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Smoker Help - more air?
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Snowsmoke
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Joined: 03 Apr 2012
Posts: 85
Location: Melrose, MA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28 16 12:14 am    Post subject: Smoker Help - more air? Reply with quote

I got myself a stick burner that I can't seem to dial in and I am starting to think it isn't drawering enough air. The Q is often over smoked no matter what the wood choice is b/c maybe the fire is smoldering verse burning correctly? Aaron Franklin has a big old section in his book about this and offers long smoke stacks a part of his secret plans.

I commonly see smoke coming out of the fire box the wrong way even while the smoker is coming out the stack nicely. Any help from the experts here would be a huge win for me.

The smoke stack is 4" x 3" metal stock. the fire air intake is 6" x 6" and the hole from fire chamber to cook chamber is 10". the cook chamber is a 200 gallon water tank.

Smoker (sorry for the links)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/qkyb52d5x611rpp/IMG_1988.JPG?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/d18unv41ntzlbz8/IMG_1987.JPG?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ehhvh0j406dbeg5/IMG_1989.JPG?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9z5dlqcu192zcfz/IMG_1990.JPG?dl=0
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Smokin Mike
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Joined: 02 Dec 2008
Posts: 3144
Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28 16 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You didn't mention the size of your firebox.

Using Feldon's pit calculator for a 200 gallon tank;

Recommended firebox size = 15,400 cu in which would be a cube 24.879 inches.

For arguments sake I'm plugging in 25" cubed as the firebox size.

You should have a chimney volume of 781.25 cu in. The 4 x 5 chimney should be 39" long (39 x 4 x 5 = 780).

Recommended firebox air intake is 46.88 sq inches whereas yours is currently 36 sq in.

The firebox to cooker cutout should be 125 sq in and yours is 78.5 sq inches, so that looks to be the biggest culpret right there.

Here's a link to the calculator with your settings in there. You can play around with it to fine tune for your setup;

Link to BBQ Pit Calculator

I hope this helps
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Maniac
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Joined: 02 Oct 2010
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Location: Pa

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28 16 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The other thing that may be causing a stall is your stack is lower than your firebox...looks like you may need a few different modifications to fix her right.
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 25981
Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28 16 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your biggest set back is your exhaust. You need to increase it to at least a 5" diameter I would probably go 6" and make it 36" tall. The current 3" x 4" is not creating enough draft and while you are seeing smoke exit the exhaust you are not creating a draft and your smoke is stalling. Once this is done I would probably work on the firebox to cooking chamber opening. What are the dimensions of your firebox?
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Snowsmoke
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Location: Melrose, MA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29 16 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very helpful all!

the FB is half a 125 gallon compressor tank but I would have to actually measure it to get the exacts.

Thanks Smokin Mike and K.A.M, for all the suggestions. Bummer it might not work just to extend the stack though it seems like no harm in trying with some stock and heat tape though I dbout the results would change. Looks like I should take the welding class after all and keep working on this little lady!

I will fine tune all your thoughts with the calculator too.
many thanks.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29 16 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snowsmoke wrote:
Very helpful all!

the FB is half a 125 gallon compressor tank but I would have to actually measure it to get the exacts.

Thanks Smokin Mike and K.A.M, for all the suggestions. Bummer it might not work just to extend the stack though it seems like no harm in trying with some stock and heat tape though I dbout the results would change. Looks like I should take the welding class after all and keep working on this little lady!

I will fine tune all your thoughts with the calculator too.
many thanks.

Extending the exhaust will not help it will only increase the problem in my opinion. You need to increase the diameter not the height in order to let the cooker breathe.
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Madmike
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Joined: 22 Feb 2010
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Location: Masachusetts

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29 16 10:12 am    Post subject: Modify Smoker Reply with quote

Snowsmoke, the small firebox to cook chamber opening, combined with the small stack mounted so low is definatly a lot of the problem, that stack needs the diameter increased as well as moved up. How are you equipped for tools etc, my garage I rent to build my smokers isn.t that far away if you wanted to take a ride down with it,i could open up the fb to cc opening in a few minutes with my plasma cutter as well as cut a new opening for a larger stack if you don't have torches etc. Just bring the beer, we're over the garage every sat and sunday,and I'm there a few hours a day weeldays while my leg is still broken, I can't do the day job,
might only take a few hours to straighten her out Idea
Mike
My garage is in Whitman Mass
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
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Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29 16 7:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Modify Smoker Reply with quote

Madmike wrote:
Snowsmoke, the small firebox to cook chamber opening, combined with the small stack mounted so low is definatly a lot of the problem, that stack needs the diameter increased as well as moved up. How are you equipped for tools etc, my garage I rent to build my smokers isn.t that far away if you wanted to take a ride down with it,i could open up the fb to cc opening in a few minutes with my plasma cutter as well as cut a new opening for a larger stack if you don't have torches etc. Just bring the beer, we're over the garage every sat and sunday,and I'm there a few hours a day weeldays while my leg is still broken, I can't do the day job,
might only take a few hours to straighten her out Idea
Mike
My garage is in Whitman Mass

Sounds like an awesome plan! Very Happy Thanks for offering up Madmike. Very Happy
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Snowsmoke
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Location: Melrose, MA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29 16 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow that is super nice of you, and I will shoot you a note!

Since you guys are so helpful my FB is 19.5" in diameter X 28" in length

the CC is 29.5" in diameter and 63" in length.
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Maniac
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Joined: 02 Oct 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29 16 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Madmike Great offer. that is what makes the ring a nice place to hang out Cool
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29 16 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snowsmoke wrote:
Since you guys are so helpful my FB is 19.5" in diameter X 28" in length
the CC is 29.5" in diameter and 63" in length.


Firebox = 8362 cu in.

Cooker = 43,060 cu in. = 186.4 Gallons

Calculator says FB should be 14,353 cu in.
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Madmike
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Joined: 22 Feb 2010
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Location: Masachusetts

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30 16 9:46 pm    Post subject: FIREBOX Reply with quote

Yeah, I ran the calcs also Might be able to just add a plate fbox the right place where his original opening was,and block off any xtra opening with plate. I get plate for 40cents
a pound,so I keep lots on hand. Iget sheet length cutoffs in all different widths,so I can usually fab a fbox without a lot of cutting !! Wouldn't be worth messing with the small fbox, just fix it right and be done!!
Mike
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Madmike
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PostPosted: Sun May 01 16 11:02 pm    Post subject: Rebuild !! Reply with quote

Snowsmoke sent me pics and measurements, so I ran the specs,and can fab up a new fbox before he comes to the shop to fix it, lets me put the leg up and sit in a barstool at the welding table with a cold one while I do it !!
Mike
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Snowsmoke
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PostPosted: Tue May 03 16 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

literally the most help smokeringer I have ever met!

thanks to all the chimed in, will send an update once the corrections are made to fill everyone in.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Tue May 03 16 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking forward to seeing the results. Very Happy
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Madmike
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PostPosted: Tue May 03 16 9:01 am    Post subject: Rebuild Reply with quote

Found some plate today that was already 24 inches wide behind a wider sheet,so i'll cut the firebox pieces tomorrow,while I'm cutting some other plate for a smaller smoker,and a couple doors. That thing was built for mike at a shop on the same road as mine 4 miles from me !!
Mike Rolling Eyes
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Madmike
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PostPosted: Wed May 04 16 9:46 am    Post subject: Cut Mikes new Firebox Plate Reply with quote

Cut the new plate for Mikes Firebox today, I'll tack it together tomorrow after I cut the Firebox Vent openings. I'd post pics, but I totally give up on that!! too hard for an old non computer guy!! Confused I emailed them to Mike, so at least he can see his mods. I have a pattern for the 29-31 inch diameter propane tanks,so I'm just working off that to prebuild his new firebox.
Mike

Kinda weird the guy near me who built Mikes smoker is named Mike, and I'm Fixing it, and my names Mike !!
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Snowsmoke
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PostPosted: Thu May 05 16 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Progress from the Madmike camp on the FB







BRING ME ALL THE METAL!
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Thu May 05 16 3:13 am    Post subject: Re: Cut Mikes new Firebox Plate Reply with quote

Madmike wrote:
Kinda weird the guy near me who built Mikes smoker is named Mike, and I'm Fixing it, and my names Mike !!


Yeah, all you would need is another guy named Mike in this thread and that would confuse the hell out of everybody.


Nice work so far guys!!!
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Wreckless
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PostPosted: Thu May 05 16 8:57 am    Post subject: Re: Cut Mikes new Firebox Plate Reply with quote

Smokin Mike wrote:
Madmike wrote:
Kinda weird the guy near me who built Mikes smoker is named Mike, and I'm Fixing it, and my names Mike !!


Yeah, all you would need is another guy named Mike in this thread and that would confuse the hell out of everybody.


Nice work so far guys!!!

Yah ha ha, +1. It is a nice plan eh, I like it, good to see. Very Happy
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