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Discussion in 'The Garage' started by kirkster70, Oct 3, 2010.
Yeah, but they are normally soaked in formaldehyde for biology class.
Start driving now.
Thanks for the info! Sure thing...come on by and we can mod yours...
Yeah, I'm still fine tuning and will do some more work before paint. The inner framing's center supports are in 3 equal sections, so the camera angle may be making it look like it's supposed to be centered with the doors.
Thanks! I think I will end up getting a digital probe.
One thing is for sure, the firebox is efficient. It smoked for 30 hours with 8 logs! I have a cord of hickory showing up next week. I can use it for camping, too.
Diffuser caps fabbed out of 4" x 1/4" wall square tube and 3/16" plate.
...to go over the 3 1/2" square tube where it enters the smoke chamber.
I also cut out the center piece of flat bar in the above picture...
...and performed another hot burn on the smoke chamber only. I discovered that when burning the stove and smoker simultaneously, the stove takes all the smoker's oxygen and ends up making charcoal.
So, after 30 hours of smoking, I wanted to do a nice burn on the smoke chamber by itself to burn out all the creosote from burning locust. I discover that the hubcap damper ends up being a two-way damper: It's an exhaust damper when smoking with wood, and it's a fresh air intake when grilling on top with charcoal. Nice!
Also, with the firebox cranking as hot as I could get it, the handles on the smoker door were only warm to the touch. I'm sure using charcoal I will need gloves.
Whoopsie. What's wrong with this picture? The center piece was not only a seal for the smoke, but it was a structural support as well. Live and learn. We have some warping with the burn from this morning.
No worries. Once cool, I will re-align with a bottle jack and weld in some additional support. It's still a good idea not to have that piece in place. Half of the fun is just figuring things out, and I have learned a lot already.
Once some good food is being chowed on, all the hard work will pay off.
Luckily, the warped doors were an easy fix. The tank didn't warp, the doors did. A piece of 3/4" rigid conduit slipped through the handles gave me enough leverage to tweak them back.
I also installed 5/8" x .083" wall DOM handles on each end for easy moving, and I installed the smoke chamber thermometer.
That was about the best place I could put it without the probe getting damaged. It should be able to get a good ambient reading there.
I didn't know it at the time, but this type therm. requires a well for it to go in. It has very fine threads and I lucked out by finding a locknut in my junk bin that was the same. Also, it spins freely unless it's jam nut tightens against a well, so once in place, I had to give the stainless a tack in the upright position. No biggie.
Now to install the thermometer in the firebox. I'm thinking it's not really needed, but that's what I bought it for, so it's going in. I'm installing it out of curiosity more than anything. The beauty of having a welder means that if I end up not liking it, it will be sliced off and filled with weld.
This thermo. has 1/2" N.P.T. threads, so I cut a 1/2" pipe coupling at a 45 degree angle to make a port.
...to go here.
Then I drill a hole for the probe through the stove's 5/16" thick top at a 45 degree angle - harder than it sounds!
That will work!
I could have moved it back a bit, but I still have a shelf to make on the front of the smoke chamber, and didn't want to crouch down to see the thermometer.
Steampunk smoker almost ready for paint. My wife says she likes it just the way it is and thinks I will mess it up making it all black and new looking.
Hmmmm........nope. I'm painting it. I'll make it up to her with a nice brisket.
Can you post a photo of the entire thing? I wanted to share the build with my brother. Thx
Thanks EG and DD!
I'm hoping to post new piccys tonight. Currently working on the front shelf and finishing touches like capping the rectangular tube that the casters bolt to...
Hickory delivery scheduled for Thursday.
I've been enjoying reading the bbq site link dwrecker turned me onto. They say only a seasoned pitmaster should try cooking with wood. Well, it's almost sink or swim time. Trial by fire - literally.
Digital thermometer should be here Thursday. There's nothing to it but to do it. Here's to not turning meat into shoe leather.
9/16" DOM bent for the front shelf. Then I lay out the cut on the expanded metal.
Expanded metal cut with the cutting wheel. Edges dressed with the flap wheel.
Welded in place.
I make some shelf supports out of 9/16" DOM and weld them in place.
The original counter weights were just enough to keep the lid open. A slight breeze could knock them closed. I scrounge around for something heavy that's just weird enough. How about some late model Jeep suspension parts. Looks like an afterthought - because it is.
This works much better. The weirdness is growing on me. It doesn't look terrible.
Eh. It will work.
I shore up the tank with some more supports made from 9/16" DOM.
I have since capped the rectangular tube and prepped for paint. If I feel energetic enough, I may do the first coat tonight.
I pulled an all-nighter to get the first coat on...
I went with brush-on paint because it goes a whole lot farther than spray paint and goes where I want it to instead of all over my tools.
It covered pretty well, but will need another coat.
I will give it another coat tonight. If all goes well, the next time you see this monstrosity will be in the "smoker is lit" thread. I'm hoping the stove doesn't overdrive the cooker. I guess I will see by the end of the week.
Total project cost from the bottom to the top...
5" locking medium-duty casters from a Craftsman tool box (ebay) - $57.
Rectangular tube - scrap.
Salvage yard wood stove - $150.
'54 Oldsmobile hub cap (ebay) - $15.
5/8" all-thread - scrap.
750 degree F bi-metal thermometer (ebay) - $37.
3 1/2" square tube - scrap.
50 gallon water heater - scrap.
9/16" and 5/8" DOM tube for handles, shelf, supports - on hand.
Expanded metal for shelf - scrap.
Weksler 550 degree F bi-metal thermometer (ebay) - $57.
1 1/2" x 3/16" flat bar for door trim - scrap.
Cast iron cooking grates - left over from last gas grill.
Miscellaneous angle for the grill frame - scrap.
Diffusers inside cooker - 4" square tube and 3/16" plate - scrap.
Top stack - 4 1/2" schedule 40 pipe - scrap.
Top stack cap - 5 1/2" weld-on end cap (ebay) - $9.
1000 degree F paint - $15.
Material cost - $340.
Maybe $10 in gas and MIG wire for a grand total of $350.
Bonding time with the MIG? Priceless. Heheheh....
If it cooks well, I wont need another BBQ for some time.
...still need to fab an ash bucket, a shovel, and a poker, but that can wait.
That sure looks like a hell of a rig. Those dampers are awesome and I bet you'll have no trouble dialing in the temps.
if you dont already have one, a "weed burner" from harbor freight works very well at getting things started and ready to cook asap. No need for starter fluid or any other nasty tasting stuff...just 5 minutes with the torch and it's hot enough to draw fresh air through the dampers.
I'm loving the smoker, Kirk.
Get yourself some old brass handled valves and such and mount them in interesting places to keep that whole Steam Punk vibe going - and to make people wonder what they do!
Yeah, the dampers work great. A couple new piccys tonight and I'll stick a fork in this project.
Very good idea. Thanks for the tip. I went down to Ace and picked up some compressed sawdust starters that said they were food safe. Once I run them out, I'll have to look into the weed burner. I did want to do a LPG start, but didn't want to hang a tank off the side.
I also have a small propane torch. That may work, too.
That would be pretty cool.
My work is done for the week, so I get to play a bit. 2 coats of high-heat paint has been applied, and it's been 24 hours. I do a burn to set the paint and to season the smoker.
I had some cherry wood that my nephew brought me some time back, so I use that.
The nice thing is that I also get to see what works best with the dampers. I get the firebox rolling and then shut the doors. Intake dampers wide open, top stack wide open, rear damper closed.
Smoke chamber holds steady at 215 for about 7 hours with no adjustments. That's nearly perfect. The firebox holds steady at 475. The Jeep "horseshoes" end up having a bonus feature - I can stand to the side and open the lids without gloves when the cooker is rolling right along. Nice!
It smells soooooooooooooooooo good! (after the paint cures, that is)
The mail lady brings me a digital thermometer that I got for free with my ebay bucks. I put the probe in the smoke chamber and it holds 223 for hours while the smoker thermometer is still showing 215. The smoke chamber didn't drop below 200 degrees for well over 30 hours. AWESOME! Heheheheheh!!!
The analog thermo. is adjustable, so I calibrate it to the digital, which is supposed to be more accurate.
The digital thermometer came with a kewl little pager that can clip on your belt. You can adjust when you get alerts; such as when the internal meat temp is 10 degrees away from your desired doneness. Pretty neat-o. It works from 200 feet away.
Hickory guy ends up being a no-show, so I'm on to the next guy.
I used the top half last night with charcoal on burgers, dogs, and corn on the cobb and could really taste the cherry. That will have to do for now. Maybe, just maybe smoking on the next break. I hope!
This was a really fun project. I can't wait to try my hand at smoking a nice cut of meat. I can already see that this will be yet another addiction, but a yummy one.
Damn fine temp consistency. Will be interesting to see more stats on different settings/temp goals.
Wonder if it will be fairly resistent to outside influences (i.e. ambient temp)?