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1st Build - More Welding (updated 8/23/2012 with pics)
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Baldwin BBQ
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Joined: 20 Apr 2012
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Location: Baldwin, MI

PostPosted: Wed May 09 12 10:49 am    Post subject: 1st Build - More Welding (updated 8/23/2012 with pics) Reply with quote

Hello Everyone,

I have a bunch of questions I would like to ask and would appreciate as much input as I can get.

Note: k.a.m. I hope you do not mind but I would like to base my design on the smoker you made in the following post http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=32283

I will be building an R/F using a 250 Gal Propane Tank including a warming box. I am designing it on the computer in 3D using Autodesk Inventor before I even put the torch to the tank.

I used the spreadsheet and came up with the following calculations:

Chamber: 57,750 cubic in
Firebox: 19,250 cubic in 26" H x 30" W x 25" L (this gives me 19.500 cubic in at 101.3%).
Stack Size: 6" dia x 34.5" L. Volume = 975 cubic in
FB Inlet Openings: 8 - 2.25" x 3.25" openings for 58.5 cubic in
FB to Chamber opening (156 sq in)? do not know what I am doing using cutoutsheet.xls

Ok, now for the questions:

1. When figuring the Volume of the cooking chamber, should we take into consideration the loss of volume due to the firebox, stack and also all of the other metal we are stuffing into the chamber?

2. When I cut out the doors, I figured I would start at 4" from the top and go down 1" below center. Does this sound about right?

3. How far down from center should I be putting the top of my firebox?
When designing the firebix, How far up from the bottom should I put my grate (basket)?

4. Will 1-1/2 x 1-1/2 x1/4 Angle be good enough to support my cooking racks?

5. Will 1 x 1 x 1/4 Angle with #9 expanded work for the racks which will be 31 x 29 for the bottom racks without any issues of sagging?

6. I plan on using 1-1/2 x 1-1/2 x1/4 Angle for the center portion of the RF plate for draining. With a 1" drop from the FB to the drain. I am also planning on a 1/2 - 3/4 drop from the outside to center on the RF plates. Does this sound about right?

This is all I can think of at the moment. However, I am open for suggestions.


Last edited by Baldwin BBQ on Fri Aug 24 12 9:41 am; edited 11 times in total
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed May 09 12 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Baldwin BBQ, feel free to use any of my R/F cookers design that is why it is there. If you have any particular questions about the build feel free to ask. Very Happy
For your firebox to cooker chamber opening you need an opening of 156.00 Sq.in. a half moon of 20" 1/4" x 10" 1/8" will give you an opening of 161.03. This is slightly larger than you need but by the time you bridge the opening you will be back in order.
1. When figuring the Volume of the cooking chamber, should we take into consideration the loss of volume due to the firebox, stack and also all of the other metal we are stuffing into the chamber?
No need in the re-figuring use the numbers as is and you will be close enough.

2. When I cut out the doors, I figured I would start at 4" from the top and go down 1" below center. Does this sound about right?
If your tank is 30" in diam which most 250 gall. are I would make my top cut at 6" below TDC and 1" below 3:00.

3. How far down from center should I be putting the top of my firebox?
I like the top of my firebox to be 1" to 5" below my lowest grate, this is the start of my R/F plate.

When designing the firebix, How far up from the bottom should I put my grate (basket)?
The top of the coal basket should be at or slightly taller than the top of your intakes.

4. Will 1-1/2 x 1-1/2 x1/4 Angle be good enough to support my cooking racks?
Yes, I use 1.5" x 1.5" x 3/16" angle with no problems.

5. Will 1 x 1 x 1/4 Angle with #9 expanded work for the racks which will be 31 x 29 for the bottom racks without any issues of sagging?
Yes this is what I use with very little distortion and no flexing. I do add a 1/2" support rod down the middle.

6. I plan on using 1-1/2 x 1-1/2 x1/4 Angle for the center portion of the RF plate for draining. With a 1" drop from the FB to the drain. I am also planning on a 1/2 - 3/4 drop from the outside to center on the RF plates. Does this sound about right?
Yes, that sounds like a solid plan.
Be sure to add a secondary drain in the tunnel for accidental over flows from the R/F plate. Believe me it happens a lot during long hectic cooks. Wink
I hope this helps. Smile
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Baldwin BBQ
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Location: Baldwin, MI

PostPosted: Wed May 09 12 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. - Thank you for the input, I will go with your advice and move forward with the design.

Here is where I am at in the design stage (still need to incorporate the advice k.a.m. gave me):

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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed May 09 12 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Baldwin BBQ, your very welcome. I noticed in your drawing you have the stack running into the chamber. You can do that if you choose but it is not necessary.
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Baldwin BBQ
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PostPosted: Wed May 09 12 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. Are there any Pros/Cons to placing the stack just under the bottom rack? I had seen on here where people had done that so I did.

It would also make it easier to pull the rig into my garage.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed May 09 12 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Baldwin BBQ, either will work I just like to let members know that I have built cookers both ways and have found that if the cookers draft is set up properly it makes little difference where the stack placement is.
I would not go below the grate for any cooker but splitting the difference between grates is doable if someone insisted on it.
Going below the grates can cause your heat/smoke to travel a lot faster to the stack and out the cooker depending on how well the cooker is drawing on any given day, the stack side grates sometimes suffer from lack of smoke because it is traveling under them.
Another option is to build your upper stack portion removable so when you stow the cooker or in tow just take it off. I know of several cookers set up this way.
I hope this helps. Smile
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enduro
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PostPosted: Thu May 10 12 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Baldwin BBQ, nice looking concept. I'm considering building a very similar setup and will be watching this build closely.

Not to hijack the thread, but a question for k.a.m. in regards to this cooker. When you refer to the top cut for the doors being at 6" below 12 o'clock, I assume that you're measuring around the circumfrence, not a vertical drop of 6" to a horizontal line, correct?

Thanks!
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Jonnyrod
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PostPosted: Thu May 10 12 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty sure you want to go by circumference. Smile
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http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=62257

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Baldwin BBQ
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PostPosted: Thu May 10 12 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

enduro wrote:
When you refer to the top cut for the doors being at 6" below 12 o'clock, I assume that you're measuring around the circumfrence, not a vertical drop of 6" to a horizontal line, correct?


Correct, the 6" from TDC is along the Arc (circumference)
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enduro
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PostPosted: Thu May 10 12 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! That's what I assumed, but just wanted a clarification to make sure I have all my ducks in a row.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu May 10 12 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys I have been kinda busy. Very Happy
enduro, yes the guys are correct coming down 6" on the circumference of a 30" tank and 1" below 3:00 will give you about an 18" door opening. Easy to raise and enough room for two grates. Very Happy
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daddywoofdawg
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PostPosted: Thu May 10 12 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KAM when you say you put a 1/2" rod in the center,are you going across(wide ways) or front to back?
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Baldwin BBQ
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PostPosted: Thu May 10 12 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is an update to the design. Now if I could only get the computer to cut out the pieces and put it together for me Lol

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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu May 10 12 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Baldwin BBQ, we need an "Easy button" for building. Laughing

daddywoofdawg, I run the rod perpendicular to the long side of the diamonds, this strengthens the expanded metal.
I try to run the expanded diamonds sideways and the rods front to back. Here is a link to the grate on my hybrid that shows the weld marks going front to back.
I hope this helps.
http://thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=43134&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=600
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Baldwin BBQ
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PostPosted: Fri May 11 12 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just had a light bulb fire off in my head with an idea. Thinking of a way to make this so I can isolate the tank portion of the smoker and feed the smoke/heat to just the warming box to make it a vertical smoker for smaller cooks. Even better, make it so I can use both for full on smoking if needed. What do you folks think on this? I seen on one of k.a.m.'s builds where he made a crossover from the cooking chamber to the warming box for adding a little smoke for a cold smoke.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri May 11 12 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Baldwin BBQ, add the slide damper into the warming chamber you will be glad you did. Wink
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Baldwin BBQ
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PostPosted: Fri May 11 12 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
Baldwin BBQ, add the slide damper into the warming chamber you will be glad you did. Wink


I seen that on your build and intended on adding it. However, I was also thinking on trying to figure a way to get direct feed from FB to the warmer without having to go through the entire cooking chamber. Basically, I would like to be able to choose indirect (your way through cooking chamber) and direct feed for the higher temps (210-230) instead of the 140+ normally in the warming chamber.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri May 11 12 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you choose that route I would look into maybe a trap door in the chamber by the firebox through the R/F plate and have it route back through the wall of the warming chamber. The problem with heating the warming chamber straight up through the firebox is direct heat will not allow for smoking temps.
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Baldwin BBQ
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PostPosted: Wed May 16 12 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not know if anyone has tried this before but, I Had a thought for the FB Damper adjustment using cut off C-Clamps Wink. Let me know what you think. I will be putting Springs on the handles for heat isolation if I go this route.

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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed May 16 12 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Baldwin BBQ, similar ideas have been done and worked. I like the C-clamp idea if you can make the intake loose enough to travel and not distort the cup on the shaft. Some C-clamps have pretty loose threads which may cause the shaft to want to move up or down during the push causing a bind.
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