Help with Vertical Smoker made from Brick and Metal Lonestar Style

Smoker Clones are your own version of a commercially available Smoker. Examples are Stumps, Jambo, Backwoods, or any other you want to try to copy.
Post Reply
bigjohn
beginner
beginner
Posts: 6
Joined: October 25th, 2016, 4:39 pm

Help with Vertical Smoker made from Brick and Metal Lonestar Style

Post by bigjohn » October 26th, 2016, 12:05 pm

Hello, I am creating two built in vertical smokers, made from Firebrick and Metal. I need help right now on two issues, firebox and water pan. First, here is a description with photos of what I have done.

I am trying to make both smokers very similar to the Lonestar Grillz Vertical smokers. I am making one small and one large, and tried my best to guess the approximate sizes of the Lonestar Smokers. The idea is to have the firebrick, 1" of 2000 degree insulation all the way around, then metal front and top providing the best possible insulation factors and hopefully flavors, and also something that will last virtually forever.

I will note that I am a true BBQ aficionado, and have had my own BBQ restaurants here in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I am not a designer, metal worker, engineer or architect. I am learning how to weld, first project was my Argentine grill's canopy which was a chore but very rewarding so now I need to do what my true passion is, smokers for BBQ as I use these more than the grills. I am a bit stuck on two major items, the water pan, and firebox mechanisms which I will get into below.

I started with a cement base for each, each with metal “feet” or plates with bent rebar embedded in the cement on each of the four corners so we can then weld the metal angles into the floor. I started with firebrick (with fire mortar), and created two vertical smokers with the interior measurements as follows:

Small: 48" tall, width is 20" inside (less the 1/4" angle on each side plus ¼” insulation) so 19" wide, and depth is 24”.

Large: 48" tall, width is 30" inside (less the 1/4" angle on each side plus ¼” insulation) so 29" wide, and depth is 26.

Here are some basic pics from the front.
IMG_2608.JPG
IMG_2616(1).jpg
IMG_2626.JPG
IMG_2628(1).jpg
IMG_2657.JPG
IMG_2658(1).jpg
IMG_2671.JPG
IMG_2672.JPG
IMG_2694.JPG
This is part one, as I cannot add more photos. I will follow up with Part two.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by bigjohn on October 26th, 2016, 8:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.



bigjohn
beginner
beginner
Posts: 6
Joined: October 25th, 2016, 4:39 pm

Re: Part 2: Vertical Smoker made from Brick and Metal Lonestar Style

Post by bigjohn » October 26th, 2016, 12:28 pm

Follow up as Part 2:

Now that I have the 3 walls for each smoker done out of fire brick and fire mortar, I then added 1 1/2" x 1/4" thick 1500 degree insulation (two 100' rolls) from Stove Gaskets.com http://stovegaskets.com/gasket-material ... -500f.html and attached them to each corner of the brick, then covered that with Metal angle, 2 1/12" x 1/4" thick for all 4 posts and top. (Note: I also added Rebar on each post for added stability of the walls).

Note: The idea of this and the insulation between each piece of metal and the brick is to keep the brick from moving at all which would also increase greatly the life of the firebrick since nothing will be in direct contact with the brick at any time (at least in theory).


I forgot to take pics with the insulation but after I installed the metal angle over the insulation here is a pic:

IMG_3628.JPG
As you can see from these photos the metal angle is now on each wall including top (still pending is to add the insulation on the floor, then a layer of firebrick and possible metal on top of that).
IMG_3534(1).jpg
IMG_3547(1).jpg
IMG_3621.JPG
IMG_3623(1).jpg
IMG_3625(1).jpg
Now comes the hard part at least for me. Here is a basic sketch of my diagram:

Smokers Front.jpg
On the inside posts, I will weld on rails for each food tray or grate (will be stainless steel tubing). The rails I have 1" metal angle x 3/16" thick. Also have flat metal 1" x 3/16" for a guide above the rail so the trays will stay on place and not farr forward with the weight when slid out. The bottom third of the smoker will be the water pan, and firebox and ash pan.

I have two very difficult things to do: Firebox and water pan with fill and drain. Please see the video from Lonestar Grillz: http://www.lonestargrillz.com/Insulated-Smokers.html

First is the Firebox. I am thinking of using metal angle for the frame, 2" x 3/16 or 2 1/2" x 1/4" for the walls and slide above and below and then on the inside weld on 3/16" plate. Do you think this will hold up? Any idea on how better to do this? I have no metal bending tools or experience so looking for advice.

For the slide guide for the firebox I was thinking of using metal angle 2 1/2" x 1/4", 2" x 1/4" or 2" x 3/16". Opinions?

For the Water Pan, Lonestar made a metal 1/4" think water pan but this one is completely built in. I plan of having also the drain/fill for the water pan but was thinking of making in a way to be able to unscrew the nipple and be able to slide out the water pan if needed like for extreme cleaning and or replacement. I was thinking of doing the water pan much in the same way as I was thinking for the firebox. Again I have no metal bending tools or experience so looking for advice. Do you think this will hold up? Any idea on how better to do this? If possible I want to be able to finish my project up by Thanksgiving but starting to run out of time and hopefully I can get some great feedback here. Thanks for your support and help!
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.



User avatar
Squiggle
Expert
Expert
Posts: 2611
Joined: December 19th, 2015, 5:04 pm
Title: Reformed non-smoker!
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Mole Creek, Tasmania

Re: Help with Vertical Smoker made from Brick and Metal Lonestar Style

Post by Squiggle » October 27th, 2016, 3:15 am

:welcome: sounds & looks like a pretty cool setup. Most people here don't use water pans as they tend to remove heat, I have tried using one but it made for a lot more work & wild temp swings when the water evaporated. I found, & I'm sure others agree, that there is enough moisture in the smoker from dripping fat & sauce on to the baffle surface. :kewl:


Formerly known as "Hey you there in the bushes!"

bigjohn
beginner
beginner
Posts: 6
Joined: October 25th, 2016, 4:39 pm

Re: Help with Vertical Smoker made from Brick and Metal Lonestar Style

Post by bigjohn » October 27th, 2016, 9:41 am

I appreciate the feedback. The point of water pan primarily is to keep temperatures lower in a vertical setting, as well as some added moisture. I believe that without the water pan temps would get far too high in the smoker wouldn't you think?



User avatar
holyp
Just Got in trouble for buying tools
Just Got in trouble for buying tools
Posts: 47
Joined: September 28th, 2015, 11:57 am

Re: Help with Vertical Smoker made from Brick and Metal Lonestar Style

Post by holyp » October 27th, 2016, 2:56 pm

Looks like you are off to a good start. The temperature can be regulated by the amount of charcoal you put it, and by restricting air flow. You can keep temperature low without a water pan.
Where do you plan on putting the air valve and grease valves?

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk



User avatar
Squiggle
Expert
Expert
Posts: 2611
Joined: December 19th, 2015, 5:04 pm
Title: Reformed non-smoker!
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Mole Creek, Tasmania

Re: Help with Vertical Smoker made from Brick and Metal Lonestar Style

Post by Squiggle » October 27th, 2016, 3:34 pm

bigjohn wrote:I appreciate the feedback. The point of water pan primarily is to keep temperatures lower in a vertical setting, as well as some added moisture. I believe that without the water pan temps would get far too high in the smoker wouldn't you think?
I have two vertical smokers & don't use a water pan in either, I did try it out on one but found it was more work than without.

As holyp said, you can control temp easily by making sure the smoker is sealed well & then control the air intake with a ball valve or other adjustable opening.

Moisture isn't generally a problem as the fats & sauces dripping on the baffle plate above your FB will evaporate & keep your meat moist. :kewl:


Formerly known as "Hey you there in the bushes!"

User avatar
Rodcrafter
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8456
Joined: July 21st, 2012, 5:46 pm
Title: Member
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Orlando, Florida

Re: Help with Vertical Smoker made from Brick and Metal Lonestar Style

Post by Rodcrafter » October 27th, 2016, 9:49 pm

I do agree I don't like the water pan either. It tends to mess with the seasoning on the cooker too. When I was using it I saw rust showing up inside my smoker. I seriously never saw any benefit. The air control is how every UDS operates.


Making memories!


Current Smokers: Backyard RF Offset and Hybrid RF Offset trailer rig with Cowboy cooker and fish fryer, always room for more........

bigjohn
beginner
beginner
Posts: 6
Joined: October 25th, 2016, 4:39 pm

Re: Help with Vertical Smoker made from Brick and Metal Lonestar Style

Post by bigjohn » October 28th, 2016, 12:16 am

holyp wrote:Looks like you are off to a good start. The temperature can be regulated by the amount of charcoal you put it, and by restricting air flow. You can keep temperature low without a water pan.
Where do you plan on putting the air valve and grease valves?

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
If you can see the copper tube going up the walls on the outside that is the refill pipe, and below on the same tube would be the T with drain and the other into the metal water pan. That way when the water level lowers below 50% or so some smoke should start coming out of the water reservoir.

The air Valves for each will be on each side, so the large smoker on the right will have two 2" air valves, and the smaller smoker on the left will have two 2" air inlets on the left below. Each will have its air inlet coming into the side of the firebox and each will have 2" ball valves to adjust air intake.

Going a step further, I am contemplating adding a full on Rocks BBQ Stoker system where I can use the one system and two fan systems and a bounce of probes to control both smokers at the same time. It gets pretty pricey using one system for both but think if works correctly would be very rewarding, and am hoping that the system I am building will be awesome.



User avatar
Rodcrafter
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8456
Joined: July 21st, 2012, 5:46 pm
Title: Member
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Orlando, Florida

Re: Help with Vertical Smoker made from Brick and Metal Lonestar Style

Post by Rodcrafter » October 28th, 2016, 8:08 am

I think it will be awesome too! I would like to say, while running it keep an open mind about trying it with out water to see how it works both ways. The work you're doing is too much to not get the all around best functionality.


Making memories!


Current Smokers: Backyard RF Offset and Hybrid RF Offset trailer rig with Cowboy cooker and fish fryer, always room for more........

bigjohn
beginner
beginner
Posts: 6
Joined: October 25th, 2016, 4:39 pm

Re: Help with Vertical Smoker made from Brick and Metal Lonestar Style

Post by bigjohn » October 28th, 2016, 10:37 am

I appreciate the feedback. I do want to make the water pan so I can fill without opening the door. I really do need some assistance on welding both the firebox and waterpan. Can anyone give me some pointers per my comments above?
Last edited by bigjohn on October 28th, 2016, 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.



User avatar
Squiggle
Expert
Expert
Posts: 2611
Joined: December 19th, 2015, 5:04 pm
Title: Reformed non-smoker!
BBQ Comp Team Name: Not competing yet...
Location: Mole Creek, Tasmania

Re: Help with Vertical Smoker made from Brick and Metal Lonestar Style

Post by Squiggle » October 28th, 2016, 2:33 pm

From looking at the videos in the link & reading what you are intending to do, I think the design should be fine, any of the bends from the video you can just make a 90deg fillet weld as you would on a normal 90deg joint


Formerly known as "Hey you there in the bushes!"

User avatar
Big T
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5624
Joined: September 1st, 2013, 2:40 pm
Title: Go Getter
BBQ Comp Team Name: Backyard Boys
Location: Lower Alabama

Re: Help with Vertical Smoker made from Brick and Metal Lonestar Style

Post by Big T » October 28th, 2016, 6:21 pm

It looks like you're doing a great job. I can't think of any way that you could build the water pan without welding it up. Do you have any fab shops near you ? They could probably weld it up for you pretty reasonably if you had all the fitting done.


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

bigjohn
beginner
beginner
Posts: 6
Joined: October 25th, 2016, 4:39 pm

Re: Help with Vertical Smoker made from Brick and Metal Lonestar Style

Post by bigjohn » October 31st, 2016, 12:45 pm

Thanks for the info. I will post some progress reports as I go. I am hoping I will have enough time to finish up before Thanksgiving!



Post Reply

Return to “Smoker Clones”