Problem getting temp over 175

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Original poster
Jan 30, 2011
I just finished building my smoker out of a 30 gallon air tank for the smoke chamber connected to a 15 or 20 gal. air tank for fire box. They are connected by two 4X4 pieces of metal. I can't get my temp over 175. The outside temp where I am is around 10 will this make a difference. I'm new to this. I have tried lump and regular briqettes. any help would be great.Thanks
It sure looks like you have a big enough firebox to build one heck of a fire. I'm sure someone with more knowledge on this will be along shortly.
First off... nice job! Pretty nice build, and hopefully we can work through the design flaws. So far based on the pictures you provided It doesn't look serious. 

I think that the 2ea. 4x4 square hollow tubes connecting the firebox to the chamber may not be allowing enough heat to enter the box, however you did mention that it is 10 degrees where you are currently and yes that can have a big factor in why you cannot reach higher temps than 175F. Remember there is no such thing as cold, only lack of heat. Therefore any heat source will always immediately go directly to a low heat area to first equalize temperature. This is a huge waste of energy trying to heat 10 degree steel with the low temps surrounding it absorbing any heat the fire throws at it.

OK... enough of the thermodynamics lesson!! I personally would remove the 2ea. 4x4 tubes and replace them with 1 large rectangular tube outlining the existing welds of the 2 tubes you have currently. I think the current combined volume of the 2ea. 4x4's may not be enough to heat the box in colder weather. Also keep in mind that your smoke and heat will take the shortest path to the chimney, so the 4x4 closest to the chimney will be operating at a higher velocity than the other.

Lastly I do not believe your chimney to be much of a factor at this time, it looks as if it is sized appropriately as it is. And should you hog out and open those 2ea. 4x4's like I suggested, I feel it will even become more efficient. You don't want your chimney to be a larger volume that your intake from the firebox. You want smoke and heat to build up in the box somewhat. An over sized chimney allows too much heat and smoke to escape too fast!!

So in closing.... you might end up needing to make a smaller fire after all of these changes, which would be a good thing!! More wood efficient!!

Good luck too ya!! 
First off good looking build. I agree with opening your FB to CB opening as Hewgag said. If it were me I would also try lowering my FB a few inches and running the rectangle tube at an angle into your cook chamber. This might help the heat rise and funnel to where you want it. Just throwin' it out there. I'm no expert but I try to help where I can. let us know how you make out.
Rhollar,send us more pics
 Looks like a good build, we can help you tune it in...Do you only have one air inlet for the firebox? Do you have enough room under the fire to get adequate O2? How do you clear ashes to help the fire breathe?In what area of the firebox does the fire seem to breathe better? Try different size fires   Check out the easy stuff before you cut and stick things.All the folks on here will help and if you are a wood burner,great! but we welcome you anyhow
I learned alot from the previous posters but just how big are the baffels in the firebox that let the air in for combustion?  I really can't get a sense of their size from the pics.
Hey guys, just wanted to let everyone know, I bumped this post due to lack of replies, however the post was fairly old and the OP has only 4 posts.

With that said, if Rhollar is still around one my is, without seeing any other pics and the least amount of work, would be to weld a plate on the top and bottom of your 4x4 tubes and open up the smoke chamber and firebox, at the newly created channel, if that makes sense? is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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