School Smoker

AKA- Pellet Poopers
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thague90
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School Smoker

Post by thague90 » February 1st, 2016, 3:37 am

The facts:
Im working on a welding project for school (Comission, design, purchase, build, report).
My Father in law wanted a smoker.
He settled on a cabinet style pellet smoker.
He had a Traeger pellet stove (house heat, not smoker) that we have pulled apart to get the hopper and feed mechanism.
There is a controler for it but it is :-q
Purchased a "Traeger Pellet Grills BAC236 Digital Thermostat Kit" :-bd
Smoker will be 50" tall, 17" deep, 24"wide
will have 2"thick insulated walls
will have main top door 24"wide by 36" tall
and a lower door 24" wide by 8" tall to clean/check burner pot during smoke

The building of it wont be a problem :welder: (nock on wood). Its the function of the pellet feeder I have concerns about. The assembly that I got from the pellet stove is great, but the Auger motor is 6 RPM!!!. Will the digital controller be able to cope with that? or do i need to pony up and get the auger motor from traeger for $50?

I will post pictures of the smoker frame and the auger assembly when i get this phone app installed.


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Re: School Smoker

Post by thague90 » February 1st, 2016, 3:48 am

There are two drive motors. Top one is for a "roto cup" that drops pellets on top of the auger. Has two "cups" in the cylinder and rotates at 1 rpm.
The lower motor is obviously for the auger and it is rated at 6 rpm. The blower forces air into the housing as well as the auger tube. It uses a baffle to control the air flow. I have the digital controller in the mail. Will any of this work with the digital controller?
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Re: School Smoker

Post by thague90 » February 1st, 2016, 4:29 am

Oh yeah... Forgot to mention that I will be GTAW all of the parts. Some pretty beads to come... I hope.



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Re: School Smoker

Post by Frank_Cox » February 1st, 2016, 8:44 pm

Honestly for the money and trouble it will take to rework this burner assembly I would storms the money on a pre-built one ready to install one from smoke daddy.
I think it's smokedaddy-inc dot Com.

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Re: School Smoker

Post by thague90 » February 1st, 2016, 10:34 pm

Trouble and time spent are not an issue, however money is. The burner assembly will fit on the smoker perfectly with almost no modification, I just want to know if the digital controller will be able to compensate for the faster feed rate. The way I understand it, it will just cycle on and off more frequently.
I'm sure this assembly is not the norm with a rotating cup to feed the auger, that may make the auger feed similar to a slower auger. I saw in one of Frank's posts that he put a 2 rpm motor in his. Similar situation? Maybe...The answer may be to hook up the controller and just see how it performs.
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Re: School Smoker

Post by Frank_Cox » February 2nd, 2016, 8:27 am

That's correct. However the more it short cycles the wider the temp swings will be. I say its worth the try. That burner has a much larger fan on it so it will act more like a gun burner which could be a good thing

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Re: School Smoker

Post by thague90 » February 3rd, 2016, 4:20 am

Gun burner? Explain?
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Re: School Smoker

Post by thague90 » February 3rd, 2016, 5:17 pm

Please? :huh:


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Re: School Smoker

Post by thague90 » February 4th, 2016, 8:24 pm

Well any way...

I got the Traeger digital control in the mail today and hooked it up. Wiring was similar To the harness that was already on the feeder so it didn't take much to hook up the controller to the feeder. (With the igniter disconnected) I did run it at 180 and it just keep feeding untill it gave a low temp warning and shut down after a while. Then I ran it on smoke to see what a single "cycle" would feed like. Like predicted, it pumped out pellets at a lightning fast rate. It almost filled the cup during the initial ignition phase, and each cycle after that pushed out a small handful of pellets... Too many...

I fashioned some plugs to make the feeder "cups" smaller, roughly by half. Naturally, it reduced the feed rate of the pellets by about half. I took a couple videos that I will try and add on here.

The question I have is this: does this feed rate look similar to what others have? Or at the very least do you think it will be manageable by the controller? I could make larger plugs to reduce the cup size some more.
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Last edited by thague90 on February 4th, 2016, 8:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.



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Re: School Smoker

Post by thague90 » February 4th, 2016, 8:25 pm

http://youtu.be/ikJhPxxms9I

http://youtu.be/T5rSBXr-ObM

FYI These are wood stove pellets. I already know that I can't cook with them, they were all I had laying around to experiment with.
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Re: School Smoker

Post by thague90 » February 4th, 2016, 8:36 pm

Photo
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Re: School Smoker

Post by thague90 » March 7th, 2016, 2:22 am

Progress report
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Re: School Smoker

Post by thague90 » March 7th, 2016, 2:33 am

image-4114524364.jpg
Progress report
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Re: School Smoker

Post by thague90 » March 7th, 2016, 3:15 am

2
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School Smoker

Post by thague90 » March 7th, 2016, 3:15 am

3ImageImageImageImageImageImage


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Re: School Smoker

Post by thague90 » March 7th, 2016, 3:39 am

So I have been working on this all during open lab hours. It's 2 hours here and two hours there kind of work. Very slow. But it is a frame on wheels now.

ImageImage

I found a burn cup on eBay for less than $10 figured it was worth it to save on the fab time.

Image

Had to make an adapter for it to fit to the end of my Traeger stove feeder.

Image
ImageImage

Some self taping screws to hold it together. I couldn't weld it due to the opening in the side of the smoker being a tight fit. I have to screw it back on after the feeder is mounted.

Image

And now to get everything wired up. I even reused the 200° thermal safety on the hopper end of the auger to shut everything down in case of a burn-back. That will starve the burn back of oxygen since there is the cutter cup blocking the path of the potential fire.

ImageImage


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School Smoker

Post by thague90 » March 7th, 2016, 3:45 am

It is spring break at Ferris State right now so I can't get in the lab for the next week. I'll have updates when I can. I might try and put up some of my CAD work. Please let me know what you think. (Design, craftsmanship, electronics, ect...)

Forgot to mention... I'm TIG welding (GTAW) the whole project... Whole thing... School is so much fun.

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Re: School Smoker

Post by Pete Mazz » March 7th, 2016, 5:48 am

:LG:


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Re: School Smoker

Post by mp4 » March 7th, 2016, 6:59 am

Nice work!



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Re: School Smoker

Post by Rodcrafter » March 7th, 2016, 7:08 am

:LG:


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Re: School Smoker

Post by Squiggle » March 7th, 2016, 3:31 pm

:LG:


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Re: School Smoker

Post by Big T » March 7th, 2016, 10:05 pm

:LG:


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Re: School Smoker

Post by thague90 » March 17th, 2016, 6:15 pm

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Here is the latest after 1 week back at it. I got the caster "axle" welded to the frame. Ordered 1" sq tube, and welded up the frame for the burner and hopper.

It's not welded in place yet I've just got it tacked. I'm contemplating making it larger to hold more pellets. I'll have to calculate the volume of the hopper later tonight.


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Re: School Smoker

Post by Weldun » March 17th, 2016, 9:12 pm

Starting to look like something now, keep up the the good work!


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Re: School Smoker

Post by Squiggle » March 17th, 2016, 10:28 pm

:LG: very nice work dude, welds look very neat :kewl:


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