New build new questions

Horizontal smokers with a side firebox and tuning plates.
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Newsmoke
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New build new questions

Post by Newsmoke » March 29th, 2019, 5:48 am

i am planning my new build and had some questions:

For the firebox size is it a problem if the size of it is like 150% of the recommend size or being at 100% will give a much more steady control on temp?

In my previous build my FB was round but I'm wondering if going square wouldn't be easier specially as I want to semi-insulate it?

For the size dimensions is it better to prioritise length to put long logs or not?

For the air intake I was thinking of 2 inlets, one below the fire grate (feeding O2 to the fire) and one above the fb door (to suck outside air and improve airflow) does it make sens?

What grate size do you recommend in the FB to allow good air feeding of the fire without having the coals falling at the booth of the fb?

Should I put wheels on the entire length of the smoker or just one side?

Any tips for design software on mac that I could use to plan my build?

My new CC tank is a 132,086 gallon tank (converted from litres) with a 0,19685 inch thickness.

Thank for your input



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Re: New build new questions

Post by Big T » March 29th, 2019, 9:07 pm

I'll try to answer a few of your questions. 1) FB size is 115% max. I prefer 105% - 110% any bigger than max and you'll have temp issues. 2) Square is much easier to work with vs round but there's no difference in performance. 3) Keep all of you intakes at or below fire level, if you have an intake up high it can draft cold air past the fire and into the CC which causes major temp issues. I would recommend 2 intakes, 1 on each side of the FB so you can adjust for a wind blowing directly into your intake. 4) My fire basket is made from 3/4 X 9 expanded metal and it works fine. 5) I'm not sure what you mean about the wheels and I'm not very computer savvy so I can't help you on the design software.


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Re: New build new questions

Post by Newsmoke » March 30th, 2019, 4:58 pm

Thanks Big T for your answers! Regarding the expanded metal and as I am french are you saying it should be 3/4 inch x 9 inch?
For the wheels I was asking if I should put wheels on all 4 sides of the smoker (to be movable) or just one side (lift the other side) would be ok. Due to the weight I feel I should install lockable wheels.

My CC tank is 78,7402 inch, I was thinking of installing 2 doors. Does it make sens, if so what size would you recommend?



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Re: New build new questions

Post by Dirtytires » March 30th, 2019, 7:18 pm

A smoker built out of a 130 gallon tank can approach 600-800 pounds. Unless you are a bodybuilder, I would say 4 wheels are absolutely necessary. To take that a step further, some method of steering needs to be considered.

Lockable wheels are not necessary....it isn’t going to roll on its own.



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Re: New build new questions

Post by Big T » March 30th, 2019, 9:16 pm

:yth: the metal has a diamond stamped shape that's 3/4'' long and the metal is 9 gauge which is 5/32'' or about 4 mm in thickness.


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Re: New build new questions

Post by mp4 » March 31st, 2019, 5:19 pm


Dirtytires wrote: Lockable wheels are not necessary....it isn’t going to roll on its own.
It is nice to have one side lock in my experience. Sometimes you end up on an incline and they do like to roll.



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Re: New build new questions

Post by ajfoxy » April 1st, 2019, 12:08 am

And thing is both hot and heavy... so stopping it is going to be fun.

I've always put at least two lockable wheels on anything I need to move around. From tool cabinets to DP smokers.


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Re: New build new questions

Post by Newsmoke » April 1st, 2019, 12:37 am

Great thanks, Do you recommend one or 2 doors for this size of CC? If 2 doors what would be their size?
Is there any thread on how to insulate a square firebox?



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Re: New build new questions

Post by Dirtytires » April 2nd, 2019, 12:34 pm

How long is your tank? I would not even consider 2 doors unless a single will be over 48 inches. Running 2 doors allows then to lighter and easier to open but is restrictive. My vote is 1 door and put a counterweight on it if needed.



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Re: New build new questions

Post by Newsmoke » April 2nd, 2019, 1:03 pm

My CC tank is 78,7402 inch long



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Re: New build new questions

Post by Dirtytires » April 2nd, 2019, 10:19 pm

At 132 gal and 78 inches you must have a diameter of close to 22 inches and a wall thickness about 3/16 of an inch.

Assuming a pretty standard 5 inches on each end of the tank, you get a single door of about 68 inches. Pretty long but manageable with a counterweight.

If you go double, you would end up with about 5 inches on each end and roughly 4 inches in the middle so 2 doors at 32 inches. This borders on too small for me and I hate dividers it my cook chamber.

I might actually split the difference. Shorten the tank by 12 inches and just use one door. Or, square off the front and put swing doors on it.

No...I would shorten the tank. Seems just a bit too long for that diameter and holding even temps across the chamber could be an issue as well. Just my opinion.



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Re: New build new questions

Post by Newsmoke » April 3rd, 2019, 8:57 am

So many options, the problem with one door in my opinion is that all the heat is exiting each time I open the door, don't you think?
Winters in France are cold and I notice that it was difficult keeping temp.
Even if I have a divider on my CC I would still install a grate behind it to maximise space.



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Re: New build new questions

Post by Dirtytires » April 3rd, 2019, 9:24 am

I use a electronic remote thermometer to monitor my cooking progress. I keep one in the meat and one on the grate so I know what is going on inside. My point is, even on a 12 hour long pork shoulder cook, I probably only open my door twice (once to wrap it and once when I think it’s done). My temp rebounds in less than 10 minutes.

Consider my refrigerator that has French doors. The salesman was quick to point out how I could open only 1 door and it would stay colder. Well, from experience, opening 1 door still allows all the cold air to dump out and it seems I ALWAYS have to even both doors anyway. My point here is I dont think it matters. For some this is a big concern but then again, some people feel the need to open the smoker way too much.



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Re: New build new questions

Post by Newsmoke » April 3rd, 2019, 12:14 pm

Why does it says that I need 2 inlets where one is enough? I will be making them on each side
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Re: New build new questions

Post by Big T » April 3rd, 2019, 5:45 pm

The reason it says that you need 2 intakes is because the size of your intake is only 50% of what the calculator recommends. If you put one on each side then you'll have the correct amount. I like to have my intakes as big as possible because sometimes the weather conditions and moisture level of the wood require a little more air to burn cleanly. You can always close them down to what you need but if they're not big enough then your only option is to open the FB door until you get your fire burning clean and I like to have a more accurate intake than just opening the door.


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Re: New build new questions

Post by Newsmoke » April 3rd, 2019, 5:48 pm

But the size differential shows 188% so one inlet is already nearly 100%. Recommended size is 32square inch. Am I getting it wrong?



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Re: New build new questions

Post by Big T » April 3rd, 2019, 5:53 pm

You are correct that they're oversize but as I said that's not an issue, you can close them down to what your fire needs to maintain temp. You can make them smaller if you want but you can keep them like they are if you have the room on your FB.


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Re: New build new questions

Post by Dirtytires » April 3rd, 2019, 10:46 pm

We had a build not too long ago where, after completion and paint, it was discovered the air opening was not big enough. He had to cut into his new paint to fab up a second vent. Happens pretty often...

Other advantage of having 2 is to put one on each side of the smoker. I try to run both mine pretty equal but if the wind is blowing against the firebox I shut that side down completely and run the other one only.



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Re: New build new questions

Post by Newsmoke » April 4th, 2019, 10:12 am

Thanks a lot to you all for your advices. I am planning to make a square fb. How deep in should I put it in the CC? I was thinking something like 6 inch ( curved part of the tank) in order to put a water pan on it in the CC?



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Re: New build new questions

Post by Dirtytires » April 4th, 2019, 11:07 pm

You don’t need to inset the firebox any particular distance. Placement is usually dictated by the height of the baffleplate (top of firebox is same height) and the size of the throat.

I would be cautious of setting in in any deeper than necessary as you will get some unwanted radiant heat.



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Re: New build new questions

Post by Big T » April 5th, 2019, 4:58 pm

:yth:


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Re: New build new questions

Post by Newsmoke » April 7th, 2019, 5:31 pm

Thanks Dirtytires for your answer. Regarding door size, on my last build I did cut the door slightly over 12o'clock at the top to avoid rain entering the CC. I was wondering if this doesn't help the heat escaping as heat rises. I notice on builds like primitive pits and langsmoker that the door aren't that high up.
Wouldn't cut shorter door allow heat to be retained at the top of the smoker?

For the square FB door as I will be making vents on each sides can I make the door the size of the FB in order to easily remove the wood grate for cleaning?



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Re: New build new questions

Post by Big T » April 7th, 2019, 6:14 pm

I make my doors 1'' past TDC and I've never had any issues with recovery time. I don't have any that are cut any lower to compare it to but I don't think that there's a lot of difference between them. As for the FB door, you can make it however big that you want it as long as it seals up good with no large gaps.


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Re: New build new questions

Post by Newsmoke » April 7th, 2019, 8:21 pm

Thanks!
On mark's thread I didn't see if the door was insulated of not. Is there a thread where I could find an insulated door?



Newsmoke
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Re: New build new questions

Post by Newsmoke » April 7th, 2019, 9:10 pm

Also What would be in your opinion the recommended distance between top of FB throat and Cooking grate?



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