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It is Begun! My First Smoker Build - Page 3

post #41 of 82
Originally Posted by Rowsdower View Post

Ok, I see where you're going. I hadn't thought of that. It wouldn't look as nice when open with one port having no frame, but at this point I think I can sacrifice on the aesthetics to make it work properly.

That's a good plan...... Dave
post #42 of 82
Thread Starter 
Anyone else have an opinion on the door seal? Whether I put one on the FB door or not, I'm going to want to seal the CC door. So given my design, what do you guys recommend?
post #43 of 82
I used black pipe cut in 3sections with 1/2 round bar as the pin welded two pieces to the frame and one longer piece to the door will post a pic from my phone
post #44 of 82
post #45 of 82
post #46 of 82
Thread Starter 
I like that design, similar to what mtmseven did on his cooker.
post #47 of 82
Thread Starter 

Tonight ended up being very productive. We brainstormed a good bit on how to do a door stop for the top of the cooker and came up with a theme-appropriate idea. I think it turned out to be awesome...













My brother in law had done up the hinges already, and I think it looks great with 5 of them instead of just 2. This thing is really coming together now... I can't wait to light a fire in her!

post #48 of 82
Thread Starter 

I'm not one to become giddy, but last night we got the FB welded on and I'm beyond excited! Still plenty of work to do, but the first fire is within reach now!



post #49 of 82
Looking Good!! Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel or is there to much TBS!!LOL Should make you a very nice Pit when it's done!!
Keep Smokin!!!
post #50 of 82
Thread Starter 

Oh, I'm seeing it all right! lol

post #51 of 82
Can you describe what you mean by this? I'm new to this, and the idea of using big chain links seemed pretty cool.
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

when you weld the chain links.. think about a spacer under the link pin portion to elevate it... doing that will keep the link welds from springing the door....

post #52 of 82
Originally Posted by novasbc View Post

Can you describe what you mean by this? I'm new to this, and the idea of using big chain links seemed pretty cool.

First..... When you weld steel, the metal shrinks.... You need to plan for the shrinkage..... The "weldable hinge" pictured is about the worst hinge there is for a smoker door application UNLESS you plan for shrinkage....

on the left, welding the hinge as shown, the hinge is "captive" and the only piece of metal that can move is the door.... That could cause the door to "open" where the arrow is.... I've seen it happen on smoker builds here.....

On the right, suspending the "pivot" will allow you to "adjust the door" by hitting the hinge with a big hammer, if any "repositioning" occurs when the metal shrinks... Looking at the hinge and the legs, you can see there are other directions the hinge and door can move because the hinge is not captive.... Very easy to adjust the door, especially to stop air leakage... and maybe even installing door gaskets... The legs to the hinge pin need to NOT be 90 degrees from the Cook Chamber to allow for adjustment... Believe me when I say, "Plan for stuff to go awry and how to correct it" during the build...

.....click on pics to enlarge.......

post #53 of 82
Thread Starter 
I'm looking at thermometers now, and I'm curious to hear your thoughts on probe length. I see a nice one with a 4" probe, but it seems like that could get in the way in there. Is there an advantage to putting the probe tip so far into the cc?
post #54 of 82
The installed therms are for reference only... once you figure the temp on the food grate is 245 and the installed therm is 210, you make a chart and wing it....
post #55 of 82

Is It done yet? 

post #56 of 82
Thread Starter 
Coincidentally enough, I just finished my first cook on it. It's not done yet, but I am providing pulled pork for my uncle's funeral dinner and the beast was the only way I had available to get it done. I did a seasoning run a few days ago, during which one of the chain link hinges snapped loose of the lid. Not a good omen, but not a disaster.
Then comes the cook. 72# of butts. Only 3 of them. I need to communicate better with my supplier. Anyway, with the cc lid not sealed, it did not hold the heat well at all, and I had a terrible time keeping it up to temp. Was up all night with it and finally decided to cut two of them down and stuff them in my mes and the other in the oven to finish. Luckily the dinner isn't till Sunday, but it has been a less than illustrious start. Lots more work to do....
post #57 of 82
Thread Starter 

Ok, so update time.


That first cook I mentioned told me a few things about this cooker, and clued me in to some of the work I need to do on it before I even consider finishing. The cc door leaks were expected, a bit of sealing will take care of that. The weight of the door, however, was an issue I had to deal with. So I brainstormed, googled, looked around here, and decided that the best solution for this cooker was a counter-weight pulley system. Lucky for me I scavenged a home gym system that someone dumped at the recycling drop off a year or two ago, so I had some pulleys and a cable. An old sash weight from who-knows-where, a bit of square tube and voila!







I welded the eye bolt to the lid on both sides, so it should stay put for me. The door lifts a little easier in the beginning, but as she raises up, she becomes nearly weightless. I will experiment with a bit of extra weight, but I think this is pretty close to ideal. Definitely makes up for having that totally cool but not terribly practical shotgun handle.


So the work is continuing... I have it at my house now instead of my brother-in-law's, so I can work on it more often and during shorter bursts of free time. I'm still having a blast and I can't wait to see this thing through to the end!

post #58 of 82
Thread Starter 

Oh, and here's a taste (pun intended) of what I got from that first cook. I got lots of raves, and I was very happy with my product.






After a loooong time on the smoker, I got impatient and ifnished the big rear shoulder in the oven, and the two smaller front shoulders in my MES. Used some sweet white wine in the pan with all of them, and it really added a nice flavor. I will definitely be doing that again. And here's how it ended up...










Ended up with 2 pans, full to the brim. And man, were they good! Just a bit of inspiration for me to kick butt on this project and start turning out more meat like this.


Thanks for following along on this build, feel free to throw me suggestions along the way.

post #59 of 82
Thread Starter 

Oh, and I know my welds are pretty ugly, I'm a rank amateur and learning on the fly.

post #60 of 82
Looks good, can't wait to see it finished.
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