My Center Feed Smoker Build

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My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Weyrider » December 14th, 2017, 6:17 pm

Today I got to cutting steel, that 1/4 steel plate is hard to cut with just a cutting wheel and a reciprocating saw. But I got my doors and throat opening cut as well as an intake slot on the right side cut. No I don't own a plasma cutter, never thought I would need one. Went through 4 Dewalt cutting wheels and 1 Diablo steel rip saw blade. It just took a lot of time to accomplish. Oh well c'est la vie.


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by ajfoxy » December 14th, 2017, 6:28 pm

Any mechanical cutting system is going to take time and consumables. And be very messy and noisy. But it gets the job done.
Down the road should you decide to build a whole bunch of smokers, then buy a suitable plasma cutter. Bearing in mind with a plasma cutter you need a decent supply of air as well. A hobby type compressor will not smoke it. So unless you are a tool junkie (sadly like me) then only get the tools you can use on a semi-regular basis.


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Weyrider » December 16th, 2017, 12:35 pm

Well since I didn't get the pics put up from two days ago i will wait till i get pics from yesterdays activities taken and put up all at once. Yesterdays fun included cutting left side intake square out and cutting the frame rails out and laid out so I can remember how I want it to go together. Then welded the shadow plate to its mountings. First time I used a 220 volt mig. welder. Quite a difference than my 125 amp 110 volt welder, this is going to be fun me thinks. Also started to clean the inside of the cooking chamber, what a mess. No wonder that air compressor didn't work. Had enough junk in there to fill a 2.5 gallon container. I noticed that there is a lot of scale left on the inside wall. Gonna have to find a good wire wheel and get dirty again. Anybody have any different suggestions? Feel free to comment, it takes a village to build a smoker.


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Big T » December 16th, 2017, 9:00 pm

There's not a lot of options to clean the inside, you have the grinder, wire wheel, maybe a chipping hammer if it's thick or the best option is to have it blasted. Obviously the blasting is the easiest way to get it clean but if you're like most of us, it just isn't in the budget so probably one of the other methods is your best way. Oh and be sure you get some pictures up soon or they'll start saying no pics never happened. :rulz:


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Weyrider » December 17th, 2017, 11:39 am

Ok, I was going to wait till I had more pics but since its Sunday and I am between thanking the Lord for another day and watching my Vikings on the boob tube and the shop being closed here goes. Then I just figured out why the original pics didn' t load. Its like duh dude ya gotta crop them son. So after sitting here for 15 minutes, another lesson learned. Here they are the first four cut outs I made.
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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Big T » December 17th, 2017, 1:51 pm

:LG:


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Rodcrafter » December 18th, 2017, 9:45 am

:beer:


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Weyrider » December 19th, 2017, 6:41 pm

I didn't get to work yesterday, had to go to doctor appt. that my bride neglected to tell me until sunday night. So to day it was cut and weld day. Cut out the strips and intake close plate and then welded them up. I am glad I kept my day job, being retired. Some of these welds, well glad they make grinders. But I accomplished a good deal and now have a stiff back from bending over to cut and weld pieces together. :wrestlin:
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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Squiggle » December 19th, 2017, 7:13 pm

:LG:


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Big T » December 19th, 2017, 7:39 pm

Your welds will get better as you go along. What a lot of guys that haven't welded before or in a while do is start with the welds that won't really be seen and save the main welding for later. Either way you go you can clean them up with a grinder, the main thing is to make sure you have good penetration regardless of how they look.

:LG:


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Rodcrafter » December 20th, 2017, 3:58 pm

:beer:


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Weyrider » December 21st, 2017, 6:08 pm

Well today I welded up my fire box. Most of the welds are on the inside so they wont show as bad. I was looking for the parent metals to turn color, and all of them did so that makes me happy. You can see the firebox under the Cooking Chamber ready to get mounted. The shop maybe closed over the holidays so this might be a 2 week lull in the building part of things, we shall see. Took pictures too.
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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Big T » December 21st, 2017, 6:53 pm

:LG:


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Rodcrafter » December 22nd, 2017, 9:28 pm

Getting it done


Making memories!


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by The Czar » December 23rd, 2017, 7:56 am

Almost a great Christmas present....that’s it...just work for the next 48 hours and your done!!!


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Rodcrafter » December 26th, 2017, 7:49 pm

Yeah that!


Making memories!


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Weyrider » December 28th, 2017, 11:37 am

Ok, now while waiting for the shop to open after the holidays I have been doing some thinking. My throat opening is 12" * 3". I have made a Shadow plate that is 6" * 18" * 3/16 thick. That will be sitting 1 1/2" above the opening. Now my Baffle plate is going to be 14" wide and 2" above the shadow plate. The length of the tank with the ends included is 60". The Baffle plate is also 3/16" thick. The welds for the ends are spaced 48" apart. How long should my baffle plate be? Would 48" suffice or should I go further into the bell ends? I haven't ordered the steel yet so I would really like an idea before I do. Thanks in advance. Hope everyone is have a great holiday season so far.


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Big T » December 28th, 2017, 6:10 pm

I can't say for sure seeing as it's a vertical/CF but on an offset RF the BP gap is the same size as the throat or up to 25% smaller. If the BP gap is larger than the throat it doesn't allow the heat to build up under the BP so you lose the radiant heat from the BP. The same principles may not apply to a center feed but I think that they would because it's still a RF smoker.


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Pete Mazz » December 29th, 2017, 5:13 am

You can use this Baffle Plate Gap Calc. You'll need to halve the calculated gap for a CF tho.

http://planetcalc.com/5966/

I took a guess at bell end depth at your BP height but should be close.
Screenshot-2017-12-29 Online calculator Baffle Plate Gap Calculator.png
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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Weyrider » December 29th, 2017, 12:18 pm

Thanks Pete, I took my measurements and I see that instead of a 48" baffle plate, I should be using a 56" baffle plate and round the edges to fit the tank ends. that would leave a 2" gap at either end. I don't know if I can fit a 56" piece into the CC so I am going to fit the 48" piece into the CC and weld the remaining 8" afterwards. Time for some stiff cardboard to see first I would guess. But on the bright side I bought my wheels today so as soon as the shop opens up I can weld the frame together and mount the CC onto it. Bought 600 LB rated poly wheels, those should hold it.


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Weyrider » January 2nd, 2018, 7:14 pm

Another new year comes in and I got a few things accomplished. Got my baffle plate cut and fitted, its a 2 piece plate as I couldn't get a one piece in it. I had time to punch a 1" hole into the small piece and it lines up with the tank drain, just like in the plans.the edge of the baffle plate is 2" from the bell end so I was happy about that. Started to tack weld my wheels and oops ran out of welding wire and no more in the cabinet. Ordered more so it should come in tomorrow or Thursday. Cut my old Harley mufflers and placed them on the CC tank to see how they looked. Not too shabby, Marked my spots to drill out for my exhaust holes to mount the pipes in. I also measured the distance for my racks. The bottom rack is 4" from the baffle plate, then the top set of racks are 4" above those, leaving me with 4" to the top of the door opening. The black box is a rotisserie motor that a friend gave me. Sweet I have just the place for it. the end of the CC tank has plugs and I was going to use them for handles. So I am going to make another set of plugs that will allow a square tube to travel the length of the tank and allow a square rod to fit into the square tube and viola, a rotisserie. Good for a bunch of chickens, turkey, and prime rib. :-c :-c \m/
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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Big T » January 2nd, 2018, 10:10 pm

:LG:


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Rodcrafter » January 3rd, 2018, 8:43 am

I have never made a pit like this, but just looking it over you will need to make sure this dude is very level for it to flow right. I think i would have left more gap on each end. or make it adjustable.


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Weyrider » January 3rd, 2018, 9:57 am

Good Morning RC, I measured the gaps at the end of the baffle plates and they are a little over 2" at the deepest part of the bell. I used Petes calculator and it gave me a total of 4" total gap for the measurements I put into it. I haven't welded anything down as of yet, but you make a viable point. Now you got me thinking, do I weld them in as is or do I wait till I try a burn in and try to see where my temps lie and then make adjustments then. I am up for suggestions from all who see this. For those that are interested my measurements are as follows;

Cooking Chamber 60" * 18" =15268 cubic inches

Firebox 24 * 12 * 12 = 5089 cubic inches @ 67.91% of recommended Firebox stats

Chimney size (2) 3" * 16" pipe for 300 cubic inches

Intake area (2) 6" * 3" for 20.74" cubic inches total

throat size 36 square inches ( 12" * 3").

My chimney, intake and throat sizes are greater than I needed but since the calculations are for a reverse flow offset design, I am going into this with a "lets see what happens when I do this" kind of reasoning. As far as leveling this project out, I can do that. I am banking that my intakes and exhaust are large enough to induce a good smoke and heat flow, maybe not too well that they become too touchy at best.


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Re: My Center Feed Smoker Build

Post by Rodcrafter » January 3rd, 2018, 2:46 pm

This rig is so much different than mine have been, I wouldn't weld the BP in until I ran it some. I know it will be dirty doing it later. Or you could back up from the end bells, make the BP permanent and drop cut pieces past the end of it like tuning plates to try various openings until your comfortable with the way she acts. Where they would be is past where your cooking racks will be anyway right?


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