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The Bride of Franken Smoker (new mods with pics)
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jason716
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Joined: 24 Apr 2007
Posts: 75
Location: Wheatfield, NY

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10 08 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They would have to break all the welds and use Canadian Chrome (Duct Tape) for Red Green to really get into it but as you said I'm sure he would be proud
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BBQMAN
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Joined: 13 Jun 2005
Posts: 15474
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10 08 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice job! Very Happy

Is that an anti-theft device you got going on there bushbow? Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Teleking
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Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 4139
Location: Maine

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22 08 8:34 pm    Post subject: She's Done! Reply with quote

Well she’s finally finished and seasoned. I did go a little over budget and finished out at around $130 or so. Still not that bad.

Here are the tuning plates and heat baffle in place. Yes that is aluminum track, don’t think it will get got enough to burn up.





Here is the cooking grate at stack level. Stack is 4” black stove pipe 36” tall based on the info I got from Istock74..





Had to build this in my basement due to lack of heated space in another location and had to dismantle and put it all back together. Not a bad thing as it is all bolted together. Here is the Bride on the seasoning fire. All joints sealed with wood stove gasket and stove cement.





Here she is humming along on all oak wood after settling down from 400*F for seasoning.



I was a little disappointed in the fact that it took a very, very, very small fire to keep it running properly in the 225*F to 250*F range. It was to the point of another baby sitting cooker which is what I was trying to avoid.

However I had the day off yesterday for Patriots Day (gotta love Maine and Mass) and decided to play with some cowboy lump. Started out pretty rough with some bad smoke out of the stack and had visions of mods in the near future to the baffle and tuning plates or even a log lighter to run on propane (which was my original intent).

Either sheer genius, dumb luck, or this web site, or all of the above (mostly dumb luck) I raked all of the lit coals to the front of the wood stove and mixed some oak chunks and lump about 3” deep behind them. With the vent wide open the fire essentially worked its way front to back in a minion method and she started singing along at 245*F and chugged along for over 2 hours as it worked it’s way down to 225*F without touching a thing.

I think this little beauty is going to be a great cooker with a little more practice. I owe it all to the SMOKERING and a big THANK YOU for all the great info within.

Have not had a chance to cook anything yet so stay tuned!!!!!!!
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reptileink
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Joined: 07 Jun 2007
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Location: WOON-socket, RI

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22 08 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

she's a beaut!! Wish I had the talent to build my own.... Sad
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Teleking
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Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 4139
Location: Maine

PostPosted: Fri May 02 08 8:09 pm    Post subject: Wheels! Reply with quote

Ok so do you all really think that I was going to cheap out and not put any wheels on the Bride? Well I did cheap out but this rolled out the back of a buddies truck the other night. The place he works at said to toss it out, what perfect timing!






What a perfect set of wheels in true Frankenstein construction. At this point the wife is just shaking her head but happy that it will have wheels to get it off the lawn when not in use. She just doesn’t appreciate my redneck genius for creating such a fine work of art. Of course everyone butt the wife thinks it’s awesome.

I will also be finalizing the shelf with some decking. What the wife doesn’t know is that I also have a lead on an umbrella from the guy that gave me the wood stove!
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mrcustomsteel
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Joined: 01 Mar 2005
Posts: 1997
Location: Bilings, still a Texan, MT

PostPosted: Fri May 02 08 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once you get the umbrella on it you can be a street vendor. Your wife can't argue with bringing a few extra bucks! That thing is great. Don't forget to put the handles and brakes on it too! And every smoker needs an armrest.
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jsampson



Joined: 15 May 2008
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PostPosted: Fri May 16 08 2:10 am    Post subject: Hows the Bride Cooking Reply with quote

Hey Teleking,

I'm new to the form and would also like to build a smoker similar to yours but I cannot find a propane tank. I can appreciate your knack for for scrounging up free parts, and as you say: I too can say "I've got a lead on a free pressure tank." What I would like to know is, whether after using it for awhile, are you happy with the thin walls of the tank? Are you able to hold the heat and has there been any warping which in turn is causing door closing problems. I have a welder and cutting torch so I could build one from a propane tank (If I can find one and I will take all the safety precausions when cutting.). Basically I would just like some feedback on whether you are happy with yours and I should go ahead and build mine or should I wait and find a propane tank. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

-Hungry in Montana
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Teleking
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Joined: 26 Sep 2007
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Location: Maine

PostPosted: Fri May 16 08 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All very good questions and welcome to the ring!

First off I have had no problems with warping with the thin metal and I had it up to 450 for seasoning. Some of the paint on the bottom browned a little but did not burn off. It holds the heat just fine as the tuning plates and cast iron stove do a good job as a heat sink ( I also use water pans). Since we are coming into the summer season I don’t see an issue. I will likely buy a cheap welding blanket from harbor freight after the summer and the snow starts to fly to hold the heat that many on here use.

I built this one to try and get some longer burn times and found with all wood that it only needed such a small fire to keep it at 230*F. I could only add a very small stick at a time and was stuck at the 45 min to 1 hour tending times as with my original.

I have now been playing with charcoal and wood chunks and starting to learn how she likes to run with the minion method (do a search). I built a charcoal basket and plan to build another one for the longer cooks. I have been able to get the burn times up to the 3 to 4 hour range and hope to get more.

That being said it took me 5 years of mods and a lot of reading here to learn how to cook on the Franken Smoker. But hey, cooking ain't rocket science! I have done beef roast, pastrami, trout, pork chops, beer can chicken and learning how she cooks along the way. All great tasting eats. I think I should be able to fit 4 to 5 whole chickens or butts in the belly of the Bride.

Thus far I am pretty impressed with the Bride and I love the challenge of learning how to cook with fire on a new cooker. Got some more ideas from the Smoke Ring on fire control to play with.

The surprise of what’s in the tank is what will get ya! It is essentially a smaller tank with upper dome of a second tank welded on top to form the air side of the tank. Oh and not to mention the rubber and plastic bladder in the bottom half.

Good luck and shoot me a PM if you want some more pictures or door details that I didn’t get around to posting. Heck, build it anyway as practice until you can find a propane tank.
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jsampson



Joined: 15 May 2008
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PostPosted: Fri May 16 08 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Teleking,

I appreciate your input and think I will get started and use the pressure tank. I will also plan a trip to the metal pile at the local landfill and see what other goodies I can find. I have to plan the landfill trip at exactly noon when the employees all go inside for lunch since they frown upon scrounging in the metal pile. Actually most of the guys that work there don't care if you take stuff-it's just a liability thing. Hopefully I'll come home with a firebox, wheels, and a frame. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again.

-Sambo
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swampcook
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Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 156
Location: LOUISIANA

PostPosted: Fri May 16 08 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

very impressive, cant wait to see it with wheels!
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Teleking
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Joined: 26 Sep 2007
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Location: Maine

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06 08 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was putting up the umbrella this weekend and the light went off that I never posted the finished photos with wheels.

Here is the bride with wheels and umbrella to keep me out of the rain.



I have also modified the fire box by cutting a hole in the top and bolting on a ¼” steel plate top on a hinge for easy loading of fuel. The plate was sealed with wood stove gasket material. I also made a charcoal separator in the center of the fire box to do a minion method with charcoal around the outside edge to get longer burn times. Sorry no photos yet. I got about 5 hours of burn time and will need to find a charcoal with less ash as there was some issues. Yes I know Kingsford has the most ash, just readily available.
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purplewg
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Joined: 27 Jun 2008
Posts: 1300
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07 08 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good job. Don't ya love it when a plan comes together? Very Happy
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HillbillySmoker
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Joined: 25 May 2008
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Location: WV

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07 08 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your beer is getting warm Shocked Laughing
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Teleking
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Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 4139
Location: Maine

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07 08 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HillbillySmoker wrote:
Your beer is getting warm Shocked Laughing


Them’s the empties and was not cooking at the time. Wink

Still learning how to cook on the Bride but I have turned out some really good eats.
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Teleking
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Location: Maine

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18 08 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I mentioned it in the past and now the mods to the firebox are done with several cooks under the belt.

I cut the top of the wood stove for easier access to add wood and charcoal. Here is the new ¼” steel lid hinged at the back:



Here it is with the lid open. Wood stove gasket around the edge and yes a 10 pound weight to hold the lid down to seal and also act as a heat sink.



This is the grate I use to keep the fire off the bottom of the stove, not new just a better pictures of it.





I can run straight wood in the Bride but wanted to achieve a much longer burn time than tossing a stick on every hour. Built a charcoal separating divider for the middle of the stove which allows me to use a minion method by dumping a chimney on one side and letting it burn around the out side edge.



I used some expanded steel to put in front off the door to keep the charcoal in with the door open.





I have been able to get around 4.5 to 5 hours of burn time on a load which is pretty good.

I had the tuning plates dialed in so that temps are even across the coodker. However, I dad a tough time with keeping temps even across the cook chamber yesterday, but had a pretty stiff wind to deal with. I can see a welding blanket in the near future to help with temps this coming winter. It’s on my Santa list.

Again this was all done with simple tools and does not require technical welding and fabrication skills as with the rest of the cooker build.
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purplewg
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Joined: 27 Jun 2008
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Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18 08 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did ya weld that cast iron box to your tank? If so how?
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Teleking
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18 08 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, welding cast iron is nearly impossible (can be done, but not easy). The opening was cut out and the gap was filled/sealed with woodstove rope gasket and stove cement.

You can see the bead of stove cement in the first picture sealing the tank to the wood stove.
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purplewg
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18 08 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I can see it now. It sort of looked like a weld is why I asked. I have tried to weld cast iron before with the correct rods but never liked the results. Then again I am just an amature welder.
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