Sealing the firefox and smoke chamber

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by roushy, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Good afternoon!

    In the process of finishing my smoker (will post picks when done) and noticed due to my lack of experience welding that I have some bends in the firefox door and chamber door that makes some gaps when closed.  Usually the gaps are around 1/8" but I do have some areas were it is around 1/4".  I welded in some toggle clamps so that should help with the small gaps.  However, I am wondering if anyone uses the red high-temp RTV sealant that you can get at the local auto store.  I've heard some people use the red, some use the copper.  I think the copper type is low voc/non-toxic.  Anyone have luck with this and haven't killed themselves due to toxicity issues?

    ~ Roushy
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Roushy, morning and welcome to the forum......  Can you beat on it with a big hammer ???   Maybe a few blocks of wood and some clamps to spring it back into a working condition ?? Heat it with a torch and spring it back ???  Will the door come off easily to work on it ??

    Take some pics and the experts will help you through your dilemma...  I would save the HT silicone for a last resort.....  Dave 
  3. I could possibly do that but I still think there would be leaks.  My last smoker had leaks and it was a pain to keep the heat in the chamber.... I was hoping to get rid of it this time around.  I've read a few people that use the RTV and some people use the stove rope.  Not sure if I like the idea of the rope because it would eventually get nasty.  Even if I used a hammer and got the seams close, there would still be space for air to excape.

  4. I use red silicone around the smoking chamber. Tape it off and use plastic wrap to keep it from sticking and cut off the excess after it dries. Touch up spray paint and you never see it. The firebox needs higher temp seals so I go to Fleet Farm and get stove gasket tape or rope the size gap you can fill. It comes with an adhesive. We have another thread in here about these mods, the importance of air flow and sealing them as you say. You are right on from my experience in considering your air leaks as bad.

     Some models depend heavily on airflow that draws from the fire box. Otherwise many fight temperature control issues. Automated guru type devices can fan the flames but positive pressure is a requirement to best take advantage of these expensive add ons.  I do not think I need a fan now that I sealed up air leaks and air is then required to be drawn in through the fire box and up in to the cooking chamber. (I have a reverse flow smoker BTW).  If you see a fire that just flames up out of control yet the cooking chamber is not all that hot, you have air leaks in the chamber that are bypassing the firebox supply of smoke and heat. Once you control the airflow, you control the temp and the fires fuel consumption.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  5. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Red I used a caulk gun to apply and then spray the chamber (where the silicone will meet) with vegetable oil, close and rest overnight.
  6. Where did you find high temp non-toxic RTV in a caulk gun tube?  I've only seen the little squeeze containers you get at the auto store.  Any luck on the firebox door?

  7. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Read post #4 and post #10 has a link for the tube.
  8. jwbtulsa

    jwbtulsa Meat Mopper

    I used Rutland's high temp silicone sealant in a standard caulking tube. Found it in the fireplace section at Ace Hardware. Cleaned the metal well. Applied a heavy bead of sealant. let it cure for a little bit. Applied Crisco to opposite surface and then closed the door to form the seal. The areas where it sqished out, I trimmed with a razor blade. As I lifted the lid, I ran the exacto blade along the oiled surface where it seemed stuck. Seemes to work fine. Good luck.

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