New to Forum | Starting a Mini RF Smoker Build | Need Advice

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by notsofamousdave, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. Good evening SmokingMeat community!

    I've been lurking for a bit for some direction with my smoker build and finally signed up.

    I've acquired some material to build a smoker.  As of now, I've been using a 22.5" Weber Kettle to smoke and feel like it's time to upgrade.

    So far, I have:
    • 26 Gallon Compressor Tank in GREAT shape
    • 10 Gallon Portable Compressor Tank (I think...taken from measurements)
    • Old Steel Fish Tank Stand
    • Pneumatic Wheels
    I played around with some quick illustrations of what I'm thinking of.  I'm just not sure where to place intake vents, dampers, grease drain pipes, placement of the firebox (under the cooking tank or off to the side), or where to mount the BBQ temp controller I plan to buy with your suggestions.

    I used Feldon's BBQ calculator I found via this site, here are the results with my material:,12.35&fi=0,0,3,7.12,1.01&fc=4.92,6.96,19.00

    I plan to order steel tube in the sizes I need as stated from the BBQ calculator.

    A friend of mine is a welder and offered to help me out because I have no experience although I am handy [​IMG]

    Your input and suggestions are appreciated!



    Here's some pics...

    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  2. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Looking good Dave, make sure to stop by Roll call so you can get a proper welcome. 
  3. Thanks FWIsmoker, just paid a visit that way.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  4. ...I dont like this one, too much heat loss, I think you would have nothing but problems and thatb small tank cant be much more than 12" dia and that wont leave much room for fire,


  5. ''Much better ideal you had with this design. I like it . I reality I believe you could skip the whole reverse flow plate and give yourself more cooking chamber room.


  6. Thanks Ribwizzard!

    Do you think I should use a different firebox rather than the red  10 gallon?  I've considered mounting it horizontally so the fire surface can be larger.  The BBQ calculator says its 18.6% larger than whats required.  Keeping it under the cooking tank might help with retaining some heat too.

    I'm also considering just making a traditional, cube or squared fire box fed from the side with a half-moon opening to the cooking chamber, your thoughts?

  7. Do you want to load it from the front or the end? ( the firebox) Loading from the front, as in your pic, you might want to shorten it just due to it being so long, but if you load it from the end and turn it in line with the cooking chamber, the lenght could turn to an advantage, keeping the fire close to the door and your pipe towards the other end.  Just an alternative ideal to think about.

  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm kinda partial to this design, seems like your fire box diameter is small but you can use the height to your advantage and would work well with charcoal and a basket. You may get a hot spot using a rounded cooking chamber, but that is easily overcome.

    Loose the damper.

  9. smokejumper

    smokejumper Smoking Fanatic

    I really like this layout.

    I would however use the full length of the firebox. Or at least try it with a full length fire grate, and if you get a hot spot due to the radiant heat, then shift it to the front.
  10. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would be worried it would not draft as evenly as the picture shows, but then again once built it could always be tweaked.
  11. OK Guys,

    Sorry for the delay, it's been a crazy weekend.

    I had a chance last night to illustrate both my concept and something similar to Robwizzard's great suggestion.  Both drawings were created to scale so you guys get a better idea of the sizes of everything.  I didn't realize how small this tank is until I started laying things out to scale.  I still have no clue where I should install the blower for the temperature  controller.
    I wanted to load it from the end so my face wasn't infront of a hot tank but you brought up a good point about heat loss.
    I agree.  I forgot to mention that I would be using hardwood charcoal and soaked wood chunks for fuel.  In my design concept, I figured I could make a 10"Dia.x5"H coal basket.

    I think Ribwizzard's is a better design allowing for higher firebox temps and better temperature distribution.  I would be concerned building this because it is my first build and I think it's a little bit more complicated to build.

    I agree with SQWIB here:
    Getting the baffle angles perfect for equal smoke distribution will be tough.

    In the attached design concepts, I wasn't sure how high to put the baffle.  Right now it's 3.5" from the bottom of the cook chamber with 3.5" of space on the end which I think is generous.  Feldon's BBQ calculator suggested a half-moon shaped opening with a diameter of 7" which has a height of 3.5".  I think I can put it lower than 3.5" because of my tank diameter.  I'm hoping someone on the forum could help out.

    Let me know what you guys think.  Thanks for your help.





  12. Any takers? [​IMG]
  13. Changed my mind,  12 dia firebox would not be tall enough horizontally, so I like this one better. If you frames the front door on the firebox with 2" angle, You could add some depth to the fire grate , and would also still look good as well. Maybe even go with 3"x 1" angle. It would give you a flat door and you could put the vent right on the door.

  14. I'm not sure about having your FB damper on the very bottom, but I'm a newb too. I'd expect to be dropping lots of ash out on the ground and maybe clogging up the vent. Unless I misunderstood your drawing.
  15. Having a damper on the bottom will give you better control on windy days, having the air come up through the fire grate will give you the most heat ( as long as you throw some fresh air up top to complete the combustion)

    Last Winter it was in the high 30's , low 40's and we were having 30mpg gust's and old #19 still came up to temp and cooked all day. The spring handle on the left side of the firebox is for the pie vent on the bottom,  The door vents are over the fire grate .


    On your build , I would think an ash pan simular to what weber uses on the charcoal grills would work awsome. If you had one of the little ones, you could use the ash pan and vent already built and just weld it to the bottom.
  16. I stand corrected, thanks Rib. [​IMG]
  17. Good idea!  Keep em' coming.

    Sweet smoker by the way Ribwizzard!
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013

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