Center feed tube build

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ajfoxy
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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by ajfoxy » October 21st, 2018, 1:13 am

:yth: looks good enough to eat.


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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by Dirtytires » October 21st, 2018, 11:48 am

Be careful with grease In The firebox. You are long enough so it’s probably not an issue but grease fires are bad.

For the drip pans, might i suggest a few stainless steel restraint pans. They come in many sizes and depths and are pretty inexpensive.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » October 21st, 2018, 12:52 pm

Dirtytires wrote:
October 21st, 2018, 11:48 am
Be careful with grease In The firebox. You are long enough so it’s probably not an issue but grease fires are bad.

For the drip pans, might i suggest a few stainless steel restraint pans. They come in many sizes and depths and are pretty inexpensive.
Yea, I've been watching how far the grease travels real close. My fire baskets are a foot or more from the ends where the grease drips but I know all it will take is for that stuff to travel under the basket and we will have an issue. Cutting the channels will help it to not run out the cc doors and I have to find pans that are 7" wide. I'm running a bead of silicone around the underside of the fb/cc openings to help the grease drip better and not flow down the sides. Those brats and bacon really let go of the grease so that was a good test to see what needs done next.

I'm also learning how much charcoal to put in the baskets...too much and it's too close to the top of the fb and it won't burn right. Every cook I learn a little more and get to eat some good food :beer:



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » October 21st, 2018, 8:57 pm

I killed two birds today and found a tool box that will double as my work surface. It fits perfectly on the intake side of the smoker. It's just the right size and I do believe I will hang a paper towel roll under one end and make a foil holder for the other. Gotta love $40 Craigslist finds. The latch handles on the smoker doors clear by 3/4".
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Image



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by Big T » October 21st, 2018, 10:04 pm

Nice :kewl:


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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by AndrewPalmer71 » October 22nd, 2018, 5:32 am

Is the smoker door heavy? I recall you said it was heavy walled steel tubing. Also, where is the handle for opening the smoker door? I ask all this because it seems you will have to stretch to reach over the toolbox to open the smoker door. Also I'd really like to see the inside of the smoker, the firebox to cc opening, racks, etc. Very interesting build, not enough pics.

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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » October 22nd, 2018, 10:27 am

AndrewPalmer71 wrote:
October 22nd, 2018, 5:32 am
Is the smoker door heavy? I recall you said it was heavy walled steel tubing. Also, where is the handle for opening the smoker door? I ask all this because it seems you will have to stretch to reach over the toolbox to open the smoker door. Also I'd really like to see the inside of the smoker, the firebox to cc opening, racks, etc. Very interesting build, not enough pics. Image

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The doors are on the very ends and you can reach the latches from the end very easy....fully open the red latch handles clear the tool box by 3/4"...I will get more pics up later. The main smoker body is 1/2" the doors are 1/4" and only 8"x12" in size. If you look at previous photos when I built the dividers you can see inside one half of the cook chamber and near the front you will see the slot from fb to cc. I have to run to town when I get back I will post better shots and explain each one. The main body of the smoker only has two openings...the intake and exhaust....no big door. The racks slide in from the ends as do the charcoal baskets. The intake and exhaust are split so you run each side of the smoker independently. The racks have to be pulled out in order to load and unload the meat. Under the cc/fb openings sits a grease pan to catch drips. It's completely different than any other smoker....and it works!

Cooking chamber minus rack....this is only one half and there is another from the other end. The cc/fb opening is at the front and the single bolt is what holds the cc to the fb.
Image

One 3' long rack used without the rib racks.....
Image

The other 3' long rack with the rib racks...these can be placed crosswise or lengthwise.
Image
Last edited by towtruck on October 22nd, 2018, 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » October 22nd, 2018, 11:57 am

The reasoning for the split cooking chamber and fire box is to better regulate air flow. With an open design the air flow was easily imbalanced side to side with the meat creating air flow differences that then made the heat travel the path of least resistance leaving one side hotter and one side cooler also allowing the fire to creep toward the hotter side making the imbalance worse over time.
More pics......
Straight through the fire box.....the cc/fb opening is at the top nearest the opening. The little tab in the center is the charcoal basket stopper that is part of the split intake.
Image
Charcoal baskets that form each side of the fire box with the end plates blocking each half in the center.
Image
This is the intake that is split for each half...
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Intake
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View into the front half of the smoker cc and fb below. The cc divider plate is the shiny thing in the back that divides the two cc halves.The stack is divided as well and that divider holds the cc divider in place.
Image
Stack divider....
Image
Stack and cc divider out of the smoker
Image
latches and doors into the smoker.
Image



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » October 22nd, 2018, 1:24 pm

The next thing to go on the trailer is a bbq for burgers and steaks. I have an old reverse flow build that my buddy made that did not work out so I'm cutting it up and making a charcoal bbq out of it and mounting it on the left side with the grates about the same height as the top of the smoker. Any lower and it will be too low to work off of. I have to fill my oxygen bottle so I can hack off the fire box and cut the cc up a little to make the cooking grates slide in and out so I can dump charcoal on the bypass plate and pull my food out. I'm going to drill holes in the bp to let the charcoal burn. I'll leave the doors alone, cut the stack down, and I'm thinking of just leaving the big hole, where the fire box joins the cc, open for max air flow. The end of the bbq where the fire box joined up has a little shelf and I think I will make it a little bigger and I can use it for a place to light my chimney and set my beverages. Once that is all done I need to drag it down to DMV and get my license plate for it.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by ajfoxy » October 22nd, 2018, 6:09 pm

Really looking good now. Good score on the tool box. :kewl:


Learning generally boils down to "Repetition or the avoidance of pain", some people learn by doing, some by watching and some just have to pee on the electric fence.

Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right. Henry Ford

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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by AndrewPalmer71 » October 22nd, 2018, 7:17 pm

YTH. Looking good now. Definitely a one of a kind build. Keep up the good work!

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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » October 27th, 2018, 4:25 pm

I got the grill cut down and mounted on the trailer....
Image
Image
Image

Right now I have a wide open chamber under the aluminum shelf where I cut the fire box off. I may have to damper it down later on. I put some lump charcoal in under the slide rails for the racks to burn off some paint residue and the right side is running 500 and the left is 450. I'll have to cook on it a few times to see how that is going to work out.
Last edited by towtruck on October 27th, 2018, 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by ajfoxy » October 27th, 2018, 4:37 pm

Getting a tad crowded on that little trailer now. But she is becoming very versatile. :kewl:


Learning generally boils down to "Repetition or the avoidance of pain", some people learn by doing, some by watching and some just have to pee on the electric fence.

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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » October 27th, 2018, 5:02 pm

ajfoxy wrote:
October 27th, 2018, 4:37 pm
Getting a tad crowded on that little trailer now. But she is becoming very versatile. :kewl:
That's it for adding stuff....other than a paper towel holder and a foil holder.

Something else I have to do is weld in the grate stops. I want the grates to slide out and stay hooked to the bbq. I have to lift the grate to pull it out so that means the grate stop has to be high enough to clear the grate when lifted. I will have to add a spacer at the back of the grate to line up with the stopper so they stay somewhat level when up against the stop.

Got it done....
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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by Big T » October 27th, 2018, 8:42 pm

:LG:


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » October 28th, 2018, 5:46 pm

Today I got the grease grooves cut into the cook chambers to direct grease down the cc/fb openings. I got one layer of silicone on the bottom of those openings hoping to build up a bead that the grease will drip off of into my grease pans that I still need to get. I made the foil roll holder and will get a paper towel rack to put on the other end of the tool box. A few utensils, a second chimney starter, and the digital probes will be bought next week. Dang...it's almost complete!

I need to hook it up to my pickup or Jeep and see how it tows....I have yet to pull it anywhere. I ended up with about 100 lbs of tongue weight, should be perfect.

edit to add......If down the road I don't like the grill or it rusts out it will be easy to unbolt it and swap it out for another one. I highly doubt the smoker will rust out in my lifetime.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by Dirtytires » October 28th, 2018, 11:30 pm

Keep the ash cleaned out and it will never rust from the inside.

Keep paint on it and it will never rust from the outside.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » October 28th, 2018, 11:35 pm

Dirtytires wrote:
October 28th, 2018, 11:30 pm
Keep the ash cleaned out and it will never rust from the inside.

Keep paint on it and it will never rust from the outside.
I scooped it out then tipped the trailer up and flushed it all out the back. Ash sucks up and holds water like a sponge....it's the bbq killer! So far I have been able to flush out the smoker while hot too.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » October 30th, 2018, 1:32 pm

I took the trailer for a drive today to see what else may need to be done and I found some issues driving down the road. Number one I need to add a couple braces on the BBQ legs as it was shaking a bit on bumpy ground. I need to make two little blocks to keep the smoker racks from shifting front to back. There is only about 1 1/4" of play on each rack but they slide back and forth against the chamber divider. I will make two little handles that will serve double duty as stoppers.

The suspension is a little stiff so nailing everything down is priority one. I did not get up to any speed but it tows well at low speeds. I will hit the freeway when I take it to DMV for it's final test. I'm hoping the suspension smooths out with a little use....I'm going to spray the leaves with oil to get them lubed up a bit as they have a good rust between them now.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by Rodcrafter » October 31st, 2018, 6:38 am

Nice work!

You have a one of a kind for sure.


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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » October 31st, 2018, 1:33 pm

Rodcrafter wrote:
October 31st, 2018, 6:38 am
Nice work!

You have a one of a kind for sure.
Thanks!
I got the angle braces on the bbq legs and cross tied it to the fenders' inside edge. Solid as a rock now. The wife bought me one Thermpro dual probe set and I will pick up another one next month. I just have a few more little tinkering things to do to the rig and it's ready to go.
Drip pans, paper towel holder, bbq tools, one more chimney starter, a little tool box with veggie oil and paper towels for starting the coals, and some organization in the storage box. I will possibly add a better work surface to the top of the tool box. My buddy at the welding shop has some new bathroom stall divider material that would make a great cutting board/work surface but it would add a bunch of weight to the lid of that tool box so I'm holding off on that right now.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » November 3rd, 2018, 5:03 pm

I got the tool box organized with dividers for all my gear and I had a little piece of diamond plate aluminum left over that made a nice little shelf on the fender in front of the bbq. I found pans to use for the grease drippings, cookie sheets to put under the ends of the fb when I drag the baskets out to catch the ash, and picked up a set of bbq tools and another chimney. About all that is left is the paper towel holder. I have my fire starter kit in there with vegetable oil, paper towels and matches. I have an ash scraper, meat hook, hooks to grab the hot charcoal baskets, and a few other tools.
Image
Image

I am dragging it to work on Thursday to BBQ chicken, and I am smoking some ABT's. Feeding about 12 people.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by Big T » November 3rd, 2018, 8:21 pm

:LG:


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by Dirtytires » November 3rd, 2018, 10:32 pm

I’m sure you know this but you can always disassemble the spring pack and take a leaf out to soften it up. Granted it will decrease your capacity some.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » November 3rd, 2018, 11:25 pm

Dirtytires wrote:
November 3rd, 2018, 10:32 pm
I’m sure you know this but you can always disassemble the spring pack and take a leaf out to soften it up. Granted it will decrease your capacity some.
Yeah, I could do that or swap for a lighter spring pack. This old set has an odd ball center to center on the hangers though so finding another set of springs with a 27" eye to eye might proof difficult. I'm oiling them up and calling it good. There is about 1000 lbs on there so it should smooth out.....and catching a little air now and then should not hurt things =))

I'm dragging it 20 miles round trip Thursday so that will be a good test run....(I still have not drug it to DMV yet....but don't tell nobody ;) )



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