MES mailbox mod was easier than I thought

Discussion in 'Masterbuilt Electric Smoker (MES) Owners' started by ddw44, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. After reading and seeing members add AMNPS to MES and using mailboxes I decided to do it too. First I ordered the AMNPS and my favorite wood types in pellets; hickory and alder. Then I looked for boxes and duct hardware. Most mailboxes I saw at my local Lowes were $15-$25. Stopped at Homedepot  on the other side of town and there they were on clearance mail boxes for $7.97 - so I couldn't resist. Also picked up a 3 inch 90 degree adjustable aluminum elbow duct $3.50 and a straight duct that I did not use. I already had aluminum foil ducting tape.

    My MES was already on a homemade table/cart that I use to move it around - has two inline skate wheels. Decided the easiest and best place to mount the box was on the cart just below the chip loader. Attached a piece of scrap wood on the cart legs to provide a surface to screw the box to. Set the box just below the chip loading opening with enough room to use just the 3 inch elbow duct. Marked the top of box for cutting a 3 inch hole. Drilled two holes on the marks next to each other connecting them. Then used my scroll saw to cut out a 3 inch hole in the top of the box. Used a fine-toothed metal cutting blade. Broke the first well used blade. A new blade easily finished the cut. Used a metal file to smooth off the cut edges. The hole was well oversized but I didn't care because the foil tape would cover the gaps. Screwed the side of the box to the scrap piece of wood. Used washers to space the box away from mounting board to allow mailbox door to open and close. 

    Removed the chip loader hopper and inserted the elbow into the MES chip loading hole. The elbow only inserts an inch or so because it stops on the hopper retaining flange. The other end of elbow inserts into the top of the mailbox thru the rough oversized hole. Both ends were secured with aluminum foil ducting tape - used several 3 inch long strips overlapping them. Thought I may need to use screws or cut slots in the elbow ends to bend and fold to secure. But the tape worked way better than than I hoped. It has been on more than a week and tape is not as tight on the mailboxes pebble like finish as it is on the smooth MES side.

    Here is the completed job: 

    Here is the whole MES with table/cart:

    The AMNPS fits right in:

    I am considering lining the box with foil.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    DDW, nice job on the install.....  [​IMG]  ...  Dave
  3. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pure Genius.  And a great conversation piece while in the backyard with friends drinking a soda pop with the foam on top.  Funky works every time. 
    onawaiowa likes this.
  4. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Got to love mailbox mods, great job on yours !!!!   [​IMG]
  5. dj mishima

    dj mishima Meat Mopper

    I am considering this mod some day.  I was wondering.  If this doesn't work out well for me, would it be easily converted back to "stock" form?  I don't see why it wouldn't work well for me.  Occasionally, I have trouble keeping the pellets going and hate having to open the cook chamber to relight it.  This should solve that problem by only accessing the mailbox if it goes out, right?
    ddw44 likes this.
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dj.... Drying the pellets and the MB having good clean air flow makes a big difference IMO....  Dave
    ddw44 likes this.
  7. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great Job!
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    See what you started .......    
  9. DDW, I like the mail box mod. curious if you drilled holes in the bottom of the mailbox for air intake? thinking of doing the same to my MES.

  10. There are mounting holes in the bottom of mailbox. And there is a gap at the bottom of door. The clearance gap there is plenty and I have not seen smoke coming out there so far. DDW
  11. I have done 6 or more smokes with the amps. I added pellets once without drying them to extend smoking time. All smokes before this were reliable. At the last minute I wanted to try to smoke some Mac n cheese. The added pellets, lit, and burned initially as usual. After checking 20 mins later seemed okay with some tbs out the vent. But after 90 mins no smoke and few of added pellets were burned after smoldering started. The tbs I saw at 20 was residual first burn pellets. The added pellets had to have extinguished quickly to have so many left unburned.

    Drying pellets in the micro really works well. I heat them in a glass bowl with the pile hollowed in the center sort of like a donut. I heat the pellets until I see moisture forming on the glass. This usually takes one minute or so. I think more than two minutes might be too hot and near combustion. Other posts have warned about catching pellets on fire. I try to just get pellets steaming a bit and that's it. Pellets have burned reliably for me every time in the amps except once when not drying them.

    I keep pellets in plastic zipper bags. Too humid here apparently to not dry pellets before using. Indoor humidity averages in summer 45 to 55%. Outside way higher! Share the info!:grilling_smilie:

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