Center feed tube build

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towtruck
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Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » August 11th, 2018, 5:23 pm

Okay, I started to put some of this together and wanted to start it's own build thread. I'm building an odd ball smoker from some 12" x 8" x 1/2" thick box tube. It's a double fired reverse flow center feed monster purpose built for baby back ribs although other meats will be smoked in it. After some discussion here I have determined to bolt the entire thing together in order to make it easier to move around while it waits to be built into a trailer rig. Bolting it together will also allow easy changes if I need to separate the cook chamber from the fire box to manage heat better. I will repost the pictures of the material again.....
Image
Image

And here is the stack and intake I made today......
Image
The stack topper is a 1/2" thick circle cut from a large pipe, I contoured the top of the stack to match the curved topper. I threaded the mount bolt hole in the lid. A horse shoe from one of my animals for a handle and a Model A head stud for a handle on the intake. I may make a wooden handle to slip over that stud later. The intake is 3.5" inside diameter. It's bigger than the needed square inches so I will be cutting the hole in the fire box the correct size and then bolting this intake over that hole off centered so rain water can't run into the fire box.

I will be making an order for door seal, hinges, and latches I want on the end caps and for temp gauges from the supply web site listed on the forum. I need to fill my bottles so I can start cutting the tubes square and getting them laid out for the torch cut holes. One tube is pretty square and the other needs some work to get it square. Money is a little tight from some unexpected bills so I will be going a little slow on this build.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » August 11th, 2018, 7:17 pm

Here is the locations for the stack and intake.....
Image

I am still on the fence how to mount this on a trailer. If I go sideways over the axle it will put it at a good height and the ends will be accessible from each side of the rig. Downside to that is the trailer will be at least 6' wide when it does not have to be. I will have to build up a frame work so it clears the tires as well. Also I may run into parking issues where I don't have the room to get the racks in and out on the sides. If I run it down the middle of a trailer I can make it lower to the ground and narrower for a compact package. I would need a longer tongue on the front to allow the racks to come out the front. Downside to that is the spare tire and jack would have to be located out of the way. I think I want to go inline and low for a more compact trailer and ease of mounting it to a simple frame. I want to make a tray on the trailer to light the fire box's on that will catch the ash. I plan on making up two sets of fire box's so I can use one to pre heat and one to cook with. If I do a long cook I can use the spares to get the next bed of coals primed and ready to go in too.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by Big T » August 11th, 2018, 7:48 pm

It sounds like you have it planned out, sort of.. lol I can't wait to see it start taking shape, it'll be one of a kind for sure.


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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by ajfoxy » August 11th, 2018, 8:20 pm

Yep, very interesting. And a bit of a head scratcher as how to mount it on a trailer too. I'd probably opt for longwise and at the edge of the trailer. But then, what do I know... :D


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towtruck
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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » August 11th, 2018, 8:28 pm

ajfoxy wrote:
August 11th, 2018, 8:20 pm
Yep, very interesting. And a bit of a head scratcher as how to mount it on a trailer too. I'd probably opt for longwise and at the edge of the trailer. But then, what do I know... :D
I'm thinking long wise now for sure and making it look like a tow-able wood splitter in shape..... nice compact package.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by Big T » August 11th, 2018, 8:44 pm

You could make the tongue removable or fold out of the way like those fancy boat trailers. That would give you direct access to the end of the CC.


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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » August 11th, 2018, 8:48 pm

Big T wrote:
August 11th, 2018, 8:44 pm
You could make the tongue removable or fold out of the way like those fancy boat trailers. That would give you direct access to the end of the CC.
I had thought of that option....it would make it nice to walk around and not whack your knee on the tongue. A few beers into a cook and that would really help.

edit to add: I found some old (1929) ball joint springs and used three for the handle on the intake and one on the hinge bolt for a tensioner. It works smooth as butter and should keep good tension without having to adjust it.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » August 13th, 2018, 12:54 pm

Here is a question for the experts.......where and how many temp probes would you run on this thing? I am going to drop probes down the stack and put them through the door first to get a baseline on temps. maybe I can get away with just one gauge in the middle? I will make a couple ports for probes that go into the meat or I might just run them through the door openings as they will have rope seals on them.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by mp4 » August 13th, 2018, 5:14 pm

As long as it is, I would be at least interested in each end and given the design, one in the center initially just to see how it performs. Once you have a baseline they might not be necessary so you could maybe borrow them and save the expense of buying them.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » August 14th, 2018, 1:25 am

mp4 wrote:
August 13th, 2018, 5:14 pm
As long as it is, I would be at least interested in each end and given the design, one in the center initially just to see how it performs. Once you have a baseline they might not be necessary so you could maybe borrow them and save the expense of buying them.
I was going to monitor temps at the center and on the ends during the initial burns to get that base line you speak of. I don't want to over complicate things and if I can get away with one thermometer in the center and index off that temp gauge I'd be good with it. I really want to get a baseline across the whole chamber and I may just install one analog in the center and then use my digital probe to map out a baseline for each area and plot the temps against the center analog.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by Dirtytires » August 14th, 2018, 11:39 am

You are going to introduce heat into both ends, correct? If so, I would do put a probe at 1/3 and 2/3. This would allow you to raise/lower your trailer to even out airflo/temp on each side.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » August 14th, 2018, 1:13 pm

Dirtytires wrote:
August 14th, 2018, 11:39 am
You are going to introduce heat into both ends, correct? If so, I would do put a probe at 1/3 and 2/3. This would allow you to raise/lower your trailer to even out airflo/temp on each side.
Yes, smoke comes in from both ends and meets in the middle. I like that spacing idea a lot. Makes sense as it will not be directly over the smoke entering or at the exit point. Tipping the chamber to even it out is a possibility but i'm hoping to level it up before I start and not have to mess with the tilt. ...time will tell.

Today I separated the tubes and tossed a square on the ends to see where i needed to start with squaring them up. The fb tube is the best and one end was real close so I started grinding there....close is a long way off on that big of material :-q I am going to have to make an angle iron template to slip over the end to use as a torch guide/ grinder guide or I will be chasing my tail. I spent 20 min on the grinder and basically got nowhere.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by Dirtytires » August 14th, 2018, 11:17 pm

Depending on how close it is, you might consider just using the end plate to square it up and fill in any of the gaps with weld. I’d rather grind a weld smooth as opposed to 0.5 inch material any day.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » August 15th, 2018, 12:58 am

Dirtytires wrote:
August 14th, 2018, 11:17 pm
Depending on how close it is, you might consider just using the end plate to square it up and fill in any of the gaps with weld. I’d rather grind a weld smooth as opposed to 0.5 inch material any day.
The one close end was out 1/8" on opposite corners. The other end of that tube has a section 1/4" fat. The second tube is worse yet and one end needs 3/4" cut off to make it right. I'm going to go see my metal man in the morning and I wanted him to supply me with some scrap angle iron to make a template and he tells me he has a better way....he is also the one who cut these tubes off so I'm a little skeptical of his way =))

edit to add.....now he tells me he did not cut them originally.....he offered to let me bring them back to him and he will use his band saw to cut the ends true. While I'm there he is going to use the plasma cutter to make the holes I need as well.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by Dirtytires » August 15th, 2018, 10:56 pm

Super bonus.

Can’t get a better offer than that.



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » Yesterday, 2:35 pm

We got the ends cut and all the holes in the tubes for intake, exhaust, and fb to cc. His plasma cutter went haywire after the first hole so we torched the others. I have to clean up that one hole that got cut tapered but a few minutes with the angle grinder will fix that.

This material is a bear to work with as it has a twist to it. We could not get it to lay flat on any side. I guess it's the nature of the beast with this stuff.
Image



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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by Big T » Yesterday, 4:00 pm

Well at least you got the ends squared up, that should save you a lot of time.


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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by Dirtytires » Yesterday, 11:02 pm

Nice looking Ellis! They cut awesome.



towtruck
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Re: Center feed tube build

Post by towtruck » Today, 1:10 am

Dirtytires wrote:
Yesterday, 11:02 pm
Nice looking Ellis! They cut awesome.
I have used that saw a few times and it does a fine job. He has a pretty complete shop. His business has been slow so I try and help him out and toss him a little work now and then.



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