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My Homebuilt Smoker

gunslinger

Smoking Fanatic
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Joined Sep 24, 2006
I wish I had my old ECB back now. I miss the smoke.
Since I'm working with metal from an old water tank, and not fresh, raw sheet steel, it's taking for ever. I've been considering a plasma cutter recently. It would really make cutting a lot cleaner. As of now I'm facing a LOT of grinding, and I hate grinding. This box is going to have vents on all four sides of the firebox and a single set of vents in the oven to attempt some type of temperature control. I have considered getting a machine shop to cut the vent holes with a water jet, but they want 2 and a half bucks per hole. OUCH!
One thing's for sure. When all is done, it will be a vast improvement over the small round firebox.
 

teacup13

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well if you want a cheap plasma cutter, they will run you about 400-500 hundred new...

check the local pawn shops... i have seen them many times in a pawn shop with a tag of no more than 200 on them

mind you they are cheap ones but they will do what you want them to
 

msmith

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Hey gunny just curious did you leave an opening between the firebox and top of the oven on one side.
 

gunslinger

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I did. But why do you ask? I have a feeling that the reason I did, and the reason you're asking are different.
I did, because I want to use the oven as a smaller smoker when I don't need all that room in the main cook chamber. I have a damper between the firebox and the main cook chamber to shut off the heat and smoke. That way I can redirect it to the top box. The opening between the top and bottom will also have a damper, and the top will have a short exhaust pipe.
Now what's your idea?
Marvin, you have been my inspiration on this improvment, so don't let me down.
 

msmith

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I would never let you down Tom, I was just thinking that I should have done mine a little diffrent. I have a 4" opening between the outer wall of the main box and the inside of the oven. I did not put a stack up high on the main wall of the box. I wish I could draw it out but im kinda computer stupid so here goes. My main box is 30x30x5' tall, Icame up 2' from the bottom of the fire box and cut a piece of metal 30x26 leaving a 4" gap from the back wall. then I came up another another 4" and cut the same size again. Then I cut the piece for the back wall of the oven, that left me a 4" gap for heat to travel up the back wall of the oven. I guess what im trying to say is I made an L shape inside the oven. No smoke gets in there at all and it usually runs around 220 to 230 degrees. I could cut in a vent with a sliding damper and get it hotter but havent done it. I just wish that I would have done it on the side where the fire enters the barrel but mine is onthe wall to the left of where the barrel is mounted. Still it works great and keeps everything warm. I do wish I would have put the firebox door on the back like your doing but hind sight is 20x20. Hope I didnt confuse you.
 

gunslinger

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I understand fully. I figure it will heat up fine with a solid floor. The reason I put the door in the rear is because I have my preburner on the other side and it's an easy motion from there to the firebox.

I have looked at the cheapies. With something like that, I believe you get what you pay for. Unless you buy off the Snap-On truck. Back in my mechanicin' days I bought a MIG welder with the Snap-On name on it. It works great to this day. But it cost me 2400 bucks, and I have seen the same welder at TSC made by Century for 600 bucks.
I have done this firebox project with my stick welder and when it's done, I'll show both the box and the welder off. The welder is a work of art and very reasonably priced.
 

msmith

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Hey Tom how's the new mods coming along you about ready to fire it up again, or have you too busy to work on it. Dont know about you but I have spring fever.
 

gunslinger

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Marvin, I have worked a little on it, but with spring here, I'm busier than ever. We have decided to quit raising poultry for meat (never get rid of the layers), so when they're gone from the freezer, it's off to the store to buy my chickens. That should lighten up our load a little.
I am installing the smoke vent and exhaust vent now, but I need some advice.
Would it work to have the smoke enter at the top and exit from the bottom?
Any thoughts here would be appreciated.
 

tonto1117

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Best of luck and speed to you Gunslinger, I know you been suffering without a cooker!!!!
 

chris_harper

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Joined Nov 21, 2006
hmmm...smoke enters the top and exits out the bottom. i dunno; i would think no, because heat rises. but weird stuff happens that goes against logic. i saw an empty drum, just like the one i used for my smoker, at work tonight. i looked in the metal rack to see what was there. i thought, "eh, i could build me a new one (like i want it), and give mine to a buddy". not enough stuff i can get away with using to build another one right now. i might go ahead and cut the drum tomorrow, build some of the frame work, bring it home. then do some more in a few weeks.
 

gunslinger

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Thanks for the reply. What I'm talking about is the oven that is right on top of the firebox. I think it would get plenty of radiant heat from below, so what I am trying to accomplish is just smoke. But if this will choke the fire, then I don't want to do it. However, I will have big vents on all 4 sides of the firebox. What I want is a dual purpose oven. One I can use for smaller smokes and by closing dampers, using it as a standard oven.
 

msmith

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Well gunny I understand now what your talking about. If thats the case are you gonna have the open wall going up one side and open to the oven with a damper. If so then your gonna have to have a smoke stack cut in the top of the oven.Probably dead center in the top so the heat and smoke evens out. When I sent that pm to you I did not fully understand what you were saying. In that case the opening to the oven will have to be down lower so the stack can pull up across the racks of the oven.
 

gunslinger

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Someone help me here.
In my research to build the perfect oven/smoker, I stumbled across a custom rig that has the smoke and heat enter from the top and exit from just below the lowest grate, creating a "bubble effect," (their words, not mine). I believe this makes the heat have to force itself out instead of just having a direct path out. I think, heat is energy and it will find it's way out rather the vent is high or low. It has to. I don't really know what I'm talking about.
Anyone know what they are talking about? This is basically what I was asking in my previous reply.
 

msmith

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Well I dont anything about that set up but sounds just like having the reverse flow on the oven just like the smokers
 

gunslinger

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You know what? I've made up my mind. It's just an oven. No smoke. Tired of beating myself up over this. I've spent more time on this than I need too. It's time to just get it done.
 

msmith

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Well Tom I know how you feel damn if you do and damn if you dont. Do it the way you want it and to heck with the rest. You do know that us wood burners are the last of a dying breed, so lets go out our way.
 

ultramag

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Sounds like somebody is having withdrawls and is ready for some smoked meat.
Good luck on finishing it up now that you have decided. What are ya gonna cook first?
 

deejaydebi

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Joined Nov 18, 2006
I can not imagine being without a smoker for so long ...

Big Hugs Tom!

Soon you will be smoking again!
 

gunslinger

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The question is, what aren't I gonna smoke first.I've been working on a new rib rub, so that's definately on the list.
 

hhersh

Meat Mopper
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Joined Apr 13, 2007
Please take a look at the photo and tell me if the chimney is too small ( it is square steel tubing apprx. 2" sq. The reason for my query is i'm getting a bad creosote taste on my meat, and the smoke does'nt seem to escape properly.....any help appreciated.
ecc79219_vbattach12348.jpg
 

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