Introduction and question

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tinspark
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Introduction and question

Post by tinspark » March 10th, 2020, 2:43 pm

Hello, to start out with I have never built, owned, or even used a smoker, and I am new to this forum. So that would likely make me a super-newb.
One thing that I have going for me is that I love smoked meat! Another thing that I have going on here is that I am a welder fabricator/ sheet metal worker with a full home shop including a CNC plasma cutter, welders etc. but have zero working knowledge of how to properly size, build, or even use a smoker until I fumbled on this amazing site. Man I am glad I found it . I didn't know, or even think that these things were actually engineered to individual tank sizes and that the area of the smoke stack was important. I have a newfound respect for pit builders!
I recently changed out my H2o heater and am using the old tank to do a small build for home use (horizontal configuration). I figured I'd work out the kinks on this one, then sell it and make one that I can be proud of later :)> I have tons of metal and can and will fabricate ALL of my parts here in my home shop except for temp gauges etc.. I read last night that the baffle plate in a "reverse flow" smoker needs to be welded solid. I then noticed that in an "offset smoker" the tuning plates just lay in and can be moved around to (apparently) fine tune where the heat is going on the cook grate. , so the grease on an offset smoker would likely be drained from the bottom of the tank.
Here is my conundrum/question: I was planning on laying "my" baffle plate across two angle iron tracks which would be welded inside of the tank and along the length of the smoker. These tip up and form a trough, due to the shape of the tank and the location of the angles along the lower radius of the tank. I could then remove the baffle plate and drop in a pan which would sit on short legs off of the bottom of the tank so that I could use briquettes/wood in order to cook up burgers for the kids in it when I don't want to fire up the fire box. Then simply remove the ash from the pan and set it aside and drop in the baffle plate.
I clam shelled the lid so that it can swing fully out of the way and will build crank arms and cables so that I can lift the cook grate above the heat and fire in the tank when I am using the tank as the heat source and cooking up stuff that I may not want to smoke. So the question is: Can I simply lay in the correct size baffle plate, similar to the way tuning plates set in an "offset smoker"? Not too worried about grease fires on this small thing and would deal with a drain as needed. I would rely on the weight of the pan/baffle plate to set snugly on the angle iron rails.


I really liked the pit calculator, so THANK YOU to whoever is responsible for it. I am following it to a tee. I have my tank and have things moving along smoothly. Last night I burned hubs for my all metal carriage wheels and rolled up some flat bar and welded it to the hubs. Thanks for reading my post. I am thoroughly enjoying this forum …
Regards,
Tinspark - (super-newb- out!)lol!


Regards,
tinspark the chain smoker

the verdict is in: She says "!!Guilty!!
My wife has accused me of being a "Chain smoker", and that I am "addicted to smoking"!!
I admitted to her that I smoke at least 2-12 packs a week !!
(ie. ribs, tri-tip, chicken etc.) !!GUILTY!!---haha! :grillin:

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Big T
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Re: Introduction and question

Post by Big T » March 10th, 2020, 8:02 pm

Welcome aboard!! I believe that the general consensus is that it's better from a performance stand point to build a separate grill and smoker. You can build a combo unit and make it work for your needs but you'll probably end up having to make a few compromises along the way. To answer your question about the baffle plate, I've seen a few guys over the years that had a removable plate with a grease dam at the throat and they said that it worked fine. Just make sure that the heat stays trapped below the baffle plate and can't escape around the edges. Be sure to start a new thread when you start your build and post plenty of pictures.


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Dirtytires
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Re: Introduction and question

Post by Dirtytires » March 10th, 2020, 9:11 pm

I like the welded baffle plate as it greatly decreases chance of a grease fire. Had on in an offset once......not a pretty scene.



tinspark
Needs a Bigger Shop!
Needs a Bigger Shop!
Posts: 85
Joined: February 20th, 2020, 3:08 pm
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Location: Fresno, CA

Re: Introduction and question

Post by tinspark » March 11th, 2020, 12:00 am

Here are a few pics of what I have put together so far.
Glad I found this site and pit calculator prior to doing anything else..
Will be taking the advise an the welded baffle plate will post more pics as things progress..
Thanks for the replies..
Regards,
Tinspark
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Regards,
tinspark the chain smoker

the verdict is in: She says "!!Guilty!!
My wife has accused me of being a "Chain smoker", and that I am "addicted to smoking"!!
I admitted to her that I smoke at least 2-12 packs a week !!
(ie. ribs, tri-tip, chicken etc.) !!GUILTY!!---haha! :grillin:

tinspark
Needs a Bigger Shop!
Needs a Bigger Shop!
Posts: 85
Joined: February 20th, 2020, 3:08 pm
Title: Member
Location: Fresno, CA

Re: Introduction and question

Post by tinspark » March 11th, 2020, 12:05 am

Having trouble posting more than one pic per thread..
May need to read instruction page in a bit..
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Last edited by tinspark on March 11th, 2020, 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Regards,
tinspark the chain smoker

the verdict is in: She says "!!Guilty!!
My wife has accused me of being a "Chain smoker", and that I am "addicted to smoking"!!
I admitted to her that I smoke at least 2-12 packs a week !!
(ie. ribs, tri-tip, chicken etc.) !!GUILTY!!---haha! :grillin:

tinspark
Needs a Bigger Shop!
Needs a Bigger Shop!
Posts: 85
Joined: February 20th, 2020, 3:08 pm
Title: Member
Location: Fresno, CA

Re: Introduction and question

Post by tinspark » March 11th, 2020, 12:16 am

I pulled the bottom end cap off of this H2o heater since they are all inverted and rewelded it in the correct position to match the top.
I will hopefully be able to work on my firebox and throat next week. The pipes that run down the middle of all h2o heaters will make a perfect stack for my baby smoker trial build- 2-13/16 ID (2.8125"). It's free too, which is a bonus. 20" length on this 30 gallon tank ought to do it"
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Regards,
tinspark the chain smoker

the verdict is in: She says "!!Guilty!!
My wife has accused me of being a "Chain smoker", and that I am "addicted to smoking"!!
I admitted to her that I smoke at least 2-12 packs a week !!
(ie. ribs, tri-tip, chicken etc.) !!GUILTY!!---haha! :grillin:

tinspark
Needs a Bigger Shop!
Needs a Bigger Shop!
Posts: 85
Joined: February 20th, 2020, 3:08 pm
Title: Member
Location: Fresno, CA

Re: Introduction and question

Post by tinspark » March 11th, 2020, 1:23 am

Dirtytires wrote:
March 10th, 2020, 9:11 pm
I like the welded baffle plate as it greatly decreases chance of a grease fire. Had on in an offset once......not a pretty scene.
OK that answers a question that I scratched my head on a bit, which is if a fully welded baffle plate is a good idea in a reverse flow smoker because of the possibility of a grease fire, then It sounds like an "offset smoker" with lay-in tuning plates with air gaps between them allows grease to fall onto the tank bottom increasing the possibility of a fire, if by chance a user over-stokes his fire or he gets a flare-up and flame from the fire box gets into the cook chamber and ignites the grease. I am guessing this means that "offset smokers" are not as safe as "reverse flow" smokers, and could potentially put a user at risk of fire? Anyways, I will just weld a plate in and move forward with it,,
Thanks for the response,
Tinspark


Regards,
tinspark the chain smoker

the verdict is in: She says "!!Guilty!!
My wife has accused me of being a "Chain smoker", and that I am "addicted to smoking"!!
I admitted to her that I smoke at least 2-12 packs a week !!
(ie. ribs, tri-tip, chicken etc.) !!GUILTY!!---haha! :grillin:

tinspark
Needs a Bigger Shop!
Needs a Bigger Shop!
Posts: 85
Joined: February 20th, 2020, 3:08 pm
Title: Member
Location: Fresno, CA

Re: Introduction and question

Post by tinspark » March 11th, 2020, 1:35 am

Fabricated the hinges on my CNC Plasma cutter to match the tank radius. Used 1/4" mild steel plate
Cut and capped the 3/4" couplings. Will add a new coupling on the bottom if it needs it..
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Regards,
tinspark the chain smoker

the verdict is in: She says "!!Guilty!!
My wife has accused me of being a "Chain smoker", and that I am "addicted to smoking"!!
I admitted to her that I smoke at least 2-12 packs a week !!
(ie. ribs, tri-tip, chicken etc.) !!GUILTY!!---haha! :grillin:

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mp4
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Re: Introduction and question

Post by mp4 » March 15th, 2020, 9:35 am

If you designed your removable baffle plate to contain all your grease it should work good too. Conventional smokers just add a grease dam before the firebox to keep the grease from burning on there, they are just as safe as a reverse flow if designed right. I'm still a reverse flow fan though...



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