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Smoker Build w/ Questions

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Just joined recently as I have been digging through the forum trying to learn as much as possible. To get started, my inspiration for this build is my brothers wedding. Myself and the third brother were tasked with coming up of a way to feed roughly 50 people with meat. So far our parents have got two pigs growing, one of which will be used for the wedding. 

 

Two days ago I didn't know the difference between a side box and a vertical, but I am trying to figure it out. If I mistakenly call something by the wrong name please let me know. 

 

On to the design, I have been looking around at a bunch of the builds and the one that really stood out to me was SmokedStanley's he started last summer. (Seen Below) I definitely don't need it to be as big as his, but the overall shape and layout is what I was thinking to follow.

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/247284/this-years-build-thread

 

 

One thing I did want to ask about was if the same wide rectangle design could be done as a vertical without too many issues? I am just reading up on the differences between the horizontals and verticals, but as of right now it looks like the three big things are temperature control, moisture, and time between fuelings. 

 

As for specifics, I have been using Feldon's calculator for the sizing of smoker and have been playing around with designs in Solidworks. Cooking chmaber size is 60" x 36" x 30". Firebox dimensions are 30" x 30" x 24". 

 

 

 

 

The firebox on this one is all 1/4" A36 and the rest of the body is 3/16". My current plan would be get pieces plasma or torch cut out and then mig weld it up at my parents house. Ideally I would like be able to put it on some large casters or the rubber wheels that some smokers use. Really want to stay away from getting heavy enough that it needs a tow-able trailer. 

 

Still playing around with the firebox air inlets and may try to incorporate them into the door. The transfer hole from the firebox to the cooking area is about 28 x 8". Right now I was just planning on using some plates laid out in the bottom of the cooking area to regulate the heat on the right side so the left got enough. Are there better ways to do this and still be adjustable?

 

Rack sizes would be 26.75" x 28" and that would leave 6.5" of vertical clearance for all of them. Could also leave one out if I ever needed extra height. 

 

If anybody has input of any type please let me know. In the meantime I will keep playing around with the design and keep reading the forums.


Edited by CatalystGilles - 4/17/17 at 8:21pm
post #2 of 9
My suggestion would be to put a rounded top on it. The round top will drain the moisture away from your food. I'm running an ugly drum right now and have a flat lid. Every time I smoke stuff I get drops off the lid. If you can get your hands on a large diameter pipe and cut it in half. You can also have a flat piece rolled then build the cabinent to fit the pipe.
Looking forward to the build. I'm hoping to get a larger smoker going this summer also.
Jason.
post #3 of 9
I am just in the learning stage myself, but I think you want to put the outlet on the side, not the top to avoid condensate dripping on your precious meat.

My neighbor built one where the firebox and outlet were on the same side. I guess it's a reverse flow - there was a solid plate under the racks so the smoke first hits the racks opposite the firebox and comes back to the firebox side. The intention was to limit the heat variation.

Sorry if I didn't phrase that correctly or clearly!
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKDutchguy View Post

My suggestion would be to put a rounded top on it. The round top will drain the moisture away from your food. I'm running an ugly drum right now and have a flat lid. Every time I smoke stuff I get drops off the lid. If you can get your hands on a large diameter pipe and cut it in half. You can also have a flat piece rolled then build the cabinent to fit the pipe.
Looking forward to the build. I'm hoping to get a larger smoker going this summer also.
Jason.

 

I will definitely look into that. I could also angle the top as well if I couldn't find someone to roll a sheet or find a tank.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shyzabrau View Post

I am just in the learning stage myself, but I think you want to put the outlet on the side, not the top to avoid condensate dripping on your precious meat.

My neighbor built one where the firebox and outlet were on the same side. I guess it's a reverse flow - there was a solid plate under the racks so the smoke first hits the racks opposite the firebox and comes back to the firebox side. The intention was to limit the heat variation.

Sorry if I didn't phrase that correctly or clearly!

 

I get what you said and it makes sense. I will work on putting the stack out the side and look more into the bottom adjustment or reverse flow.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Made some changes to the design today. Shrunk the depth from 30" to 24", added a permanent inlet on the firebox(24"x2"), changed the side adjustable inlet on the firebox based on DaveOmak's input in another thread, angled the roof so drips go to the sides, added the stack out the side, angled the bottom to help drain when washing, and added a hole for a ball valve. 

 

 

 

Currently sitting at 34.5 ft^2 of cooking area with 6.5" between the racks. 

 

The firebox has about 3.5" below where the fire rack will go and the lower inlet is about 1.75" above the bottom to get away from the ash. Do these numbers sound good?

 

 

 

I did talk to my dad and brother and let them know to keep their eyes open for an old propane tank. If they can find one that isn't priced up like the ones on craigslist here I will probably use it as the top and bottom of the cooking chamber with shorter rectangular section inbetween. That would help cut back on the steel costs. Right now as seen in the picture above without all the racks, doors, etc. it is sitting at just under 1000 lbs modeled as A36. 

post #6 of 9

Here's my 2 centavos.

 

Drop the exhaust stack intake lower to about between the 2 doors to help even temp vertically in the smoker.

 

Are you going to have enough room in between the doors for the latches?  

 

Not sure how you intend to connect the top and bottom halves?

 

The roof only needs a slight angle for the drips to run to the side. Worry more about all the grease and crap draining in the bottom.

 

if you are making the top half out of 3/16" you could get it all bent by a sheetmetal shop so no need for a frame where the doors are.

post #7 of 9
Looks good. I like the side exuast instead of top mounted style. Figured top mount will let crap drip out into meat. Are u having everything Cnc cut or the old hand grinder with cutoff wheel?
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahumadora View Post
 

Here's my 2 centavos.

 

Drop the exhaust stack intake lower to about between the 2 doors to help even temp vertically in the smoker.

 

Are you going to have enough room in between the doors for the latches?  

 

Not sure how you intend to connect the top and bottom halves?

 

The roof only needs a slight angle for the drips to run to the side. Worry more about all the grease and crap draining in the bottom.

 

if you are making the top half out of 3/16" you could get it all bent by a sheetmetal shop so no need for a frame where the doors are.

 

I will drop it down to between the two hinges of the upper door.

 

The width hasn't been set in stone as I haven't figured out what my latches are gonna look like.

 

Now that everything outside of the firebox is gonna be 3/16" or 1/8" it may just be one piece bent or multiple welded together.

 

I will try to angle the bottom more to really help it drain.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by motolife313 View Post

Looks good. I like the side exuast instead of top mounted style. Figured top mount will let crap drip out into meat. Are u having everything Cnc cut or the old hand grinder with cutoff wheel?

 

Still trying to work out the details on the materials. Once I get the design close I am going to send it all out to a local place that could supply the material and laser/plasma/OA it out. That will kind of be my reference point. There is also a local guy that could do the cutting on his CNC plasma at home and then I could get the metal in plates a little more locally. I also just had my dad check at the local propane place and they have two tanks I could use in place of a lot of the plates. They have one that is 24" OD x ~6' straight section and a 30" OD x ~7' straight section. They want something like $125 and $160 respectively. This seemed a little high, but I will know more when I get the quote for all the metal.

 

Another thing that could impact the design is my dad has a trailer we could use to mount it on, so the weight wouldn't be an issue and we could make it a little bigger if the price wasn't much different.

 

I'll keep playing around with designs and update once I have a little more.

 

Thanks to everyone so far for the replies and insight.

post #9 of 9
I'm building one right now kinda like yours. Mines got a frame in it I made. I think a barrel type would be easier to build. If ur doing doing the fab and welding at ur place.
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