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Smoke Vault gas smoker makeover

Nefarious

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Today's progress, I got the smoke tubes connected to the stainless box. Someone should have warned me how difficult it is to drill into stainless steel. Maybe not, then I may not have decided to do it.

PXL_20220126_232713470.jpg PXL_20220126_232605953.jpg PXL_20220126_232624866.jpg
The holes on the inside between the four nuts is where I will cut the hole for the smoke to flow tomorrow. I have to figure out how, I think I will use my skill saw and a bunch of blades, how ever many it takes. I had no idea how hard it was to drill the stainless, Had to buy a new set and probably ruined all of them.

I have to be efficient as tomorrow is a big game for the USMNT for qualifying for the world cup late this year.
 

JckDanls 07

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A hint with drilling stainless... REALLY slow speed and plenty of cutting oil... heat (caused from drill speed to fast) will kill a drill bit in a hurry. ..
 

Nefarious

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A hint with drilling stainless... REALLY slow speed and plenty of cutting oil... heat (caused from drill speed to fast) will kill a drill bit in a hurry. ..
I thought I went slow, i did read an article that said slow and use water, but i probably didn't go slow enough and probably didn't didn't use enough water. But that's done now, unless I need the third tube.

Once I got the hole all the way through it was.easier, I just went up a size or two each attempt.
 

Fueling Around

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Stainless is a unique metal. The exteriors are hard and the core is relatively soft.
Lower drill speed (not slow) and push firmly on the drill motor.
Cutting oil helps, but is not a replacement for pushing.
Don't let the SS heat by spinning the drill (without pushing firmly) or you work harden the surface even more.
Luckily SS doesn't conduct heat easily so once you get a hole, a step drill or using larger drills (bits) works pretty well.

Get a hole saw. Slow speed drill motor and push (repeat push!) to break the skins on both sides.
Thin material so don't be tempted with a carbide blade in the saber saw meant for tile
 

Nefarious

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Stainless is a unique metal. The exteriors are hard and the core is relatively soft.
Lower drill speed (not slow) and push firmly on the drill motor.
Cutting oil helps, but is not a replacement for pushing.
Don't let the SS heat by spinning the drill (without pushing firmly) or you work harden the surface even more.
Luckily SS doesn't conduct heat easily so once you get a hole, a step drill or using larger drills (bits) works pretty well.

Get a hole saw. Slow speed drill motor and push (repeat push!) to break the skins on both sides.
Thin material so don't be tempted with a carbide blade in the saber saw meant for tile
Any special hole saw? Press evenly or slightly rock. The diameter is 21/4 inches.
 

GonnaSmoke

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Any special hole saw? Press evenly or slightly rock. The diameter is 21/4 inches.
If you can't borrow one, search for uxcell or EZARC for a 57mm saw, about $20-$30. There are some less expensive hole saws, but many don't come with the arbor which you've got to have. If this is something you'll use more than once or twice, maybe look into hole saw kits that will give you several sizes. Use a drill press if you can and I always center punch for my starting hole. If I'm not using a drill press, I like to center punch then drill a small pilot hole first, maybe 1/8", and then use the hole saw. Try not to rock the saw as the hole may end up bigger than what you're wanting, if that is even a problem for you. When I'm doing stuff like this, I'm never dealing with precision and others with more experience can give better information...
 

Nefarious

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If you can't borrow one, search for uxcell or EZARC for a 57mm saw, about $20-$30. There are some less expensive hole saws, but many don't come with the arbor which you've got to have. If this is something you'll use more than once or twice, maybe look into hole saw kits that will give you several sizes. Use a drill press if you can and I always center punch for my starting hole. If I'm not using a drill press, I like to center punch then drill a small pilot hole first, maybe 1/8", and then use the hole saw. Try not to rock the saw as the hole may end up bigger than what you're wanting, if that is even a problem for you. When I'm doing stuff like this, I'm never dealing with precision and others with more experience can give better information...
Thank you for this. I was all prepared to go out and cut it out with my trusty skill saw. There is no precision needed here, close is sufficient, the hole just cannot be too small. Projects I do are all "Cut to size, beat to fit" i do not generally have the right tool for the right job. I do not have a drill press.

I ordered the ezarc saw from amazon to be delivered tomorrow. One of the center holes is maybe already too large and I will have to make a piece and bolt it on where the flange bolts on so I can make a new smaller pilot hole. I drilled the center of one of the holes bigger so the skill.saw blade would fit.

There are other things I can do today, like figure out how to debur the flange bolt holes. Or maybe I just do some software today.
 

Nefarious

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GonnaSmoke GonnaSmoke The size I need is 2 3/8 and costs $48. The problem is, it won't be delivered until Feb 12 to 14. He only thing I can get sooner is a lennox bi metal, which probably wont cut the stainless. Any other suggestions?
 

GonnaSmoke

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The Lenox new will work, just be sure that it comes with the arbor or buy the arbor separately and go slow...
 

Nefarious

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The Lenox new will work, just be sure that it comes with the arbor or buy the arbor separately and go slow...
I just decided I needed some practice, I will deal with this tomorrow. I do appreciate your advise.
 

Nefarious

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I decided not to tackle the holes for the smoke flow out of the mailbox, I wasn't as comfortable as I think I need to be, so I did an easier project. I did some work on the thermometer housing. Got it all drilled and installed. It isn't done as I need to deburr the holes and put some high temp RTV between the back of the smoker and the box.

PXL_20220127_223725971.jpg PXL_20220127_220034433.jpg PXL_20220127_220556242.jpg
The camera isn't level but the box is very close. When I have an extra hand or two, It can be level because the holes are big enough. Like I said before "Cut to size, beat to fit"
 

boykjo

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For future reference always use a center drill to punch through the stainless first before you drill.


Use this for cutting fluid....... Stinks and messy but works the best

CastrolVariocut C Moly Dee 16 oz Bottle Cutting & Tapping Fluid
Straight Oil, For Use on Stainless Steel


hope this helps

Good luck

Boykjo
 
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mosparky

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Most hole saws aren't really intended for cutting metal. I have done it but not real often. As said go slow (low rpms). I got best results pulsing the drill in 1-2 second burst once the saw is in contact with metal.
If you end up putting a patch of metal in to re-establish a smaller center hole, Be sure to put it on the backside so you don't cut your patch away before you even get to the stainless you are trying to cut.
I know it sounds like a "well Duh..." statement but I've worked with a lot of guy's that just didn't think things thru first. No insult intended.
 

Fueling Around

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I screwed up suggesting a hole saw and not asking the hole size or available resources.
My preference would be to plasma cut a 2-1/4" hole, but that is probably a "not happening here" in your garage.
Now my thought is back to saber saw with fine tooth bimetal. Yeah, probably burn through a few, but the key again is to push
 

Nefarious

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Yesterday I used a hole saw to cut thru the thin walls of the smoker to add the temperature probe. The hole was only 7/8" in diameter. I have severe wrist/thumb arthritis and as slow and level as I could keep the drill, a hand drill, It still bound and twisted my wrist. I really appreciate all of you that suggested the hole saw to cut the holes for the smoke vent, I decided it in my best interest to use the jig saw. The holes are not perfect, sometimes the saw got away from me, sometimes I had to push too hard to make progress and then the saw got away from me.

Still, the holes are done and look ok, certainly not perfect but sufficient to say mostly done.

PXL_20220128_213048311.jpg


So tomorrow I can work on the holes into the smoker cabinet and two aspects of the project will be mostly done. I still have to deburr the drilled holes and I will put a thin layer of hi temp RTV, wish it came in black. Most of the parts are in for the needle valve and the solenoid, the rest I get locally. So that can also be done this weekend.
 

Nefarious

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What it looks like attached I'm using a set of fasteners I can't find, have to wait for them to be ordered.
PXL_20220129_193818904.jpg
 

Nefarious

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If there ever will be a time i wished I would have purchased the larger smoke vault it is now. The extra 3" of space would make all of the difference. To get the gas plumbing to fit, I am going to have to put 45° angles in the line to cut the corner. Argh.
 

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