1st time 500 gal

Horizontal smokers with a side firebox and tuning plates.
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thatguy
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1st time 500 gal

Post by thatguy » February 4th, 2018, 3:41 pm

Here is a new project that I have decided that I need to start. I purchased (cheaply) this previously started smoker build from a 500 gal propane tank, from a friend. It has sat idle for the last 6 mos and now have found time to start putting this build together. I have a few simple questions that I could use some help with and am looking forward to entertaining questions from the crew. I had an old trailer laying around not being used and will be killing two birds with one stone utilizing it with the tank. A couple of questions that I still have that are unanswered:
1. how necessary is a FB dampener?
2. How necessary is are the FB air inlets?

Seems like everyone is putting air inlets in the FB, but couldn't I just leave the door open like a Franklin style? Then everything else that I have read here says that the more airflow over the food, instead of stagnant air, is best. So why a FB dampener? I am not opposed to either ways of construction, just weighing the benefits of Fab time VS. end result. Thanks Fellas...
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thatguy
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Re: 1st time 500 gal

Post by thatguy » February 4th, 2018, 4:05 pm

Additionally, this build was figured using the Feldon Calc. with the FB at 104% and a 9" pipe @ 40" in length for the exhaust
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Big T
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Re: 1st time 500 gal

Post by Big T » February 4th, 2018, 10:40 pm

That looks like a good start to a nice rig. A baffle between the FB and CC isn't necessary in my opinion. I have seen several guys attempt to install one to help regulate temps in the CC with minimal results. The intakes on the FB are a must have if you want to be able to regulate the airflow in to the FB which regulates the CC temperature. I'm not saying it is impossible to run without intakes because some guys obviously do it. The thing about intakes are that 75% of the time I know that I need to have the intakes open 1.5'' and add 2 splits every 45-60 minutes so that gives me a good starting point and I can adjust from there as needed. Also if you use your door for the intake, you'll have to make sure you get it back in the same position every time you add fuel where as if you have your intake set you just open the door, toss in a split or 2, close the door and it'll be just like you left it. I would also recommend that you build a fire basket to keep the fire up off of the floor to allow oxygen to all sides of the fire. It'll really help with a clean burning fire and an ash pan comes in real handy when you have to clean out the FB.


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Dirtytires
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Re: 1st time 500 gal

Post by Dirtytires » February 4th, 2018, 11:03 pm

I love my firebox/cook chamber damper. I never use it during a cook to co troll temp but it is super awesome if I need to spend a bunch of time in the cook chamber for one reason or another as it allows me to shut off the smoke in my face. I also open my firebox door and close the damper at the end of my cook to let the fore burn off. Absolutely NOT necessary. Don't spend a lot of time mess with one.

Ditto on Rodcrafter. If you want to be able to control your smoker accurately, put in a firebox damper. The open door will allow heat to excape as well as make the fire harder to control. Mr Franklin runs his smokers 144 hours a week for 52 weeks a year multiplied by 6-8 smokers in his shed. That adds up to a lot of experience that most of us will never have.



thatguy
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Re: 1st time 500 gal

Post by thatguy » February 5th, 2018, 1:03 pm

Good call on both sides of the dampener issue, I hadn't considered the consistency factor to cooking yet, in my brain, still stuck on the function and figuring out how to build it. Sounds like it would be silly to not add a dampener and air intakes on both sides of the FB. In my opinion, the ability to run efficient and consistent running while cooking out weigh the lack of fab work and time saved during the build. I will be building a basket of sorts to put on top of the braces already placed in the FB. I followed up on another thread on this site and he was asking about "attaching an insulating FB" that was never answered. With the weight of this FB guessing around 400-450 lbs, do y'all think I should weld the CC side to the back rail of the trailer? or also not necessary? I am no welder or fab guy by trade, but interested in having a sound setup rolling down the road. Thank you for your help...



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Re: 1st time 500 gal

Post by Big T » February 5th, 2018, 7:36 pm

I would tie it back to the trailer or run a brace from the FB back to the CC just to make me feel better. If you tie it to the trailer you'll have some heat transfer so I would make sure that there isn't any wood near the connection.


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