brick smoker

Discussion in 'Brick Smokers' started by jim williams, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. jim williams

    jim williams Meat Mopper

    I am curious as 2 questions come to mind when building this "bee hive".  Lol to Wes

    1) Is a 25" deep by 22 1/2" wide chase to large or inefficient for a small time smoker in the city?

        (Just wanted something friends don't have)

    2) How do I terminate my top end opening of 40" x 40"  to make an arch instead of a chimney top in which involves "no stepping in" and keeping the height down? 

    My build so far will be 6'8'' to top of 2nd door - tall enough!

    thanks guys, Jim.    P.S.  Lincoln, Nebraska is iced over this morning and 12* lows for the next week. Brrrr
  2. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I am not sure I understand the 2nd bit? 

    Do you want to close a 40'' square with a dome or arch top?

    If thats whats planned its a matter of some ply forms to lay the bricks over,starter bricks either side cut down to the angle you need & a tight keystone fit at the top of the arch so the load spreads back to the external walls.

    I have only done one that was a series of arches then necked down to the door & its an oven not a smoker.

    I have seen them done where it looks like a barrel cut in half layer on its cut side east west,then you just fill in each end with a straight wall.

    A beehive dome in brick freestyle is  Wes question [​IMG]
  3. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Does that help?
  4. jim williams

    jim williams Meat Mopper

    Yes I like your picture as I imagined. I don't see how you sealed the bottom of your picture but with a 8×8 flue in the center of a 40 40 square.
  5. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This is an oven so its a little different. I laid firebrick onto a hearth on a light  bed of fireclay slurry, like pavers. Then those bricks on end are mortared as a line of soldiers running back to a flat wall & following a curve at the front to the door. Brick cut on the diagonal angle to be the starter for arch laid on top of row of soldiers . 4 arches + joints = 4 x 225mm + 5x 5mm =925mm then close the last 275 length 30mm height . Its necked down from the last arch to the door.Chimney above the door.Internal 1m x 1.2m

    I have a set of instructions x3 including flu in the top version .They show 1 full arch at the back,2 arches butting up to flu then the rest with a substantial keystone shaped out of basalt to set the arch.You could cast a keystone out of refractory concrete or even just pour it if you are a better form work  carpenter than me,not a stretch[​IMG]

    If you like I can get the tech savvy young people that work for me to turn the written instructions I have into an attachment "thingy" & I will send it to you via a PM.
  6. jim williams

    jim williams Meat Mopper

    Yes . I would be interested. Thank you
  7. wes w

    wes w Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good evening Jim.

    Please keep the cold out there!  LOL

    I like your concept, and I think I understand how you want to do it.  Like  Moikel said, you have to transfer your weight to the outside.  

    The only experience I've had with arches is when I put an arch in my outdoor fireplace.  I built a form to what I wanted and laid around it.  You want to be sure to shim it up, so you can simply take the shims out to remove it, or in your case move it over to do another section.

    Can't wait to see it come together.
  8. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My arch experience is my oven which is a series of arches but they are low not dome like.

    I think the principles stay the same its about spreading the load back to the vertical wall otherwise they fall in.

    Working out your form to hold the bricks critical starting point.Be prepared to cut bricks to make them the best possible keystones & arch starters.

    Then the real challenge is how to neck it down thats why I liked the half barrel idea.

    If you search for the masonry heater association of America you will see they have a big wood fired oven section on their site with lots of builds step by step.
  9. jim williams

    jim williams Meat Mopper

    Thanks guys for your time and I will be visiting often this spring for a refresher course        - I may have misled this arch idea, go ahead give me a jab. lol

     I feel fairly comfortable doing the arch 40" from front of smoker to the back of smoker, then sealing the front side of the arch with stamped (colored) cement, decorated tile or something and have the back end open for my exhaust (flue) with a grate??  to keep birds out.

    My true trouble is the smoker is going to be 6'8'' tall (same as I)  but my open dimensions at the top are 40'' x 40'' .

    I have 1 wall  of firebrick, 2-3" space, 8" cinder block and then 3 1/2'' veneer brick.  This is how I get 40" x 40" square opening at the top.

    Do they sell slabs of firebrick and I cut the 8x8 square out?? LOL..

    How do you terminate all of that opening at 6'8'' with an arch of 18-24" on top?  

    - I thought I better do homework while weather is cold, we are expecting 4" snow tomorrow.   - You all have a peaceful night, Jim
  10. wes w

    wes w Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good evening Jim.

    Please close the door up there,  Its getting cold down here in the south!   :)   Around 12F tonight   :)

    That is going to be a big arch.  It can be done, but will it be to tall to keep the weather out,  rain etc.

    As far as closing the 40X40 off, you could form and pour a top around the flue liner hole using concrete and fireclay mix.   If you set your flue on that, it would be a lot of weight sitting on suspended concrete.   You would want to put a slope on it to let water run off.    I'm not sure if there would be enough room to get inside to build the form though.   Rebar would help, but as we know, steal and concrete don't work well with heat.    Anyone have any ideas? 
  11. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Is it really going to that hot at the top of smoker?

    I have seen people cast refractory concrete forms.My hearth is 4'' refractory concrete with rebar it gets pretty hot.

    Some sort of drawing would help me get my head around it.

    6'8'' will make the brick laying harder .I found that arches are best done from above gives you the best access to set each mortar joint.
  12. jim williams

    jim williams Meat Mopper

    Wes, there is a supply house in town that now sells fiberglass rebar. It is guaranteed strength of steel but will never rust!

    Question- will this work in a cement/firebrick mixture to pour a slab on top of the chimney opening?  we know steel and heat don't mix with cement?!

    VERY CURIOUS TO ALL IN PUT WITH THIS PRODUCT.              -thanks to all, Jim
  13. jim williams

    jim williams Meat Mopper

    I (will) have a 40" x 40" square opening at the top of 3 brick walls.

    #1 is internal fire brick. (hotbox)

    #2 is cinderblock (foundation)

    #3 is veneer brick.

    May I cap all will stainless w/8x8 opening and 4" long x 8" diameter  ss tube?   Throw fireclay mud on top and then build arch?  ( I have not a clue).

    I cannot find a way to terminate a single flue from such a large opening! (not a block layer at all) .. bet I can!?

    Or stay with making 2x4 slab with fiberglass 3/8" re-rod, fireclay mix and cement mix?
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
  14. jim williams

    jim williams Meat Mopper

    It will only be the heat of the cook box, generally around 170* to 250*
  15. jim williams

    jim williams Meat Mopper

    Wes, the real area to cover up is the firebrick area which only is 26 1/2" wide x 27" deep. the rest could be filled with misc. brick.

    Is 27" x 27" too big of span for slab of fireclay/cement with 3/8" rebar and 3" tall clay flue?   ( short for the arch) and put damper in there somewhere...

    As far as the arch being to tall for weather to stay out...I thought of building a steel arch door with single hinge at peak with single or dual props when in use. 

    You sure are a smart fellow doing all of this which seems to be (easy) to you.  I do realize anything can work as it goes up, I have been known to over think projects. 

    Ps. If all fails with the arch and height idea, I can always knock a cook door off and stay shorter.   ( last option of course)

    Thanks Wes. Take care, -jim
  16. wes w

    wes w Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good evening Jim.

    I have never heard of fiberglass rebar.   Steal rebar won't rust once enclosed in concrete.    Ask them for a spec sheet on the fiberglass.  Interesting

    If you can get it done, the large top will look good.   The easiest way would be to step it down to the flue like a fireplace.      As far a how high it is.  Mine is 10ft. from firebox floor to top.  I had to go up 2 sets of scafold to build it.   If your height is a issue, you may have to do it too.  Better safe then sorry.

    I do see your point about the top not getting really hot, but,  if you ever have to burn it out, (in my case because of mold)  it will get very hot.  I cracked mine because of the upper damper being steal.   I ran mine at 500 for about an hour to burn out mold when I left a water pan in it for about 3 months.   Not a pretty sight.    No one can see the crack but me, but I know its there.

    Jim,  if you can visualize it, you can build it.   Remember, brick work is 8 inches.   For every block is two runs of brick.  If you are using oversized brick, it works out on 16 inches.  
  17. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  18. jim williams

    jim williams Meat Mopper

    Thank you Mick.
    I will take a look. Have a good day.

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