• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Smoke Vault gas smoker makeover

Nefarious

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
890
560
Joined Oct 10, 2021
I have had this smoker for about 4 months now and things that seem straight forward for others is just a PITA.

I have 5 changes I'm going to make over the next month, one really easy and one very difficult. I'll post them all here in turn so they stay in the same place.

The changes are:
1) The smoker sits on my cement paver patio that attaches to the house at a corner. The patio tilts away from house in two directions, probably more then it should. The smoker has a water pan inside, a level device if you will and because of the slope, not much water can go in it. I put some shims under it, but the smoker is so light that opening the door can sometimes rock it off of the shims. The fix is easy enough, I bought 4 adjustable feet to attach to the legs.
PXL_20220124_205852330.jpg

I have the smoker in the garage and I cleaned it up some, don't need the pine needles getting in the way. I just figured this was easy enough, I still need a couple of washers but I got this project done this afternoon.

PXL_20220125_014449717.jpg PXL_20220125_013609471.jpg

2) The gas burner is responsible for burning the wood and boy did it. If I would cook over 225* The smoke would just billow out of the stack, so I tried to smoke under 220*, works well for tri tip when it is reverse seared. I found the Mailbox mod, or was pointed to it by OldSmoke OldSmoke and have the parts on order for my modified version. I got the last parts today and will start putting that project together tomorrow.

PXL_20220124_210615262.jpg PXL_20220124_211010694.jpg PXL_20220124_211018270.jpg

The smoke will flow between the mailbox, the stainless box, and the smoker through the close nipples that connect to the sides with the flanges. I currently have two sets, I will put them together tomorrow and begin to attach them to the mailbox and the smoker. This will probably take longer then it should, I am a computer engineer.

3) The thermometer connected to the door is worthless, most of the time it is steamed up so I have thoughts on riveting a piece of sheet stainless over the hole and not bother with it. So, I am also going to do a PID like addition, that's the 4th modification., I am building in a PT100 Thermo sensor. It requires an amplifier and to keep the water out of the device I am going to mount it on the back in a waterproof box.

PXL_20220124_205921959.jpg

4) will be a similar project to OldSmoke OldSmoke , solman solman adding a solenoid and needle valve to give greater control of how gas in controlled in the smoker. The parts for this mod are well known, I just haven't bought them yet.

5) Is the big project and it will have many phases. I have done a lot of work with small microcontrollers, and going to incorporate one in my smoker. It will control the solenoid in a similar way a PID does, but it won't implement a PID, I have other ideas how to solve that problem. Anyway this will be mounted on the same side of the smoker as the mailbox, using similar but smaller flanges and black pipe, and be in another stainless box mounted above the mailbox but in the other orientation. More pictures will come as I make progress.

Thanks for listening.
 

Nefarious

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Thread starter
890
560
Joined Oct 10, 2021
I got most of the offsets between the smoker and the mailbox done today. I should have done more but too many interruptions.
PXL_20220125_233508461.jpg PXL_20220125_233512687.jpg PXL_20220125_235204839.jpg
The teflon tape is not for leaking smoke, although it should help with that. It is just something for the threads to glide on. The bolts sticking out the sides allowed me to use two 2x2s as leverage to tighten them. It is cold in the garage, 37*F and as you can see from last image, one is 1/16" closer then the other. Tomorrow when I get a chance I am going to put them in the dryer on a rack to heat them up. They are 2 5/8" wide and I would like to get them 2 1/2" , don't ask why because bauchjw bauchjw "I'm making this up as I go" Indiana Jones
 
Last edited:

bauchjw

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
3,414
2,468
Joined Aug 3, 2015
Haha, wish I could comment on your makeover project, but it’s out of my wheel house, but props for the quote!
9AA28404-166E-4603-BEE7-076C71FBFCB8.jpeg
 

Nefarious

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Thread starter
890
560
Joined Oct 10, 2021
Haha, wish I could comment on your makeover project, but it’s out of my wheel house, but props for the quote!
View attachment 523417
Your post on using these quotes in real life has inspired me to Point them out when I use them. The other day I quoted yoda in a post "do or do not, there is no try". I probably pissed off the person who sad they should try something. I won't reference you on them usually, just wanted you to know you had an impact.
 

TNJAKE

Legendary Pitmaster
SMF Premier Member
7,990
10,561
Joined Nov 26, 2019
Your post on using these quotes in real life has inspired me to Point them out when I use them. The other day I quoted yoda in a post "do or do not, there is no try". I probably pissed off the person who sad they should try something. I won't reference you on them usually, just wanted you to know you had an impact.
Better to be pissed off than pissed on......
 

bauchjw

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
3,414
2,468
Joined Aug 3, 2015
Your post on using these quotes in real life has inspired me to Point them out when I use them. The other day I quoted yoda in a post "do or do not, there is no try". I probably pissed off the person who sad they should try something. I won't reference you on them usually, just wanted you to know you had an impact.
Haha, I remember that post. I appreciate it!
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
49,621
9,918
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Your mods are way over my head, but I sure can’t wait to see the finished setup!
Al
 

Nefarious

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Thread starter
890
560
Joined Oct 10, 2021
Your mods are way over my head, but I sure can’t wait to see the finished setup!
Al
thanks Al, me too. One of the problems I have, ask the wife, is finishing these kinds of projects. Once I get it to the point where it works well enough, it sits there for a while until I need to take it further. All if the hardware pieces will be done, sooner then later I hope.
 

SmokinVOLfan

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
5,704
4,633
Joined Feb 27, 2018
Looks like some great mod's! Man your SV looks brand new! I have had mine over 5 years now and put it through hell and it still keeps on ticking. Puts out some great Q. Look forward to seeing it when its done!
 

DougE

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,637
1,622
Joined Apr 13, 2010
One of the problems I have, ask the wife, is finishing these kinds of projects. Once I get it to the point where it works well enough, it sits there for a while until I need to take it further. All if the hardware pieces will be done, sooner then later I hope.
You done messed up posting it here, then. You'll keep getting prodded till it's completed. lol
 

Nefarious

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Thread starter
890
560
Joined Oct 10, 2021
Looks like some great mod's! Man your SV looks brand new! I have had mine over 5 years now and put it through hell and it still keeps on ticking. Puts out some great Q. Look forward to seeing it when its done!
I bought it just before I joined this site in October. So, very new.
 

SmokinVOLfan

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
5,704
4,633
Joined Feb 27, 2018
18, it is only two people here and the 18 cooks too much food for us to eat.

I know you mentioned some heavy smoke once you got it started. How much wood were you adding to the pan and were you using chunks or chips?
 

Nefarious

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Thread starter
890
560
Joined Oct 10, 2021
I had 3 phases.

When I first started I just piled chips into the tray. Only center burned lots of smoke and I spent the rest of the smoke time moving the uncooked chips to the center.

Got some advice here and only put a thin layer of chips on the plate, good smoke, just didnt last long. Spent time moving to center and.adding new chips.

Last I would put a pile in the center. More.smoke, but burned so still had to open the door to replenish, this lasted longer unless the temp was high.

Never went to chunks. Just decided the mailbox was the easy solution and I like making things.
 

SmokinVOLfan

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
5,704
4,633
Joined Feb 27, 2018
The SV does a lot better burning chunks. If you smoke something again before you get your mailbox built try putting a couple chunks on the pan. Burns longer and cleaner.

I don't think I have seen anyone do a mailbox mod on a propane smoker so looking forward to seeing the results!
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.