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Need some help with my custom offset

anstissk

Smoke Blower
142
82
Joined Apr 7, 2011
Hey all,

I recently built an offset smoker out of a 55 gallon drum and a side fire box out of 1/8" steel.  I have the chimmney down at grate level, i put in tuning plates about 4 inches below the grates, have a nice air inlet on my fire box that is a little lower than my charcoal grate, and i also had a baffle to push the heat down.  I put these in right off the bat before any burns.  I recently did a few practice burns and noticed i wasnt getting much above 175.  I took out the deflector baffle and that brought the hot side up to about 200 and then i took a tuning plate out that was closest to the fire box  and got it in the lower portion of my 220-250  target area.  My cold side still wont go much above 175, its like i cant quite get the heat transfer right.  I took all the tuning plates out because that just lowered my overall temp.  Im not sure if anyone can help but some input would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you
 

sqwib

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
5,963
1,022
Joined Sep 25, 2007
Pics would help

How large is the opening into the smoke chamber?

What is the height and diameter of your stack?

Is your Fire chocking?
 

anstissk

Smoke Blower
142
82
Joined Apr 7, 2011
Thanks for that quick reply.  I will post pics this evening, im at college and will have my girlfriend email me them from home.  The diameter of the stack is about 2 inches. I have one stack exiting the smoker and another slipped up inside that one to lower it.  The smaller one is 2 inches and the larger on 2 and a quarter.  I have prolly about 10 inches sticking out of the smoke chamber and then another foot or so to get it to the racks.  My hole from the box to the chamber is 16 inches wide +/- and about 4 inches tall +/-.  My fire is not choking, that was my first problem.  I since then enlarged my intake hole and it burns well in there.  I was considering adding another whole above the grate toward the top of my door to get air going over the top of the fire.
 

anstissk

Smoke Blower
142
82
Joined Apr 7, 2011
Alright the images should be visible in my profile, they wont let me post em on here. So if you guys could look at those and see what i could possibly do to get better results i would really appreciate it. Im going home this weekend and would love to do another burn and make changes that yall might tell me.  THank you
 

les3176

Master of the Pit
1,290
22
Joined Feb 10, 2009
ok i looked at your pics...your smoker dosen't look in bad shape at all. I think you could just use some sand paper on the problem areas and then i would just repaint the whole thing with some hi-temp paint,just the outside not the inside! Oh and remember to wear your mask when ya sand!! Good luck!
 

anstissk

Smoke Blower
142
82
Joined Apr 7, 2011
Thanks for that reply but thats not my main concern as of right now. Its my temperature that was posted previously in this thread. 
 

sqwib

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
5,963
1,022
Joined Sep 25, 2007
All looks well except for that stack, not sure if your getting proper draft, that stack should be at least 4" diameter, but before you do that, try raising your firegrate so its closer to the inlet into the chamber then do another test burn, build the fire right up against the side closest the chamber.

Place a couple accurate thermos on the Left, right and middle of the grate and take some readings, then well go from there.
 

anstissk

Smoke Blower
142
82
Joined Apr 7, 2011
Thanks SQWIB, I ran the numbers in the Pit Calc Last night and i found a 3.5 inch diameter tube thats 48 inches long.  The pit calc at that dia said i would need one about 30 inches long.  So i think im going to replace that reguardless.  Now is that 30 inch number the overall length or just the length outside of the smoker?  I will also raise the Fire grate a few inches more maybe just stick it on some stel blocks temporarily to see  if that makes a difference.  Hit me back,  Thank you.
 

oldschoolbbq

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
9,361
200
Joined Jul 16, 2008
Try having a small hot fire in the firebox. You maybe overfeeding her.Treat her lovingly,get her hot then just tend the glowing coals.Ya gotta love , do something cheap like Chicken and learn the pit;over and over and over...move the fire to find her sweet spot(where she breathes well) and allways keep her top open...wide open.Your pit looks good,now learn to love her.


Have fun and, 
 

sqwib

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
5,963
1,022
Joined Sep 25, 2007
Thanks SQWIB, I ran the numbers in the Pit Calc Last night and i found a 3.5 inch diameter tube thats 48 inches long.  The pit calc at that dia said i would need one about 30 inches long.  So i think im going to replace that reguardless.  Now is that 30 inch number the overall length or just the length outside of the smoker?  I will also raise the Fire grate a few inches more maybe just stick it on some stel blocks temporarily to see  if that makes a difference.  Hit me back,  Thank you.
30" on the outside not total, so if it dropped 12" inside chamber it needs to be 42".

However If it were me, I would drop the exhaust one 3rd the distance from the grate to the top of the smoker, so if the distance is 12" inches I would extend the stack into the smoke chamber 4" from top, 8" from grate then if you need to you can adjust the exhaust with flashing or something.

I ran mine 2" deep from the top and have never had problems.

I am pretty confident this will help.
 

anstissk

Smoke Blower
142
82
Joined Apr 7, 2011
I set her up this weekend and did a test burn, she got right to temp on just charcoal, and i threw a small log on the coals and it shot up.  Thank you everyone for your help
 
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