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How to mailbox-mod a MES30 without the side-load chip feeder port?

ncsmoker95

Newbie
27
12
Joined Jun 2, 2011
Hi everyone -

I'm sure this has been done before-
I just got given a completely free MES30, specifically it is the 20070210 version
(see pic below) which only has the internal chip tray, not the later version with the tube that slides in from the side, and dumps chips into a covered tray.

I've seen several of you install the duct into the side of the MES, using the existing hole for the chip tray, such that the duct comes in below the lid/roof of that chip tray.

A couple of questions -- what diameter duct are you using? The standard dryer duct is about 4" in diameter, but the chip tube on a friend's new MES is only 2 1/4" inches.
Just curious, are people enlarging out that hole and making it larger to fit the standard duct?

I'll obviously have to bore a hole through both sheet steel sides of mine, since it has no such hole.
Do I need to provide a 'roof' over the hole where the duct comes in?

Planning on using a PID controller to better control that heating element, but that's another thread...

Thanks, NCSmoker...


 

dr k

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
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Joined Mar 22, 2013
I would make a 3" hole in the bottom where the grease drain is and use a 3" T so a can of water catches drips and seals at the end of the T where the water line is above the T and the T can spin 180* for a 3" straight pipe to attach from the side T to mailbox. It's a drain incoming air combo. daveomak daveomak has a fold over tab attachment on his mailbox mod you may want to find his pic. It's simple and inexpensive.
-Kurt
 

daveomak

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
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Joined Nov 12, 2010
Nice smoker... you will enjoy it..... How I set up my MES 30 digital...
I would have the 3" elbow enter closer to the floor in your smoker... More room
for hanging sticks, bacon etc... You can add an extension to the elbow so the smoke dumps into the center of the smoker body, if you like...
You will also need to drill 3 each, ~1" holes in the top of the side walls to allow for good air/smoke flow... stagnant air/smoke makes for bad tasting food...
If you have a marine store near you, these type fitting would do a good job for the top exhaust holes... drill to fit tight and high temp silicone to seal them air tight...
The MB and flex tubing do a great job condensing the creosote so you have "clean" tasting food... The exhaust holes can be plugged, if necessary, with corks...
Legs on the AMNPS will provide for a much better burn... Air will be available to all sides.. sure made an improvement on my AMNPS... BTW, the AMNTS puts out too much smoke for the 30" smokers.. unless you only fill it 1/2 full or so...
mailbox ext..jpg ... mailbox int..jpg .. Mailbox mod hooked up.jpg .. element and elbow.jpg .. MES air flow mod.jpg
LEGS 3.jpg

....Exhaust hole fittings....
amazon" style="max-width:120px">
If those aren't available, try using a "close or short" pipe nipple with electrical locking nuts..

conduit lock nuts.jpg .. Pipe nipple.jpg

3/4" pipe is 1.050" OD and 0.824" ID and should work fine... if you have 3 in the smoker..

I think that's it... If I screwed something up or made stuff confusing, just ask for clarification... sometimes my "train" of thought runs off the tracks...
 

ncsmoker95

Newbie
Thread starter
27
12
Joined Jun 2, 2011
Thanks Dave!

I followed your instructions without having even seen them!
I did just that hole in the side of the smoker. I did hit that brace inside the wall, and that got exciting for the 4" hole saw I was using - I didn't have a tight grip on the drill! I was just easing the drill along, and it grabbed that brace!

In the end, with just a bit of sabre saw trimming, I got a nice neat hole, just centered between the left side of the bottom rack where the chiptray goes (was)
and the left side of the lowest rack where food goes, exactly where I wanted it - and you have yours.

I notice also that you've just answered my other question - which is put the hole in the back of the mailbox, and rig below the smoker for updraft.

I even just happened to find the same ductwork passthrough with the foldable flanges, and installed it just like yours before taking a break and coming onto the forum, and saw I'd done just what you did -- we think alike!

Thanks Tim
 

daveomak

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Well, now are you good or just lucky ?? LOL.... Good job.... did you break your wrist ??
 

ncsmoker95

Newbie
Thread starter
27
12
Joined Jun 2, 2011
So, after many hours of intermittent pounding on it to clean it, here is the resulting mailbox mod.
Freshly painted, rolling stand built, mailbox plumbed in.



PID controller still underway -- I'm using an Auber 2342 a friend gave me, with an SSR and heatsink from a PC.

Previous owner had bored a 2" dia hole through the top - I'll probably fill that with a 1 1/2" pipe nipple and an extender pipe to give some more draft.
 

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hank2000

Smoking Fanatic
480
40
Joined Jan 10, 2015
I have one of theses the controller went out on it’s just setting in my shed may have to get it out and se if I can get it running again. I have a PID for my MES 40 I could probably use it with this one too. Hmmm brain gears turning.
 

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