Filing cabinet UDS

Discussion in 'UDS Builds' started by ukcommando, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. ukcommando

    ukcommando Fire Starter

    Ok i have just got a large filing cabinet from work, i fancied trying to turn it into a smoker so while not finished heres a sneak preview of the build.

    my idea is to keep the sliding draws, its quite cool to pull the draws out with cooked food inside

    i felt all 4 draws was to large so i have cut off one

    cut out the bottom of the "food" draws and inserted stainlessteel mesh

    The bottom draw will hold the charcoal pit, smaller area to allow better air flow throght the coals(i hope), i can also pull out the draw to top up the fire if need be!

    im trying to control temp from the air flow through the stack, here i have an adjustable baffell i can slide in/out as need be

    the stack finished although i may need to increase the height, ill see when i first fire it up

    Im slighty concerned about the thin plastic coat through out, do you think i may need to have a big fire in it first and burn it all off?

    so far so good, ill keep you posted
  2. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    People have made these before, and they work. But, you need that damper on the bottom for air draw in, and your top exhaust wide open.

    If you damper the exhaust, you run the chance of your smoke condensating out and becoming creosote, nasty stuff!

    Keep going, this should be a fun build to watch!
    ukcommando likes this.
  3. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I'll keep an eye on it as well to see how it turns out....
  4. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have only seen these used for cold smoking before so I too am watching with great interest.

    If you are going to use it for hot smoking you may possibly find that the thin walls make it a challenge to keep the whole unit at a constant temperature - I don't know that though.

    Do you have anything below the bottom drawer to catch the ash?

    As CrankyBuzzard mentioned, you will need to be able to dampen the air intake over the coals in order to control the temperature. You may want to try raising the charcoal shelf to mid way up the bottom drawer and inserting a controllable air vent just below it. Also some stove rope/tape may be useful to make the draw seatings a little more airtight.

    Good looking job so far [​IMG]  
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
    ukcommando likes this.
  5. ukcommando

    ukcommando Fire Starter

    Many thanks for the advice, i have a few things to work with, ill sort the air damper out and ill mount something below, i have plenty of high temp tape at work for sealing so i can use that, i could also insualte the whole thing for the heatloss, but i was going to build a small wood hut over it outside, i was hoping this would improve the heat retention,if need be i have large slabs of insualtion i could use,

    I like the fire idea i may raise it up or even take out another draw and have it smaller, or would the coals be too near the food then?

    i was planning on putting a ash catcher below the fire to catch the waste.

    ill, keep you all posted,


  6. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Lee, I can feel your enthusiasm free here!!!

    Yes use rope or tape on the draws for a good seal.

    Try it with out insulation first, then try a welding blanket!
  7. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I would definitely get the paint off first. The drawer with the coals in it will get really hot and you don't want that paint burning off while cooking. If you are able to close the bottom of the cabinet you could then install a ball valve to control intake.

    Good luck
  8. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good hot fire for initial burnout, all gone...  [​IMG]
  9. ukcommando

    ukcommando Fire Starter

    OK i have had a play and today i have mounted the controllable vent into the fire box with a compound that sets like steel, it is non toxic and hard as nails, i have raised the lower mesh to allow the ash to drop away, and i have mounted the flue with a rubber seal and heat tape, i will do a big burn first prob Thursday when i will bring the cabinet home from work, fingers crossed,

    i took a video but not sure if i can upload it to this thread?

    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
  10. ukcommando

    ukcommando Fire Starter

    rabbithutch likes this.
  11. Howdy, Lee!

    Looks like your build is well underway. Looking forward to seeing the finished product and the first smoke.

    My first take on the filing cabinet was concern about the thinness of the metal. I wonder if heat from coals (charcoal or wood) will warp the drawer. Also, you are likely to lose a good deal of heat through the relatively thin sides requiring more fuel and/or shorter smokes. Have you considered welder's blankets or the like as outer insulation? Perhaps an insulated firebox insert might preserve the drawers warping, too.

    Good luck!

    Please keep the pics coming!
  12. ukcommando

    ukcommando Fire Starter

    ok advice taken on board, and the big burn is finished, looks like it has taken all the plastic coating off inside(and outside lol), so one step closer to trying her out,

    (pic is the burn getting going, it got quite impressive)

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  13. ukcommando

    ukcommando Fire Starter

    well update time, its been a while since i have been on and in that time i have had to bin the filing smoker, as with most of the advice given i couldnt find the time and solutions to a few problems, Also the wife was moaning that it looked like "scrap" in the back garden,

    well im sorry to see that one go but rest assured i will be looking at something else ready for the good old british summer time cooking fest !!
  14. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi UK, at least you had a go and found some pit falls to building your own smoker. I have seen these on YouTube, but don't know how good or if they sealed properly.
  15. ukcommando

    ukcommando Fire Starter

    Its all trial and error my friend, that`s what makes it so interesting for me, I now have a big 55gal barrel coming from work so that`s going to be my next UDS build...the ideas are already starting to
  16. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Cammando, please start a new thread and show us all a step by step UDS Build.

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