Question about building a smoker

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by bluet1k, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. I am building my first smoker and I have a question about the firebox. I have an old air compressor tank I plan on using for the firebox. Every design I come across with a round fire box has one end of the tank mounted to the cooker. I do not want the door in the middle of the tank like you see on the cookers I plan on using one end as a door. My question is instead of mounting the firebox to the cooker at one end can I turn the firebox sideways and mount it that way and put an air vent at each end of the tank?  Should the smoke and heat still flow ok into the cooker?
  2. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    Try reposting your question in the Smoker Builds section of the forum.
  3. Yes you can. Make sure the opening is the right size and as close as possible.

    I am going to ask a Moderator to move this to the smoker build section. DaveOmak is one of the smoker build guru's on the forum. Not to say that their are not other great designers on here.

    If you will post diminutions of what you have to work with that will help.

    Happy smoken.

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2014
  4. Thanks for the replies and getting this into the right forum. The tank i believe is 150 gallons. It measures 31" wide and 48 length. The firebox is an old air compressor tank and it measures 16" wide and 33" in length. I used the calculator and came up with a firebox air inlet of 4"x5" and an 8"x7" firebox to cooker opening. 5" pipe 17" long for a chimney. Do those numbers sound ok? Thanks again for the help.
  5. Not a problem. When you get a chance will you drop by roll call so we can all give you a proper SMF welcome? Your location on your profile would also help. I will see if I can get the guru involved.

    Happy smoken.

  6. Done and Done
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    150 ish gallon tank Cook Chamber and a 25 gallon ish tank Firebox... Not the best combination..... FB should be at least a 50 gallon....

    Also, when building a smoker, the more turns the air has, the more resistance, and problems arise and need to be compensated.....


    And here are some tools to help you figure out some numbers..... (click on radius and segment height)

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
  8. Dave thanks for the reply. Other than having to add wood more often do you think the fire box will still heat the cooker?
  9. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well, the design recommendations are what works well..... You can build any size/type smoker you want.... Personally I would go with the recommendations as going to all that work to build a smoker and not having it work well, takes the fun out of it....
    For a given size Cook Chamber, you need X number of BTU's to keep it up to temp and operating smoothly... A small FB will make that difficult at best...
    Folks that use the design numbers, haven't complained about having problems controlling temps... All they say is, "how well their smokers cook".... The design numbers, from my understanding, is a compilation of already built smokers.... crunching the date about how they cook, problems associated with smokers, and a representative set of numbers that seem to work.....
    One major problem of smokers that have small FB's or inadequate area under the RF plates or small opening between the FB and CC is ..... A firebox that overheats, wastes BTU's and consumes extra wood.....
    Oversized FB's will run cooler, and need less feeding, temps will be more consistent and easier to control......
  10. Well I guess I'm going a different rout with the fore box then. Like you said I would hate to get it all built then can't get it to make temperature. So I am lucky and have a sheet of metal from an old connex box floor. I plan on making the firebox 24"w-24"L-24"high. It's 14% larger than what is needed but from what I read in your post slightly larger is better than smaller.
  11. Oh and that long air compressor tank looks horrible mounted on the side of the CC.....hahaha
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good idea...... The larger FB will work well...... AND be sure to calculate all the number with a normal sized FB.... The stack, RF plate and opening between the FB and CC should be based on the size of the Cook Chamber.... and a stack about 30-36" tall is the norm for good draft...
  13. My smoker is almost finished. I took it for a test run today just to see what it would do. The problem I seem to be having is I'm loosing all the heat out of the chimney. If I close it half off I can hit 300 easily, but if I open it up it drops to 150. Is this normal or is something wrong?
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pictures of the smoker...
  16. I am still not finished yet. I need to build a cooking grate, make a handle and air damper for firebox and of course paint it.
  17. I did my first smoke ever today on my newly built smoke. I am glad I took Daves advice and made the firebox bigger. It got to temp and held it with no problems.
  18. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm glad you did too..... Nothing worse than a smoker that won't hold temp for long periods...
    bluet1k likes this.

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