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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.

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Unread 07-13-2013, 05:00 PM   #1
Got Wood.
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Default A smoker for anyone and everyone. (Build Thread)

This is a project that I have in mind to not only design but construct a very functional and easy to build smoker that could be used as a stationary or mobile rig depending on if you wish to put an axle under it or not.

This unit won't be made out of old propane tanks and the like as I have no source for anything like that here. I live and work in the Republic of Panama just in case you are wondering and if there is a piece of scrap metal anyplace you will soon see it going down the road on the backs of a couple of piadreros (homeless drug addicts) headed for the recyclers.

I will be using new steel except where I have something in my stock pile that is left over from a past project. Everything will be built with mostly common tools... IE: Angle grinders, acetylene torch kit, and a Hobart 250 amp AC/DC stick welder.

Before ever laying torch to steel I will be making up a set of plans. I can use AutoCad but that takes it out of the realm of for everyone and anyone so I will be making up the plans using the free program "Draw" in the easily downloadable LibreOffice Suite. That way if you want to help edit or redesign you will have the same tools I am using for the initial design work. So since I will be using Draw for the first time if the plans seem a bit rudimentary at first don't be surprised.. I am sure they will get better as I become more familiar with the software.

My initial thoughts are to go with a reverse flow offset made of quarter inch steel and the diffuser/baffle plate made of half inch. I am not too concerned about weight as the more it weighs the less chance I have of seeing it going down the road on the back of one or more of the aforementioned piadreros.

So my first topic in this thread will be vertical or reverse flow offset and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

One requirement that I will insist being built in to either will be the ability to operate it on wood and charcoal or wood and propane hybrid mode. That way if you want to do the overnight 14 hour pork butts you can get some sleep.

Is there a way I can upload the plans files to this site or would it be better to set up a DropBox account for this project? Remember it is important that anyone that is a member here can use or share this resource as it develops. Who knows if this one turns out well... maybe we can collaborate on a different design in the future.

Last edited by PanamaExpat; 07-13-2013 at 05:51 PM..
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Unread 07-13-2013, 05:09 PM   #2
is One Chatty Farker

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I wish you the best of luck in your project. I will be reading your posts.
Two Weber daisy wheel kettles A: 1979 P: 1993
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Unread 07-25-2013, 07:44 AM   #3
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I have the same design in mind, I will gladly work with you on the cad drawing to design a great smoker.
Lets put our minds together and build something great!
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Unread 07-25-2013, 08:50 AM   #4
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I would set up DropBox or perhaps use Google Drive to share. If you want to post updates you need full control of the files and the website S/W won't support that. And in any case, most website will only allow the upload of pictures and similar files.

I ran across this (in another thread) and if you have not seen it, you may find it useful.

I don't know what capabilities Draw has but there open source (free as in beer) CAD packages that may be more suitable for design work.

I find the idea of a crowd sourced design intriguing. Unfortunately I'm a torch and welder shy of the basic tools needed. I've thought about getting a small mig welder for projects like this. My son has a Hobart 140 which seems like a nice unit and would be suitable for metal up to 1/4" per their web site.

The thought of making my own smoker has crossed my mind but I don't know enough about smokers to design my own and don't really want to copy a commercial design. A crowd sourced design would solve that issue!
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Unread 07-25-2013, 09:47 AM   #5
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Subscribed to your thread, I'm interested in everybody's thoughts through the design & build process. I built/use an offset RF so naturally that's where My recommendations would start, but my son and I just finished a vertical stick burner (not offset) that is really neat and only has a footprint of about 26"X26". When I get to a real computer I'll send a link so you can see the concept. Good luck - this will be fun!

EDIT: here is the build I mentioned.
I'm not suggesting you try to build one out of a tank like this one, just that the concept of a vertical stick-burner with a large/thick heat diffuser plate seems to work well and you can get a lot of cooking real estate with a minimum footprint. Nothing is insulated but this design seems to use minimal fuel and hold temps very well.
I'm Dave
Weber 26.75 OTG w/CI grates & SJ/WSM Mini
Home built 24"x72" reverse flow stick burner trailer with 18"x44" grill w/CI grates and upright SS gas oven/smoker.
Home built 48" fire pit with a 30"x30" Santa Maria style ranch grill.
Home built lump charcoal retort, iGrill & a bunch of other cooking toys.

Last edited by dwfisk; 07-25-2013 at 01:06 PM..
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