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Old 07-04-2013, 08:18 AM   #2281
kirkster70 OP
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Originally Posted by groundrules View Post
they make little pigs too
Yeah, but they are normally soaked in formaldehyde for biology class.
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:19 AM   #2282
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What time should I show up for dinner and beer?
Start driving now.
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:21 AM   #2283
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Originally Posted by Dwreker View Post
I am by no means an expert, only smoked 2 meals so far so take this all with a grain of salt, but I read that the most important piece of equipment you can have when smoking is one of these. I bought one and it works great, one probe for inside the meat, the other I put through a ball of aluminum foil and let it sit on the cooking rack about an inch from the meat so I can get a temp reading right there.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001DNM3IU

They make all kinds, multi probe, wireless, in pretty much any price range you can think of. Seeing as you have that nice thermometer to mount, you may only need a single probe one, but it is super helpful to be able to walk out to the grill and see your temps without having to open anything up. Hell, if you get a wireless one you can theoretically check your temps without ever leaving the couch!

225 is the temp you are looking for I believe for a good smoke. On one of your next burns it might be a good idea to play with the dampers to see if you can get it steady in that range, my guess is that you'll find the sweet spot pretty quickly with that beast.

This site has yet to steer me wrong, lots of good info. http://www.amazingribs.com/

Lastly, I read a cool blog on the mods that can be done to the smoker I have, it was the cheapest one from Lowe's and doesn't even have a way to adjust the air flow in and out. Maybe at some point this summer if we have time I could bring my little one by your shop and we could cut some holes in it for dampers, ill bring the beer!
Thanks for the info! Sure thing...come on by and we can mod yours...
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:21 AM   #2284
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Originally Posted by NoVa Rider View Post
Needs a set of panniers. . ..

(nice work, btw. perhaps a new line of K70 products?)
Thanks!
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:23 AM   #2285
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Originally Posted by Zombie_Stomp View Post
Kirk, I love the new project. Just one odd detail seemed off to me: after the grates from the old grill went in, I noticed one of the bars under it towards the center running from front to back was not aligned with the seam between the re- used grates. I thought if it were me I'd want to move it to that seam to provide even grilling on the left grate. Just my 2 cents.
Yeah, I'm still fine tuning and will do some more work before paint. The inner framing's center supports are in 3 equal sections, so the camera angle may be making it look like it's supposed to be centered with the doors.

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Old 07-04-2013, 08:26 AM   #2286
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Originally Posted by phreakingeek View Post
although I'm partial to ceramic cookers...I'm loving this steampunk smoker!

Dwreker's right about temp control. Many an old school pitmaster laugh at using thermometers, however, I rely on mine for excellent consistent cooks.

The Stoker from Rock's BBQ (https://www.rocksbarbque.com/) may be a bit pricey, but I have to say that I've used one since 2006 and it's awesome. I set the temps on each probe and it'll hold a perfect 225F inside the cooker for a good long time.

With one load of lump charcoal, my Big Green Egg is able to go over 24 hours using the Stoker. I imagine it wouldn't take any time at all to fab up a mount to install a Stoker on your new cooker.
Thanks! I think I will end up getting a digital probe.


One thing is for sure, the firebox is efficient. It smoked for 30 hours with 8 logs! I have a cord of hickory showing up next week. I can use it for camping, too.
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:37 AM   #2287
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Diffuser caps fabbed out of 4" x 1/4" wall square tube and 3/16" plate.



...to go over the 3 1/2" square tube where it enters the smoke chamber.



I also cut out the center piece of flat bar in the above picture...



...and performed another hot burn on the smoke chamber only. I discovered that when burning the stove and smoker simultaneously, the stove takes all the smoker's oxygen and ends up making charcoal.

So, after 30 hours of smoking, I wanted to do a nice burn on the smoke chamber by itself to burn out all the creosote from burning locust. I discover that the hubcap damper ends up being a two-way damper: It's an exhaust damper when smoking with wood, and it's a fresh air intake when grilling on top with charcoal. Nice!

Also, with the firebox cranking as hot as I could get it, the handles on the smoker door were only warm to the touch. I'm sure using charcoal I will need gloves.



Whoopsie. What's wrong with this picture? The center piece was not only a seal for the smoke, but it was a structural support as well. Live and learn. We have some warping with the burn from this morning.

No worries. Once cool, I will re-align with a bottle jack and weld in some additional support. It's still a good idea not to have that piece in place. Half of the fun is just figuring things out, and I have learned a lot already.

Once some good food is being chowed on, all the hard work will pay off.

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Old 07-06-2013, 06:41 PM   #2288
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Luckily, the warped doors were an easy fix. The tank didn't warp, the doors did. A piece of 3/4" rigid conduit slipped through the handles gave me enough leverage to tweak them back.

I also installed 5/8" x .083" wall DOM handles on each end for easy moving, and I installed the smoke chamber thermometer.



That was about the best place I could put it without the probe getting damaged. It should be able to get a good ambient reading there.



I didn't know it at the time, but this type therm. requires a well for it to go in. It has very fine threads and I lucked out by finding a locknut in my junk bin that was the same. Also, it spins freely unless it's jam nut tightens against a well, so once in place, I had to give the stainless a tack in the upright position. No biggie.

Now to install the thermometer in the firebox. I'm thinking it's not really needed, but that's what I bought it for, so it's going in. I'm installing it out of curiosity more than anything. The beauty of having a welder means that if I end up not liking it, it will be sliced off and filled with weld.



This thermo. has 1/2" N.P.T. threads, so I cut a 1/2" pipe coupling at a 45 degree angle to make a port.

...to go here.



Then I drill a hole for the probe through the stove's 5/16" thick top at a 45 degree angle - harder than it sounds!





That will work!

I could have moved it back a bit, but I still have a shelf to make on the front of the smoke chamber, and didn't want to crouch down to see the thermometer.





Steampunk smoker almost ready for paint. My wife says she likes it just the way it is and thinks I will mess it up making it all black and new looking.

Hmmmm........nope. I'm painting it. I'll make it up to her with a nice brisket.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:36 PM   #2289
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:48 AM   #2290
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badass!
+1

Can you post a photo of the entire thing? I wanted to share the build with my brother. Thx
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:33 AM   #2291
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Thanks EG and DD!

I'm hoping to post new piccys tonight. Currently working on the front shelf and finishing touches like capping the rectangular tube that the casters bolt to...

Hickory delivery scheduled for Thursday.

I've been enjoying reading the bbq site link dwrecker turned me onto. They say only a seasoned pitmaster should try cooking with wood. Well, it's almost sink or swim time. Trial by fire - literally.

Digital thermometer should be here Thursday. There's nothing to it but to do it. Here's to not turning meat into shoe leather.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:07 PM   #2292
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9/16" DOM bent for the front shelf. Then I lay out the cut on the expanded metal.



Expanded metal cut with the cutting wheel. Edges dressed with the flap wheel.



Welded in place.









I make some shelf supports out of 9/16" DOM and weld them in place.



The original counter weights were just enough to keep the lid open. A slight breeze could knock them closed. I scrounge around for something heavy that's just weird enough. How about some late model Jeep suspension parts. Looks like an afterthought - because it is.

This works much better. The weirdness is growing on me. It doesn't look terrible.



Yay! Horseshoes!



Eh. It will work.

I shore up the tank with some more supports made from 9/16" DOM.



I have since capped the rectangular tube and prepped for paint. If I feel energetic enough, I may do the first coat tonight.
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:07 AM   #2293
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I pulled an all-nighter to get the first coat on...



I went with brush-on paint because it goes a whole lot farther than spray paint and goes where I want it to instead of all over my tools.



It covered pretty well, but will need another coat.





I will give it another coat tonight. If all goes well, the next time you see this monstrosity will be in the "smoker is lit" thread. I'm hoping the stove doesn't overdrive the cooker. I guess I will see by the end of the week.




Total project cost from the bottom to the top...


5" locking medium-duty casters from a Craftsman tool box (ebay) - $57.
Rectangular tube - scrap.
Salvage yard wood stove - $150.
'54 Oldsmobile hub cap (ebay) - $15.
5/8" all-thread - scrap.
750 degree F bi-metal thermometer (ebay) - $37.
3 1/2" square tube - scrap.
50 gallon water heater - scrap.
9/16" and 5/8" DOM tube for handles, shelf, supports - on hand.
Expanded metal for shelf - scrap.
Weksler 550 degree F bi-metal thermometer (ebay) - $57.
1 1/2" x 3/16" flat bar for door trim - scrap.
Cast iron cooking grates - left over from last gas grill.
Miscellaneous angle for the grill frame - scrap.
Diffusers inside cooker - 4" square tube and 3/16" plate - scrap.
Top stack - 4 1/2" schedule 40 pipe - scrap.
Top stack cap - 5 1/2" weld-on end cap (ebay) - $9.
1000 degree F paint - $15.

Material cost - $340.

Maybe $10 in gas and MIG wire for a grand total of $350.


Bonding time with the MIG? Priceless. Heheheh....


If it cooks well, I wont need another BBQ for some time.


...still need to fab an ash bucket, a shovel, and a poker, but that can wait.

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Old 07-10-2013, 05:10 AM   #2294
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Kirk,

That sure looks like a hell of a rig. Those dampers are awesome and I bet you'll have no trouble dialing in the temps.

if you dont already have one, a "weed burner" from harbor freight works very well at getting things started and ready to cook asap. No need for starter fluid or any other nasty tasting stuff...just 5 minutes with the torch and it's hot enough to draw fresh air through the dampers.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:12 AM   #2295
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I'm loving the smoker, Kirk.

Get yourself some old brass handled valves and such and mount them in interesting places to keep that whole Steam Punk vibe going - and to make people wonder what they do!
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