Double Deluxe Pitmaster Mod

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by kcbluesnbbq, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. After several failed attempts, I logged out and logged back in and now it works. I will try to post the QView tomorrow, getting late and have to work tomorrow.

    Good night.

    P.S. Glad I copied the previous post so I didn't have to retype it. Need a key board with more space between the buttons and has the alphabet in the proper order. I am no typist, but I can make a computer do what it it wasn't meant to do! LOL[​IMG]

    Now I only get 3 lines of  smileys. WTF!!!!!!!!
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  2. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    I wouldn't think it important to lower the flue opening with a reverse flow. As the heat and smoke must traverse the full length of the cook chamber before it exits. Anyway one would think it would be OK on the lid as long as it's the opposite end from where the heat and smoke enters the chamber.

    I was thinking of converting my small offset to a RF and was going to put the stock chimney back on the top but on the opposite end, the same end as the fire box. I have it moved lower to down to grill level on the other side now.  
  3. I thought about that and was worried about all the heat at the top since it is 12" taller now.

    It was about 20* cooler at the top on the chimney end. Don't know how accurate this burn was because I was trying to get it as hot as possible to burn the crud off the new metal.Got it up to about 350 for an hour. Had the intake wide open and we had a lot of wind. Found some leaks that I will have to fix Let it burn four 4 1/2 hours. Get it sealed and try to run it at smoking temps and then I will be able to see what it will do.

    The grates set in.


    Bottom grate slid out. Still need to add reinforcement to grates.


    Starting the hole for the chimney.


    Cut out hole with cutoff wheels and finished with die grinder. A slow process.


    The chimney stub fitted to hole. The chimney will be removable.


    This is how I got the lid and chimney to work together. Lengthened the hinges so it can be slid over as the lid is raised.


    The chimney all weld and another view of hinges.


    Had to do a little straightening on the lid. Had an inward bow across the front.


    Her it smoking away. Need to get a better therm on the left and lower the right one.


    Temp probe I cut in half.


    Soldered inner wire, shrink wrapped it, and couldn't get outer sleeve over it, so I stripped some wire and wrapped around outside then soldered. It is not pretty but it works.


    Hated to it burning with no food, so I threw some sausage links in at the end.


    The coals after 4 1/2 hours. Started with 2 chimneys of lump and about six small splits to get it hot at the beginning. Did not add any thing to it, just stirred the coals a little.


    Here is a nifty light for those night time smokes. Magnetic base and flexible neck. Works really good.


    Get some work done it tomorrow and have another post. Can't wait to clean it up and get some paint on it.
  4. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very creative on the stack, I like it. I bet you had a really sad moment when the probe cord became severed. WOW, how did it happen? Maybe we can learn from your tragedy. There is several places out here that I have seen the fire rope for sale, but over at 24 and Noland there is a westlake that sells it by the foot. Its around a buck a foot for the large size that I bought last week. I hate buying the kits since I don't use the cement, and the kits are pricey.

    I taught myself to weld with inner-shield, your right, its a whole different animal compared to running c25 or even co2. I really enjoy running stick if I am working on something big and heavy, but the Mig is awesome on the light stuff and where there is alot of tacks, but the flux can be pretty handy when needed.

    Kinda off the topic here, I was at harbor freight on sunday I think, they had a mult-tool that runs on air. Its a cheapo but it was 19 bucks and I just had to have one. I figured that it was one of those things that for a tight spot it could come in handy.

    Hey, I thought I was the only one with a light like that. I actually have two but the one like you have is the best one I have seen so far. Nice.
  5. Hey Tom, I cut the wire by not paying attention to how it was hanging from the top opening. It draped down just into the opening of the lower door. I did not notice it in the dark and latched the door. Then I saw a wire swinging and knew what I had done. It all happened in a split second. I plan on putting some small tubes though the body of the smoker with pass though grommets (the kind where you run a wire though and it closes up around it) so I don't have a leak.

    I was thinking about checking Westlake for the seal, since I have one just a couple of blocks from me at 40 & Noland.  Glad to know they sell it in bulk.

    Here is a close up of the light. I got it at Ricks Picks last year, before it became the flea market, for $7. I saw one at Wialmart for $30.


    It also has a clamp in case you want to mount it to something other than steel, like a wood shelf, etc.

    I am used to welding sheet metal, an occasional frame, etc. on cars.Went from gas welding in the late 70's to mig. After I got dialed in on amps and wire speed, the welds were not to bad after I wire brushed them. Still had a burn through on the 3/16 metal, so I know it has penetration. I think  I can can get used to it, but prefer the cleaner weld with gas shielding. Would love to have a tig setup at home, but not in the budget yet. We had a Lincoln setup at a shop I worked in Wichita that had a tig on top and mig on the bottom. The machine was five feet tall and about two by three square. We did a lot of fabrication on customs and race cars and was the ideal setup.One can never have enough equipment at the home shop. If only we had Flua's access to what he has, we could do anything. LOL.

    I should have things fixed by weekend and do another burn.
  6. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    To keep from pinching the wires on my thermometer probes, I drilled a hole in the side of the smoker and added a bushing large enough so that it allows the probes to slip though. I simply stuff the excess hole with a small wad of aluminum foil each time I smoke to keep from loosing smoke and heat though the hole. That way it's still easy to take them out for cleaning. It helps keep the wires out of the way too.   
  7. Dick, I plan on doing something similar to what you have done. I just got in a hurry to get it fired up and like normal, had to fix a mistake. It would be nice to have probes that can stay in smoker and have a connection some place where the thermo unit could be plugged in. I may have to do that when I get everything else done on it.

    Found the wood stove rope gasket at Westlake in Blue Springs after I got off work. Guess I better get to work and get it installed.

  8. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hope you catch this before you do the sealer.

    The blue paint tape for delecate surface helps out alot. I put the silicone in place then set the rope where I want it. Before I close the lid I put the paint tape on top of the rope so that if any silicone squishes toward the lid, it will stick to the tape instead of the lid. Which can rip everything loose next time you open it up.

    I use alot of silicone LOL half a tube for like 10 feet of rope.

    I'm not much on electronics but I would think maybe Radio Shack could have the same type plug as what the mav thermo's have. I think a permenant probe for chamber temp would be very cool. Maybe one other for which ever meat is getting close.

    Hey, If you dont mind my asking. Did you do the corner weld vert up? Thats an amazing looking bead, I'm jealous. My beads look like pigeon sh!t compaired to yours.
  9. I welded the corners from the top down. What you don't see is how I fit the metal together. The corners don't overlap each other. I have some 90 degree clamps that hold the corners so I could get it all lined up.Then I tacked it on the inside in several places, then I tacked at the top and bottom on the outside. Checked for square, Then started filling the the corners with weld. This way it looks like a tighter weld, but I was filling the gap. Makes a strong weld with a lot of penetration.

    I used a thin bead of the silicone because I was trying to avoid oozing out around the edges. I taped off the path where the rope would go and ground it with a 36 grit disc to put some tooth in the metal. I figured the silicone would resist the constant puling and pushing if it had some thing to hook into. When I shut the lid it pushed the bottom out from under the lid. Had to line it back up and clean up the mess. I may put some rivets in across the bottom for extra hold.


    Here you can see the small amount silicone that pushed out. I cut the tip really small with a notch in it so I can

    get a tall narrow bead. When I pushed the rope down it spread it into the fibers and just a little at edges.


    Will have to clean the edges so I can get the paint to stick.

    Got the racks framed up and a few welds dressed down. Still need to do a lot of grinding and paint removal.

    The probe plugs are smaller than the 1/8 inch ones, but I am pretty sure I could get an extension cable and make a jack panel on the outside. That is probably something to do after I get it done and smoke some meat.
  10. diesel

    diesel Smoking Fanatic

    Good Job man!  Can't wait to see her in action.  Good find on the grill light.
  11. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    Nice fab work BTW.

    Well you might want to keep the probes removable for ease of cleaning.

    The sensor for my temp controller is more or less a permanent fixture, it can still be removed, but I do put a small piece of foil on it so I don't have to clean it after cooking.  It is positioned just below the grill where the meat is cooked so as you can imagine it gets a little grease dripping on it.

    The meat probe however you definitely want to clean after each use. I would think that the build up of creosote etc. over time would lead to some additonal lag time in sensor responce for the smoker temp sensor.

    BTW I found it a smart idea to protect the probes by adding some sealant to where the wire exits the probe housing on all my temperature probes. I use Permatex Ultra Copper for that. It keeps moisture contamination out of the sensor and from ruining them which seems to be the most common failure item. If you add a small coil spring to the uncured sealant, that provides some stain relief for the wire too.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  12. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm gonna have to work with the method that you have described. I have read also that on thin stuff like body work that this works very good to prevent burn thru. Now all I need is for the next 6 or so years to fly by so that I can retire and play all day, instead of having to get my 40 hours out of the way first. I have so many ideas for things that I think could bring in a fair amount of cash but I just don't have the time.

    I was at Asners scrap down on James st in KCK today and right there in the front, he had a double door commercial fridge with a bad compressor. It looks almost new, all I could think about was how cool of a smoker it would make. 100 bucks and it would have been loaded up, but the down side is, I may have needed a place to sleep after the wife found out.

    I think I am going back on sat, 30 cents a lb for mild, 40 cents for 409 stainless, and 1.20 for the 300 series stainless.

    Nice job on the fire rope. It sounds like you may be cooking by the weekend.  
  13. Thanks for the compliment and the good tip on the probes.

    If I were able to retire, I would probably be bussier than I am now. I have so many unfinished projects around here, and always seem to start on a new one.

    I hope I am cooking by the weekend. I may be grinding welds while it is smoking, ha ha.

    Got the upper latches on and not to sure I like how I did it. They push the lid in when latched which causes more curve on the sides of the lid. If I push the lid down when latching, it works.


    Started grinding on welds. I hate grinding. The electric grinders I have at home just do not have enough speed or power. I would bring home my air grinders but they run my compressor constantly. Another couple of hours and it should be smooth.
  14. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    I'm retired and if anything I have more unfinished projects than I ever did. It seems I just have more free time to get them started now.
  15. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Since you do body work, are all the grinder disc and wheels that you use at work for the air grinders? I have just received some new flaps I ran across on the net. Walter enduroflex. I have only had time to try one of them for about 5 minutes, but the first impression seems to be very nice.

    You said the door is having a little flex when you button it up. Can you put a backing bar on the inside of the door from side to side near where the clamps hold it down?

    I had to snicker when I read the part about grinding while you are cooking. [​IMG]  One of the first smokers I ever worked on needed a mod to the inside after I had seasoned it. The next cook it took a few minutes to figure out why my rub had a gritty texture to it. Ummmm I think by the time I figured it out, I had already received my daily allowance of iron.
  16. The discs are 8" and 5". They work on my electric buffer style grinder at home. The big problem is not enough rpm from electric grinder. It turns at 2500 rpm, vs 5000 -6000 for air grinder. I have a 4 1/2" angle grinder that I have been knocking down the welds with and then finishing them with a 50 grit on the other grinder. I may go back over the welds with 150 grit to get out most of the grinder marks. Want the paint to look good.

    I was thinking about a reinforcement on the door. It looks like it will seal if I push it down when I latch it. May not be fun when it is hot though.

     The thought of grit getting in the smoker crossed my mind. My wife has found everything from grass clippings to paper and foil on her food that I have grilled or smoked for her. It only seems to happen to hers. She would be the one to have the gritty food and definitely let me know about it.LOL !  [​IMG]

    Got the thermos added and the previous hole patched. Used a washer that fit pretty close in size and thickness to fill the hole.


    Going to tied up all day Saturday, so I am planning on smoking something Sunday. Most likely ribs and chicken, so it won't take all day, but long enough to see how well it works.
  17. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    Oh man, grinding spooge in your meat. Now that's just down right nasty. LOL
  18. dick foster

    dick foster Smoking Fanatic

    The way I weld, I had to get really comfortable with grinding. In fact if I could weld half as well as I grind, I wouldn't need to grind so much. LOL

    Catch 22.
  19. Hey Dick, grinding crap would be bad. I have done enough stuff like that over the years that my wife suspects something in her food all the time. Don't think I will try it.

    Did a test burn and looks good. Going to to throw some food on for Sunday. Ribs, chicken, and abt's.

    Lit a couple of chimneys and what a show. I had some crumbs I put in the left one and it sparked all over the place.



    Temps looked good. About five degrees between left and right on upper rack. Surprisingly, about 25 degrees hotter on lower rack.

    Will work great for chicken and ribs on bottom, brisket and butt on top.


    Time to get some sleep for the first cook. Will have plenty of qview.
  20. I actually got to make some BBQ today. Only had one major problem. The grate I had in the fire box collapsed shortly after I put my ribs on. The coals fell to the bottom and with no air flow under them the temps started dropping. Had to scoop out all the hot coals and put in a makeshift grate out of expanded steel and some angle. I had planned to make a basket this week. Guess I better get on it. Took quite while to get temps back up so I ran it hotter for a while to try get back on schedule. We had people coming for dinner and my wife was starting to worry. I had no doubts that food would be done, but wife has heard me say it is almost done to many times..

    It got done about thirty minutes later than I told her, so every one was happy.

    Abt's before hitting the smoke. Made some with mild chili's and some with jalapeno. People think they will hot when

    they here jalapeno.


    The abt's and trimmings off the spareribs. Sorry about the poor pictures, but everyone dived in so fast I had to use

    my phone to some pics while there was still some left.


    I tried to pick up the ribs and they were breaking in half. Used the 3-2-1/2 method. Couldn't get them out of the foil without

    falling apart, so I opened up the foil left them in it to get a little bark on them. The chicken leg 1/4s were so juicy and the

    skin had just a little crispiness to it. I used Weber's beer butt chicken rub, which gives a golden color to it.


    I was starting to worry if I would I was going to have enough leftovers for lunch this week, but there was enough slaw, beans, and water melon that ever body got filled up and left me some meat.

    My wife just informed me that we will be taking what is left to the Chiefs game Monday night for some tailgating before game, since kickoff isn't till 9:15 Will try to get all the little things done this week. Basket, leg braces, wheels, and maybe get started on paint.

    Thanks for all the great comments so far[​IMG].

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