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Unread 11-20-2012, 01:04 PM   #1
Hook_Line_and_Sinker
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Question All I want for Christmas is a small smokehouse!

Having lusted over cowgirls smokehouse for more years than I care to count, and seeing all the cold smoking, bacon , sausage, and jerky making threads, you brethren have posted over those years ......

The time has come for me to declare a goal of putting together a small wooden smokehouse ... Well more like a smoke closet. Yes that's right I'm going into the closet....

The planning is very sketchy and in need of some of your assistance but here are my current thoughts....

A five foot tall vertical smoke box, reverse flow, with a food chamber that fits 6 full sheet pan cooling racks 26 x 18 @ 36 inches tall. Giving me @ a foot above and below the food chamber to introduce and exhaust smoke. And two 3 inch by 20 inch channels on each side of the food chamber to carry the reverse flow smoke.

Fire box thoughts are a small drum or an ammo box (20 cal) that would be piped to the smokehouse with corrugated alum pipe 3 or 4 inch

Ok now the question is what do I need to be aware of ?
Are there issues with using an ammo box?
What fire issues will I have with pine construction?
I'd like to use it as a dehydrator as well, what allowances do I need to keep in mind.
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Unread 11-20-2012, 02:57 PM   #2
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Sounds like a great plan. Looking forward to seeing what you build!
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Unread 11-20-2012, 03:19 PM   #3
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Stay away from any conifer wood. That sap really tastes nasty and when you heat it the sap starts to flow.
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Unread 11-20-2012, 03:27 PM   #4
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Make sure the ammo box is completely empty
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Unread 11-20-2012, 03:29 PM   #5
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Are you gonna have a way of mounting rods for the stuff you wanna hang rather than put on pans/racks?

I am seriously looking forward to your build - I've been wanting one of those myself!
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Unread 11-20-2012, 04:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buccaneer View Post
Make sure the ammo box is completely empty
Some ammo in it could make things interesting
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Unread 11-20-2012, 06:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1FUNVET View Post
Some ammo in it could make things interesting
The boxes seem empty, well no ammo in them but I can still smell the gunpowder! Is that bad? I was thinking a burn out would be fun and get rid of any nasties.
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Unread 11-20-2012, 06:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtr View Post
Are you gonna have a way of mounting rods for the stuff you wanna hang rather than put on pans/racks?

I am seriously looking forward to your build - I've been wanting one of those myself!
I was going to use cowgirls drilled and ripped 2x4 method, after all it seems the perfect way to to accomplish the task.
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Unread 11-20-2012, 07:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Stay away from any conifer wood. That sap really tastes nasty and when you heat it the sap starts to flow.
I was hoping to get away with tongue and groove or ship lap clear white pine...
I've gotten it from this lumber yard before as the exposed side under my patio roof and 3 years in much heat, there is no sap. But I will be picky again when getting this lumber. The structural wood I was planning on using would be kiln dried 2x3s since they are generally nicer than any 2x4s I've seen, and cheaper too.

Will this conifer wood work well enough? I really can't think of doing this in hardwood, as it would definitely break the budget for this. I'm thinking in the $200 - $250 range complete.

I do intend to do only cold smoking and dehydrating in this box so I don't expect temperatures to ever exceed @200

since I haven't really cold smoked, please correct me on temps or other considerations
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Unread 11-20-2012, 10:18 PM   #10
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When you say ammo box, are you talking military? If so, they do have a greenish finish on them that will definitely need to be burned off. I bagged a couple of them on the way back from 'Nam and have used them for all sorts of stuff.... but not a firebox!
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Unread 11-21-2012, 04:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martyleach View Post
When you say ammo box, are you talking military? If so, they do have a greenish finish on them that will definitely need to be burned off. I bagged a couple of them on the way back from 'Nam and have used them for all sorts of stuff.... but not a firebox!
Yep one of those, a local surplus store has them for $20
I figure I'd build it upside down, with the lid as the bottom, a couple of rebar legs to keep it off the ground a few inches. An expanded metal charcoal basket ( will 1/2 inch expanded hold pellets ?). A 3/4 valve on one end with a 3 inch collar on the other end for the exhaust. It has a rubber gasket on the lid and I figure if I keep the basket 3 inches above it, I may be able to preserve the air tight seal of it.
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Unread 11-21-2012, 05:31 AM   #12
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Why not just copy the one Jeanie has only smaller? Why mess with what obviously works?
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Unread 11-21-2012, 06:39 AM   #13
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White pine has less rosin than the others. The T&G will probable be OK. Since you're in CA have you looked at redwood?
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Unread 11-21-2012, 08:11 AM   #14
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Sounds like a great project. Please take pics!
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Unread 11-21-2012, 11:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidder View Post
Why not just copy the one Jeanie has only smaller? Why mess with what obviously works?
That's pretty much the plan, except I don't have the room to have it stationary over a block foundation. So it's going on wheels and mobile.

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