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Round Three of the Char-Griller mods - PICS are back!
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J0K3R-X
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29 08 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey BoilermakerFan,

You need your own TV show called Pimp My Char-Griller!!! That is the best damn "Over The Top" modded Char-Griller I have seen yet! You have taken an average smoker/grill and transformed it into a top notch rig for sure! Wink Great Job!!! Now take a break and make some food dude! Laughing
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BoilermakerFan
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29 08 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

J0K3R-X wrote:
Hey BoilermakerFan,

You need your own TV show called Pimp My Char-Griller!!! That is the best damn "Over The Top" modded Char-Griller I have seen yet! You have taken an average smoker/grill and transformed it into a top notch rig for sure! Wink Great Job!!! Now take a break and make some food dude! Laughing


LOL! Thanks man, it sounds like I have a lot left to do, but it really isn't too much. I ripped my cover for it in a couple of places, so I need to make patterns from the old one and have a new custom one made in more durable material. I also need to make the welding blanket/GorTex insulators for the cook chamber so I can cook a goose at Christmas.

If you think my Char-Griller is over the top, I'm applying my same philosophy to my DIY audio equipment!
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Mr Clean



Joined: 28 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01 08 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats a nice job your doing on that smoker! I just joined the forum and saw you were from Evansville. I live right down the road in Mt Vernon. Peace!
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BoilermakerFan
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01 08 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr Clean wrote:
Thats a nice job your doing on that smoker! I just joined the forum and saw you were from Evansville. I live right down the road in Mt Vernon. Peace!


Thanks. I used to get out to Mt. Vernon all the time when I called on GE Plastics. That alone should date how long it's been since I've been out there for business. I do head out to Dan's Comp about twice a year to have the bicycles serviced and Derrick did an awesome job converting my old Gary Fisher into a single speed for me.

Are you thinking about a CG or are you going bigger? Between Harbor Freight, Lowes, and Rural King, I think everything on it except the EZ Que, SFB warming plate, and casters was purchased locally. Once she's all done your welcome to come out and take a look, especially if your interested in an EZ Que. I really can't say enough great things about it, I love it. It's truly a brilliant design!

- BMF
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Mr Clean



Joined: 28 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01 08 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work for Sabic. It was GE but im sure you know that. Im just a small timer with Weber Kettle, and a gasser, and a small vert smoker. Should get my old Smokey grill tomorrow. Think im gonna get a WSM when the bigger on comes out but I love BBQ and just do it for my own enjoyment. But you never know. Maybe down the road I may go alittle bigger. Take it easy! And yes I would like to check out the grill. Hopefully right after you pull out afew racks of ribs!!
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BoilermakerFan
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20 08 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoilermakerFan wrote:
I thought I should post an update, but a few of you know my CG is never truly finished, but I have smoked lots of veggies and made several roast beefs...

I ordered the side burner and warming shelf from CG, but the cast iron grates for the SFB were out of stock at the time. I also ordered a round 20" round bottom carbon steel wok for the burner.

Once the side burner arrived I thought about it and decided to see if I could extend it away from grill to allow clearance for the rotisserie motor. Well, a few samples of 1/2" x .083" wall plain steel tubing just happened to show up on my door that are 14" long! I measured the distance I would need and 7" offset would be plenty, so I need to cut down the tubes and deburr the ends this spring when the temps warm up enough not to risk cracking my air compressor heads since I don't have a heated garage.

To use the grates in the SFB I need to modify my charcoal basket mounting system from the rods to SS screw eyes that will be used to mount the grate supports too. So I'll end up with two holes in the end of the SFB that I need to plug, but now I'll have even more flexibility with this smoker/grill/rotisserie/BURNER combo!

Oh, and I figured out a way to make my rotisserie side charcoal baskets weld-free! I need to pick up some more SS hardware, but I'm just glad I don't have to pay to have someone try to TIG weld this little thing together.

After these last mods I think there are only two or three small tweaks left to do, including the brackets to hold the ceramic briquettes in place and a welding insulation blanket for the top. I'll need to make my own custom grill cover because the OEM cover won't work with the extended side burner. I have one other mod I'd like to do, but it's a far greater engineering challenge and my time has to split between a few other projects until this fall. Wink


Well, I have to admit, I got lazy and just cooked with the CG without finishing the mods for a long time and my "spare" time has been spent pursuing DIY audio projects. Building preamps, phono stages, amps, refurbishing an old console, building headphones, and CD players...

BUT now we're hosting Thanksgiving so I have to get serious and finish the mods! The turkey has to be smoked on the grill!

The worst part is threading the 1/4" rod. It was such a PITA and now I need to do it all over again to accommodate the 7" extension I need to cantilever the side burner off the CG for rotisserie motor clearance. I'm changing the SFB charcoal basket configuration too, so the rods in the SFB will gone and I'll use the holes in the end to mount a little tray or such for preheating "stuff." I still need the SS hardware from Lowes to finish the indirect cooking side charcoal baskets along with a wireless temp transmitter, but I should have everything else I need except perhaps some more 3/4" angle iron that I'll pick up anyways because I can always use it on the lid for sealing withe the high temp rope gasket.

So I'm working on the CG this week and weekend, so stay tuned, , and pics of real progress will be posted soon! After that I'll get around to adding the gasket in the lid and reworking the front shelf. I'm not very found of the slatted design as it stands now, but I have a few ideas. Wink
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21 08 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoilermakerFan, very sweet mods indeed. Very Happy You need to change your signature to More Power arrrrrrrrrrrr. Very Happy
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Bedlam BBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21 08 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian - glad to see you back around here. Will be looking forward to the updated pics of the hemi engine you've got mounted in that smoker by now. Laughing

But I know what you're talking about with constant mods. I just moved mine over to a bigger trailer a few months ago and then added a roof and a fold-out roof section. Next will be the platform that will fold down. It's a never ending project.
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BoilermakerFan
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21 08 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was a crazy summer for me, always seemed like we were out of time. My son is 3 now and he's slowly moving out of the terrible two's. Next summer should be better.

I know this is a BBQ forum, but we just don't eat that much meat anymore, though my wife is coming around to game like venison so I'll probably cover the processing costs for a friend to take a late season doe for us this year so I can have the shoulder roasts, back strap, tenderloins, etc. The ground venison is awesome in my chili and pretty damn good in our Cincinnati-style chili too. I need to become friends with duck hunters too, but I don't know any around here.

I'm still on the fence about building my own temp controller or just buying a Stoker. If I build my own it would probably cost as much simply because I would integrate a lot features I would want in it that do not exist commercially. If I buy a Stoker, I need to see if I can incorporate a PWM fan control circuit. That the one thing that irks me about the Stoker. It's either on or off. There is no way to incorporate a feedback loop in the design, but variable speed on the fan would improve the approach and keep the temps even more stable since you could upsize the fan without a huge spike or blown ashes everywhere.

I actually have a $400 single loop PID controller so I'll probably use that and build my PWM fan controller, then fab up a little fan box to attach to the SFB. I would use a much higher CFM fan, but mount it farther away from the SFB under the cook chamber for better protection.

I think I might pick up a Brinkman vertical smoker to use as a cold smoke chamber on the CG. I'll build a new stack cap to allow better smoke diffusion and add more shelf space so it will hold more chilis, onions, and garlic. Cheap and easy, but it will look funny!

I thought about calling CG to get the legs to build my own Duo with their larger gas grill, but I'll probably just keep them separate to make it easier for me to store both. The gasser would only be used to roast coffee, nuts, and chili peppers. I'd probably have to mod it too, but they are so cheap it's easier to start with one of them as the base than building my own.

I have decided that I won't build a custom smoker like a Stumps, Hasty Bake, or DPP per say. My custom outdoor cooking center will have to wait until we move to a new part of the country in our next house. It's going to be a large thermal mass unit, lots of earthen clay to keep temps stable. It will basically be a combination grill/smoker/cold smoker/oven with options to build the fire under the main cook chamber or next to it. The side "fire box" will be as big as my CG is now so it will be able to be a stand alone grill or fire box. The main cook chamber will have the option for two larger EZ-Que rotisseries with and insulated area accessible for the motors. A cold smoke chamber will be built off to the side of the main cook chamber opposite the SFB. I'll use dampers and gates to route the smoke differently as needed. On the other side I'll have a smaller, SS lined gasser section for the coffee and chili roasting. Finally there will be a big 18"-24" wok section that will actually be fired by a 100,000 BTU gas burner that just happens to also hold a 10 gallon brew pot!

So long post, cut short, I'll continue to mod my little CG and learn from it so I can make my "next" one just that much more over the top. Very Happy
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Teleking
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21 08 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoilermakerFan wrote:
It was a crazy summer for me, always seemed like we were out of time. My son is 3 now and he's slowly moving out of the terrible two's. Next summer should be better.


I got news for ya, the terrible 2’s thing is a lie. I don’t know who started that falsehood but in my experience it’s the terrible 3’s.
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BoilermakerFan
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21 08 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teleking wrote:
BoilermakerFan wrote:
It was a crazy summer for me, always seemed like we were out of time. My son is 3 now and he's slowly moving out of the terrible two's. Next summer should be better.


I got news for ya, the terrible 2’s thing is a lie. I don’t know who started that falsehood but in my experience it’s the terrible 3’s.


Laughing My daughter was an angel at 2, but when she hit 3, oh man it was tough. My son on the other hand started the terrible two's at 16 months. He is definitely getting better though. It has more to do with him being bigger and more capable so I can spend time at the grill while he's playing. He can let himself in the house to use the potty now, which he couldn't do before either...

BTW, I love the Bride of Franken Smoker. Great build my fellow non-welder!
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Teleking
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21 08 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoilermakerFan wrote:
BTW, I love the Bride of Franken Smoker. Great build my fellow non-welder!


Thanks Man, you have done a fine job yourself. Wink Just proves that you don’t need fancy equipment to build a good quality smoker. Turning out some great Q in the Bride.

I am going to need a welding blanket though. That became very evident in the high wind last Sunday.

The original Franken smoker is on loan to a buddy of mine and I now have him hooked on the joy of BBQ.

I got 2 girls and the oldest will be 5 very soon. She was the same with the terrible 3's. I thougt 2 was bad then she turned 3 Shocked The youngest is 19 months and hassen't gotten into that grove YET.
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BoilermakerFan
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21 08 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's supposed to be in the 50's here for Thanksgiving, but I'll be CYA'ing it and buying a fiberglass welding blanket for the top of the CG cook chamber today.

My plan is to eventually double it up and attach four snaps to the front and back edges of the clamshells so the blanket won't have to come off when I open the smoker and I can insulate the bottom except the center for drip can clearance.

Also thought about an angled baffle for inside the lid that would be shaped something like a steel drum with facets to reflect the heat around and back down. The air space behind it would further insulate the lid and I would louver it in places to let the smoke through to the stack.

I do wish I had an English Wheel, press brake, and metal shrinker/stretcher though. I could make some neat stuff with those tools.
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Skidder
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21 08 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BoilermakerFan that thing got a hemi in it yet? Man thats a ton of great mods.
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BoilermakerFan
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22 08 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skidder wrote:
BoilermakerFan that thing got a hemi in it yet? Man thats a ton of great mods.


Nah, it's a Hybrid! Adding solar power and a wind turbine shortly. The geothermal experiment didn't work. I couldn't dig deep enough to get near the Earth's core where the good heat is...

Thanks again for all the compliments guys.
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BoilermakerFan
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25 08 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the worst sound you can hear when you are tightening nuts on custom length rods that you threaded by hand? Yep, "PING." Dammit, I had both of the 1/4" long rods redone with a 7" extension in length for the burner. I was tightening the jam nut at the SFB with the acorn nut on the outside when I heard that sound. So I said forget it for the time being and went on to the 5/16" rod for the other four extensions. Got those done and cut the 14" lengths of 3/4" x 0.095" tube I have in half to fit over the 1/2"x.083" tubes I had already cut. This gives my four really well supported and braced extensions and the top two will just be the 1/2" OD tubing.

I cut a new length of 1/4" rod and marked the lines for the treads. I'll have to cut the threads tomorrow. Then I have to drill out the 1/4" holes to 5/16" on the grill and side burner since I had forgotten my stepper bit in the house and I wasn't going to go in and risk waking up the dogs at Midnight when the wife and kids are in bed. I will upgrade these rods to 5/16" later when I have time to confirm they won't interfere with the CG's ash and charcoal tray when grilling.

I should be able to get the smoker done tomorrow so I can relax inside the house with the company on Wed. night.

I did manage to get out o my folks house and pick up a full car load of Sassafras. My dad dropped a 9" diameter standing dead Sassafras while I was there so I hauled that and about 10 more logs of Sassafras home with 3 14" diameter pieces of cherry.

I'll upload pics of how much wood you can fit into an Audi A4 later when the smoker is ready for the turkeys!
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BoilermakerFan
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27 08 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick update:

I have the smoker back together with the extension rods to space the burner, but my bottom side where it is attached is bowed in big time! It's ok for the rotisserie, but it's it's at least 3/8" in from the tension of tightening the rods. I'm either going to separate the two sides and use a second rod to hang the tuning plates and side charcoal baskets, or I need really thick bracing in the form of thick steel plate, like 0.125" or thicker on the inside and outside of the burner end.

The warning tray looks great on the SFB too, but it interferes with the rotisserie handle now such that tending the fire will be a PITA, so it has to come off and that means I need SS hardware and wing nuts for it...

I didn't have time to get the 3/4" angle iron drilled and installed in the bottom for the ceramic briquettes either, but at least it's going to be in the 50's tomorrow, so no worries.

I was also unable to find a little wireless temp transmitter locally so I'll have to rig up a little temp display for tomorrow if I can.
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BoilermakerFan
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29 08 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are a couple of pics of the extensions to hold the side burner 7" away from the cook chamber to leave room for the rotisserie motor.:





The screw eyes in the SFB to hold the fire basket didn't really work. I had planned to use the screw eyes since they would tuck under the angle iron CG sends with the cast iron grate upgrade for the SFB so I would have the extra grill space for dogs and brawts during big cookouts. Unfortunately, the hooks didn't line up exactly, so during the cook they came off the screw eyes.





I also struggled to keep the temps in the cook chamber up during my Thanksgiving Day cook due to wind. I didn't get the welding blanket and didn't think I would need it, but I now realize I definitely need the blanket and briquettes to buffer and hold in the heat better. I needed to cook at higher temps and the SFB just wasn't getting enough air either, so a Stoker or similar DIY temp rig is a necessity.

So, I'm definitely learning what I want to do for my custom build. Yep, I'm realizing I may have to build a custom sooner than later. I've gotten some more ideas recently after looking at more cookers, so I might draw up some plans. My custom will twice as deep as my BG and probably two or three sections longer. I love the quality of the CG cast iron grates, so I'll use them as my unit of measure for building my custom. That way I can use a removable T bar in the middle to support the ends of the grates in the center. That also allows me to add a second EZ-Que basket and rig them together to a custom chain drive to spin both at the same time or upgrade to larger basket, though I don't see why I would need a bigger basket than two 8" wide baskets since they hold two turkeys or a full prime rib.
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Last edited by BoilermakerFan on Wed Oct 28 09 1:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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BoilermakerFan
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PostPosted: Fri May 08 09 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey everyone, quick post to say I'm aware the pics no longer show up. I had to add a few albums and move files on photobucket, so I have to edit all the links to make them show up again...
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BoilermakerFan
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28 09 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's five months among friends right?

This thread was worthless without the pics, so I took the time to add the new directory name to the pic links in the entire thread so all the pics are back.

And my last cook, just some Jalapenos for my chili:

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