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Build My Pit 101
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dwilliams35
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Joined: 17 Mar 2010
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06 17 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally pulled it out; it was desperately shielding its eyes like the death row inmates in "Brubaker" that hadn't seen the sun in years... took it down the highway out front a couple of miles, it pulls really well; it's heavy for its size, for sure, but a good proportion of tongue weight, and will "self correct" quickly if you jerk the wheel a bit.. backs up pretty easily, all in all I'm fairly pleased with that aspect..

I don't have the wheel for the grill height adjustment on it here, that's just pulling a pin and pulling it out. Ditto the propane bottle..










I pressure washed all the grinding dust and such off of it, then fired it up;
Have a little bit of tuning-plate tweaking to play with, and the doors do leak a little bit, but nothing a dab of RTV won't take care of.. it will hold very solid at 225-230, I haven't really tried cranking that up any as of yet. That's always been my target temps before, but after reading here I may move into the 275 camp for a bit: we'll see how she does with that.

The firebox intake vent plate I put together is really nice; you can really make very, very minute adjustments easily..

Also; important safety tip; if you forget to put one of the thermometers in before you do a test burn, install it BEFORE you have a fairly raging fire going...

Once it "leveled out" with some coals, the warming box was sitting at about 250: I cracked the vent door an inch or so, and that settled down about 170.. we'll see how well that works..







I've got a handful of holes to drill for trailer lights and propane piping underneath the deck, and I guess off to the sandblaster it goes...

And yes, I know there's too much smoke there; that was about two minutes after I lit it, so cool your jets. It settled down into a good looking draft of the wispy blue we all want.

So far so good...
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brutus1964
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Joined: 01 Apr 2014
Posts: 503
Location: Pinson, Tn.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07 17 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like you have built yourself a very nice cooker. It sounds like the first burn was a success as well. Very nice work. I'm looking forward to seeing it painted and your first cook on it.
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Chargriller
Weber Kettle
Heartland Cookers 36 x 48 Rotisserie

"If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got"- Henry Ford
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dwilliams35
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Joined: 17 Mar 2010
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08 17 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So am I, Brutus.. I just hope the paint will successfully cover up some of my ugly welding.. Very Happy . It's getting on a truck to go to sandblast and paint Wednesday, really can't wait to get it back and have something in there besides just wood..
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dwilliams35
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Joined: 17 Mar 2010
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Thu Aug 10 17 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, took it in for sandblasting and painting today, with a few stops to do what I have to do to get it licensed: it came in at 2000 pounds even, with 160 lbs tongue weight empty: that should go up a bit, with the propane tank, wood storage, and about 3/4 of the "general storage" area forward of the axle.. One way or another, it pulls really nicely even without any extra forward weight: I put just over 100 miles on it today bone-dry empty with temporary lights and a one-trip tag... Everything held together well. I'm sure that with the rusty pit, missing thermometers, a little safety wire to hold the lights on, and the temporary wiring, a good portion of the people on the road started hearing the Beverly Hillbillies theme playing in their head, but I digress.

Next, A stop by the Sheriff of a neighboring county (ours has no auto-theft division) to secure a pronouncement that yes, it's home-built and no, it's not just a stolen trailer with the VIN ground off.. Success there as well.. Then a trip across town to the sandblaster..

Barring any unforeseen weather events, I'm supposed to be able to pick it up on Saturday. Pics to come shortly thereafter..
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dwilliams35
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Joined: 17 Mar 2010
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14 17 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got her back home: I'll put the lights in this week, gotta put the adjusting cables back on for the grill, and finish up the plumbing underneath for the gas... plus an inordinate amount of paperwork to get a license plate for the thing..




Despite all that I need to finish up, as you expected, I couldn't wait: a "seasoning burn" yesterday, first brisket today.. There is a lot of "figuring out" on the thermometers I need to do: the Tel-Tru's are about 2-3 inches above the grill, but they were both reading significantly cooler than the Thermapro TP-20: one probe sitting on the grate, one in the brisket. I pulled the probes out and tested them in boiling water, one topped out at 212, one at 214, so I really don't think THAT has much of a problem: I can't imagine TWO tel-tru 3" thermos are both off that far, so I've apparently just got some real differences of temp in that 2-3".. Any ideas there?

Anyway, the brisket was edible: not my best, not my worst, good flavor but could probably have run a little longer on the flat. Not full-blown "tough", but not what I wanted... It passed the "poke test", so I pulled it at about 188. Brisket sandwiches all week!




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brutus1964
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Joined: 01 Apr 2014
Posts: 503
Location: Pinson, Tn.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 15 17 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The pit looks great. You did a great job building it.
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Chargriller
Weber Kettle
Heartland Cookers 36 x 48 Rotisserie

"If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got"- Henry Ford
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Flyingj
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Joined: 20 Jun 2014
Posts: 272
Location: North Texas

PostPosted: Tue Aug 15 17 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She turned out real nice dwilliams35. I enjoyed following the build! Very Happy Don't fret about the differences in the temps, they'll wander a good bit. Just cook a bunch on it and you'll learn it's habits. I'm still learning with mine.

I'm no expert but you might find the brisket a little more enjoyable if you bring the internal temp up around 205-210.
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dwilliams35
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Joined: 17 Mar 2010
Posts: 107

PostPosted: Tue Aug 15 17 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flyingj wrote:
She turned out real nice dwilliams35. I enjoyed following the build! Very Happy Don't fret about the differences in the temps, they'll wander a good bit. Just cook a bunch on it and you'll learn it's habits. I'm still learning with mine.

I'm no expert but you might find the brisket a little more enjoyable if you bring the internal temp up around 205-210.
. That's always been my normal practice, I just got scared with the thermos being out of whack and pulled it essentially based on feel when I probed it... learning experience, just chill and let the pit work..
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jess
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Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 1732
Location: Fl.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 15 17 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your pit looks great. As to different temps. at different levels try suspending probes at those levels to check.
I built one RF that had a very strong horizontal draw till I made a couple mods. After a few cooks and maybe a few burnt biscuits you will learn its habits...
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