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Made some mods to the charcoal basket today
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missionsusmc
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PostPosted: Nov 23 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokin Mike wrote:
Maniac wrote:
Mike 3 days till Thanksgiving relax and enjoy Exclamation tuneups can happen after T day Wink


I'm not stressing out over this or anything like that. I just had some time this weekend to fool around with some of the minor tweaks that could be tried. I figured as long as I got everybody's interest I might as well give some of this stuff a shot. If I make any major changes it will be after Thanksgiving. Actually, when I created this topic I had no intentions of fixing the fuel consumption problem... I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact it uses a lot of fuel. Then missionsusmc chimed in with his question about it and the ball started rolling.

I got one other thing to try this afternoon to see how things go. I'll post up the results around 6:00 or 7:00 EST this evening.


Yeah blame the little guy. Laughing It's okay. I'm still perplexed at why it burns so much fuel, though. Still doesn't make much sense to me. Hypothetically, and I'm not suggesting doing this, if it were turned on its side as an offset, would your heat stack between the fb and tank match up to what the calc says for a fb/cc opening? Does that make sense? You said that your new deflector is 11" and that's a little over 2X the diameter of the heat stack, so I'm assuming (and we all know what that does) that your stack is around 5". I did the math on that assumption, and that gives an area of 15.1976 sq in, call it 15.2. Have you plugged your numbers into the calc as an offset? I know the calc isn't designed for verticals, but it's the size of a decent sized offset. Just a thought.

You may have been on the right track earlier about making it a stick burner. Offsets of that size, what are they running? Charcoal with chunks or straight wood? I don't know. I have a cheapo offset I got at WalMart. I'd like to make mods, but I lack time and/or funds. It's like I have time but no money, or money but no time. Not both at the same time. Embarassed I run charcoal with chunks because it's easier for me, and because my fb isn't big enough to hold a split or 3.
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xring01
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PostPosted: Nov 23 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disclosure.. I have never built a smoker.. Made alot of mods to my smokers..

Been studying alot of the builds here, designing my first build now...

Therefore from someone with little practical experience, if you want better fuel efficiency, you need more heat from the firebox, into the cooking chamber..

Therefore, a bigger pipe in between the fb and cc..

If this is done, it will act more like a cabinet smoker..

I think your fuel efficiency will be better, also, i think the smoke flavor will be less...

If i am right about this, its making me reconsider the PLAN I have for my smoker..
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Nov 23 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the numbers;

Cook chamber: 80 Gallon vertical

Firebox: 19H x 20W x 19L = 7,220 cubic in.

Heat stack: 5" diameter and 5" long (19.63 sq. inch cross area)

For a horizontal offset the recommended firebox to cooker opening circular diameter is 8.58 sq. inches. The recommended opening is 57.76 sq. in. and mine is 19.63 sq. in.

The heat stack is directly centered over the charcoal basket.
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BUGSnBBQ
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PostPosted: Nov 23 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tony wrote:
Okay-Just Got back in Town.

Mentally, or physically 'Out of town'? Laughing

Tony wrote:
Maybe Bugs can Chime in with some of His Inimitable Wit!

WHAT DID YOU CALL ME??? Laughing Laughing

I had to look that up, but you're wrong - I ain't no left-handed, mentally impaired, Russian telemarketer, with 6 toes on each hand. My wife says I'm SPESHUL and my mamma says I'm pretty (Speshul).

Anywho...Mike - I think what you need is one of These. It should create all the new problems you don't have yet Wink Laughing
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Nov 23 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

BUGSnBBQ wrote:
Anywho...Mike - I think what you need is one of These. It should create all the new problems you don't have yet Wink Laughing


Thanks Pal! I honestly don't know what I would do without you.


Ok fellas, here's the update to the update. Today's experiment was about fire control. This is something that Kevin suggested I try to see if I can get a little longer burn time. I cut out both ends of a large bean can and made a tunnel. I packed some lump and chunks around the tunnel, filled up the can with some burning charcoal and then pulled the can out.



I shoved the charcoal basket into the firebox and the cooker came up to temperature in record time. In 15 minutes she was up to 250°. So far so good. Here's the thing though... the heat stack temperature was up a lot compared to yesterday, around 700° to keep the temperature in the cooker where I wanted it. Here's the other thing, the outside temperature is significantly lower than yesterday. It was 55° yesterday when I was putzing around with it and right now it's 43°. Here's what I'm thinking... I may be losing a lot of heat due to temperature dispersion from the cooker wall. What else could it be? I got good air flow but I also got two air inlet valves almost wide open to keep up which is different than yesterday when I had two valves closed for most of the burn.

Anyway, I'm still cooking my chicken. I got the temps where I want them and I haven't had to monkey around with anything since warm-up.

The stack temp is 700°. The thermometer under the first grate is saying 375° and it's pretty much in the direct air flow after the air comes off of the deflector plate. And the other thermometers are around 250°.

Since I've been typing I just walked back out and here at 2:15 since the burn started, I'm noticing the stack temperature starting to fall which tells me it's going to be time to refuel shortly. I'll know more about the spent fuel situation here in a bit but the experiment with fire control may not be buying me much and considering I've had to kick its azz to keep temps up I've probably ripped through most of that fuel.

I really think I should try insulation wrapping the tank to see what happens. When you think about it, most vertical cabinets are insulated.

Edit:

Here's the coal situation after 3 hours 10 minutes.


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Pete Mazz
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PostPosted: Nov 23 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since most verticals are directly connected to the FB and benefit from all that radiated heat I'm wondering if that's what's causing the excess fuel consumption.

Other than that, I'm stumped at this point.
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Nov 23 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

missionsusmc, I've been thinking a bit on your suggestion that the firebox to cooker transition (heat stack) isn't quite large enough. I'm running some of this through my mind and came up with these questions;

If the firebox to cooker opening isn't large enough wouldn't that show up as the cooker starving for heat and air? And if that were the case wouldn't I have to open the air inlets on the firebox to full open to compensate for it? On an average cook and on a warm sunny day I usually have one air inlet closed, one fully open, and the third is used to regulate (fine tune) the temperature. The inlet valves are 1-1/4". If I open all three valves I'm cranking over 1,000° stack temperature and getting the cooker over 300°.

Pete Mazz wrote:
Since most verticals are directly connected to the FB and benefit from all that radiated heat I'm wondering if that's what's causing the excess fuel consumption.

Pete, Early on I mentioned running a trial with a coal basket inside the cook chamber. That would answer that question quick and fast. I "thought" I was being smart by using the separate firebox which gives me more grates in the cooker. Of course I always have to go where no man has gone before. Rolling Eyes

Whenever I have a chance I'll take a video of everything and I don't know... maybe somebody can put their finger on something. In the interim, I think my next step is to try insulating the cooker.
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wango
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PostPosted: Nov 23 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike I've been following along on this and I went back and read your build thread. Impressive craftsmanship sir! Very nice work.

I'm a novice at this stuff, so if my suggestion sounds stupid, just ignore it Embarassed

Would it be worth adding a plate in the top of the tank, below the exhaust stack? Let's call it an inverted diffuser. For a trial, I was thinking along the lines of a pizza pan with evenly spaced holes drilled in it, the sum of all the holes + the gap around the edge would be at least equal to but probably should be larger than the chimney area, maybe like 1.5 - 2 times the chimney area For an experiment you could wire it to your sausage rack. I have no practical experience with doing this. My thinking is, without restricting the exhaust, you would keep the heat in the cook chamber longer, thus hopefully use less fuel.

I dunno, just a thought. As an owner of a couple fuel hogs, I know the pain of pouring the coals to them. Good luck and again please disregard if this doesn't make sense
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Nov 24 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the complement and the input Wango. Very Happy

So you're talking about putting a little restriction on the exhaust to allow the heat to gang up a bit in the cooker before it's released. That's something that's easy to try and I don't mind doing it to see whether it works or not. I did cap off the exhaust 1/2 way the other day to see if it had any effect and it didn't really buy me anything as far as extending the burn time, but that was working on it from the outside. Your idea is about working on it from the inside. I'm not sure when I can tinker with it again and considering Thanksgiving is 3 days away I may have to shelve any more experimentation until after the holiday. I'll post up anything I get done.

I appreciate you taking the time to chime in.

Thanks again.
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missionsusmc
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PostPosted: Nov 24 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokin Mike wrote:
missionsusmc, I've been thinking a bit on your suggestion that the firebox to cooker transition (heat stack) isn't quite large enough. I'm running some of this through my mind and came up with these questions;

If the firebox to cooker opening isn't large enough wouldn't that show up as the cooker starving for heat and air? And if that were the case wouldn't I have to open the air inlets on the firebox to full open to compensate for it? On an average cook and on a warm sunny day I usually have one air inlet closed, one fully open, and the third is used to regulate (fine tune) the temperature. The inlet valves are 1-1/4". If I open all three valves I'm cranking over 1,000° stack temperature and getting the cooker over 300°.

Pete Mazz wrote:
Since most verticals are directly connected to the FB and benefit from all that radiated heat I'm wondering if that's what's causing the excess fuel consumption.

Pete, Early on I mentioned running a trial with a coal basket inside the cook chamber. That would answer that question quick and fast. I "thought" I was being smart by using the separate firebox which gives me more grates in the cooker. Of course I always have to go where no man has gone before. Rolling Eyes

Whenever I have a chance I'll take a video of everything and I don't know... maybe somebody can put their finger on something. In the interim, I think my next step is to try insulating the cooker.


You make some very valid points. I suppose it would act like it was starving. Please believe me, I wasn't trying to be a "know-it-all." You know more about it than I do. I used to run some extruder machines in a previous job, and when you start running bad product, it's like a troubleshooting process. Try one thing and if that doesn't work, go back and try something else. I guess I've still got that mindset.

I know you're a lump man, but have you ever tried briquettes instead of lump? I know lump burns hotter, but because it burns hotter, does it burn faster? I really don't know the answer to that. I've used both in my cooker. I've used the RO lump in the orange/red bags (the only lump I can get), but I seem to use quite a bit more lump than briquettes. I'll go through 2 of the RO bags for 1 cook, where I can get 1-2 cooks on a single bag of good ole kingsford. I've also used and I like the WM brand briquettes. Cant think of what it's called now, though. The briquettes are larger size than Kingsford, as well. I heard (you know how that goes) that royal oak actually makes it for WM. IDK though.
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Nov 24 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're fine brother and I appreciate you thinking along with me during all this diagnoses. I'm just asking questions because i don't know the answer either. I try to think things out and rationalize a bit before I jump in too deep. What I do know is a vertical is a heck of a lot different than a horizontal. We all know hot air rises and my cooker design pretty much allows that to happen so I probably don't need as large an opening as an offset. However I think it would fail miserably if I flipped it on the side and tried to run it like an offset. Anyway, we're going to keep plugging away by trying a little of this and that and hopefully the mystery will be solved.

As far as the briquettes are concerned, the only time I ran briquettes is at the very beginning of this thing when I needed to cure out some paint touch-ups and I only dumped one chimney in the FB. I do have a source for Royal Oak briquettes so I could definitely give that a run. to see how it goes.
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xring01
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PostPosted: Nov 24 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokin Mike wrote:
You're fine brother and I appreciate you thinking along with me during all this diagnoses. I'm just asking questions because i don't know the answer either. I try to think things out and rationalize a bit before I jump in too deep. What I do know is a vertical is a heck of a lot different than a horizontal. We all know hot air rises and my cooker design pretty much allows that to happen so I probably don't need as large an opening as an offset. However I think it would fail miserably if I flipped it on the side and tried to run it like an offset. Anyway, we're going to keep plugging away by trying a little of this and that and hopefully the mystery will be solved.

As far as the briquettes are concerned, the only time I ran briquettes is at the very beginning of this thing when I needed to cure out some paint touch-ups and I only dumped one chimney in the FB. I do have a source for Royal Oak briquettes so I could definitely give that a run. to see how it goes.


As some of us have stated... The pipe between FB to CC is to small.. Alot of the heat that is being created in the FB is radiating out the sides, because the flow is to restricted for it to go up, into the CC.. I bigger pipe or square tubing, will allow alot more heat to enter the CC, meaning alot less fuel, to maintain the same temps.

Again I am not expert, but I thinks thats the reason you are burning so much fuel..

This I do know, you are burning more fuel in your setup, than I do in my 24" Diameter, 36 inch Pitt's and Spitts Offset. it leaks alot.. which is one of the reason I was going to modify it, to make it better on fuel.
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Nov 24 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

xring01 wrote:
As some of us have stated... The pipe between FB to CC is to small.. Alot of the heat that is being created in the FB is radiating out the sides, because the flow is to restricted for it to go up, into the CC.. I bigger pipe or square tubing, will allow alot more heat to enter the CC, meaning alot less fuel, to maintain the same temps.


What size pipe would be needed to fix this?
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PostPosted: Nov 24 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokin Mike wrote:
xring01 wrote:
As some of us have stated... The pipe between FB to CC is to small.. Alot of the heat that is being created in the FB is radiating out the sides, because the flow is to restricted for it to go up, into the CC.. I bigger pipe or square tubing, will allow alot more heat to enter the CC, meaning alot less fuel, to maintain the same temps.


What size pipe would be needed to fix this?

Knowing that Mike would rather not cut the cooker apart at this time is why I was giving him options to try before he embarked on re-construction.
If I were to separate the two and add a new opening it would be an 8" x 8" minimum opening.
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PostPosted: Nov 24 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
Smokin Mike wrote:
xring01 wrote:
As some of us have stated... The pipe between FB to CC is to small.. Alot of the heat that is being created in the FB is radiating out the sides, because the flow is to restricted for it to go up, into the CC.. I bigger pipe or square tubing, will allow alot more heat to enter the CC, meaning alot less fuel, to maintain the same temps.


What size pipe would be needed to fix this?

Knowing that Mike would rather not cut the cooker apart at this time is why I was giving him options to try before he embarked on re-construction.
If I were to separate the two and add a new opening it would be an 8" x 8" minimum opening.


Well??? I've been looking for a reason to buy a cutting torch. Guess you just gave it to me.
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PostPosted: Nov 25 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, in the pics I've seen of your cook sessions, I didn't see evidence of reverse drafting - which would send hot gas (& smoke) out the firebox somewhere other than the FB to CC opening. However there's just a few pics.

Do you see (or otherwise detect) hot gas leaving the FB from somewhere other than the FB to CC opening?
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PostPosted: Nov 25 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

necron 99 wrote:
Mike, in the pics I've seen of your cook sessions, I didn't see evidence of reverse drafting - which would send hot gas (& smoke) out the firebox somewhere other than the FB to CC opening. However there's just a few pics.

Do you see (or otherwise detect) hot gas leaving the FB from somewhere other than the FB to CC opening?


No I haven't seen anything that would indicate any sort of leakage or back drafting. The other day I opened the grease drain valve and took a small strip of newspaper and it got sucked up and held to the valve opening. I would expect that because of the position of the grease catch drain opening on the back side of the deflector plate from the air flow, which would create a negative pressure.

Kevin asked me about the gasket around the firebox door and by all appearances the door is tight against it but the gasket is over a year and a half old and starting to show old age. I'm going to replace it.

I'm going to try to take a video and get it posted to YouTube so that everybody can see the same things that I'm seeing. I wish I had a differential pressure sensor so that I could see and understand what's going on in there. I could probably make a manometer.
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PostPosted: Nov 25 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokin Mike wrote:
Well??? I've been looking for a reason to buy a cutting torch. Guess you just gave it to me.

I help where I can. Very Happy
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missionsusmc
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PostPosted: Nov 25 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokin Mike wrote:
k.a.m. wrote:
Smokin Mike wrote:
xring01 wrote:
As some of us have stated... The pipe between FB to CC is to small.. Alot of the heat that is being created in the FB is radiating out the sides, because the flow is to restricted for it to go up, into the CC.. I bigger pipe or square tubing, will allow alot more heat to enter the CC, meaning alot less fuel, to maintain the same temps.


What size pipe would be needed to fix this?

Knowing that Mike would rather not cut the cooker apart at this time is why I was giving him options to try before he embarked on re-construction.
If I were to separate the two and add a new opening it would be an 8" x 8" minimum opening.


Well??? I've been looking for a reason to buy a cutting torch. Guess you just gave it to me.



Oh geeze. What did I do? Now your wife is going to blame me for you spending HER money on a cutting torch to operate on "that contraption out back." Because we all know it doesn't matter whose name is on the bank account. Shocked Laughing
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missionsusmc
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PostPosted: Nov 25 2015    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokin Mike wrote:
k.a.m. wrote:
Smokin Mike wrote:
xring01 wrote:
As some of us have stated... The pipe between FB to CC is to small.. Alot of the heat that is being created in the FB is radiating out the sides, because the flow is to restricted for it to go up, into the CC.. I bigger pipe or square tubing, will allow alot more heat to enter the CC, meaning alot less fuel, to maintain the same temps.


What size pipe would be needed to fix this?

Knowing that Mike would rather not cut the cooker apart at this time is why I was giving him options to try before he embarked on re-construction.
If I were to separate the two and add a new opening it would be an 8" x 8" minimum opening.


Well??? I've been looking for a reason to buy a cutting torch. Guess you just gave it to me.



Oh geeze. What did I do? Now your wife is going to blame me for you spending HER money on a cutting torch to operate on "that contraption out back." Because we all know it doesn't matter whose name is on the bank account. Shocked Laughing
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