RF Patio Smoker Build on Steroids (Pics Added)

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by aubrey stewart, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. After much pondering I decided to not go with the simple flat plate for the baffle.  I got to thinking about the extra work of cleaning it for years to come and decided to install a piece of angle down the center and split the baffle plate in two meeting at the angle.  I've seen that done on here many times and it should make things drain much more reliably.  I've got the center angle support partially fabbed now and will post up a picture once I get it in place.
  2. sunman76

    sunman76 Master of the Pit

    Looking good!
  3. Here's an interesting problem I'm having.  When I cut out the cooking chamber door I noticed that the tank sagged down in the middle at the door hinge line.  It's not much but its enough to keep the door from sealing up.  I think you can see it in the picture below now that you know where to look.

     I'm thinking I'll need to weld a pretty beefy angle across the top on the inside to force it back straight.  I tried that out just clamping it in place and it took out almost all of the bow.  I was thinking I'll punch a bunch of holes in the angle and use them for hanging chickens or sausage when the top tray is out. 
  4. mike johnson

    mike johnson Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    [​IMG]  Looking good.
  5. hdflame

    hdflame Meat Mopper

    That's how to make chicken salad out of chicken sh!t  [​IMG]
  6. Hows the door? Did it stay straight?
  7. vegassmokeout

    vegassmokeout Meat Mopper

  8. I tested out the idea of installing a piece of angle to straighten out the bow in the tank near the hinge line.  It took a couple of attempts to figure where to put the shim but I think I took all the bow out as you can see in this picture.

    Here's a close up of the shims.  It puts a pretty good flex into the angle (1.5x1.5x0.25).

    I wish it didn't have to be so big though.  It will eat up some of the space for the top shelf but at least it will double as a smoking hook hanger.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  9. Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ribwizzard  

    Hows the door? Did it stay straight?

    The door appears to still be straight but I didn't fit check it yet.  I better do that.  Maybe they will have the same bow and fit together that way.  I sure don't want to have to straighten both of them if they can work together as is.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  10. Id fit check the door and see what you have going on there.  Id hold off on adding the angle until door was installed and hinges welded in.  I have the feeling that fitting the door properly and using , lets say about four weld in hinges,  It might hold itself true again.

    Also, its hard to tell from the pic. but what kind of brace do you have on the bottom of the firebox.  does it flex the top of the cooking chamber any when you put weight on the firebox?
  11. Well I fit checked the door and it stayed pretty straight down the long dimension and it fits up mostly until you get to the far right side.  At that end it has sprung open along the short dimension.

    I may have caused this by not prebending the edge banding before I welded it one.  Instead of prebending it I just used clamps and started at one end working to the other tacking as I went.  Its possible that that approach is causing the edge band to pry the door open.  I'm trying to think of ways to bend the door to fit the opening but that door is stout.  While I'm thinking on that I'll keep forging ahead on the rest of the details.
  12. While the door had stayed straight the cook chamber, in the long dimension, had not so I had to implement the idea mentioned earlier to force the top long edge of the opening straight.  See below.

    In the second picture you can see the holes I cut in the angle so I could use it to hang stuff like maybe sausage or jerky.  I also got the rails installed in this picture.  I wanted to be able to remove the grate rails in case I ever wanted to install a whole hog rotissery (sp?) so here's what I came up with...

    At the near end I just have a 1" piece of angle holding up the end of the rail.  At the far end I have another like it but also another 1/2" piece on top that captures that end from being able to move up (like with the grate is way out and wants to tip out.  Here's the close up view of the far end treatment.

  13. After getting the removable rails installed I fabbed a simple sliding grate, welded on the remaining end plate, installed the cook chamber door, and the stack.

    I still need to make a FB door, and put handles on things.
  14. For the record here are the key dimensions that I used and what the calculator recommended:

    Feature                    Recommended              Actual

    Cook Chamber        NA                                 30" dia X 70" long

    Firebox                    1/3 of CC                       30" dia X 25" long

    FB to CC Opening   132 sq in                       135 sq in

    Baffle flow area        Not specified                 155 sq in

    RF opening              Not specified                 >180 sq in

    Chimney                  6" dia x 28"                    6.1" dia X 35" (didn't feel like cutting it down)

    FB Air Inlet              49 sq in                          55 sq in
  15. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    A couple of thoughts, instead of welding that angle down the length, why not temporarily install one vertical, using a 2 ton car jack under it and try to bend the bow out of it…… I’m unsure if you have a way to heat the tank up? I mean red hot, what if you were to tack weld it shut, heat it up and allow it to cool slowly….My thought would be that it would want to try to fit back together as it cooled…….Instead of using the angle iron down the middle, what if you cut a ring and weld it in the center. That way you will get the strength that you need to pick up the center and you will not lose nearly as much space…….Just a couple thoughts…..I hope I helped……ShoneyBoy   
  16. I fired it up last night after oiling down the inside. I roughly followed the Lang seasoning instructions. After I had it at ~350F for about 30 minutes I spritzed the interior surfaces with water. Made a heck of a lot of steam. Then I closed the lid and let it steam itself. I did that about 3 times letting it heat up in between sprays. I still need to fab up a damper for the FB door but for Thanksgiving turkey and ham smoking I have pretty good control just varying the amount I leave the FB door open. So far temperature control has been pretty easy with very little variation between the two ends of the cook chamber. I would have to credit it that to the smarts behind the bbq sizing calculator.

    I still need to: 1) fab the FB damper, 2) work up a over-center closure mechanism for the ash cleanout door, 3) install a flue damper, and 4) install some protective rings around the thermometers. That will complete phase 1. For phase 2 I'm planning on installing a warming box above the FB.

    Here are a few pictures showing it painted, cured, and ready to go to work on the Thankgiving turkey.

    More later as I finish up the final punch list to wrap up phase 1.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  17. I think I am going to try to do what you suggest.  There is still a small gap and a little smoke leakage that I want to get rid of.  I will need to cut a hole in the baffle plate to have something firm to push against but with this plasma torch it'll only take 10 seconds and then I'll just MIG it back in place and grind flush.  I tried to make the best of the situation with the holes in the able but it just takes up too much space.  Good idea ShoneyBoy.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  18. whittling chip

    whittling chip Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Your build looks great! The only concern you may need to think about is the wood close to the firebox. You might want to check the wood from time to time and make sure it doesn't get too hot.

    I started a couple of butts early this morning and realized I put a couple of 1 gallon milk jugs to close. They are filled with the drainings from the RF tray. If I hadn't caught them when I did there would have been a big cleanup on my deck.

    I'm not sure if it's the picture or not but you might want to level the unit. I have mine sitting at a quarter bubble above level, opposite end from the firebox.

    Again, great job!
  19. randya

    randya Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Very nice work.  Can't wait to see phase 2 complete..  Thanks for sharing.
  20. fliptetlow

    fliptetlow Smoke Blower

    Nice looking build...:)

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