Possible new smoker, what'd you guys think?

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by edq, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. Hi guys.  I have not been an active participant here but am a constant follower of the fun threads and not too bad with a rack of ribs.

    I am considering tossing out my first build (a tiny box good for a couple of pounds of meat) and trying out my luck with a new one, slightly lager.  I have two tanks sitting around which include: for Smoke chamber a 24" long x 24" dia. water pressure tank and for Fire Box a (skinny but long) 14"x38" gas tank.  Each appears to be at least 1/4 steel.  I would appreciate any thoughts you may have on my questions or anything else:

    1. PLACEMENT: One possibility is to sit both tanks horizontal, the firebox parallel to the smoke chamber, behind and low.  Because its long and skinny the FB would stick out quite a bit on both sides of the smoke chamber.  Any suggestions on placement?  Should I do a vertical setup (the firebox horizontal; smokehouse vertical on top)?

    2. HEAT: Should I insulate my firebox from the onset, any experience with this type of tanks?

    3. SIZE: Is the proposed Smoke Chamber too fat to hold steady temperature and/or smoke, as its basically square? Also, remember the FB is about half the diameter, this might be inefficient for getting the temp up?  Maybe this should have to be a reverse flow?

    Thanks in advance for your feedback.  Will post pics once I get started.


  2. redneck69

    redneck69 Smoking Fanatic

    with the sizes and shapes i would try and mount the fire box on the back side of the tank and do a reverse flow to the front of the smoke chamber and have the exhaust on the sides of the smoke chamber at grate level.
  3. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

    Good luck with the build
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Fife X2
  5. Thanks guys.  So far this is what I got, I modeled it like redneck69 suggests.  The way I understand it is to have the fire box to chamber opening in the back of the smoke tank, with a baffle plate over it, to make the reverse flow all along the front of the chamber like the lower model in this pic. I suppose this would work, though the most common are from one end of the tank towards the other. Let me know what you think.  Thanks again.

  6. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Looks like a fine start for now.
  7. porked

    porked Smoking Fanatic

    I'd say GO FOR IT! But that's easy for me to say, lol. Looks like a plan. [​IMG]
  8. redneck69

    redneck69 Smoking Fanatic

    that's how i pictured it, nice job on the rendering.  with the odd ball size tanks, thats the only way i could see it working.
  9. Almost ready to cut and I wanted to start this weekend, but am still visualizing the odd FB tank, might be hard to load and clean because its skinny, etc. So might go out to the junkyard to look at some other alternative.  Let me know if you think anything else up.  Will keep you posted. Thanks again.
  10. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    real57vetteguy has a really cool design going in a build thread. 

    I think I would try to make it similar to his. 

    You say your FB tank is about half the size of the cook chamber, I think thats close if you were to cut down on the height of the FB. 

    So what I'm sayin is that I would lay down the cook chamber and then I would inset the other tank upright but shortened to an acceptable height.

    You are going to get a ton of radiant heat since heat rises, meaning its very efficient. In my opinion it would look better then having the long tank down low and sticking out on each end.  Just my 2 cents tho. 

    Do you know what was in the fb tank?
  11. Thanks Tom37 for pointing me to real57vetteguy, I had seen the thread a while ago but at that time didn't apply it to my case and I think it could work.  He clearly has an efficient design. I am going to measure again my tanks to see how it might work out.  
  12. Hi guys.  Thanks to your advise and all the information on the forum, I finally got down to work on my smoker this December and finished it on time for the Holiday's cookouts.  I am limited to the pics that came out clear on my cell phone camera, but want to share everything possible.  Its nothing fancy like some others I have seen, most of mine is made from recycled on reclaimed materials, down to the wood on the table (with the exception of the grilling racks and wheels).  Overall I spent a fraction of what I think it would have cost me in the states, but I am in Central America, where recycling and/or reusing is always a priority.  Design factors were ruled by the Timplate BBQ form.

    I started off with a 20" Dia. 3/8" thick, 35" long piece of pipe that I kept after replacing it at a water project.  [​IMG][​IMG]

    I made the hinges from short cuts of bent drilling rods and 3/4 iron; then added a sliding door for the fire to cooking chamber so I would maximize the use of volume in the fire box. The pipes on each side are drains for washing the cooking chamber occasionally.  


    Then I put together the fire box from 1/4 recycled plate, this pic shows the bottom of the box, with the air gate installed on bent pins so it can be opened completely if needed.  


    The fire box door got too hot when I was cutting it and ended up slightly twisted, about 1/4" opened on one side.


    I threw in a piece of 1/2" plate as the baffle


    The fire box door got a latch for locking and hopefully to reduce the small gap on the door, caused from torch overheating.  Also, the originally installed wheels, which had been pulled from a pile of scrap, made it difficult to move the smoker as the weight increased.  So we broke the bank and got new ones, with swivel on one end.


    Dropped a chimney on it.


    This is how its all taking shape


    Next step was to build the racks and a small box on the side with a gas burner, for heating up basic stuff.  Painted it with my girlfriend one evening and welded a small pipe on the other side to aid in pushing around and for a small table.  I still need to get a good thermometer.


    Here is more finished product


    Thanks to all for sharing your knowledge 


    This small pork is still my favorite.  The thermometer on the bottom is worthless

    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012

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