MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Also called Stump's Clone.
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MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by norman1080 » April 12th, 2018, 12:26 pm

Fellow Smoker Builders,

My brother and I are amateur BBQ'ers with a BBQ Co-Op called The Meat Sweats in Chicago, Illinois. This will be my brother and I's very first attempt at building a smoker. After much research, we have agreed upon a Stumps Classic clone. The below design is a work in progress and would like to get as much feedback from the community as possible. So please give us your thoughts about the design, concerns about the design, and anything you want to talk about based on your experience. The plan is to have this fully insulated and possibly controlled by a DigiQ or something similar. I need to add a few other things to the design. They are as follows: drip pan, tie downs for transport, standard latches, slam latch, door gaskets, and a removable side prep table. Thanks in advance for all your help! So, here is the design:

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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by ajfoxy » April 12th, 2018, 2:29 pm

Welcome.
If you don't want to design it yourself, you can use the plans from smokerbuilder.net for a Gravity Feed smoker. This is a sister company to smokerbuilder.com. Using the plans you get all the dimensions and build sequence. Also on some you can purchase .dxf cut files that you can take to your preferred laser/plasma cutting shop to have cut out. And the nice thing is it is a known good design.
Having said all that your design looks pretty flash too.


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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by Heatermeter builder » April 12th, 2018, 2:43 pm

I'm no expert, bit from my experience after building the Double pan GF, the way you have the firebox exposed to the outside wall , it will be super hot. I have mine isolated and it's still very hot in that location.

I also 2nd that you take a look at the Double Pan GF plans


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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by Dirtytires » April 12th, 2018, 10:51 pm

I am an reverse flow offset kinda guy but science is science. I see the concept behind the downward baffle plate but am concerned you are not going to get heat to go downhill and work like you are thinking it will.

Looks like you have good idea of what you want.



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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by JKalchik » April 13th, 2018, 7:59 am

DirtyTires, that'd be my concern as well. Although, he's indicated he's going to be using a controller, the positive draft should help.

Having said that..... seems that the general consensus is the flat mounted channel seems yield pretty even temp distributions. I haven't built mine yet, but one of the things I am going to do is check distributions.


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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by norman1080 » April 13th, 2018, 10:43 am

These are all great comments and I much appreciate the feedback. This seems like a great community of resourceful people. I am going to go back and revise the model a bit. And will post some more image once it is revised for more comments.

For all who built something similar what did the overall cost run you? I want to see how much material I can get for next to nothing, but in the end, I know it will cost me something.

Which one do you like?

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Last edited by norman1080 on April 13th, 2018, 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by Rodcrafter » April 13th, 2018, 3:29 pm

You drawing looks awesome. The web site mentioned earlier sells 3 different sizes of GF smoker plans Mini, Single Pan and Double Pan. I know you may be wondering why we keep directing you towards that idea. Well the deal is, the sale of those plans keep the lights on at the site. So that being said, it's sorta a conflict since details are what makes these work or not work. Any other type of cooker I would be all in for ideas and design, but GF I have to pass.

Good luck.


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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by norman1080 » April 13th, 2018, 5:42 pm

I get it and I want the website to live on. The thing is, I am not looking for dimensions of your design. I am not looking for design secrets. I am looking for general advise from people that have built one, people who are willing to give ideas because they enjoy the process of buildig one and people who just want to help a fellow BBQer. To each their own. If you don't want to help then you just don't have to respond to the thread. Sorry if starting this thread stepped on people toes. Maybe a disclaimer needs to be put out there before someone signs up that reads, we don't discuss GF smoker design. Just my two cents.



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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by ajfoxy » April 13th, 2018, 7:12 pm

Whoa, easy champ. I don't believe anyone is critical of you wanting to do you own thing. Just that a tried and true set of plans are available. If you don't want to use them, that's fine. Nobody is going to hold it against you. This site is all about helping fellow BBQ'ers. You have stated you want to do your own design and prototyping. Thats great. We will all be watching your thread and helping where possible... if you want that help. If you need a specific answer ask a specific question.
As to the specific cost it will depend on how much "free/cheap/inexpensive" materials you can scrounge together. I can't help you much in that regard as I live in Australia and steel is friggin expensive here. So my costings would not be of much use to you. Do your measurements of all the parts, add up how much steel you need of the various thicknesses and then phone a steel merchant and enquire how much. Subtract what you can scrounge and there you have a ballpark guestimate of what it might cost. Be aware these things always cost more than you figure it would. And like any pit, you are always adding on or altering things.
Last edited by ajfoxy on April 13th, 2018, 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by norman1080 » April 13th, 2018, 7:26 pm

Dang. I didnt mean to come across in a snotty ungrateful way. I just felt Rodcrafter was stating this isn't the place for advise on GF smokers because you guys have a tested prototype of your own. I just didn't want to sound like I was trying to steal from the plans and business you guys have started by picking all of your minds. Hey, any help is good help in my book. So let's carry on.

As for pricing, I am going to try to scrounge up as much as I can for free but I wasn't sure if any one had a very general idea. All good I will let me fingers do the walking on price.

Again, thanks in advance for all your help and ideas. Cheer's!



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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by The Czar » April 13th, 2018, 8:53 pm

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Re: RE: Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by AndrewPalmer71 » April 13th, 2018, 9:01 pm

The Czar wrote:Image


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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by Big T » April 13th, 2018, 9:33 pm

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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by norman1080 » April 13th, 2018, 9:43 pm

I am in a glass case of emotion!Image

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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by alleyrat58 » April 14th, 2018, 8:20 am

Couple of things I see:
1. Reverse the way your door is opening. It looks good on paper, but you'll run in to problems putting it into practice, plus you'll be able to swing that door as wide as you want when you need some room. That door will be hot and trying to avoid getting burned while taking food out isn't fun.

2. Put a grease drain in the bottom with at least a 1.5" ball valve to drain it.

3. Raise your FB up a bit and put your air inlet through the side of the cooker and not on the door as most people do.

4. Build a small port for thermometer cables on the side. Search this site and you can see what others have done.

I agree with the others on insulating around the firebox and skip the downward baffle, you don't need it. A draft controller is a good idea, mine runs degree-perfect for hours with my guru running.


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Re: RE: Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by norman1080 » April 14th, 2018, 8:30 am

alleyrat58 wrote:Couple of things I see:
1. Reverse the way your door is opening. It looks good on paper, but you'll run in to problems putting it into practice, plus you'll be able to swing that door as wide as you want when you need some room. That door will be hot and trying to avoid getting burned while taking food out isn't fun.

2. Put a grease drain in the bottom with at least a 1.5" ball valve to drain it.

3. Raise your FB up a bit and put your air inlet through the side of the cooker and not on the door as most people do.

4. Build a small port for thermometer cables on the side. Search this site and you can see what others have done.

I agree with the others on insulating around the firebox and skip the downward baffle, you don't need it. A draft controller is a good idea, mine runs degree-perfect for hours with my guru running.
Thanks for your generous review and insight on my project. I think all of those things you mentioned are great and I will be doing a minor redesign of the smoker based on all of the comments thus far.

Happy Smoking Y'all!

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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by hannibalsmith63 » April 14th, 2018, 5:25 pm

I am in the middle of a Double Pan build now. I have not repurposed any material and I have had the material laser cut. The material including the kit for accessories is going to run me about $1700. This includes the charge to laser cut the material but does not include paint/powder coating and the plans.

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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by alleyrat58 » April 16th, 2018, 4:40 pm

Speaking of paint/powdercoating, I know Frank went through hell powdercoating one, but my experience was better. They masked the critical components and really only got powdercoating in one place that I didn't want.

Proceed with caution, find a reputable shop.


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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by pr0wlunwoof » April 18th, 2018, 12:21 pm

So I am towards the end of my mini-build. I thought hard about coming up with my own design as my friend who is helping me can pretty much put something into orbit if he chose to do so. I ended up buying the plans with the .dxf file and I can tell you I am glad I did. Last week we started putting the outer skin on and my friend was impressed at how it was all coming together like a jigsaw puzzle. He stated "the guy who designed this knows his Sh*t". Now I am planning on doing the cooking racks a little different as I have some material that lends itself to a slightly different design so it will be unique in the end.

Reinventing the wheel is hard, the investment in material and time is worth the $100 for a tried and true design.

With that stated I agree the door needs to swing the other direction.



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Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by alleyrat58 » April 21st, 2018, 6:56 pm

One other thing I just noticed, the door on top of the chute could use a lip or a raised jamb that it closes against. If it rains while you are cooking (and it will) it will keep water out of your chute.


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Re: RE: Re: MSBBQ Gravity Feed Smoker Design Concept

Post by norman1080 » April 21st, 2018, 7:22 pm

alleyrat58 wrote:One other thing I just noticed, the door on top of the chute could use a lip or a raised jamb that it closes against. If it rains while you are cooking (and it will) it will keep water out of your chute.
Awesome! Thanks for that great tip!

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