First smoker build from the ground up

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by rancid crabtree, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. My last homemade smoker lasted 15 years. It was a converted chest freezer I tipped on its side and it worked great for hot smoking but eventually rusted through.

    Being that I like to build things, I began building a new smoker from scratch.

    My smoker will sit outside year round so it has to be weatherproof. Since most of the meat smoking I do is in the winter in temps below freezing, I will insulate the smoker with 1 ½ thick foam board. I will use treated lumber for the legs since its going to sit outside year round. I will make it for hot smoking but will want to try my hand at cold smoking (something I have never tried)  I want ten racks and the extra height for smoking hot sticks and bacon sides. The inside smoking area I’m shooting for is 25” wide, 20” deep and 48” tall and will be lined with aliminum. Its going to have dual exhaust, and T-111 exterior siding and will be about 7 feet tall. The inner walls are going to be ½ inch thick plywood.

    The back wall

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    Fast forward to the completion of the structure. The upper opening is the smoking chamber. The lower is where the electric heating elements and pan filled with wood will go. each compartment will have its own door so I can add wood and adjust the heat without opening the upper area and letting all the heat out. The recessed areas are 1 ½ inches deep and will be filled with pink foam board (R-7.5).

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    Here is the inner ceiling. I’m using 3 inch galvanized for the smoke stacks. I cut and bent tabs all the way around to attach it to the wood and to have a good seal.

     

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    Testing to see if it fits.

     

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    The space between the inner ceiling and the outer roof will be filled with insulation board. This was to test the fit to make sure I had the smoke stack holes in the right place.

     

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    I don’t have a sheet metal break for making the bends in the aluminum lining so I improvised.

     

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    The floor piece being tested for proper fit. My plan is to wrap all the exposed wood with aluminum. I will use aluminum nails to hold the aluminum lining in place to avoid rust.

     

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    The racks for smoking will be supported by 3/4 inch poplar dowels. They will be supported by the hard maple strips on each side. I drilled a 7/8 inch hole about halfway through the maple and then split each one on my table saw. Each strip will be able to support 5 dowels.

     

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    Once I finish lining the entire inside with aluminum, I will attach the maple rack supports. 

    I got the entire inside wrapped in aluminum and the maple rack supports installed. It was a bigger pain in the butt than I thought it would be.
     

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    Next up........ Insulation.
     
  2. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks to me like you are doing a heck of a good job on this smoker... Looking forward to seeing more of the build...
     
  3. redneck69

    redneck69 Smoking Fanatic

    nice build!!! the only thing i question is the galvanized exhaust ports,  i've seen post that galvanized metal can emit a chemical that is not good.  some of the more experienced guys/gals should be on a lil later.  they may prove me wrong..but i wanted to toss it out there.
     
  4. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    He's Not Using Galvanized he's using Aluminum...
     
     
  5. redneck69

    redneck69 Smoking Fanatic

    Here is the inner ceiling. I’m using 3 inch galvanized for the smoke stacks. I cut and bent tabs all the way around to attach it to the wood and to have a good seal.[​IMG]

    he has this posted above...don't know if you saw that.  i did see he was using aluminum for the inner walls.
     
  6. arnie

    arnie Smoking Fanatic

    I'm with Redneck. I questioned the galvanized for the smoke stacks, but they look aluminum to me.

    Other than that it looks like a great build. Can't wait to see it with TBS
     
  7. Thanks for the comments. The only galvanized metal in the smoking chamber are the small tabs I bent for the smoke stacks up on the ceiling. The stacks themselves are outside the smoke chamber. The rest of the interior is aluminum and maple strips.

    If galvanized metal is really a problem, I could cover those tabs with aluminum.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That's one great looking build. Can't wait to see the finished product, then your first Q.
     
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Rancid, Morning. Since the metel is on the exhaust end of the smoker, it should not be a problem.

    I have seen galvanized metal exhaust on gas fired hot water tanks inside a home. Not a problem.

    Zinc: boils at 1665*F/ melts at 788*F

    If your smokehouse catches on fire, the fumes from the zinc would not be safe to breath.

    http://www.horsehead.net/admin/_images/MSDS/MSDS for SHG Metal.PDF

    Here is the MSDS for zinc so you can decide for yourself if you need to change the stack.
     
  10. Thanks Dave. That is what I understood to be the risks associatied with zinc. Yes, if my smoker catches fire, I will have an increased concern for the product in the smoker. [​IMG]
     
  11. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    You have done a real good job so far...
     
  12. With the interior done I focused on the outside. First the insulation. R 7.5 Pink foam board 1 1/2 thick.

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    I caulked around the smoke stacks before insulating. I don’t want any leaks.
     

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    Then the outer roof went on and more caulk.

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    Next was the fascia and some paint.
     

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    Then some tar paper.

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    Then the metal roof and drip edge and some white silicone caulk over the aluminum nail heads to prevent any leaks.

    Normally drip edge goes on before the tar paper and is covered by asphalt shingles that cover the nails holding the drip edge. The thin metal is not as robust as shingles so I used the drip edge to hold the thin roof metal down and to cover all the nails holding it in place. I put a large bead of silicone under each piece of drip edge before nailing it in place.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011
  13. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

    Wow great job looking very good.[​IMG]
     
  14. rp ribking

    rp ribking Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Looks real good!!
     
  15. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great looking build. 
     
  16. Since I don’t want rain and snow getting into the smoke stacks and since I cant find any caps for 3 inch ducting I made some from galvanized sheet.
     

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    The rolled it and riveted the joint.

     

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    Since I also can't find inline butterfly dampers for 3 inch ducting, I made my own from brass threaded rod and stainless hardware (no rust). It was pretty much a huge pain in the butt but it worked out ok.

     

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  17. Got the siding on and the corner trim.
     

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    Then I spent some time working on the upper door. The face of the door will be two layers. 1. is half inch plywood and 2. is the same T-111 siding I've been using. It will also be insulated framed with 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 lumber.
     

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    Then another layer of plywood to support the metal lining.
     

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    I start the aluminum at the bottom and overlap all the joints like shingles on a roof so no moisture can get to the wood.

     

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    Then the sides.

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    Then the face. (all metal is held in place with aluminum nails)

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  18. I'm thinking of powering this smoker will electric elements but am considering propane (or both) Any suggestions or opinions to sway me either way?
     
  19. killnsmoke

    killnsmoke Smoke Blower

    looks awesome!!!  great job with all the bending.  I'm about 90% done building my smoker, i put an electric element in it wired to a thermostat.  No worries on temp with the setup.  i can set it and let it be until it's done.
     
  20. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Man, you did a beautiful job on that smoker!!!
     

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