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Building a smoker
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Dale Wilson Offline
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Post: #1
Building a smoker
Hi all.

It appears my obsession with smoking has taken a turn, leaning towards mental illness. I am in the process of building a big smoker on a trailer. I have a question to throw out.

The smoker is a conversion from a 1/8" thick steel cabinet. It's 3' wide, 1-1/2' deep and 6' feet tall. I will be laying it down on it's side and attaching a firebox to one end. Question....is there any wisdom, or foolishness, in making it a reverse, re-reverse flow? Out of the firebox, across left, up, across right, up, across left again then out? What I'm looking for is temp variations, whether it will flow or not. Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks,

Dale W.
03-07-2012 11:24 PM
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imfree2q Offline
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RE: Building a smoker
(03-07-2012 11:24 PM)Dale Wilson Wrote:  Hi all.

It appears my obsession with smoking has taken a turn, leaning towards mental illness. I am in the process of building a big smoker on a trailer. I have a question to throw out.

The smoker is a conversion from a 1/8" thick steel cabinet. It's 3' wide, 1-1/2' deep and 6' feet tall. I will be laying it down on it's side and attaching a firebox to one end. Question....is there any wisdom, or foolishness, in making it a reverse, re-reverse flow? Out of the firebox, across left, up, across right, up, across left again then out? What I'm looking for is temp variations, whether it will flow or not. Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks,

Dale W.

I have built several pits and I think you will have flow issues. You will be trying to make it flow 3 times the lenght if i read your post right? so instead of flowing 6' your now trying to get it to flow 18' And its 1/8" steel? You will lose alot of heat and your temps will be all over the place. Im just not a reverse flow fan unless its a small pit. Standard flow with tuning plates is the best way to go in my opion. You have better control of putting your heat where you want it with tuning plates.
Good luck with your build!

Cheers..
Mel
03-08-2012 03:15 AM
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Dutchovendude Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Building a smoker
Ditto.

TUMBLEWEED BBQ
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03-08-2012 10:19 AM
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BarkingPig Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Building a smoker
You best listen, these boys are smart, I tell ya'. That would be a lot of work just to be dissappointed with serious heat malfunctions. Double reverse flow in that design would also seriously cut down on the amount of meats you could smoke, which would defeat the purpose of that size of a trailer smoker. Tuning plates are the way to go. Enjoy the build.

Dis bbq so good, it'll make ya slap yo mama in the mouth!
03-08-2012 11:50 AM
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Dale Wilson Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Building a smoker
I appreciate the replies. Any suggestions on not using a separate firebox with the cabinet?

Dale
03-09-2012 11:42 PM
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in2dfire Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Building a smoker
You could put an internal firebox in that cabinet. But you do need to defuse the heat you will need to plate it and I would separate the box from the cooking area so when you feed the fire you don't loose all your heat from the cooking chamber. You can defuse heat with plates seperated and can defuse even more with water. This is assuming you have it standing on end. . We could build you a pit if you are interested just pm me or imfree2q and we will have you smokin in no time. . .
Have any photos of the cabinet?
(This post was last modified: 03-10-2012 09:55 AM by in2dfire.)
03-10-2012 09:36 AM
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Dale Wilson Offline
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RE: Building a smoker
The idea is to have it on its side. It would be 3' high, 6' long, 18" deep. It has double vertical doors on it at the moment, which can be changed. I thought about portioning 2' for the firebox. The remaining 4' for cooking area. Could customize it for tuning plates and maybe reverse flow(if it works).

If I did do a firebox on the side, it would need to be big enough to accommodate the big box. In this design, what would be the best height to place the opening from the fire to cooking box?

I've got access to a welder and can do all the work. At this time I am building the trailer which will haul this beast.


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03-10-2012 03:51 PM
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Dale Wilson Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Building a smoker
I have a couple of drawn box design concepts I would like some input on.
I've color coded specific areas for emphasis.

The box is 3' tall, 6' long and 18" deep.

Yellow = firebox
Red = directional plates. May be solid, may be tuning plates.
Green = warming area. Sealed from smoke

Which design is better and any other advice would greatly be appreciated.

Dale


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(This post was last modified: 03-20-2012 07:18 PM by Dale Wilson.)
03-20-2012 07:15 PM
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imfree2q Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Building a smoker
(03-09-2012 11:42 PM)Dale Wilson Wrote:  I appreciate the replies. Any suggestions on not using a separate firebox with the cabinet?

Dale

Not to be rude or mean.. Just being honest! A thin skinned cabinet for a pit is just not a good idea. Heat loss will be unbelievable. You would be better off with a Uds!!! In my opinion 1/4" steel is the best route to go.
Anyway didn't mean to offend!
03-20-2012 08:15 PM
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LoneStar Smoke Rangers Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Building a smoker
1/4 inch steel and do an insulated firebox. Jambo, Yoder, Peoria, etc are all good examples.

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03-20-2012 09:09 PM
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Dale Wilson Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Building a smoker
(03-20-2012 09:09 PM)LoneStar Smoke Rangers Wrote:  1/4 inch steel and do an insulated firebox. Jambo, Yoder, Peoria, etc are all good examples.

Thanks for the input. I am already insulating the box. I insulated my small, cheap smoker and it helped tremendously.

What I'm looking for is the better flow design concerning the location of the firebox. My thoughts are that having it inside the box itself, its "residual" heat would help to keep temp in the box. Compared to having an external firebox, where radiant heat escapes.
03-21-2012 08:03 AM
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bud-wie-ser Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Building a smoker
I think you would have better results with the first sketch.

If your fuel consumption is too high you could always add insulation and an outer skin.

Bud
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03-21-2012 08:04 PM
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Dutchovendude Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Building a smoker
Another thing to look at is your fire box. Make sure it is beefy enough to hold the heat and not burn through. It gets mighty hot in there.

TUMBLEWEED BBQ
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03-21-2012 09:06 PM
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Dale Wilson Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Building a smoker
Thought I'd update my progress.


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04-08-2012 08:20 AM
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HDBBQ Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Building a smoker
Looking good!

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04-08-2012 09:54 AM
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imfree2q Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Building a smoker
One question? Will that paint be sandblasted off before you cook on it? That paint could have lead in it!

Mel Jensen
JensenPit custom BBQ smokers
801-589-7423
Plain City, Utah
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"Dont over think it or you'll ruin it"
04-09-2012 02:25 AM
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Dale Wilson Offline
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RE: Building a smoker
(04-09-2012 02:25 AM)imfree2q Wrote:  One question? Will that paint be sandblasted off before you cook on it? That paint could have lead in it!

The thought had crossed my mind. However, I will be inner-walling the interior, insulating and sealing it. Shouldn't be a problem. Thanks for your concern though.
04-09-2012 06:53 AM
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imfree2q Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Building a smoker
Good Luck!! Big Grin

Mel Jensen
JensenPit custom BBQ smokers
801-589-7423
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jensenpits@gmail.com
Facebook.com/JensenPit

"Dont over think it or you'll ruin it"
04-09-2012 07:47 AM
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Dale Wilson Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Building a smoker
Another question.
I've calculated my cooking area to be 11.7 cubic feet. Is there any math on determining the size of the intake and exhaust? I'm thinking a 7" air damper, with at least a 4" smoke stack.
Any thoughts?
04-21-2012 04:46 PM
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LH1440 Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Building a smoker
The typical air inlet and exhaust should be equal.

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And on the 8th day the Lord created BBQ!and he called it the BEST!
04-21-2012 05:09 PM
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in2dfire Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Building a smoker
Intake should be no less than exhaust. . But bigger is better on your intakes. That gives you room for even more control. If its too small your kinda screwed. If its too big you can always close it off. Give yourself room if you need it. . . . Bigger is better but don't go overboard . . . Good luck!!
04-21-2012 06:37 PM
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LH1440 Offline
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RE: Building a smoker
Sorry, but bigger is not better when it comes to airflow. If your air intake is bigger then your exhaust, then how is all that air supposed to get out, when your exhausting less air? any HVAC engineer will tell you that. Its simple science.

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And on the 8th day the Lord created BBQ!and he called it the BEST!
04-21-2012 07:40 PM
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in2dfire Offline
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Post: #23
RE: Building a smoker
Because you can close it off. . . Any pit builder will tell you that. . Do not try to over think this the size of the intake should be a minimum the flow of the exhaust whether its in round hole five square holes or what ever you chose just make it so its easy for you to run. . Meaning intake on a slide or one round hole it even two round holes. . Trust me when its cold outside and the air is heavy you will wish the intakes were a bit bigger. Leave yourself some room in case you need. Its not just exhaust diameter that matters either. Its placement and height and diameter in combination that will determine how big the intake will be. But as a basic rule. . If your exhaust is say 5" in diameter your intake should be no less than 5" but if you did 6" that leaves room for you if you need it remember you can always close it more if you don't need it. . . Its not HVAC equipment. . Just my two cents. . .
04-22-2012 02:52 AM
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imfree2q Offline
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Post: #24
RE: Building a smoker
(04-22-2012 02:52 AM)in2dfire Wrote:  Because you can close it off. . . Any pit builder will tell you that. . Do not try to over think this the size of the intake should be a minimum the flow of the exhaust whether its in round hole five square holes or what ever you chose just make it so its easy for you to run. . Meaning intake on a slide or one round hole it even two round holes. . Trust me when its cold outside and the air is heavy you will wish the intakes were a bit bigger. Leave yourself some room in case you need. Its not just exhaust diameter that matters either. Its placement and height and diameter in combination that will determine how big the intake will be. But as a basic rule. . If your exhaust is say 5" in diameter your intake should be no less than 5" but if you did 6" that leaves room for you if you need it remember you can always close it more if you don't need it. . . Its not HVAC equipment. . Just my two cents. . .


Agree 100% make your intake bigger!! As long as you can adjust closed you'll be better off. Make it to small and you will wish you were bigger!!!

Mel Jensen
JensenPit custom BBQ smokers
801-589-7423
Plain City, Utah
jensenpits@gmail.com
Facebook.com/JensenPit

"Dont over think it or you'll ruin it"
04-22-2012 03:34 PM
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LH1440 Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Building a smoker
Air is air, dosent matter HVAC or not.....so watch out for to much hot air...lol

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04-23-2012 10:11 PM
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