# MakinStacks Smoke - First build

#### MakinStacks

##### Newbie
Original poster
Hey everyone!
New to the forum and this wonderful world of smoking.
I’m planning on building my first ever smoker and can’t wait to get started. For now, here is what I have to work with.

View media item 553998
Unfortunately not ALL of those pipe are the same thickness and some are pretty banged up.

I’m thinking about starting “smaller” and going with a 24”x40” CC but, why not go BIGGER?! Maybe 24”x60”? Or even 24”x80?!?!.
I’m gonna take the time and think about it over the weekend and maybe get some input from everyone here!

Cheers.

Last edited:
js0813

#### mike243

##### Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
not many folks wish their smoker or grills were smaller,but in area's where wood is really high I reckon keeping them on the size of big enuff most of the time makes sense

MakinStacks

#### MakinStacks

##### Newbie
Original poster
Hey folks!
Little update on my build... I need more hours in the day. lol
Aside from not having as much time to work on it, I sat down and did up my calculations (huge thank you @daveomak for the calculation thread) however, I’m struggling to find where my RF plate should be... how much space between it and the front of the smoker? Baffle plate needed under it?

Any help would be TRULY appreciated.

Thanks

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#### kmmamm

##### Meat Mopper
Can you provide the numbers you used to calculate?
I am not altogether sure 5" is going to give you enough opening between the FB and CC to maintain a proper amount of draft. However, assuming it is, you will still want to maintain a minimum 1" lip on the bottom of the opening. That would give you about 5"-6" between deflector plate and the bottom of your grate.
Grates will be somewhat less than the full 40" indicated as you will need the same number of square inches to flow the air around the deflector/grease trap on the opposite end, as well as some material on the outside ends of the CC for your door flanges to seal against.
Again, we probably can be of more help if you can provide the numbers you used.

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MakinStacks

#### MakinStacks

##### Newbie
Original poster
Can you provide the numbers you used to calculate?
I am not altogether sure 5" is going to give you enough opening between the FB and CC to maintain a proper amount of draft. However, assuming it is, you will still want to maintain a minimum 1" lip on the bottom of the opening. That would give you about 5"-6" between deflector plate and the bottom of your grate.
Grates will be somewhat less than the full 40" indicated as you will need the same number of square inches to flow the air around the deflector/grease trap on the opposite end, as well as some material on the outside ends of the CC for your door flanges to seal against.
Again, we probably can be of more help if you can provide the numbers you used.

Thank you. Here are my numbers that I came up with using the formulas from the pinned thread.

#### kmmamm

##### Meat Mopper
Just for giggles, (no disrespect to Dave) I ran the numbers on Feldon's calculator and have a couple observations.
1) your numbers appear to based on using the "minimum" size FB and associated sizing for FB/cc opening and exhaust.
2) I calculate a 24x40 pipe to have a volume of 18,086.4 cubic inches which would put the minimum FB volume at 6028.8 cubic inches
Do yourself a favor, go back in and over size the firebox....it is easier to restrict draft with an oversized unit than to increase draft in one that is undersized. For ease of fabrication and installation I would suggest working with a firebox around 24H x 30W x 18L. That would put you comfortably 215% oversized, provide a generous 3"/side beyond the 24" diameter of your cc for fabrication, allow sufficient room for ash below fire grate, allow for decent size and length splits, and provide sufficient surface on the FB door to install air inlets.
Also rethink the exhaust diameter....going with an 8" tube will allow you to flow much more air....(more air generally helps even out the cc temps and reduce hot spots) with a shorter stack.
I always install a throttle plate between the FB and CC which provides another way to manage draft and CC temps without having to choke the intakes down on the firebox. All of my cookers also have adjustable stack covers to mange draft and keep rain/weather out.
Good luck

MakinStacks

#### MakinStacks

##### Newbie
Original poster
Just for giggles, (no disrespect to Dave) I ran the numbers on Feldon's calculator and have a couple observations.
1) your numbers appear to based on using the "minimum" size FB and associated sizing for FB/cc opening and exhaust.
2) I calculate a 24x40 pipe to have a volume of 18,086.4 cubic inches which would put the minimum FB volume at 6028.8 cubic inches
Do yourself a favor, go back in and over size the firebox....it is easier to restrict draft with an oversized unit than to increase draft in one that is undersized. For ease of fabrication and installation I would suggest working with a firebox around 24H x 30W x 18L. That would put you comfortably 215% oversized, provide a generous 3"/side beyond the 24" diameter of your cc for fabrication, allow sufficient room for ash below fire grate, allow for decent size and length splits, and provide sufficient surface on the FB door to install air inlets.
Also rethink the exhaust diameter....going with an 8" tube will allow you to flow much more air....(more air generally helps even out the cc temps and reduce hot spots) with a shorter stack.
I always install a throttle plate between the FB and CC which provides another way to manage draft and CC temps without having to choke the intakes down on the firebox. All of my cookers also have adjustable stack covers to mange draft and keep rain/weather out.
Good luck

Thank you!!! I REALLY APPRECIATE IT!
I’m going back at it tomorrow:D

Original poster
Firebox day!

#### kmmamm

##### Meat Mopper
Nice! I am guessing by the equipment laying around that shop, perhaps this isn't your first rodeo?

#### MakinStacks

##### Newbie
Original poster
Nice! I am guessing by the equipment laying around that shop, perhaps this isn't your first rodeo?

Definitely my first smoker rodeo...

js0813

#### MakinStacks

##### Newbie
Original poster
It’s taking shape!
Box is all 3/8” plate. I’d like to insulate the firebox any recommendations for insulation?

#### kmmamm

##### Meat Mopper
Rockwool is cheap and works well, so will sheets of ceramic insulation, but they come at a much higher cost and have a bit higher degree of installation difficulty. If money is no object, there are companies out there that specialize in custom thermal blanket wraps. Extremely efficient, but also extremely expen\$ive.

MakinStacks

#### Berettaclayshooter

##### Meat Mopper
I would suggest Cera-wool, it might not be cheap, but is made for high heat and won't degrade. I have worked on coffee roasters for a major coffee producer (the one starting with an "S") and that's what's in them. They run them hot let me tell you.

MakinStacks

#### woodyg

##### Smoke Blower
Great looking smoker MakinStacks! I insulated my FB with 1" thick ceramic fiber blanket. The outside of my FB is warm to the touch. You certainly wouldn't want to keep your hand on it but you won't burn yourself either

MakinStacks

Original poster

kmmamm

Original poster

#### kmmamm

##### Meat Mopper
Looks pretty darn good to me! However, serious builders always need more details! Did it hold temps? What kind of fuel, wood, lump, both? What would/will you change? Any more pics of the finished cooker you can share?

MakinStacks

#### MakinStacks

##### Newbie
Original poster
Looks pretty darn good to me! However, serious builders always need more details! Did it hold temps? What kind of fuel, wood, lump, both? What would/will you change? Any more pics of the finished cooker you can share?
Thanks!
I thought it held temps great. Only a 3-4 degree difference between sides.
For the brisket flat I used straight ash.
If anything right now I’d change the door vent. Easy enough to do just wanna get some practice cooks in before our potluck at work.

#### MakinStacks

##### Newbie
Original poster

First set or back ribs - above 250 using 3-2-1 cherry/birch (1:2)

Second set of back ribs - same method straight cherry wood cooked closer to 230 mainly because I was busy during the cook.

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