Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Horizontal smokers with a side firebox and tuning plates.
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fattfreddie
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Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by fattfreddie » July 7th, 2019, 5:05 pm

Hello:

I'm new here, and hoping to receive some priceless (free) advice.

I bought an offset smoker at an auction a few weeks ago - thought it would be cool to have one, and I also really liked the rotisserie feature which is pretty unusual.

Anyway, I have cooked with this thing about half a dozen times, with red oak pieces, and I simply cannot get it hot enough.

The thermometer in the center gets up to about 250 when the fire is the hottest, and it's almost impossible to keep it there.

Full firebox, half firebox, lots of air, little air, I have tried many variables.

I'm beginning to think that the smoker is just poorly designed.

Dimensions are:

Cooking chamber (round) = 24" round x 48" wide.
Fire Box (square) = 23" w x 18" h x 14" d (back to front)
Chimney (round) is 4" diameter x 31" tall
The opening between the Fire Box and the Cooking Chamber is 7" round.

I put these numbers into the calculator, but I don't know how to READ the calculator.

Is this thing just a mess that I should tow to the dump ? :?

Pictures attached, and thanks in advance for the advice.



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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by fattfreddie » July 7th, 2019, 5:09 pm

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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by fattfreddie » July 7th, 2019, 5:10 pm

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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by fattfreddie » July 7th, 2019, 5:10 pm

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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by fattfreddie » July 7th, 2019, 5:11 pm

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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by fattfreddie » July 7th, 2019, 5:11 pm

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towtruck
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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by towtruck » July 7th, 2019, 6:47 pm

Running the numbers your firebox is only 80% of what it needs to be. The throat is also undersized. I would open that throat up another 10+ sq inches and give it a try again before you scrap it.....it can be saved! Also you need to get the fire off the floor of the FB and let it breathe a bit.



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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by McBroom » July 7th, 2019, 6:55 pm

^^^^ Exactly this info here^^^^


- The Blue Mule



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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by McBroom » July 7th, 2019, 6:57 pm

I’ll give ya your money back on it


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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by fattfreddie » July 7th, 2019, 8:51 pm

Thank you for the responses.
It makes sense that the fire box is too small. The passage to the cooking chamber too.

With regard to getting the fire up off of the floor of the box, I neglected to add a picture of a removable fire box platform thing.

I drilled a few holes in the floor of the removable box but little improvement.
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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by Big T » July 7th, 2019, 9:15 pm

Good info from towtruck. I would say that the small throat is the biggest problem, it doesn't matter how big the fire is if you can't get the heat from the FB to the CC. It's definitely worth fixing, even if you have to increase the size of the FB and the throat, the majority of the work has already been done.


Measure Twice.....Cut Three Times.

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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by towtruck » July 7th, 2019, 9:50 pm

Big T wrote:
July 7th, 2019, 9:15 pm
Good info from towtruck. I would say that the small throat is the biggest problem, it doesn't matter how big the fire is if you can't get the heat from the FB to the CC. It's definitely worth fixing, even if you have to increase the size of the FB and the throat, the majority of the work has already been done.

I would open the throat up as high as I could to the top of the fb as well.



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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by Dirtytires » July 7th, 2019, 10:05 pm

Yep...ditto....if you can weld, save it!



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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by john_az » July 10th, 2019, 7:19 pm

You can still save it even if you cant weld... there are few ways to make that port bigger without welding.... (it would make life easier if you could weld) But a cuttoff wheel or sawzall would turn that round port into a nice bigger box in no time. Then just have someone make ya two steel boxes that slide inside of each other with flanges on the outside, (wide enough to accommodate thickness between FB and CC) and bolt her in.

That would be easier and faster than building a whole new FB... worth a shot, the smoker seems pretty nice!
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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by fattfreddie » July 12th, 2019, 11:04 am

ImageThanks for the replies.

John_az that slip flange thing is a good idea.

Not a welder myself, but we do have a shop who does work for my company.

I think that replacing the 6" ID pipe between the boxes with the largest pipe that will fit will be my first shot at it.



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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by towtruck » July 12th, 2019, 2:24 pm

fattfreddie wrote:
July 12th, 2019, 11:04 am
ImageThanks for the replies.

John_az that slip flange thing is a good idea.

Not a welder myself, but we do have a shop who does work for my company.

I think that replacing the 6" ID pipe between the boxes with the largest pipe that will fit will be my first shot at it.
You can open it up in a half circle to match the shape of the CC. leave a lip on the bottom to keep grease from running into the fire box. Is the FB welded to the CC or is the only connection that 6" throat pipe? If it's welded around the CC you can just cut the hole bigger.



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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by Dirtytires » July 12th, 2019, 10:39 pm

Agreed Towtruck....it looks like a few minutes with a plasma cutter will open it up pretty easily. Best part is if you over-cut it, welding a plate over it to block off a few square inches is even easier. You don’t need a pipe as a pass-thru.....just an opening of the proper size. Remember as you enlarge that you want the opening at the very top of the firebox so as not to trap heat at the top. The problem here is it might then enter too far up on the cook chambers house this is less critical on a traditional offsetlike yours.

It was mentioned that the firebox is too small also. It might jus be easier to cut it off, enlarge it and put it back on with everything corrected. If you are paying someone to fix it, 2 small jobs are usually more expensive that 1 large one.



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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by fattfreddie » July 16th, 2019, 2:20 pm

Again, thank you all for the valuable advice.
First thing I did this past weekend was to replace the small platform in the fire box with a much larger fireplace grate type thing for the wood to sit on.
That made a big difference already.

And Dirtytires, you are right - I'm going to have the shop cut the box off and fix it.
The box and chamber are two separate sections.

Thanks again, I'll post pictures here upon completion.



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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by Mokoro » July 21st, 2019, 9:05 pm

From the photos, it looks like the air inlet is too small.
Could be wrong... But would heat be lost out that firebox door glass?
If possible, I'd replace the firebox door with a thick peice of steel plate... With an adjustable air inlet slider.
I like my air inlets to be oversized, for when you are starting the fire going



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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by fattfreddie » July 29th, 2019, 6:58 pm

Local fab shop opened up the passage for me, it works great now.

Thanks for all of the input.
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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by fattfreddie » July 29th, 2019, 7:00 pm

Mokoro wrote:
July 21st, 2019, 9:05 pm
...But would heat be lost out that firebox door glass?
If possible, I'd replace the firebox door with a thick peice of steel plate... With an adjustable air inlet slider.
The wood stove glass door does kind of suck, but it seals tight.
You can't see through it at all, so it serves no purpose.
I will probably replace it one day.



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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by Dirtytires » July 29th, 2019, 9:42 pm

Very cool....I’m sure you will find other things that need attention (as all smokers seem to have) but glad it is working. Looks likes they did a pretty nice job.



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Re: Can this be fixed ? Is it worth fixing ?

Post by ajfoxy » July 30th, 2019, 1:47 am

Looking good. Glad its working for you. As DT said there's always something else to tweak and change.


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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