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DPP Clone build
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auto5man
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25 14 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

seattlepitboss wrote:
I'm not really a DPP guy - what is a 'snout'? Got a pic?

seattlepitboss

Seattlepitboss, look at my post #3 in this thread, I posted several pics of the "snouts" both inside and outside the cook chamber.
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auto5man
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25 14 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[/quote]
On a DP cooker the connector pipes enter the cooking chamber about 2/3 the way in.[/quote]

K.A.M. I deviated from the 2/3 a bit, I extended the tubes 100% inside the cook chamber and butted them against the cooker wall. Don't remember exactly where I saw it, but several folks doing similar builds had hotspots on the end of the snouts and welded a plate on the snout's end to alleviate this. So I just took my snouts all the way across, my theory being to minimize hot spots. At least that's my theory and I'm sticking to it Smile
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25 14 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

auto5man, on your firebox intake problems you could do something like I designed for Whiteboy customs. This would allow you a place for your ash to fall.
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auto5man
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 26 14 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

k.a.m. wrote:
auto5man, on your firebox intake problems you could do something like I designed for Whiteboy customs. This would allow you a place for your ash to fall.


Funny you should mention that, Kevin....I followed that build and wanted that for my firebox as well, it just looked like the perfect design for ease of ash management AND airflow. So I made a 3D model of it out of cardboard so my welder could comprehend it....in the end I gave up trying to get him to see my vision on the perfect firebox and let him build what he was comfortable with. You get what you pay for....I've had to learn that lesson painfully on this build several times. That is a mod I can make later if the current set up is a consistent problem. Embarassed
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auto5man
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05 14 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK its time for a mini-update. The 'start and stop' nature of this project struck again since my last update. I've had some health problems that have gotten in the way. Found out back in Feb that I have degenerative bone issues in my neck which has caused several ruptured discs. For any who have experienced this, you will be able to relate. The radiculopathy pain going down the arm is no joke and quite debilitating. I still need surgery, but things seemed to have healed up on their own for now. I'm pushing hard this week to get this project done.

I will post another update soon, but for now just a pic of the fire/coal baskets we finished yesterday. We ended up using what the welding shop called "three pound grate" and rebar:



HALLELUJAH! We finally got the main door hung! I'm pretty excited because it means I'll be firing up soon for a test run.
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05 14 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm liking the three pound grate. That should hold up nicely I would think.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05 14 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work on the baskets I like them. Very Happy
Cut you some #9 x 3/4" flat expanded metal to lay inside them as inserts, you will find that the 3 lb. expanded holes will allow your hot coals to fall through and smother in the ash.
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auto5man
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 06 14 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the feedback...I was pleased with how the baskets turned out too. K.A.M, you are correct about the gaps in the three pound grate, charcoal will slip through. It's hard to see in the picture, but we welded in rebar on every row to cut the gaps in half. I will definitely use a layer of #9 expanded if necessary.

More to come tomorrow.
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auto5man
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07 14 3:25 pm    Post subject: Time for some more pics Reply with quote

So we got A LOT done this weekend. For a project that's been ongoing for so long with it's share of ups and downs, I was on cloud nine to get so much done. The pictures are not very good quality because of the lighting but you get the idea. Our work area was just inside the shop door (shade) with bright sun outside and it messed with the camera lighting. This pic I like just because it shows off the silhouette:



The three main things we accomplished sat-sun was building the fire baskets, mounting the main door, started building the grates. Here is a couple pics of the door...took a lot of grinding and fitting and MOST of saturday's work:











I had been dreading mounting the door because of all the horror stories I've read here with warping, and the heroic efforts it takes to straighten them out, but we got it done. Not without our share of trials, though. As I said before, a lot of grinding, cutting, fitting. The top door cut/top of the tank had sagged a bit when the opening was recut, we used a bottle jack to raise that. Then the bottom left corner was warped/raised about 1/2 inch after we mounted the door and hinge. We eased that out by welding a bar on the the front left corner, shutting the door on a 1 inch black pipe stretched across the opening, heating that left corner in spots while levering down on the bar. Jiminy Crickets it worked! Next we welded the strapping on the door, and I'll be danged if the bottom left corner didn't raise back up. Next weekend we'll start again on that corner to bring it back down. I don't have a pic of the strapping welded on yet....also we fab'd the handles and installed them. Those pipes you see sticking out were just temporary hold bars for fitting the door.
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auto5man
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07 14 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is another pic of the fire baskets, K.A.M correctly mentioned that coals will fall through the 3 pound grate's openings. It wasn't very visible in the other pic, but we welded rebar across each row of openings on the bottom to cut the gap in half. If that doesn't do the trick we'll add a layer of 3/4 #9 expanded metal.



We also started on the grates. Finished two before we ran out of angle. Manuel, my welder, taught me how to use the cutting torch and I measured out and cut the expanded metal. That may sound silly for you metalsmith masters, but it's something I've never done before...before you know it I'll be welding!



So next weekend we'll be finishing up on the cooking grates, included fitting out the curved grates to fit the rounded ends...I want to maximize my cooking grate area.

And on that note I have a design question...if I need to make a stand alone post on this one let me know. I will have two main grates installed, one at the door's bottom opening that will slide out and another one below the lip of the door. I want to design a removable rib grate "cassette". I cook a lot of ribs and want some added grates above the main grates purpose built for this. They need to be removable because I will be cooking whole hogs several times a year. I'm envisioning a rack system that attaches with removable pins to the ceiling in the cook chamber. Does this sound crazy? Has anyone done this and have pics of it?

And now for a little performance report. My cooker has been in Manuel's shop in small town Arkansas now for about a year. Manuel tells me it's caused a bit of a stir from would be arm chair designers and potential buyers. No one out there has ever seen the DPP style design apparently. At any rate, as we were packing up Sunday Manuel says...."don't you want to build a fire and see if it works?",,,the proof is in the pudding, and I guess the suspense was eating at Manuel after all the work. So we built a fire from some oak pallet wood that was laying around. Jiminy Crickets Again it WORKS! The test was not very scientific b/c I had no thermometers with me but we could tell a few things. Draft was awesome, with the air intake wide open there was enough air for a roaring hot fire to develop. With such a hot fire the cooker heated up to temp in about 15 minutes, by 20 minutes I could not hold my hand on the cook chamber for a second, and the tank's old original paint started to blister! Both stacks were drawing evenly, and the cook chamber seemed to warm up equally all the way around. Next test will be a more controlled charcoal based fire and I'll bring my thermometers!



I'm in the home stretch now...should be cooking soon!
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auto5man
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13 14 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got some more done this weekend in bits and pieces:

Got the trailer jacks installed on all four corners. I know I said I was gonna do two in the back and use the tongue for front to back but I changed my mind again Embarassed I just prefer the extra leveling control. Jacks are removable to stow for travel.



Next we started on installing the grates and fitting the grates for the curved ends left and right. Fitting the rounded grates was a pain and took twice as long as I expected. It's hard to see the right side curved grate in the pic, but its in there. That is my welder Manuel, if I forgot to introduce him earlier....super guy!







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auto5man
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13 14 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We also did some small stuff like fitting the door stop and handles for the CC door but I forgot to take a picture of that. For cosmetic reasons and to strengthen the deck pieced in a strip of steel to cover the gap left by the diamond plate.Still on the to do list: grease/clean-out drain, therms, upper grate, fenders and a couple other cosmetic details, wood box, sandblast and paint. Getting close!



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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14 14 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything is looking great auto5man, very nice work. Very Happy Run the baskets as is but I am thinking you are gonna find the gaps a little on the big side for holding your embers.
I will be watching for more pics and updates. Very Happy
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auto5man
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30 14 9:41 pm    Post subject: UPDATE! Reply with quote

In one last marathon work session we finished out the to do list.

Thermometer mounts installed....I don't have my new therms in yet though.

Upper grate completed. I liked Manuel's method for laying out the joints (no mitre), much easier for measuring and cutting (at least it was for me).







Simply remove the top rack to cook whole hog. Eventually I'll probably build another rack below the bottom lip of the door (the lowest chalk line) and it will be the hog cooking grate.

Door handles:



The outer roller is stainless and will look pretty good all polished up after everything is blasted and painted.
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auto5man
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30 14 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So glad I put jacks on all four corners...the cooker is VERY easy to level this way...I found that leveling is key for even temps all the way across since my tank is mounted side to side on the trailer...
front to back

side to side


Grease drain installed...1.5 inch pipe with ball valve:


I tried again on the fenders I had bought, but the tires are just too wide. There is not enough room to install spacer blocks so I'll have to come up with another fender solution.
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auto5man
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30 14 10:15 pm    Post subject: update! Reply with quote

I posted a pic of these earlier in the thread but here are the fire baskets installed in the firebox. Wish we had built in a little more "slop" into the dimensions,,,they are removable but a tight fit. Need to weld on some handles on the baskets to facilitate wrestling them in and out.


I found out the hard way that a little more weight was needed on the tongue. I won't waste time on details of the accident....but I now have a sprained wrist, and we built a wood and storage box on the front to add more tongue weight. It is overbuilt using the 3 pound grate, but we wanted the extra weight anyway and the material was on hand Very Happy




At this point we are basically DONE with phase 1 of the build. Phase 2 and 3 will be blasting/painting and eventually I hope to install a roof with wing extensions, but I'm going to do ALOT of cooking before that happens. The trailer weighs in at 2740 lbs now,,,not sure how much more weight the trailer can handle either.
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auto5man
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30 14 10:48 pm    Post subject: UPDATE! Reply with quote

Some finished pics. Jacks all set and trailer leveled:


Proud Cooker Poppa!

Daring a train to come mess with us


Test of performance:

The day these pics were taken I did a power wash on everything....a magnet would have come in very handy, took a while to get all the bits of metal washed out. Anyway, got everything clean and coated the CC with pam and lit her up. I had a lot of questions on just how well things would work because I deviated quite a bit from the original DP design. I was pretty amazed at the performance of this cooker. I used two chimneys of charcoal and about 4 splits and quickly heated up to about 265 degrees. I kept a fire on for about five hours. It was very easy to maintain temps and I had to add a split about every 30 minutes. Adding the split was more to keep the fire going than the temp, because the temp sure didn't fall off much even as the fire needed more fuel. I used oven thermometers to map out temps on the inside.
Top grate:



bottom grate:



The top grate ran about 5 deg warmer than the bottom. I moved the therms all over the CC checking top to bottom, left to right, upper left to bottom right, extreme end to end close to the stacks and there was never more than 5-10 degrees difference everywhere! I think she is going to tend to cook a little warmer than I usually like to run, but I see this will come in handy for poultry and whole hog. So far I only tried to control temp with fire management. I still have the option of closing one or more of the snout tubes and/or adjusting the stack dampers and air intakes....just haven't had the time yet.

Overall, I could not be more happy. Thanks to everyone who has followed my build and given me advice. The Smoke Ring is an awesome forum...I never would have undertaken this build without getting my ideas (all of them!) here first...THANKS fellow Ringers for making that possible for me! This project truly has been having a dream come to life.

Now the cooker is back home with me and I'm planning a turkey leg cook for our Halloween party tomorrow. She fills up the carport nicely, lol Very Happy


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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30 14 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on getting her finished auto5man she looks Great. Very Happy I look forward to seeing some first cook pics. Very Happy
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30 14 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a really really nice job! Ya done good! Now let's see her get all greasy. Very Happy
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auto5man
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04 14 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks K.A.M. and Smokin' Mike Very Happy

So here are some update cookin' pics. I got my therms in by FedEx on halloween, the day of my first official cook. I bought ProSense 3 inch dial with 6 inch stems. I like them so far, especially the price @ 23.00 apiece. Hopefully they will be durable.

So I cooked up some turkey legs and chicken wings for our Halloween block party....I have NO complaints on my clone's performance, in short, it was awesome. With all four snout pipes open she really wants to hold at 275 to 300 degrees, and this was a real advantage for the poultry I was cooking. After they were done and wrapped, and the sides were warming up I closed two of the snout tubes, the sweet spot was 225 to 250 degrees (Can I get an Amen?).

Another characteristic I liked was being able to light and burn the first two charcoal chimneys right inside the firebox. With the FB door closed it started preheating the CC too. There is a lot of turbinado sugar in my rub, which explains the dark appearance in the finished pics...meat was moist, tender, and had great flavor! Wish I had taken better pics but it was a big crowd and I was pretty busy.


The meat just on with using two different rubs. The sweetest one was the best.



And after being cooked to an internal temp of 165 ...





So the menu was chicken wings, turkey legs, greens, black eyed peas, chili, and cornbread...not much survived to be eaten another day Very Happy

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