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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Oct 8, 2013
Terrace BC Canada
Hi everyone

i am starting a build on a 1972 COLDSPOT upright freezer. have crawled all over the smoker build forum but still have a question.

Do i need to get off the tar adhesive that held the insulation in place, and if yes how the hell do i get it all off ?????

i have been scraping at it  but cant get it all. there is very minimal rust in the bottom i want to deal with. the original insulation is cherry condition so i will reuse it, only a couple square feet was wet from sitting outside at the dump before i LIBERATED this beast ...   ha ha ha

components will be :  Brinkmann 1500watt conversion heater

                                Auber dual probe controller

                                Foam rubber Bulb seal from Mcmaster - Carr
                                Masterbuilt Smoke generator and may go to the A-MAZE-N-PELLET-SMOKER 5X8

right now i have alot of alder chips so i am trying to figure out how to get them to sawdust texture....

i love the plug and play simplicity of theses parts. as for the extra metal work and vents i need ... its all covered. have some buddies with a machine shop that loved the bacon i made with the little Masterbuilt so they are pitching in with the upgrade  :)

THANKS for any advice that can be offered up

I had the same stuff, it's a real pita. Yes, get it all off. It's worth doing it right the first time. It's probably stuff that doesn't react to heat very well. I used a putty knife to scrape most of it. I then used a rag soaked in kerosene to wipe it down. The kerosene dissolved it pretty good. Then use a soapy mix to clean the kerosene off. I know it's a lot, but once you have it all put together and it is working you don't want it making bad fumes because of that stuff heating up.
i will give it a go

yup.... starting from ZERO i want to build this properly

the dimensions of the smoker box will be 20" x 26" x 56"

i will be using the 1500watt Brinkmann heater.

My next question is will this get up to 250 degrees with the old insulation (in great shape) or am i better off to buy the Roxul ??

thanks again
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Thanks fish killer

I do live in northern british columbia, a little colder here so i am hoping to be able to come up to a good temp when it is freezing outside !!!
Aah, brings back lots of fond memories of when I went through that mess, "ya right". Yep looks like the same stuff I had in mine. I would get r-13 fiberglass insulation and use it in places when there are gaps or thin spots in the original insulation. Just to improve on the insulation. Probably won't need much just fill in where it needs it. Stick with it , you be glad you got all of that stuff out of there when it's time to put everything together.
I have time on my side .... RETIRED ...  lol

this forum and you guys that have experience is a god send. went to the building store today and asked about roxul, for the extra cost its not worth it to me for the extra 2R value (12 -14). i will definitely shoe horn in as much extra insulation as possible. thinking of using the drain hole in the bottom for my electrical cable from the heater.

QUESTION ..... will the stock wire on the Brinkmann heater hold up to the heat in the smoker?

this all started because i love to cook, and watch the BBQ shows with ribs, brisket, pulled pork etc, so i bought a masterbuilt 30" and then went even further. did bacon and a few batches of moose garlic sausage. everything is working out so well i wanted to graduate to a rig i can do more in. that way i will have some left for myself after everyone raids my supply ...  ha ha ha

the wife is right on board and just loves everything that i have pulled out of the damn thing. looking forward to making some mac and cheese and some home made beans next.

thanks again FISH KILLER

you may have to come up here and slay a few big salmon in the Skeena River one day  :)
I looked at the heating element you have and it is similar to mine. I got mine from Cabelas, the only difference I see is mine comes with a bottom plate but the element looks the same. I ran my cord though the bottom of the chamber. The only part of the cord that is in the chamber is the pigtail part where the element ends are joined. I was able to keep the cord itself outside of the inner chamber. Mmm, salmon. Made trip through Canada a few years ago and stopped at a little store in the middle of nowhere. They had all kinds of smoked fish. I bought a chunk of smoked salmon, I think it was coho. It was without a doubt the best tasting fish I ever had.
well we have the same element then ... ordered mine from Cabelas saturday .

was looking at high temp silicone today ... do i need food grade, i can order it on the web but nothing available here in the little HOLE i live in. we have 1 and a half building supply stores ... 

thanks for this input
I'm assuming you were going to silicone the hole that the cord ran through out of the cooking chamber. I didn't bother.
This is what I did. I set the element in the bottom of the smoker and marked where to cut the hole for the cord. Just big enough to get the plug through. I was able to situate it so the hole was centered and pretty close to the back wall. The steel base plate will serve to cover most of the hole anyhow. The reason I didn't seal it was I figured that at some point that element is going to need replacing so it would be easy just to pull the old one out. There's no reason you couldn't seal it. I just chose not to. I would make sure that whatever you use to seal it is not going to give off fumes since it will be hotter than the rest of your smoker due to how close it will be the element.
I posted my build under freezer builds. The title is 1960ish Rich Plan Freezer Build. The pictures might show it.

Your build looks great, I did mine it was a 1940's all metal fridge turned out great, love it but need new PID since mine only goes to 220,

Keep the pics coming
i stated that my plan was to use a silicone rubber "D" shaped tubing for my door seal.

bsimm78 recommended it here

looks like great stuff ....FYI when i contacted McMaster-Carr they informed me that they do not ship to public. ONLY TO A BUSINESS .... not a problem as we all probably know someone with a small shop to send the order from. i actually phoned a fella name Jim there this morning and will order thru my friends machine shop today. good people to deal with.

this stuff is high temp and priced alot cheaper than i can purchase stove rope for where i live.
You might want to consider using Rockwool for insulation.  I would ditch the original fiberglass and stay away from fiberglass all together.  Too much nasty stuff in it.  Rockwool is a natural product and is really better suited for heat retention over fiberglass.  That' s my .02.
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You might want to consider using Rockwool for insulation.  I would ditch the original fiberglass and stay away from fiberglass all together.  Too much nasty stuff in it.  Rockwool is a natural product and is really better suited for heat retention over fiberglass.  That' s my .02.

I respect your opinion but I have to say I used r13 in my smoker and have been very pleased with the anything there are probably 100 different ways of doing something. To each their own.
The build is coming along on schedule, should be smoking by next weekend. here is a pic that i modeled my heater set up after. i did put a deep pan on the top of the ready rod for my brines, apple juice, beer etc. i have also searched the hell out of this  site and like the idea of some fire brick in the bottom of the smoker to hold heat better, SOOOOOOOO i will be lining the whole bottom with the brick around the legs so i can leave the drain hole in the bottom open. should be some more pics in the next day or 2. external smoke generator should be finished this weekend. cant really use the amaze smoker because there is no supply of sawdust for it where i live, shipping would be a real cost. bolting in the rack brackets today, and some painting.



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well got the shelf brackets in today, did some welding on my dolly to haul this thing in and out of my shop, will get the stack and intake vents on this weekend as well as the heat deflector. those parts are all done just need to be assembled. hopefully my air pump shows up to try my smoke generator out too. then some painting, re insulate and start the heater up. run some smoke thru and start BURNING UP SOME PORK !!!!!!!

im not a "body man" so i wont be pounding out the dents and doing bondo... no clear coat paint job but it will be a state of the art smoker/ cooker for the little hillbilly town i live in ...  :)
i blame it all on the Masterbuilt 30" i bought in june, watching the bbq cooking shows and smoking brisket just got me hooked so i have played a bit and fell in love with the whole deal ... making different cuts of pork, canadian bacon, side bacon and some good ol garbalinky ukranian garlic sausage. problem with the 30" is it was just too small or i have too many friends ...  ha ha ha

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