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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 03-23-2010, 04:16 PM   #16
MushCreek
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I cut it the other way, and use a 48" piece as well, and just bend it over my knee. The first one, I made the bottom out of the same stuff, but on the next two, I got lazy and just bought a charcoal grate out of an 18-1/2" Weber. I overlap it, and weld it. I also put a piece of 1/8" X 3/4" flat bar around the top, and 3 brackets so I can mount the basket on the U-bolts that hold the grates up for direct grilling.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 04:28 PM   #17
Rodney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke & Beers View Post
Don't feel stupid...I built 2 before I figured it out...
Well, I probably would've done it again had you not mentioned it! Thanks! Eh, it's okay... I needed the workout. Just think... my method of bending the expando will work 5 times as well with the "grain" of the material turned the right way.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 04:33 PM   #18
Rodney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MushCreek View Post
I cut it the other way, and use a 48" piece as well, and just bend it over my knee.
Wow... that sounds about... 5 times easier than what I did.

-r
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Unread 03-23-2010, 04:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Thanks! Were you using 9-gauge material? If so, you're strong! ;-)
Just whatever the cheap chit was a Lowe's. Probably 5 times weaker.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 05:16 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Cre-B-Ce View Post
Just whatever the cheap chit was a Lowe's. Probably 5 times weaker.
Well, it's either the thin .070" (13 ga) stuff that Home Depot has too, or what I thought was strength was actually common sense and you bent it the right way.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 05:46 PM   #21
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Outstanding thread, Rodney. What software did you use to do this? (Solidworks?)

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Unread 03-23-2010, 06:34 PM   #22
Rodney
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Outstanding thread, Rodney. What software did you use to do this? (Solidworks?)
Autodesk Inventor Professional. Comparable to SolidWorks, which I used at two companies I used to work for. I bought Inventor Pro a couple years ago for my mechanical design engineering consulting business. It costs half as much as SolidWorks, and even regardless of the price, the pros outweigh the cons IMHO.

-r
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Unread 03-23-2010, 09:42 PM   #23
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Many thanks Rodney, I sure enjoyed the video.

Paul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney View Post
Hey everyone-

Using an upside down clamp light on a 55-gallon drum as a tripod for my iPhone 3GS, I recorded the process of building my charcoal basket. Notice I said "how i built it" and not "how-to", because I'm sure there are better ways of doing it. Anyway, here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCyKypslPhs (480p resolution! Sweet.)

First off, sorry for the low volume level... Gonna have to turn your speakers up a bit to hear what I'm saying.

Some thoughts:

- The last 4" or so of the expanded sheet is difficult to bend when holding it down with your own weight. It was difficult for me, and I weigh 255! Finding a different way to clamp it down would be best, or just use the hammer method all the way around (although it won't come out as smooth unless you're good with a hammer). Using the thinner stuff from Home Depot would be much easier, but may not last as long.

- I think it was easier starting with a 2' square sheet, cutting it into 8" x 24" pieces, and bending the wall of the basket in two halves. Bending by this method with a 48" piece would've been a major pain in the butt.

Other comments are welcome!

-Rodney
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Unread 03-23-2010, 09:45 PM   #24
Smoke & Beers
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Here's a couple of baskets I made along with my drums and cart...
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Unread 03-29-2010, 11:49 AM   #25
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For what its worth, my basket is removable from my ash pan. This wasnt by design, however has proven to be advantageous in the respect that its easier to sift unburned coal and dump ashes.

Generally I get two to three cooks before the ash pan needs to be emptied. Plus a lot of times after a cook, I just choke off the fire and let it die. Then a day or two later when I go to grill on my kettle, I can just grab the coal basket, give it a shake and pour the unused coal in my kettle.

Another thought. While a handle would keep me from getting black rings on all my shirts, I would have assume that a fixed and centered handle would get in the way. Pouring coals in and removing old coals. Also dumping in your hot coals at the beginning of a cook. Eventually I will get around to adding a handle stows to one side when not in use. Like a 5 gallon buckets handle.





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Unread 03-29-2010, 12:41 PM   #26
Rodney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetfxr27 View Post
For what its worth, my basket is removable from my ash pan. This wasnt by design, however has proven to be advantageous in the respect that its easier to sift unburned coal and dump ashes.

Generally I get two to three cooks before the ash pan needs to be emptied. Plus a lot of times after a cook, I just choke off the fire and let it die. Then a day or two later when I go to grill on my kettle, I can just grab the coal basket, give it a shake and pour the unused coal in my kettle.

Another thought. While a handle would keep me from getting black rings on all my shirts, I would have assume that a fixed and centered handle would get in the way. Pouring coals in and removing old coals. Also dumping in your hot coals at the beginning of a cook. Eventually I will get around to adding a handle stows to one side when not in use. Like a 5 gallon buckets handle.
Definitely good ideas. The fixed, centered handle hasn't proven to be an issue on mine during charcoal loading, but it doesn't really offer any advantages over a swiveling type. I'd probably make the next one swivel to the side. As for the ash pan, I don't like how close it is to the bottom of my basket... I'll probably take it all the way down to the bottom of my 3" bolts to get a little bit more room. A separate ash pan is a good idea too, but if I did that I'd probably make a 3-point hanging harness made of chains with a hoop of metal at the junction of the chains. I could then grab it with my hook rod and pull it out independently of the charcoal basket, which would be nice. Maybe I'll make that change at some point.

Likely to be the next mod is the installation of grate supports just above the charcoal basket so I can try a water/drip pan. The inside of this drum sure does get greasy and nasty, and it'd be great to be able to do something about that! We'll see how much "pit flavor" is sacrificed, and if I even prefer the pit flavor. I'm actually thinking I'll favor the cleaner taste of using a water pan to catch drippings...

Has anyone tried doing a double drip pan? A flat pan (or foil) on the bottom grate to act as a radiant and convective heat shield to a drip pan spaced off a couple inches just above it? This way, the drippings wouldn't necessarily burn up like they do if the fire is just below the pan...

EDIT: Next time I clean my drum I'm going to line the bottom with foil so I don't have to scrape out grease. ;-)

-r
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