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DIY Tray Style Smoke Generator

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by nanuk, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I just made up a tray style dust/chip/pellet smoke generator using 1/8" hardware cloth.

    I tried to make it about 12x12... but it came out a bit less.
    I aimed for 1.25" square runs... came close.... 1-1.25" I would guess

    Now, here's where I'm doing some thinking.

    Dust burns well with home made 1/8" hardware cloth, from what I've seen.

    and when I look at the pellet burners, it appears they need more air, so that is why my unit is doubled in every area with contact, so there is room to breathe.

    This will go into a mailbox mod for my MES30 clone.

    So far, I'm into it for about $3.00.
  2. HalfSmoked

    HalfSmoked Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Photos please. The only thing I can see that would be wrong is if your hardware cloth is galvanized.

  3. mike243

    mike243 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Yep nothing galvanized very toxic might be able to burn it off but for $3 I would'nt risk it
  4. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Alarmists do nothing to further debate.

    Zinc is an essential element, common in multivitamins and throat lozenges.

    I doubt you'd eat enough to be an issue even if you at the cloth.

    now the vapour is another issue, and while not toxic, it can cause issues.

    BUT it needs to vapourize, and you need to inhale a LOT!

    read the OSHA limits!

    and I highly doubt smouldering chips/dust/pellets get up to 1600F to vaporize zinc.

    Now, when I lit my first batch with my MAP torch (couldn't find the propane) I did hear one element sizzle, but I backed off and fired down into the chips to light!
    That TINY fraction of zinc is of no concern.
  5. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Well, Yesterday I tried to light the beast, but to no avail.

    I used a MAP torch, but it was too hot, and didn't get enough hot/dry, so only burned a bit, and wouldn't stay lit.
    I blew them out too early also.

    Today, I used someone else's idea of a heat gun and WOW!
    Ignited the chips AND pellets (I'm testing both with a dual burn) and they stayed lit. I gave them 10 min, then blew them out.... and they were smoking away.
    I let them smoke for 15-20 min, then moved them to my empty MES30C with the vent wide open, and the chip loader removed. as well, I removed the ash pan, and reversed the water bath.
    I set the beast on the first tray... and closed the door.

    All I can say is those pellets (competition blend of some sort) SMOKE like crazy.
    The chips (hickory) are only giving a nice light smoke.

    I'll check in a few hours to see how far along they got. Each one has 36" to go... about 1.25" wide X 1" high.
  6. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    well, after an hour, she burned about 3.5" on both sides, AND the pellets jumped the tracks.
    Temp inside the MES30C was high 200's.
    I closed it all up save for a bit, pulled the chip fuel away to expire, cut off the second pellet burn and moved it over onto the original line, so if my math is right, I'll have about 3 hours of smoke, and it is heavy....

    I ran out of room on my dehydrator so tossed one mat of jerky in, and will monitor the temps to see if I can keep it down some with just the generator going.

    I have remote monitoring....
  7. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  8. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I may have to tweek the inside, so as to have more space between the rows, and not fill it so full!!
  9. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Well, after stopping the three burns, and allowing the one to continue, it appears to be moving along.

    But WOW, does it produce smoke.

    I think a redesign may be in order.
  10. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  11. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Well, still haven't found a suitable metal box, but did have 5' of 3" alum dryer ducting, and mounted into the chip loader.

    So I made up a Po'Boy tube about 11" long, 1.25" diameter.
    Filled it with pellets and lit it with my hot air gun! (That works awesome!)
    Opened the vent and let 'er rip!

    it is smoking as we speak, and I have put some heat into the MES30C to get drafting.

    if this works OK, I will smoke some meat tomo!

    I have some stuff frozen. Buckboard bacon, and some "Bear" loaf.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  12. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    gonna tweek the tray, give it some space between rows.

    also, made a tube. Didn't work out well. it was about 1.25" diameter. would go out.
    thinking the next one will be 2" diameter.
    I have a 5' piece of pipe to slide it into, so I can make it as long as needed to get a nice long burn.

    I'm hoping my maple shavings will work OK, cause the pellets smoke far too much.
  13. nanuk

    nanuk Smoking Fanatic ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    haven't been to work for a while, so haven't had a chance to bend metal for my tray, BUT....

    I did make a new tube, just under 2" inside diameter.

    I stuffed it full and lightly packed it with maple shavings, and it burned it all out quite quickly. I need to try maple again, but stuff it pretty tight.

    While I was pre-heating the MES30C, I put in a pan of my pellets. let them cook at 250F for about 30 min.
    I loaded them in my tube 2" diameter X 16" long... smoked well... well, a bit too much, but it did stay lit and burned itself out completely.
    I'm going to try my narrower tube with the dry pellets and see how it burns.... I may have gotten lucky.