you would be surprised how heavy 3 " hot rolled round bar is!
UK build.....all done...I think... - Page 4
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Hello Michael. Here is one for ya, how about using a washing motor and some pulleys and make an electric door opener ( sad I know but I actually thought it out and found a way to make it work ) OK, I'll be the one to ask the dumb question. Seems to me you are going to a lot of effort to avoid doing the obvious. Why not use the cable and pulley counterweight system? Double pulley at the top and a single on the door and job done. I know it is old school and not the greatest looking solution but take a look again at your drawings. You have this thing hanging off your door at an odd angle. Not trying to rain on your parade, just offering another solution. Food for thought. Good luck.
I'm now thinking they may look ok if I make them into Bull Horns.
So let me walk you through easy way to design a counterweight before you do something crazy,
First , open and prop the door at the correct position you want it to be, then take a piece of cardboard and cut out an outline that matches the front of the door all the way to the back side of the tank. It should look like a set of bird wings when your done. Now tape the door half to the door. The close the door. Now looking down the length of the cooker, draw a circle on the upper half of the cardboard that represents the back half go the tank as high up on the card board as you can go with out crossing behind an imaginary vertices line coming straight up from the hinge pin. That will be your counterweight. Now you can take any point along the part of the cardboard that is touching the door and use that point for your attachment point. Just draw up what looks good and cut it out and use this for your pattern. The only thing now you have to do is figure out weight. No..it does not have to be the same weight as the door, only enough to give it leverage. Best thing to do is make the two brackets from your stencil you just made, tack the onto the door, then start tack welding some srap onto the top of the brackets until you get the right weight to get the feel you want for the door.
I totally understand the method you describe, Its a very good method.
The problem I have is that as my chamber is quite a large diameter and the door is quite far around the side. To get a counter weight behind the hinge pin, that doesn't restrict the amount the door opens it would have to be a very long arm that puts the weight behind the chamber. Too tall to fit in my workshop!
So I've mocked up some weights that go down the sides. They will be well clear the firebox and miss a warming cabinet if I add one.
I also added the first part of my folding/removable chimney
Counterweight could also be foldable simply by having a joint in the middle of the arm, ...two pin holes, you open the door and let the counterweight contact the back of the tank and remove a cleavage pin, and when you close the door the weight stays "down" against the back of the tank rotating on the pin you didn't remove, then when you pull it out of the shed, open the door and install the pin and now the counterweight is active again.
I did try and design folding ones, hinged in one direction. So the weight would be working until it touched the chamber then 'broke free' and rolled down the back of the chamber as you continued opening it. When you shut the door it would 'pick up' the weight when the door reached the same point on closure. I would have still needed a second weight to take over when the first one 'broke free' though.
Thinking about your suggestion, if the weight was too tall to go under the door, I could have propped the door half open just to move it in and out.
I finished both cow horns today, I'm ordering steel for the shelves and trailers.
Hello Michael. Truth be known we can think this thing to death. We only try to offer advice. End of the day, with your experience you probably know what you can get away with. We will always keep offering solutions. Sometimes they will work for your build, sometimes they may not work in your case. Anytime you need to know 250 different ways to skin a cat, you know where to find us. The counter weight solution you have used seems to be a good compromise to all the suggestions and the limitations of your wokshop. Looking good so far.
Its made from 1" angle with quite a heavy gauge expanded metal. Its removeable, not fitted the stops yet to stop it pulling out too far.
I'm unsure where to put the upper shelf. I have 15" from the top of my current shelf, to the top of the door opening.
Hello. I am just curious. That is a very large pit by U.K. standards. Are you planning to use this in a business? The reason I ask also might affect you shelf spacing. What do you plan to be smoking? If not a business a 4'x3' shelf will hold a lot of meat; but I agree with you, better to build a second shelf now and not need it rather than wish you had later. I was looking at your measurements. I think I would leave 8" from the top of the bottom shelf to the bottom of your upper shelf. That should leave you 6"ish between top of upper shelf and top of door opening. A butt, brisket or whole chicken should fit in that space. The extra space on the bottom rack should allow you to even do large whole smoked turkeys. Just a thought. Keep Smokin!
Depends on what you cook most. If you are doing Pork Shoulders Turkeys or something that needs the height put you top rack higher, you can cook ribs, sausage, anything that doesn't require the extra space, You probably are anyway, but make your racks where you can take them completely out. That way if you need the extra head room jut remove the top rack, I have to do that if I do Turkeys
We want to be able to smoke a butterfly'd pig on it, as well as all the usual stuff.
The shelves will be removeable.
I was thinking of putting a 4" tall back on the shelf to stop stuff falling off the back. Is this common?
We just use 1" to 1 1/2" angle to build our racks with the angle turned up, never lost anything falling off the back, I guess it depends on what you are smoking and how crowded your meat is ?
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Sorry for being away and not updating, I got busy with other things and had a few hold ups.
At the sandblasters.
Capping over the bosses, for decoration only.
Firebox underway. This is looking at the chamfer I put on the bottom corner, to help stop it catching on the ground. (and It was all I could do to make my free off cuts go further)
Next task is joining the big bit to the other bigger bit!