I'm James, and I live in northern California. Up until this week, I used a vertical charcoal/wood smoker, graduating from a cheapo Brinkman to a much nicer New Braunfels vertical smoker. I caught this bug about 12 years ago smoking a turkey on my Weber kettle for Thanksgiving. Read about it in Sunset magazine. It was such a hit and so easy that smoking became a family favorite. I have a wide range of experience with poultry, pork, beef, fish, and game meat jerky. About the only thing I haven't tried smoking is cheese (which is on my list out of sheer curiosity). I've used a myriad of fruit woods -- my two favorites being plum for heavy smoke and apple for a lighter touch. Alder is another favorite. I found your forum while researching my latest acquisition -- a horizontal wood smoker with an offset firebox. My neighbor was going to have it hauled away and I saved him the trouble! The brand is long-lost as the unit has been neglected for years. It is a heavy gauge 16 inch barrel 32 inches long. I'm almost done restoring and modifying it (I have to tack up some custom grates) and then will season and christen it this weekend. I will try to post some pix soon. I appreciate Sticky's advice on baffles and tuners and temp and smoke management, and I have incorporated those modifications into my new system. Cheers! "When my life insurance agent asked if I was a smoker, I'm pretty sure he was thinking tobacco.......silly agent!"