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South African in UK first ever build
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BurnBern
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Joined: 17 Jul 2015
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22 15 6:31 am    Post subject: South African in UK first ever build Reply with quote

Hi I've never smoked this way let alone smoked anything but I love my BBQs and such and fell in love with your smokers whilst watching YouTube. I've now decided to build my own smoker. So here goes.

I'm about to order my metal. My R/F cooker is going to be 24"x44" cc and 20"x19"x19". The cc is is a sch 20 pipe (9,5mm thick) sorry I'm a metric man so trying to convert to inches will be a nightmare for me.

The exhaust pipe will be 5" x 19" long. I used the Feldon calculator but please could someone double check my calculations before I actually order the metal.

Also the baffle plate, does it have to be welded in place or can I weld a length of angle 1/2"X11/2" either side so that I can rest the plate on it so I can take the baffle plate out to clean under it or if I wanted to at a later stage use tuning plates.
What is the ideal hieght for the cooker to be at when cooking. It will not be on a trailer. I'm 5'10" if that helps.

Thanks in advance and I'm sure I will have many more questions. Bern
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22 15 7:25 am    Post subject: Re: South African in UK first ever build Reply with quote

BurnBern wrote:
Hi I've never smoked this way let alone smoked anything but I love my BBQs and such and fell in love with your smokers whilst watching YouTube. I've now decided to build my own smoker. So here goes.

I'm about to order my metal. My R/F cooker is going to be 24"x44" cc and 20"x19"x19". The cc is is a sch 20 pipe (9,5mm thick) sorry I'm a metric man so trying to convert to inches will be a nightmare for me.


60.96 cm x 121.92 cm cooking chamber. 50.8 cm x 48.26 cm x 48.26 cm firebox. 0.375" thick.

Quote:
The exhaust pipe will be 5" x 19" long. I used the Feldon calculator but please could someone double check my calculations before I actually order the metal.

Also the baffle plate, does it have to be welded in place or can I weld a length of angle 1/2"X11/2" either side so that I can rest the plate on it so I can take the baffle plate out to clean under it or if I wanted to at a later stage use tuning plates.
What is the ideal height for the cooker to be at when cooking. It will not be on a trailer. I'm 5'10" if that helps.

Thanks in advance and I'm sure I will have many more questions. Bern


Stand on flat feet, turn your lower arm 90° at the elbow and have someone measure to your elbow, take off 2.54 cm and make that the height of the top of the bottom grate of the cooker, (assuming you are going to have a couple of grates), for the top grate don't go above the height of your arms out stretched.

Link to BBQ Pit Calculator
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22 15 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the ring BurnBern, looking forward to seeing some pics of your cooks and following your cooker project. Smile
Look at this and see if it is what you came up with if so it looks great to me. Very Happy
Link to BBQ Pit Calculator
As for the R/F plate being welded in solid it is not really necessary if your plate sets flat and no leaks occur.

I measure my working height off my stove height which is 37" to the burner top. This is a good working height for me my new cooker will come in at 38". My advice is measure your belt line and come up about an inch or so if 37" is too low. You are building the cooker for you and you want to work it comfortably. Very Happy
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24 15 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi a quick update.

I went and ordered most of my materials today and they should be here early next week. The only thing I haven't sourced yet is the expanded metal. Just wondering if I can or should use the same expanded metal for the shelving around the smoker as for the grills. What do you think? I can't wait to start.

Also next weekend I'm helping a friend cut down a cherry tree and I'm hoping to get enough wood to last for awhile. I'll store it until next year before I use it so that it will be seasoned.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24 15 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the same for cooking grates as I do for my exterior shelves and storage. 3/4" x #9 flat expanded metal.
I hope this helps. Very Happy
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15 15 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi another question as I'm still in the planing stage.

I was going to build a RF smoker but now thinking of using tuning plates instead. If I do, do I have to install/weld a deflector plate in by the fire box and how do I work out how many tuning plates that I need.

Thanks BurnBern
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15 15 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Find some drops or off cuts of plate 6"- 8", then divide the length of the cooking chamber by the width of the material + an inch - an inch & a quarter. then reduce the answer you get by 1 and you'll be in the zone.

Another thing to add to your materials build list, is a method to lock the plates in place for transportation, if you can tune your plates over a couple of cooks, then lock them in place, you improve the chance to arrive at a cook, over bumpy roads, and still have the plates in place for the optimum cook.
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15 15 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks SoEzzy

please check if I understand this right
Length of chamber is 48"
Plates 6"+1"= 7
48 divide by 7 = 6.85
Number of plates needed is 5.85 or 6
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15 15 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup that's the way to do it.
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15 15 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoEzzy wrote:
Yup that's the way to do it.


Thanks again. Please can you clear something up for me as I think that I've confused myself.
Offset smoker the smoke stack is opposite the FB
RF smoker the stack is same side of FB with one single baffle plate.
If I use tuning plates is the stack by FB side or opposite side of FB.
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15 15 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Offset has exhaust away from fire box, and has tuning plates with gaps between the tuning plates.

Reverse flow has exhaust near or at the fire box, and has a continuous plate, (reverse flow plate), from the fire box to near the opposite end!

There are also hybrid cookers, that have an exhaust at each end, and they have the ability to partially close one or either of them, or it has tuning plates, if you run it as a reverse flow, you stack all the tuning plates next to each other, (to create the continuous RF plate), or further apart to run as an offset, or partially together, near the fire box, and separated away from the fire box.

If you are going Offset and tuning plates it should take you a couple of cooks, or heat's if you don't actually cook anything.

Burn a small hot fire and allow the cooker to heat up, using 3 shelf thermometers Map the temperatures in the cooking chamber, once your temperatures have stabilized. Front Left, center left and back left, middle front, middle center, middle back, and right front, right center and right back.

Start the first tuning plate tight against the fire box, give 1/2" gap to the second, 5/8" to the 3rd, 3/4" to the 4th and 7/8"th to the 5th plate and 1" to the 6th plate, check the temperature map again, see where the numbers are.

If you are hotter next to the fire box and colder away from it, narrow the gaps on the fire box end, and widen the gaps at the other end. If its colder near the fire box and hotter away from the box, widen the gaps near the fire box and close them away from the box.

Ask questions, the only stupid question is the one you don't ask.
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15 15 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoEzzy wrote:
Offset has exhaust away from fire box, and has tuning plates with gaps between the tuning plates.

Reverse flow has exhaust near or at the fire box, and has a continuous plate, (reverse flow plate), from the fire box to near the opposite end!

There are also hybrid cookers, that have an exhaust at each end, and they have the ability to partially close one or either of them, or it has tuning plates, if you run it as a reverse flow, you stack all the tuning plates next to each other, (to create the continuous RF plate), or further apart to run as an offset, or partially together, near the fire box, and separated away from the fire box.

If you are going Offset and tuning plates it should take you a couple of cooks, or heat's if you don't actually cook anything.

Burn a small hot fire and allow the cooker to heat up, using 3 shelf thermometers Map the temperatures in the cooking chamber, once your temperatures have stabilized. Front Left, center left and back left, middle front, middle center, middle back, and right front, right center and right back.

Start the first tuning plate tight against the fire box, give 1/2" gap to the second, 5/8" to the 3rd, 3/4" to the 4th and 7/8"th to the 5th plate and 1" to the 6th plate, check the temperature map again, see where the numbers are.

If you are hotter next to the fire box and colder away from it, narrow the gaps on the fire box end, and widen the gaps at the other end. If its colder near the fire box and hotter away from the box, widen the gaps near the fire box and close them away from the box.

Ask questions, the only stupid question is the one you don't ask.

Thank you that was very helpful and cleared a few things up.

Why would you build a hybrid that can do do both, would that not be pointless as surely you be cooking as an offset with tuning plates because you can adjust the temps in the CC. Unless there's certain things you want to smoke a certain way.? But what?
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15 15 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The hybrid design started years ago when a member was on the fence as to which cooker to build so I said why not build a cooker with two exhausts and tuning plates that connect this way you have the option to cook either way.
Some folks like Trailerbuilder and Wreckless actually use the second exhaust to help place their temps where they want them. I do not use mine as I have Bahama Mama's plates dialed in to where I want her to cook.
I hope this helps. Very Happy
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15 15 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi thanks to all for clearing that up for me.
Another question: if I use tuning plates, do I have to install/ weld a deflector plate by the FB end or do I just butt the plate up against the FB. Will 1/4" plate be ok for the plates.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16 15 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason I use a fixed deflector is to get the desired distance between my tuning plates and cooking grate. I like 6" of distance so most of the time a deflector of about 15° to 25° is needed.
If you are happy with the distance from your firebox opening to the top of your grate then no deflector is needed.
I hope this helps. Very Happy
Yes 1/4" plate is what I like to use.
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16 15 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to all your answers they are very helpful and cleared up some confusion on my part.

I'm just trying to get things right in my mind before I start to build in a few weeks time. I have another question but will post it in another post I have about insulating a FB.

Thanks again BurnBern
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missionsusmc
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26 15 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure you know how to convert inches to cm or mm, and vice versa, (1 inch = 2.54 cm) but I like to think of it another way. I hunt, I like guns. So, 7.62 mm= .30 caliber (or calibre Very Happy ) 308's, 300's, 30-30, 30-06 all fit here. 9mm is approx to a .38, 5.56 is .223, and finally, Ma Deuce, the .50 cal BMG is 12.7mm. Just a FWIW.
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BurnBern
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20 15 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you to all for your help and patience in answering my questions.

I've got nearly everything that I need to build my smoker and will be starting my build end of November due to prior commitments. But I'm still playing with some ideas. I was thinking of using the offset to grill in also. In other words using a charcoal grate in the the cooking chamber. Is this a good idea or should I have a separate charcoal grill for steaks and such.
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20 15 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BurnBern wrote:
I was thinking of using the offset to grill in also. In other words using a charcoal grate in the the cooking chamber. Is this a good idea or should I have a separate charcoal grill for steaks and such.


I think the biggest issue is cleanup after grilling. You know the drippings, charcoal, soot, and fly ash. If you have a way to facilitate the cleanup without destroying the seasoning in the cook chamber then IMO it should work.

You'll need some air intakes and a way to close off the firebox to cooker opening.

I've been toying around with the same idea for a pig cooker/smoker/roaster hybrid thingee.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20 15 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While the cooker could go both ways I would never subject my cooking chamber to grilling action. It will be hard to maintain a satisfactory seasoning in my opinion.
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