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Reverse flow build, just getting started

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by real57vetteguy, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. real57vetteguy

    real57vetteguy Fire Starter

    Hi guys,

    I have been reading and looking at threads for about a month, I decided to join yesterday. This is a great Forum! I picked up a used 250 gal compressor tank yesterday and I am planning on building a reverse flow smoker with the side fire box! I will repost with the dimensions of the tank, I found a tool for sizing the fire box accordinly to the size of the cooking chamber so I think I have that covered. Fabrication will be no problem as my close friend owns a large maching shop and loves to hang out after hours working on projects such as this. I wanted to ask a couple of questions. I was thinking about putting a rack about 6-10 inches off the bottom of the fire box to hold the wood so that I could put charcoal on the very bottom to get the fire really going, what is the opinion of the forum? Should I run two stacks ou just one (of course if one it will be on the same side as the fire box and possible out the side rather than the top. If I run one how do I size it? or two how do I size them? Where can I get good parts from? (such as hinges, good thermometer, and I will also run a remote but I want one permenant attached to the smoker) I have a good bit of scrap stainless mesh I might make the grates out of and I have all the metal covered!

    Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  2. bamaboy

    bamaboy Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Hey Mark and welcome,this is a great place.not sure about your question on the fire box grate level,I have made mine about five inches off of the bottom for air flow and for disposable ash pans to fit under.If you search at the top of the home page for PIT CALCULATOR you will find several posts on sizes and lengths,these calculators will tell you the firebox to smoke chamber diameter,the exhaust diam and length.I was originally going with a single 6 inch pipe to keep the length at at minimum but changed my mind and put dual 3 inch pipe and will use parts I already have.there are a few different hinges to use,the most common is a pin type hinge available at kck.com.I used cast steel forklift door hinges.they are rather big but completely serviceable.hope my rambling on helps.don't forget the PICTURES man....good luck
  3. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is the pit calculator link    http://webpages.charter.net/tomchism/BBQ CALC Forms/BBQ Smoker Calculators.htm

    Remember these numbers are minimum specs, if there's going to be a difference you always want to make sure you error on the side of being larger rather then smaller.

    I don't think you need to build a second grate below the fire since a proper sized RF will run very nice without having a giant mega fire burning.

    Mine runs great with a med/small charcoal basket in it, I haven't used it in the cold yet so I may need a slightly larger basket for the cold months.

    I would have to say as far as the hinges goes, if your buddy has machine experience then run with that. He will be able to make great high quality hinges for a fraction the cost.

    One last thing, pls jump over to the roll call section and fill us in on the small details of your smoking history along with what part of the world you are in.

    Good Luck with the build and pls don't forget the pics.
  4. real57vetteguy

    real57vetteguy Fire Starter

    We've had alot of snow that slowed my build down, I am taking the tank to the shop tomorrow. I have some pics of a custom build gas/wood smoker but I'm not sure how to post in this forum, especially from my droid! I will get dimensions to double check with the room soon.

    Thanks for all your help!
  5. bamaboy

    bamaboy Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    The easiest thing I have found is to email pics from my phone(droid also) to myself and view and download from home pc.then I post on here and submit.If I can help let me know.I am still learning the proper formats fot thing on here.
  6. real57vetteguy

    real57vetteguy Fire Starter

    Thi s one is not what I am building, I was a bit confused by the design, but It is a nice looking rig. My friend is currently building this one and we are about to jump on mine. This particular cooker will have a rear mounted fire box and propane burners in the cooking chamber.

    jdomep likes this.
  7. real57vetteguy

    real57vetteguy Fire Starter

    This is what I am starting with!

  8. Looks like you got something to start with. As far as pics from phone, I have used my G1 android phone for pics. I hook up the usb cable and download to pc. Then I post right in. Works pretty good.
  9. real57vetteguy

    real57vetteguy Fire Starter

    Here are a couple more photos. One is of the almost comppleted smoker my buddy has been working on, the other is the start of my air compressor tank build. The tank is 22" x 62" I was boing to build a 21" square firebox. I am going to do a reverse flow set up with the plate in the cooking chamber with the angle iron in the center with a external ball valve to drain or close to make the plate a juice/water pan. The only thing I am thinking about doing differently is having a bottom forebox instead of a side forebox. Has anyone built a smoker like this that utilizes the reverse flow design?

  10. real57vetteguy

    real57vetteguy Fire Starter

    A little more progress ![​IMG]
  11. real57vetteguy

    real57vetteguy Fire Starter

    Things are finally starting up! We decided to do a somewhat reverse flow. I dont think I have ever seen a design like we are building, hopefully it will turn out! It will be a bottom, center firebox, there will be a Stainless deflection plate under the cooking surface just like a reverse flow, except the plate will have about 4-6 inches open on both ends and one single stack in the middle just above cooking grate height. In theory the heat/smoke  rises, hits the SS plate has to run to the right and left of the plate and then return to the center to exit the cooking chamber! Below are a few more progress pics!

  12. real57vetteguy

    real57vetteguy Fire Starter

    Here is a rough drawing, it does not include the trailer plan. We were going to build a propane burner with a quick disconnect in the shape of a cross or "X" shape to sit in the bottom of the fire box, about 4-5 inches above that will be a sliding wood rack! The intention is to ba able to start with wood fire via propane, then shut the propane off, or you could do some quick searing (salmon, steak etc with the propane rail. we utilized the same type propane rail which will have the same BTU's in the finished smoker above, that particualr smoker had a cooking chamber 4-5 times larger than this one and would reach 400 degrees in 4 minutes, in 12-14 minutes it would reach around 900 degrees. With all this being said I am hoping to use this as a smoker with the propane off or a quick searing maching with the propane left on![​IMG]
  13. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Boy oh boy, them pics right there are the ones for the scrap book. Better yet they need to be laminated and taken with the rig where ever it goes. 

    From what I can see things look pretty good. Nice shop nice welders the right cloths and the right beer!!!!!!!!!! ( I can't help but to laugh when I see someone trying to weld in flip flops and shorts) 

    You may be inspiring a new business, coffins that look like smokers. Being burried in a reverse flow would make for a pretty unique funeral.

    Awesome work so far. 

    I think your plan will work, and since you have the skills and the tools. If there is a hot or cold spot, you can adjust tuning holes and plates after you fire it a couple times. I think with a little planning you will have that sucker dialed in for pretty even cooking.
  14. real57vetteguy

    real57vetteguy Fire Starter

    Ha Ha, thanks! I know its different, but I cant see why it wouldnt work well, I am using some of the reverse flow design, with all stainless internals is should heat well, and project the heat a little more evenly. My goal is for the smoke and heat to rise up to the stainless deflection/dripping/holding pan draft to the right and left, then pull back towards the center to exit out the cooking grate level stainless stack. I've got my fingers crossed!
  15. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It will, and since the heat is entering the center, there may be enough convection heat to balance it all out. Even if it has a hot spot, that my be the perfect spot to cook chicken. 

    And if nobody ever tries anything different we would all be smoking on a bed of coals over a camp fire.
  16. real57vetteguy

    real57vetteguy Fire Starter

    Made a little more progress tonight!

  17. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thats really gonna bum me out if you made that handle........ 

    The damper flap looks really nice. 
  18. real57vetteguy

    real57vetteguy Fire Starter

    yea we made the handle, and will probably do all the handles like that, sorry man its in the rough right now!
  19. If you call that in the rough, I can't wait to see it slicked up.
  20. bamaboy

    bamaboy Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Hey man looks sweet,nice handle by the way,where did you get that idea[​IMG]