Looking really good.
I like the foresight of planning your welding positions as much as possible.
Your last pictures didn't post for some reason. It sounds like you need an upper air vent in line with the CC/FB opening which will allow you to move air through the smoker easier which will help to control temperatures.
Your chimney is just fine; more heat is a good thing where chimneys are concerned.
Smaller fire and keeping the door closed is the right answer.
Ok, I got the grates in. 12’’ diff from bottom to top one.
I did another test run. I only had 3 temp gauges at the time, so I moved the bottom right (closest to fire box) to the top right. As the bottom right and top left read the same at all times. I need to add more heat to the bottom left. And have too much heat on top right.
Fire box = 20% too big for chamber one more fresh air inlet than called for. Have top inlet across from cooking chamber. Grate just above air inlets.
Stack is 1 foot taller than chart showed-( cut off easier then adding) – side/top/centered exhaust.
Reverse flow plate opening is just past grates on left- is a larger then fb/cc opening as it is rectangle- may need to close this up some? (easier to add this then take out)
adding asimple list: I am leaning towrds #2
Do what first:
1. Add baffle(s) to end side wall to try and keep the heat from going straight up on the turn around?
2. Extend my RF plate 5-6 inches to have more steel to radiant heat to cool spot
3. Adjust the air inlet at the top side of FB- across from the cc
4. Opening to 8’’exhast pipe inside cc need to be smaller- 8’’ x 7’’ ?? (I think now?)
I have no side baffle(s) on the left end wall to make heat turn sooner and flow better.
So what is everyone opinion on what to start changing first?
I think close up the reverse flow opening= which would add more steel to the bottom left to heat up cool side?
Also baffle at lower part of left wall to get the heat down to bottom grate?
I did not mess too much with the FB opening on top across from the cc???
I was getting this for temps
200 top left--------------225 top right
130 bottom left-------------200 bottom right
below is temps and smoker
so need more heat on bottom left and less on top right
Do not assume that the bottom right and top left will always read the same. Any changes you made (even just adding grates) can change that. Without a therm on the bottom firebox end, you do not really know what it is doing.
On 7/12 you posted:
Now you have:
200 top left--------------225 top right
130 bottom left-------------200 bottom right
What changed between then and now? (this is the most important question to answer!)
Is the bottom right 200° measured, or assumed to be the same as the top left?
If it is assumed to be the same as the top left, it is likely wrong.
It is totally normal for temps to be higher on top than they are on the bottom cuz heat rises, so focus your efforts on the left/right balance.
If it is truly hotter on the firebox end, a heat deflector plate in the top of the firebox can help. (http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/179663/rf-build-in-the-works#post_1322735)
My advice is to stop tinkering with it.
Don't change the size of any of the openings or the length of the stack; they were right to begin with.
Start by making sure your therms are calibrated by checking them in boiling water.
Also note that if your therms have short stems, they may read significantly lower than the temp in the center of the CC.
A digital thermometer with two probes can help you measure what is really going on at the grate where the meat will be.
I hope this helps.
Well I got the grates in. Had to make the top supports removable. The front and center angle iron supports along with the left side support all come out easily. This was done to be able to remove the bottom rack for cleaning. Yes I was told by my long time smoker buddy to make the bottom with 2 grates but I did not. He also told me to do to doors- I did not…. Door not as heavy as too tall to flip over to open so I have mocked up a helping hand so to speak—added a 2 ft long rod that lets me grab and push door all the way open- no pics of it yet.
I need to do some more burns to check temps and NO meat has been in smoker yet. Still using the old faithful heavy Brinkman.
ok I have done another test run for temps. no food just probes in apples to hold just off racks.
I did not get a 4 gage yet. I have 2 new probes in use. will get another digital probe set and gage coming. below is the info I got last night. I did not get but 2 temps for the top as I needed to leave. but did get some oil sprayed on to get seasoned while gettin temps. not sure what i will do first to get more even temps. I know that the top will be hotter but I thought I would be able to get even temp side to side and top to bottom with RF one... I know it needs tunning but with the info below hope to get help in where to start. heat sheild by fire box side, close up RF return alittle, diverter on left wall above RF opening, ????
|this is with probes centered on lower rack|
|upper left gage only||upper right no probe or gage||top hole FB|
|210||x||FB @430'||4:30||open 1''|
|probes on bottom rack|
|lower left||dif gage/prob||lower right||dif gage/prob|
|gage||probe||dif side||gage||probe||air inlet FB|
|125||141||16 cooler||13||135||154||19 cooler||FB @430'||.5''open|
|170||185||15 cooler||10||195||193||2 hotter||FB @430'||Full open|
|185||210||25 cooler||7||195||217||22 cooler||FB@360||Full open|
|227||247||???||4||230||252||22 cooler||FB@400||Full open|
|this is with probes on top rack centered|
|lower left||lower right|
|then did both probes on bottom rack centered one towards front by door other at back wall of CC|
|These were the same after 15 min @ 193|
Dude, don't change a thing.
Those are really good numbers. You're done, now go smoke some meat!
By the time you get stabilized at cooking temps, you are at a 4° left/right difference on the bottom and 2° difference on the top.
Those are outstandingly good numbers.
Grate temp is what matters. Do not worry about the probe/gauge difference. Door gauges will always read different (normally lower) than grate probes.
You just need to note the difference so that if a probe fails or the batteries die in your meter, you can have a good idea what the temp is based on the gauges and what you know of how much lower they read.
OK I guess if you look at like that. It is good. Thx to Dave's RF calculator. I was just trying for the upper / lower temp to be closer so as to avoid rotating meats. I do need to get some gasket material around lower part of doo -. not much if any smoke leaking more for air tightness.
*******What I do need to know is the real purpose of the upper fbFB pening across from cc opening? I did mess with it a little but not sure what is was doing as for the heat flow thhru the cc? It was said to even out the flow thru cc.??************
I did get the upper inlet handle on today and my helping HAND as I will call it. I wantesd to be able to open door and close door with out welding gloves on. So I added a 1'' pipe that rotates around the handle and is there to finish pushing the door open and to grab it to start the door down to close with out any cables , counter weights or springs. Works really slick.
I did find this from earlier """"Your last pictures didn't post for some reason. It sounds like you need an upper air vent in line with the CC/FB opening which will allow you to move air through the smoker easier which will help to control temperatures."""""
So does opening up the air inlet on top of FB and across from CC even out temps by forcing heat thru the CC faster? How open shuould this really be or is going to depend evru cook? I have about a 3.5'' x 3.5'' opening when all open.. I started with it open about 1/2'' open and opened full open at about 30: min in to doing the temp checking. I will try adjusting on next or reall first cook!!!!
Thx for all the info guys, great site!!!!
YOU WERE RIGHT YOU WERE RIGHT YOU WERE RIGHT!!!!!!!
Chicken legs and skinless breast wrapped in bacon are on for real meat cook on the smoker. way to big for what meat is on it but starting out small and cheap for first smike on it.
I am happy to say the temps for the top and bottom rack are the SAME. probe temp at 213 and gages are both reading at 225.(top gages) bottom left is 175 gage bt 213 prob in center of rack. been on about 1.5 hrs. not peeked yet. took about 45 minutes is what it took for the upper to cool and lower to raise to same temp. top rack probe hit 300 when bottom was 190- I opened the top inlet on fire box to aboyt 3 '' open and things started to even out. YAAAAAA. thx again everyone who gave me help. now I can go back to fitting fenders and removing paint- thinking Iowa Hawkeye yellow and black............... more to come.
oops top apple holding probe had fallen to bottom rack thus the same temp on both just not two racks...... i will see how close tye are but then my probe / gage temp maybe closer on top rack.............. so I moved it back on top and put the legs up there too. after pic was taken.
ALL STILL GOOD! top and bottom temps are still with in 2-5 degrees . chicken looking good- 3 hrs and just hitting 165', going to go to 170 and then pull off and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes and then taste time!!!