Planning to build a gravity feed

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Tospy
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
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Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by Tospy » September 9th, 2021, 12:13 pm

Hi Guys,

After some reverse, offset and other bbq builds , I decided that I want to build a gravity feed smoker.

Since there is not a lot (I can't find it anyway) info , and specs describing the relation between the firebox, the chute and the volume off the cc. My thoughts went to buying some off Frank's plans. But the mini is quiet small form me and the double pan looks a bit big.....Is there any 'in between' solution?

Looking forward for som advice in here!



tinspark
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by tinspark » September 9th, 2021, 12:51 pm

I would go with the bigger one. I didn’t think I would ever use the capacity that I made mine but low and behold I did a huge cook a few months back for my son‘s graduation party and it was awesome (you can see my GF build and graduation cook on the last page of my GF build in my signature below) You can always cook a with the extra room and I am pretty sure that you wouldn’t use much more fuel. Especially if you insulate it like Frank’s plans show. But if you need it’ll you have it (cook space for the unexpected) The cost difference in my opinion is worth it because that thing will last longer than you or I as long as you kept out of the rain and elements . I usually do three or four racks of ribs and a tri-tip or two in mine which is nothing but when I cooked for my son‘s graduation party I did 16 racks of ribs and 14 try tips in this thing all at once and had a little room to spare. I was very glad that I had the larger capacity.. that is my 2 cents… keep us posted on your build, lots of pictures..


Regards,
"tinspark's" build links below:
Last build-GF:https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 30#p114730
First build- Santa Maria Smoker:
https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 7a614a230a
Santa Maria Rebuild: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7533&p=112344&hili ... 34#p112344

tinspark
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by tinspark » September 9th, 2021, 12:59 pm

Also, I think you can build the mini with an extra rack and go a little taller in the cook chamber, but you can PM Frank on that one...
It seems like I read that someone had done that it Worked great and they loved it.. Maybe someone else can chime in,


Regards,
"tinspark's" build links below:
Last build-GF:https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 30#p114730
First build- Santa Maria Smoker:
https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 7a614a230a
Santa Maria Rebuild: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7533&p=112344&hili ... 34#p112344

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Dirtytires
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by Dirtytires » September 9th, 2021, 1:25 pm

The mini, is indeed, able to be made a bit taller and will fit an additional shelf. Check with Frank on the specifics but I know this has come up before and is possible.

The double pan is a really big unit. It would be hard to justify that unless you had a constant need.



JKalchik
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by JKalchik » September 10th, 2021, 7:20 am

I concur with @tinspark. I built the double pan because 1) I have the room for it, 2) I can't use volume I don't have, and 3) it won't burn much more fuel. beyond those, the additional steel wasn't that much (but it *IS* more difficult to flip around during construction, make no mistake about it.)


"Measure with micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with fireaxe." Ted M., USCG (ret)
"Smoked pork. It belongs in me." Giles L

tinspark
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by tinspark » September 10th, 2021, 9:10 am

JKalchik wrote:
September 10th, 2021, 7:20 am
I concur with @tinspark. I built the double pan because 1) I have the room for it, 2) I can't use volume I don't have, and 3) it won't burn much more fuel. beyond those, the additional steel wasn't that much (but it *IS* more difficult to flip around during construction, make no mistake about it.)
The fuel consumption for 16. racks of ribs and 14 Tri tips in a single cook was less than a 20 bag of Kingsford briquettes for a 6 hour cook, plus a few chunks of wood in the firebox for added Smokey goodness. I purchased a 1000 lb lift cart from Harbor Freight (after I built mine and wish I had it for flipping and lowering from welding table. Mine was on sale for around $200 and worth every penny. Works great for lifting stuff of of my Silverado too! Like a mini forklift

https://www.harborfreight.com/1000-lb-c ... 60438.html
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Regards,
"tinspark's" build links below:
Last build-GF:https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 30#p114730
First build- Santa Maria Smoker:
https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 7a614a230a
Santa Maria Rebuild: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7533&p=112344&hili ... 34#p112344

Tospy
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by Tospy » September 10th, 2021, 12:09 pm

Thanks for the info guys!!!! So, i decided to give the double pan a go. I have a metal workshop so handling that bigger stuff isn't an issue. Bought the plans and this weekend I will make my own technical drawing in metric units.

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JKalchik
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by JKalchik » September 11th, 2021, 8:58 am

Tospy wrote:
September 10th, 2021, 12:09 pm
Thanks for the info guys!!!! So, i decided to give the double pan a go. I have a metal workshop so handling that bigger stuff isn't an issue. Bought the plans and this weekend I will make my own technical drawing in metric units.

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Stranger, where are ya'll from? That doesn't sound like anything from around these parts.... :) Dutch? Scandinavia? That doesn't look Slavic or Germanic.

If you haven't yet, I might politely suggest that you buy the sheet cut lists as well bfore you start diving into the metric conversion (trust me.....)


"Measure with micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with fireaxe." Ted M., USCG (ret)
"Smoked pork. It belongs in me." Giles L

Tospy
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
Posts: 66
Joined: December 31st, 2018, 3:29 pm

Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by Tospy » September 11th, 2021, 9:30 am

Lol....this stranger is from Belgium....that little spot between the north sea and Germany. Recalculate the plans is allmost done... will post some impressions later today


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Tospy
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by Tospy » September 11th, 2021, 2:43 pm

as pics say more....The big benefit from using a autocad program like fusion360 or similar is that conversion from imperial to metric gives you a view of the pieces changing etc. So you can adapt where necessary .

Build the frame up from tubing 60/60/2
cooking chamber sheet metal 2mm
chute and ash box sheet metal 6mm
firebox sheet 12 mm

where possible , I provide as much sheet metal bends as possible to reduce long welds.
The plan is to make all dxf files from the parts, cut them out on my cncn plasma table and make my own "kit".

Still have tot draw some things as drain, air intake, removable firebox grate, integration in outer shell for the controller etc....
Last edited by Tospy on September 11th, 2021, 2:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tospy
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
Posts: 66
Joined: December 31st, 2018, 3:29 pm

Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by Tospy » September 11th, 2021, 2:45 pm

gravity feed smoker 1.jpg
gravity feed smoker 2.jpg
gravity feed smoker.pdf
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tinspark
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by tinspark » September 11th, 2021, 4:57 pm

Absolutely beautiful drawings man!! Great job
Thanks for sharing them!!


Regards,
"tinspark's" build links below:
Last build-GF:https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 30#p114730
First build- Santa Maria Smoker:
https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 7a614a230a
Santa Maria Rebuild: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7533&p=112344&hili ... 34#p112344

tinspark
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by tinspark » September 11th, 2021, 5:04 pm

Also I made my transfer tube from 1/4" plate (6.35mm) instead of channel iron, and added a cleanout lid in it. Some members were having problems with their transfer tube opening from the firebox plugging up with ash. Mine has not had that problem, but I made an access door so that I can open it and blow it out easily.. But I really have not noticed much ash. But I am using a blower which may be pushing teh small ash particles and keeping it from accumulating there over time.. The controller works amazingly well on these things and can allow you to dial things in to perfection. Also, be sure that you don't cheap out on the transfer tube. It is a heat sink and stabilizes the heat across the cooker. Channel iron or 1/4" plate works best. I just wanted a cleanout and had plenty of 1/4" material and so I went the route that I did. I have no problems with my cooker, though mine is a home built/engineered jobber..

Another thing that I like about mine which is not on the plans is I tapered the bottom of my GF with a slope and added a 2" ball valve. I usually get about a cup of grease that comes out but on a large cook that I did this summer I drained off approx. 1 quart (about 1 liter) of fat from it. Since you have the capabilities with a CNC machine and a sheet metal shop, do yourself a favor and slope the bottom. Mine drops 2" to the drain. I am glad I did it and just didn't put a cross brake in a flat sheet.
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Regards,
"tinspark's" build links below:
Last build-GF:https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 30#p114730
First build- Santa Maria Smoker:
https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 7a614a230a
Santa Maria Rebuild: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7533&p=112344&hili ... 34#p112344

JKalchik
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by JKalchik » September 11th, 2021, 8:54 pm

Uh.... the plans for the double plan cook chamber bottom sheet *DO* have a slope, the drainage pipe should be at the lowest point. Looks like we built ours rather differently. Mine is sloped and is fully insulated, doesn't even melt snow under it at -6 F.

I do have to replace the expanded sheet screen between the firebox and the cook chamber. Mine has burned out completely, I'm gone to make a grate out of 1/4" 304 stainless rod that tucks into the opening.


"Measure with micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with fireaxe." Ted M., USCG (ret)
"Smoked pork. It belongs in me." Giles L

tinspark
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by tinspark » September 11th, 2021, 11:01 pm

I didn’t have plans so I really don’t know how they were built on the bottom .. Looked like they were all flat.. My mistake..I am on the west coast and it doesn’t get too cold here. Minus 6 degrees is something we have never had here.. 106 degrees plus is what we experience in the summers


Regards,
"tinspark's" build links below:
Last build-GF:https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 30#p114730
First build- Santa Maria Smoker:
https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 7a614a230a
Santa Maria Rebuild: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7533&p=112344&hili ... 34#p112344

Tospy
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
Posts: 66
Joined: December 31st, 2018, 3:29 pm

Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by Tospy » September 12th, 2021, 2:21 am

Thanks for the replies fellows!

the cc has a slope like mentioned in the plans, just have to draw the drain valve in.....
Creating an acces lid to the C channel (made of sheet metal 6mm (1/4 inch) is a pretty good idea!!! thanks for that!

2 issues :

instead of expanded metal ,I want to cut out a grate in the housing of the fire box to the c channel(pics below). For now I made it with openings of 15 mm (0.6 inch)width and remaining bars of 10mm (0.4 inch) ......would that be ok?

same for the remmovable grate, designed it with openings of 0.6 inch and remainig bars of 0.4 inch......
gravity feed smoker v7.jpg
thanks for all the advice guys!!!
gravity feed smoker v8.jpg
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tinspark
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by tinspark » September 12th, 2021, 4:32 am

Tospy wrote:
September 12th, 2021, 2:21 am

instead of expanded metal ,I want to cut out a grate in the housing of the fire box to the c channel(pics below). For now I made it with openings of 15 mm (0.6 inch)width and remaining bars of 10mm (0.4 inch) ......would that be ok?

same for the remmovable grate, designed it with openings of 0.6 inch and remainig bars of 0.4 inch......
gravity feed smoker v7.jpg

thanks for all the advice guys!!!

gravity feed smoker v8.jpg
Ok, yes I see the slope. I did not purchase plans so my unit is slightly different. That's why I call my unit a "Home Grown Gravity Feed".
To answer your question about not using expanded metal, Yes I basically did the same thing with my unit. I used 1/4" plate and a design very similar to yours at the combustion chamber to transfer tube and burned mine on my CNC machine as well. . Also at the removable grate, I did the same thing as you show but I ended up getting minor ash buildup on my removable grate because of the flat surfaces, and had to shake it more than I liked in order to keep the ash from piling up and to get proper airflow in order to support combustion, so I ended up cutting the bars out and grinded the leading edged to a point on each of them and inverted them and rewelded them back into the frame. I do not have ash buildup whatsoever now and rarely need to shake my grate. Also the ash compartment is a great place to put a few chunks of wood in order to get different smoke flavors from wood chunks besides the charcoal. I also built a mini log rack which raises my wood chunks out of the ash pile and keeps the wood from getting buried under ash and works especially well for longer cooks like brisket which can take up to 22 hours for big ones. once the logs are buried in ash they will not burn properly.
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Regards,
"tinspark's" build links below:
Last build-GF:https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 30#p114730
First build- Santa Maria Smoker:
https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 7a614a230a
Santa Maria Rebuild: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7533&p=112344&hili ... 34#p112344

JKalchik
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by JKalchik » September 12th, 2021, 8:51 am

I've been meaning to weld up a new firebox grate (yes, removable is mandatory IMO,) potentially w/ angle iron of some sort, with a wider spacing. My first one is made out of 1/2" rebar on 1/2" spacing, and I get a fair amount of bridging.

Edit: <scratches head> I've got a fair amount of that 1/4" 304 SS rod...... use that with 3/4" spacing, it'd never corrode away, that's for sure.


"Measure with micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with fireaxe." Ted M., USCG (ret)
"Smoked pork. It belongs in me." Giles L

Tospy
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
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Joined: December 31st, 2018, 3:29 pm

Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by Tospy » September 16th, 2021, 11:44 am

Hi guys,

Have been busy drawing ......still have to incorporate the side and top door, side table and handles and some wheels .....but I think the biggest pieces are ready to cut. DXF files are ready so..... burning and bending is the first coming job :-)
gravity feed smoker v11.jpg
gravity feed smoker v12.jpg
gravity feed smoker v13.jpg
gravity feed smoker v14.jpg
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tinspark
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by tinspark » September 16th, 2021, 12:48 pm

Outstanding!


Regards,
"tinspark's" build links below:
Last build-GF:https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 30#p114730
First build- Santa Maria Smoker:
https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 7a614a230a
Santa Maria Rebuild: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7533&p=112344&hili ... 34#p112344

Tospy
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
Posts: 66
Joined: December 31st, 2018, 3:29 pm

Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by Tospy » September 28th, 2021, 11:54 am

Been busy between my normal production work....cut out most parts, did some bending and will go on tomorow. All orders are delivered: wheels, ball valves fittings, etc....its just waiting for the door clamps a little more.....building up this smoker will be for soon ImageImageImageImage

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tinspark
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by tinspark » September 28th, 2021, 2:54 pm

Looks really good. Nice shop work. Its nice to have access to a press brake..

I am not sure if you plan on adding a fan controller. I purchased the flameboss 500. There a lot of other good ones out there too. The thing about these things is yo tell it that you want a certain temperature, and the fan will ramp up or down based on the temp that you set it to. Dialing in temps has been a game changer for my cooks. It is usually within a few degrees the entire cook. also, when I am doing longer cook like pork butts/ shoulders or briskets, I can set it before bed and get some shuteye and only get up to check on things... That was the game changer for me!!. Plus laying in bed, I can see my pit temp, and meat temp/ and get ready to wrap or unwrap etc.. A fan controller on a GF is awesome, and might be worth looking into. It makes me a better cook than I really am IMO! HAha!!


Regards,
"tinspark's" build links below:
Last build-GF:https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 30#p114730
First build- Santa Maria Smoker:
https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 7a614a230a
Santa Maria Rebuild: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7533&p=112344&hili ... 34#p112344

Tospy
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
Posts: 66
Joined: December 31st, 2018, 3:29 pm

Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by Tospy » September 28th, 2021, 3:11 pm

Thanks tinspark, and yep i do have a controller....i use it with my steeled kamado and it really abbig step forward in "luxury" bbqImageImageImage

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Tospy
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
has a junk pile that will one day smoke LOTS of BBQ
Posts: 66
Joined: December 31st, 2018, 3:29 pm

Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by Tospy » September 29th, 2021, 2:58 pm

Made some progress today. .
Cut the tubing, filled them up with insulation en started tag welding them

Foor the inner sheet metal , I bended the sidesand the back in one piece. That had to be done very precise so everything would fit up. But it was worth the effort, two long bends instead off welding them up is better imho

As pictures say more....Image

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tinspark
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Re: Planning to build a gravity feed

Post by tinspark » September 29th, 2021, 11:35 pm

Looking good!. Did you broke up channels instead of using tubing?. Interesting.. It would be easier to pre-install the insulation in the framework that way. Especially if you were planning on only stitch welding them together. Shouldn't be an issue since that stuff wont burn very easily. It just smells really bad when exposed to molten metal....

On a side note, I Love the welding table too!! I've been thinking about lowering the legs on mine and adding one too. Would make squaring/ jigging stuff a dream.. I welded mine from aluminum I beam, which works well too, but might do an upgrade some day.. My home shop has a 48" x 48" welding table next to my CNC machine that doubles as an indexing table for longer sheets of metal..


Regards,
"tinspark's" build links below:
Last build-GF:https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 30#p114730
First build- Santa Maria Smoker:
https://smokerbuilder.com/forums/viewto ... 7a614a230a
Santa Maria Rebuild: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=7533&p=112344&hili ... 34#p112344

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