shape of the firebox will determine how low you can go, but I try to let the upper air flow through the flames, not over it.  Good rule of thumb, the top of the upper vent should be lower than the bottom of the cooking chamber, this will keep the air moving in the right direction, the taller your firebox, the lower you can place your upper vent and still have the air flowing where you want it to.


Hope that helps.

post #120 of 147
Thread Starter 

That makes a lot of sense.  Thanks RibWiz.

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