My 'mailbox' mod...

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
Dec 13, 2017
Saugus, California
OK, so if I wonder around enough, ideas come out of the mess.
I was looking around under my center equipment and spotted a metal box I had forgotten I had. A-HA!
So I pulled it out and looked it over. Doable!
So what this was, was a box for an old Craftsman router I had/have. I don't know if that first ever router is even still around, but the box is now a piece of my smoker.
Inside is a mounting that the router sat in, but it makes a perfect stand off for a chip burner. Just right for an Amazen pellet maze when I get one. But for now, I have a home groan SS pump strainer and an end cap of holy SS metal.
So since the smoker was running for some temperature tests anyway, I took the reassigned box out to see how it could stack up and be used.
So I got out the strainer, and figured out how to get it to fit the stand. (I have the damnedest luck, it fit great!) OK, will it burn pellets? Put a pile in the bottom of partly crushed, some regular, and some of the chunks out of the Applewood chip bag.
Then took my propane torch and fired that mother up!
And it worked great. While the thing was going anyway, I took the strainer out of the box and tried it directly in the smoker. Lots of smoke!
I took the box to my shop and put a 3/8" hole centered near the bottom front for air induction. Then put a 7/8" hole in the back up near the corner. The idea was to make a starting hole for when I could get some dryer vent hose.
I figured it would be easy to make more holes, but ugly to plug up too many.
I put the still smoking strainer back in the box and the holes seemed to work fine to keep the burn going, and the smoke flowing out the top. Darn, I wished I could get the smoke into the MES....
Well, I finally thought of removing the chip adder, and when I set my 'Mod' beside the MES, the smoke just flowed into the warm smoker. I adjusted one brick a bit and slid the smoke box close to the hole in the MES.
So Without a hose or pipe, I was able to induce almost all the smoke into the MES.
I love a little progress every day....

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Sonny, around here they call that Yankee Ingenuity. Can't wait to see it in action.

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Now thats thinking Outside the Box - Inside the box !!! :)
One of our Granddaughters told me, "You're weird."
I tend to pay attention to kids, they just tell you. No beating around the bush.

Cool innovation!
Thank You Al! I picked up on your "Can Stack" for the chimney. I have some weird ideas from there. 3" plastic drain pipe that my chili can fits inside of. But that is subject to change. ;) Lowe's has some 3" single wall steel vent pipe.
And a surprise!

That's gonna work great Sonny. And the price is right.
Now just get some drier vent hose and you're in business.
When your AMNPS arrives, Dave ( @daveomak ) suggested putting some legs under it using carriage bolts to improve air flow. I did that and it works great.
Thank You Gary! I have some stuff printed on a shopping list.
No legs needed. There is a support in the box. (Picture attached)

Sonny, around here they call that Yankee Ingenuity. Can't wait to see it in action.
Thank You Chris! I just have some of the damnedest luck. Somebody watches over me. This funny box was just laying there waiting for me to find it. When I opened it I figured it could work. I had to do just a little straightening.

OK, the first pictures were the outside. Might be easier to just see the inside as well.
Picture 1. 3/8" Air Inlet. Picture 2. The internal sheet metal base. Picture 3. My improvised pellet/chip burner.
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Like I said, the crazyest luck. And yes, I am weird!
The inside is already gooie from creosote.
Do you guys think it needs more air inlet yet? Or just a good-n-long dryer tube to condense out the gunk?
And some of Al's scrubbies. Great idea Al!
Whack about a stack (maybe)... It's all about natural drafting. Hot air rises.
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That's one I hadn't though about. I wonder about using an old tackle box?

That was a definite consideration for me John. Or metal tool boxes from Harbor Fright.
But my S-house luck turned up this old steel router box.
But why not? Poke a hole in the end, set an A-MAZE-N device in it and close the lid.

I did come to the conclusion the smoker needs to be warm to create the natural draft/draw on the mod box.
Yep. Even when I'm cold smoking, I add a touch of heat to the MES.

Makes it draw on the smoke source.

The creosote build up is kind of a lot in my 'mailbox'. You guys have any suggestions about that? (Like more air and more damping...)
I was running low air volume and my stack damper wide open.
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OK, it isn't done till it's done...
So now it's done. Woo-Woo, nothings harder to stop than a train...
Craftsman Mod, 3" Stack, and a Cap. And the damper still works. But I pulled the guts... Couldn't see leaving non-working guts in there, besides, the 3" elbow fits perfect in the hole.
So the water pan is still in there, and the heater. But the rest of the sheet metal is removed and stored away.

1. The whole enchilada:

2. Prior to Paint:

3. Post Paint:

4. Maximum Cooling of the smoke

5. Now, for that AMNPS... (This thing is running on my pellet basket right now.)

OK, so why the hose route? I thought I'd try and get the most out of it cooling the creosote out of the smoke, so I stretched the hose out before installing it. I live in a fairly warm climate, that is generally very dry, and I usually do my summer smoking at night.

So what's with the stack? Well, it's not just cute. It serves some good functions as well.
Besides getting the smoke up where it isn't bothersome to be around the smoker, it's main reason is draft. Once the smoker is warmed, the stack helps draw the smoke on out and lets fresh smoke be drawn from the firebox. And if the afternoon canyon breeze comes up like it usually does, it isn't apt to downdraft on the MES like it could without it.

Now, for storage, just a cover will do. So I have the 3" hose Elbow easily removable from the box, and the stack comes out of the short socket for it at the damper. The customized box/plastic bag can then slide over the smoker and keep it snug as a bug in a rug.

And I'm so happy with it now that I even painted the parts to match. :confused:
The heater is set for 100 degrees, and it's smoking consistently regardless of the heaters cycling. Which was exactly what I wanted.
Time to add an AMNPS tray and I'll think I went to Smoker Heaven. :rolleyes::D
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I did add an AMNPS. And I am most definitely in Smoker Heaven!
I haven't had anything come out bad. Now I'm trying the myriad of generously shared recipes, and the Friends here on Smoking Meat is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.