Guess it's time I did this.

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hutcho
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Guess it's time I did this.

Post by hutcho » October 4th, 2018, 10:31 am

Been lurking for quite a while. I have reached the point in the natural progression of smoker ownership that I need something much larger. A little background first. Back in high school me and my dad and brother built a large traditional smoker, that dad still uses to this day for catering and competitions. I'll share pics of it. Fast forward to about 7 years ago. He bought a Bradley electric smoker to try new recipes and small batch stuff on. I immediately fell in love with the simplicity and set it and forget it nature. So a few weeks later I owned a used one. Unlike my dad I can't leave well enough alone. So over the years it has been converted to dual elements, an auber pid controller, cold smoke box (old microwave I found in the garage) as well as a cart and many other upgrades. At this point it's had 1000s of hours of smoke through it and it's just plain worn out. So naturally it's time to upgrade and go much bigger in the process.

So I think I have it narrowed down to 2 options. Either a double pan gravity fed or Mack. I don't need a ton of space for most of what I do but I want to keep the options open. I do a lot of sausage so would like to be able to operate at lower temps and have a pretty steady control. Also want to be trailer mounted so I can take it with me to some family events, church cookouts and maybe even a competition someday. If I went GF I would definitely run a controller and battery option as well to keep it portable. I am leaning pretty hard towards the Mack as I think it fits my "needs" the best.

Anyways thanks in advance for the advice. This is a really great forum and I look forward to learning and sharing my build with everyone! Image

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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by Dirtytires » October 4th, 2018, 1:08 pm

I just saw this picture somewhere.....



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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by hutcho » October 4th, 2018, 1:10 pm

Yeah figured it was best I started my own these and quit hijacking...

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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by Dirtytires » October 4th, 2018, 1:12 pm

Great idea....you will get better response on this and we can follow your build much easier.

I’m just giving you a hard time.....sorry!



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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by hutcho » October 4th, 2018, 1:27 pm

No worries. In my trade(industrial maintenance electrician) if you aren't giving or receiving hell from somebody they probably don't like you lol!

My biggest dilemma now is deciding between the new one Frank hasn't released yet and Mack lol!

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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by AndrewPalmer71 » October 4th, 2018, 5:31 pm

Welcome! That's a nice looking rig. The planning stages are always the hardest. Maybe you could make a list of things you want from a smoker and then select the unit that satisfies most of those wants. For me, I like playing with fire, so an offset stick burner was my natural go to.

In the meanwhile, keep reading and rereading the threads to get a better feel of what the units are capable of. They are two very distinct cookers with their own pros and cons.

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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by hutcho » October 4th, 2018, 5:48 pm

Thank you! It's my dad's. It's a little different design. Has a pipe from the firebox all the way to the front with holes facing down along it. He fills it up with water to just below the pipe. Never seen one like it. It works really well and actually the temps are only a few degrees difference from one side to the other. Been a darn good smoker!

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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by Chromeski » October 4th, 2018, 9:30 pm

hutcho wrote:
October 4th, 2018, 5:48 pm
Thank you! It's my dad's. It's a little different design. Has a pipe from the firebox all the way to the front with holes facing down along it. He fills it up with water to just below the pipe. Never seen one like it. It works really well and actually the temps are only a few degrees difference from one side to the other. Been a darn good smoker!

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That's interesting. If it works don't change that



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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by hutcho » October 5th, 2018, 7:49 am

It was something he dreamed up one day and we made it happen. Back in the days before the interwebs full of forums and blueprints :)

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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by Rodcrafter » October 6th, 2018, 8:28 pm

Very cool, let’s get building


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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by bbdryrubs » November 24th, 2018, 7:21 pm

nice looking Rig. I like your sausage rack for sure.



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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by hutcho » November 24th, 2018, 8:26 pm

Thank you. I can't take all the credit. It's my dad's lol! Just opened my last stick of summer sausage from him tonight. Gonna have to get mine built quick!!

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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by hutcho » November 30th, 2018, 10:03 am

Ok new question. I've made my decision. It's gonna be a Mack. Also have a pretty hefty check in my pocket. So what's a rough ballpark estimate to build Mack and trailer? I think I'm gonna be a bit short but can definitely get a good start anyways. Thanks guys!

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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by Chromeski » November 30th, 2018, 10:37 am

It's really dependent on steel in your area. Steel prices change every day and vary so much from location to location. If you can do all the cutting and welding yourself and already own the tools then its steel, axles for the trailer and a little hardware. I don't have the mack plans, but I believe it's made from 1/4" plate.



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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by hutcho » November 30th, 2018, 2:10 pm

I will most likely be having it cut. I talked to Frank at one point earlier this year about having everything needed on a pallet cut and ready to rock and it was a great price. Not sure how bad the market has changed since then. I need to order the plans so I can get a better idea, just trying to not rush to much like I always do when I have a pocket full of cash.

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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by Chromeski » November 30th, 2018, 7:40 pm

Having it cut definitely makes it easier. Buying the plans is a good idea even if your not exactly ready to start.



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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by hutcho » November 30th, 2018, 7:44 pm

I'm going to order them tonight, if my computer ever decides to cooperate. Talked to a local metal supplier and 2nds are running about 150-160 for a 5x8 sheet. Obviously being drops they will change , or have odd ball shapes, but I thought it sounded pretty reasonable honestly.

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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by Dirtytires » December 1st, 2018, 12:29 am

I’m going way out on a limb ( like really far!) but with the assumption that you cut everything yourself and use new materials that you will be in the $3000-3500 range for smoker and trailer.

But it could vary greatly with steel costs and “extras” that always seem to jump into the plans.

Good luck!



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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by hutcho » December 1st, 2018, 8:35 am

Well I think the 2nds are technically new but over 100 bucks a sheet cheaper than new so that's a plus.

I think I have a trailer lined out for free actually. Will need some modifications but nothing structural.

As far as cutting my cousin works at a metal fabrication shop and said he could get me a good rate on the water jet. Might be something we gotta bring in on the weekend and do when no one's around though lol! He also said he can check in to getting drops from work also once I get him an idea what I need for cuts.

I had started in to this project with the budget of 3k. I'm a little under right now but it won't take long to get it fully funded. I was hoping that would be the upper end of it but looking like it's more the low side.

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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by Dirtytires » December 1st, 2018, 5:38 pm

It’s all the little things that add up but you are realistic in your budget. Steel is obviously one of the biggest parts but the gas, wire, hardware, abrasives and a new tool or two all factor in as well. I bought a pair of grinders (keep a flap disk on one, cutting wheel on the other), a hole saw set and the wife made me buy a new pair of steel toed boots.

Think it out, don’t cut corners and have fun. I’d say you are on your way.



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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by ajfoxy » December 2nd, 2018, 4:10 am

DT's on to it.
I too am a fan of multiple grinders. I have one with a flap disk, one with a grinding stone, one with wire wheel, and one with a slim cutting disk. Nothing dampens the work flow like having to change disks multiple times on a build. Most mine came from business closure auctions. So they have been well used and abused... so I'm not too perturbed if they take a bit of strain during a build. Or even if they eventually cark it... so long as they cark it between tight build sequences. :D .. I will not tolerate malingering in the tool department.


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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by hutcho » December 2nd, 2018, 8:42 am

Well I've actually been having really good luck with harbor freight 20 dollar specials, but I doubt they will last through this project. I'll probably hit up the pawn shops and get a couple nicer ones. I have a Milwaukee 18v grinder too and absolutely love it, but this isn't the place for it. Definitely gonna have a few tools to buy, but that's half the fun.

Got the prints ordered this weekend and had them made in to a nice little book too. I'm not 100% sure how I'm gonna be able to make the fancy rack slides. I know we have a huge break at work, but I have never used one lol!

I've only looked through the book once but already had several questions, should probably start writing them down lol!

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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by hutcho » December 2nd, 2018, 9:44 am

Just realized. I have a pretty nice older makita grinder I inherited this hear when my grandpa passed. Also have a 7" massive heavy miserable grinder I got when my wife's Grandpa passed too. Probably still gonna end up with a new DeWalt. They have such great reviews!

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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by hutcho » December 2nd, 2018, 9:46 am

One more thing. Is there any other Mack builds out there posted yet other than Frank and bstory? I've read them both a 1000 times but more views is always welcome.

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Re: Guess it's time I did this.

Post by Dirtytires » December 2nd, 2018, 11:49 am

Franks plans are typically ordered pretty nicely and laid out so they make sense. I had to ‘back in’ to some of the numbers but I had very little guesswork on mine.

As cars as making difficult pieces, keep in mind many builds on this site were made with only a grinder and a welder. More than one way to make a part and we can walk you thru that when you need it.



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