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View Full Version : New custom vertical build; we would appreciate the Brethrensí experienced and candid input


dwfisk
01-26-2014, 06:31 PM
We (my sons Kyle & Mac and me) have a friend wants a cooker. He currently uses a combination of gas grills and small vertical charcoal/water smokers (buys a new one every couple years). Over the last few years he has seen us build several cookers and eaten a bunch of our BBQ and finally asked if we could hook him up with something. We talked about different designs, what kind and how much cooking he wants to do and what other limitations or features he wanted. All the answers pointed to a small vertical vault style cooker, especially his desire to have something with a relatively small footprint that he could move by himself, store in his garage/shed and pull out to cook.

Tried the WSM discussion but he was not interested. We talked about the many excellent insulated verticals already on the market. Then we researched some 17 different models from at least 14 different manufacturers with the minimum criteria of at least 3 cooking grates capable of holding a full sized service pan with wheels or casters. Each of these cookers offer different pros & cons but all have positive reviews and comments from the Brethren but from the advertised pricing available on the web we saw prices averaging about $2,600 (before packaging & shipping) which was more than the budget.

So, we designed an uninsulated vertical with a direct heat firebox that could use wood, briquettes or lump to see how it would price out for a custom build. Nominal dimensions: 23” wide x 18” deep; 28” tall cook chamber with 3 cooking grates sized to fit full sized service pans; 14” tall firebox and about 66 inches tall to the top of the exhaust. The design and cost was based on having as much steel pre-cut and shaped from my metal supplier as practical to speed assembly. What we came up with met his needs and budget so we struck a deal, ordered a bunch of steel and started the build a couple weeks ago.

Here is the build and some more design specifics (sorry, early pics are iPhone, they get better towards the end).

Started with the main body of the cooker pre-bent into an 18" deep X 23" wide x 48 tall tub, all 11 gauge (1/8") steel and formed in the door supports out of 1"X1" tubing and a piece of 1/4"X6" flat bar.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-14132653_zps079c4d15.jpg

Added the 1/4" bottom plate and rails for the cooking grates, 1" angle. The bottom will be lined with firebrick.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-15112015_zps0a6efbc0.jpg

Mocked up the top and then used the templates to cut the steel, also 11 gauge mocked up the 3 cooking grates and 4" square exhaust.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-15171522_zpse9460ad4.jpg

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-17135315_zps84ce8bb7.jpg

Welded everything up, finished the cooking grates (1" angle and expanded metal) and hung the cook chamber door. We wanted a clean exterior look so all the structure is inside the cooker.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-20181731_zps74a1d5e2.jpg

Built the basket for the firebox and began fabricating the the firebox door.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-21164201_zps6562e548.jpg

Decided to make some wheels, turned out to be one of the more "fun" and challenging parts of the fabrication. They are 4-1/2" pipe, cut to 1-1/2 wide with 1/2 rod as spokes and 1" pipe for the hub (accommodates a 3/4" axle). The photo is in a little jig I made to keep everything aligned.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-23181731_zps2b02a135.jpg

Heavy lifting getting wrapped up, headed for finishing and paint.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-25112109_zps094aa730.jpg

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-25112049_zps845099d7.jpg

The design has a 1/4" heat diffuser plate at the top of the firebox, 6" below the first cooking rack with a 1-1/2 inch air/heat/smoke gap on both sides.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-26132155_zps16746aa0.jpg

Fabricated some custom latches for the firebox and cook chamber doors (wait 'til you see the handles).
http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-26132249_zps1ec88f5f.jpg

Added the firebrick liner to the bottom and had a couple extras to use to direct the "snake" for charcoal cooks. The SS service pan is the ash pan, although each of the 3 cooking grates can also accomodate a full sized service pan.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-26132605_zps69e01515.jpg

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-26132534_zps902a4a19.jpg

And this is how we do the anti-tilt restraints for the cooking grates; just a little 5/16" rod.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-26134603_zps97ed17ea.jpg

So here it is all cleaned up and painted. Door handles are from a 6 point harvested years ago by the owner as a teenager. The thermometer is a 3" Tel-Tru with a protective ring and there is a single 7" inflow damper installed. A little detail of the exhaust damper and an inside shot with all the cooking grates and firebox grate. We also added two 1/2 inch rods at the top of the cook chamber for hanging meats.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-26135413_zps4a7d70e0.jpg

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-26140332_zps582d58e1.jpg

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-26140051_zpsab7281fd.jpg

Tomorrow I’ll do the seasoning burn and get a feel for how it will hold temp and how it will cook (based on previous builds I’m pretty sure it will be a winner) then it is off to the new owner.

I figure everybody reading this has either bought or built one or more cookers or is doing the research to buy or build a cooker. To me y’all are the perfect pool of experts to ask: is there a market niche for this kind of cooker? We keep very careful records of build cost and assembly time and feel we could produce this cooker for about $1,500, or about 1/2 to 2/3 the average cost of a insulated vertical of comparable size. Not taking anything away from the insulated verticals out there, even those on the lower end seem like really nice cookers for their size and many Brethren seem very happy with them, just wondering if there is a market for this kind of alternative at a price point of about $1,500?

Thanks for watching and I’m looking forward to your feedback.

landarc
01-26-2014, 06:41 PM
I will want to hear how the burn goes first. My initial thought is that yes, there is a market for one, but, of the unit is less than efficient, you might have an issue.

Pluses I see:
1. great build quality and metal thickness.
2. Excellent capacity
3. Ability to run dry, or with water in a pan
4. Somewhat portable

THoey1963
01-26-2014, 06:45 PM
Nice looking rig. I'd love to have one like that. I know you say you could produce these for about $1500, but I gather that includes labor. How much did you spend in just supplies?

peeps
01-26-2014, 06:46 PM
that thing looks killer! nice work!

Diesel Dave
01-26-2014, 06:52 PM
Great work Dave and boys :thumb:

I'm sure at that price there would be a market for sure.

bbqwilly
01-26-2014, 06:58 PM
Very nice work Dave. As long as the burn is successful, I would say that there is definitely a market for that. One thing that I have learned from watching Paul the last couple years is that if you do good work and are priced reasonable, business will come.
You are obviously a talented fabricator and I see no reason why this wouldnt work.

dwfisk
01-26-2014, 07:00 PM
I will want to hear how the burn goes first. My initial thought is that yes, there is a market for one, but, of the unit is less than efficient, you might have an issue.

Pluses I see:
1. great build quality and metal thickness.
2. Excellent capacity
3. Ability to run dry, or with water in a pan
4. Somewhat portable

Agree 100%, I'm assuming it will cook well based on previous experience but assumptions are what always bite you in the arse.

Nice looking rig. I'd love to have one like that. I know you say you could produce these for about $1500, but I gather that includes labor. How much did you spend in just supplies?

I figure just north of $700 for the steel, including all the pre-cuts and pre-bending, all the accessories (thermo, firebrick, etc.) and consumables. A market unit would just probably have "cool/spring handles" and store bought all terrain casters.

AaronPo
01-26-2014, 07:11 PM
Looks sweet! Anxious to hear how the first run goes!

smoke ninja
01-26-2014, 07:15 PM
It's above my needs but looks great.
It should be able to compete price wise with custom offset smokers. It would hold more food, should be more efficient, and less baby sitting. Send one here and I'll do all the testing free of charge.

got14u
01-26-2014, 07:20 PM
First thought is you have way to much welding involved to be a semi-production pit builder. The ability to break you "skins" will make your product finished off. On your design you about got it but there are ways to simplify your design to make it a little better. A tweak here a tweak there, you are on your way and have skills. It took me about 5 or 6 builds for me to come up with what I thought was a good design.

midwest_kc
01-26-2014, 07:22 PM
Count me in for a tester unit!

Actually, I'm currently going back and forth between a vertical and an offset. I like the capacity of the offset, but keep being lured towards a vertical. Let me know how the burn out goes.

THoey1963
01-26-2014, 07:25 PM
Thanks for the info DW. I am mentally in the market for a dedicated smoker to go along with my grill. Your design is more than I need, but something I could grow into. Just started asking my friends if any of them are welders.

dwfisk
01-26-2014, 07:43 PM
First thought is you have way to much welding involved to be a semi-production pit builder. The ability to break you "skins" will make your product finished off. On your design you about got it but there are ways to simplify your design to make it a little better. A tweak here a tweak there, you are on your way and have skills. It took me about 5 or 6 builds for me to come up with what I thought was a good design.

Thanks and you are dead on. Although the welding was a relatively small portion of the labor I'm currently looking for someone with a press brake that can form the tub and bend the front door flanges as one unit; just think it would make a better looking final product. Also, right now I hand cut everything with torches and saws, if there is a production shop in our future I would definitely be in the market for a hydraulic ironworker that could cut and shape the angle, flat and round stock.

TuscaloosaQ
01-26-2014, 07:45 PM
dwfisk (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/member.php?u=36254) Awesome but I expect nothing less from you..... Great Job and i personally think it will cook great and hold temps well.... Naturally an insulated will hold longer but in that price range you mentioned the average guy like me can afford one.... I use to have one similar but it did not have the diffusor, which yours does and will be a great advantage....

I personally really really like it!!!!!

SmittyJonz
01-26-2014, 08:52 PM
I like the looks of it - I'm Anxious to see how it cooks - I expect it to do well I think there could be a market $1200 -$1500 range.

There would be a market for a copy of your sons vertical but with 3/16"-1/4" wall pipe instead of tank if you could put them out around $900/$1000 or so. :heh:

Shagdog
01-26-2014, 08:56 PM
You do great work! Very impressed. I'm more interested in insulated just due to how far north I live, but it seems like the southern half of the brethren would be more into it. Can't wait to hear how it fires tomorrow.

landarc
01-26-2014, 09:07 PM
I actually think there is a significant market for cookers in the $1000 to $1750 range. And a vertical with that much capacity and reasonably efficient would sell well.

Sallenthornton
01-26-2014, 09:09 PM
I have never built a pit, but how much extra do you think it would have cost to insulate the smoker? I am seriously considering building mine, due to not being able to find a builder locally here in Alaska.

dwfisk
01-26-2014, 09:23 PM
I have never built a pit, but how much extra do you think it would have cost to insulate the smoker? I am seriously considering building mine, due to not being able to find a builder locally here in Alaska.

My best estimate is double, which is born out by the retail cost of insulated verticals in this size class. I do think if you are building a double wall insulated vertical there is no need to use 11 gauge (1/8") steel and if you did it would weigh a ton - this build is probably 250-300 pounds.

landarc
01-26-2014, 09:34 PM
250 pounds to 275 pounds is the perfect weight, or so I keep telling my doctor. :wacko:

dwfisk
01-26-2014, 09:43 PM
250 pounds to 275 pounds is the perfect weight, or so I keep telling my doctor. :wacko:

Yea, I try to stay in the south end of that range myself. Maybe my doc would understand if I had to add a few pounds to be a better counterweight for movng cookers around.:twitch:

Thanks to everybody for all the input. I'll be doing a seasoning burn tomorrow and recording temps to see how it works for real. Think I'll add some bacon strips to the cooking racks to test how the heat varies across the cooker. I'll post an update to this thread in the PM.

got14u
01-26-2014, 09:58 PM
Sallen I build my out of 14g steal with kaowool insulation high end commercial handles and powder coat for around $1000 when all said and done. handles (latches) and 2 sheets of steel are your highest expense.I have never built a pit, but how much extra do you think it would have cost to insulate the smoker? I am seriously considering building mine, due to not being able to find a builder locally here in Alaska.

pitbossJB
01-26-2014, 10:32 PM
I'll be interested to see how the burn goes, best of luck.

Firefighter
01-26-2014, 10:35 PM
That baby is a sweet rig, nice job!

SmittyJonz
01-26-2014, 11:26 PM
You may need to replace firebrick dividers with metal with an air gap......

THoey1963
01-27-2014, 04:31 AM
Okay, please consider me stupid when it comes to building a box like this. But... Couldn't you line the walls with heat resistant ceramic tile and improve the insulation and radient heat?

Again, I am trying to think of a way to build a smoker for me, but I am new at this, so point me to a thread that crashes my ideas if there is one.

dwfisk
01-27-2014, 06:01 AM
Okay, please consider me stupid when it comes to building a box like this. But... Couldn't you line the walls with heat resistant ceramic tile and improve the insulation and radient heat?

Again, I am trying to think of a way to build a smoker for me, but I am new at this, so point me to a thread that crashes my ideas if there is one.

I guess you could. There would be the challenge of how to securely attach the tile to the shell and I'm not sure about any food safety issues with the exposed tile in the cook chamber. I'm fairly new to insulated cookers myself and have only seen double wall construction with insulation inbetween. Not saying you can't, just never seen it before.

BigBellyBBQ
01-27-2014, 06:06 AM
250 pounds to 275 pounds is the perfect weight, or so I keep telling my doctor. :wacko:
Thanks for calling me "perfect"!!
Pit looks good, put temp gages on all racks at same time... A vertical box will go through more wood/charcoal than reverse flow or backwoods style and Up here the build has to be double wall, between the wind and 5* temps. I built a single wall several years ago and ended up putting the exhaust internaly dumped to the top and then the real exhaust pipe was 1/2 way down the cabinet, did work better that straight through, look at baffeling the pentroof inside for an idea of heat / smoke control, as I like to run exhaust open...keep at it!

BigBellyBBQ
01-27-2014, 06:13 AM
[QUOTE=THoey1963;2781178]Okay, please consider me stupid when it comes to building a box like this. But... Couldn't you line the walls with heat resistant ceramic tile and improve the insulation and radient heat?

Cost of tiles that are up to heat thickness and grade would be cost prohibitive and they are prone to breaking. Even fire bricks that I have lining my fireboxes are cracking. Just using dead air space (doble wall) is durable and cost effective long tem

CtTradArcher
01-27-2014, 10:08 AM
Dave, I have been considering building a vertical cooker myself. I want to use wood only as my fuel source most of the time, so I was considering an offset vertical.
Do you know of any advantages or disadvantages to either your design or the offset design when wanting to use primarily wood?
Thanks!
P.S. Awesome build. Great skills!

dwfisk
01-27-2014, 10:32 AM
Dave, I have been considering building a vertical cooker myself. I want to use wood only as my fuel source most of the time, so I was considering an offset vertical.
Do you know of any advantages or disadvantages to either your design or the offset design when wanting to use primarily wood?
Thanks!
P.S. Awesome build. Great skills!

Thanks, I think an offset vertical, kinda Bandera style would be great, either straight wood, lump or briquettes or a mix. I've already thought that could be a pretty easy adaption of this design. We burn straight wood in my son's vertical all the time and it works great. The primary driver for my design was the client's desire for a minimum footprint, this one doesn't really take up any more patio space than a 22.5 Weber, but an offset firebox would certainly work - Banderas were way cool.

I started my seasoning burn an hour ago with a snake of straight KBB, it went clear blue at 40 minutes in and 240* and just hit 345* running wide open - just want to see where it will go before I start playing with regulating the heat. Gonna cook some bacon to test how even (or not) the heat is in the cook chamber and post an update later.

Fwismoker
01-27-2014, 10:48 AM
Skills skills skills! Dang brother you have skilz! I'm so jealous. I'd love to learn some of that craft.

CtTradArcher
01-27-2014, 10:52 AM
Does your son's vertical have an offset firebox? Or underneath?

Seems underneath would be more efficient if you could keep the temps low enough.

However, I was thinking of having a door on top of my offset firebox for grilling like on the Lone Star's. Plus heating splits on top...

Decisions, decisions...

peeps
01-27-2014, 10:58 AM
Does your son's vertical have an offset firebox? Or underneath?

Seems underneath would be more efficient if you could keep the temps low enough.

However, I was thinking of having a door on top of my offset firebox for grilling like on the Lone Star's. Plus heating splits on top...

Decisions, decisions...
CtTradArcher,

I have an offset vertical built to combine the features of a Bandera and a LSG's vertical offset and I am very pleased with the results! My build thread is here.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=171324

dwfisk
01-27-2014, 10:58 AM
Does your son's vertical have an offset firebox? Or underneath?

Seems underneath would be more efficient if you could keep the temps low enough.

However, I was thinking of having a door on top of my offset firebox for grilling like on the Lone Star's. Plus heating splits on top...

Decisions, decisions...

Direct with a diffuser plate, hope this is the link.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=162551

peeps
01-27-2014, 11:03 AM
Direct with a diffuser plate, hope this is the link.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=162551It is. :thumb:

If it wasn't, I'm sure Smitty would be along soon. I think he knows that URL by heart now :wink:

CtTradArcher
01-27-2014, 11:13 AM
Thanks you both!

dwfisk
01-27-2014, 11:29 AM
Thanks you both!

You are more than welcome, I'm just sitting here running through a seasoning burn and trying to figure this sucker out - client is coming over after work to take it home and I need to give him some kind of tips on how to cook with it.

First impressions, with the exhaust vent wide open, it is incredibly sensitive to adjustments in the inflow damper on the firebox. Change that setting and the temp curve changes in 1 or 2 minutes. For example, from a 400* high temp one adjustment of the damper shed 50* in 15 minutes. I'm taking it down to 250* now to see how it holds and try cooking some bacon.

Oh yea, I know it is 5:00 somewhere so the beer cooler is open!

landarc
01-27-2014, 12:23 PM
That sounds like a plus to me, a cooker that is responsive like that is a huge benefit as long as it is stable once the heat stabilizes. Seems like a real good design.

dwfisk
01-27-2014, 12:43 PM
That sounds like a plus to me, a cooker that is responsive like that is a huge benefit as long as it is stable once the heat stabilizes. Seems like a real good design.

It has been holding steady at 250*-260* for over an hour and a half now with the damper all but closed, still thin blue smoke, even with some bacon cooking. I think I built my snake to large (about 5" wide and 5" deep); even though it is progressing fairly slow, there is a lot of fuel burning hot at any one time. Worked ok for this seasoning burn, but for a real cook using charcoal I'm thinking a smaller & longer snake would make for less fuel volume burning at any one time and make temp control easier and be more fuel efficient. I'm more experienced at burning wood and tending a fire, this snake-charcoal chit is kind of a test for me but I thinks that is how the client will use it so I wanted to give it a try - any advice would be greatly appreciated. Also, it looks like the bottom rack is consistently 20* hotter than the middle and upper rack but having a hot zone might be neat, like a traditional offset stickburner with a hot zone near the firebox.

SmittyJonz
01-27-2014, 03:14 PM
Yup snake in my converted cabinet can only be 2-3 briquette deep or it gets too hot-

So how about now?

dwfisk
01-27-2014, 03:24 PM
Yup snake in my converted cabinet can only be 2-3 briquette deep or it gets too hot-

So how about now?

Once I got the damper set (almost closed) and quit fooling with the door (bacon in, bacon out, etc) it settled right in at about 250* and I let it run without touching it for 3 hours. Burned up a bunch of fuel making the seasoning run up to 400* but once I got it settled in at 300* down to 250* the fuel consumption got back to a more normal rate. I just shut all the dampers to see how long it takes to kill the fire so the client can pick it up in a couple hours. I'll still post a summary of the whole burn later this evening, but this is gonna be a cool cooker.

landarc
01-27-2014, 04:27 PM
Every charcoal cooker has a preferred way of burning and even the charcoal itself varies. I suspect that in the long run, an extra baffle, and even a metal one, will be the better resolution for the design. I think because you did the seasoning burn, your perceptpion of fuel use may have been skewed early on. How about ash? That will be interesting to see.

It is sounding like quite a cooker.

SmittyJonz
01-27-2014, 08:00 PM
Where's the Live Action pics? :mad: Did the door Seal well? Did you toss on a fattie? :twitch:

dwfisk
01-27-2014, 08:08 PM
Where's the Live Action pics? :mad: Did the door Seal well? Did you toss on a fattie? :twitch:

Just loaded it out to the new owner, my sons are delivering it as I type. Uploading pics to PhotoBucket now. Yes the doors sealed very well, sent the gasket material home with the new owner if he needs it. Not a fattie, put some thick sliced bacon on each grate to test temp distribution. Update soon.

TexasRT
01-27-2014, 08:25 PM
Very nice build, looks great.

dwfisk
01-27-2014, 09:04 PM
Here is the promised update. Thanks for all the "live action" input throughout the day. Weather cooperated, it actually made it into the low 70's.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-27093518_zpsde6b5f90.png

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-27093523_zpsafd3c672.png

The Tru-Tel and iGrill at about the same level, oven thermos on the upper and lower grates.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-27091726_zpsd499dc97.jpg

Charcoal in the fire basket.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-27092716_zps144958d4.jpg

Let me just say I'm not a pro at cooking with charcoal in a smoker or the snake method. In this layout, the snake is about 5" wide X 5 " high, way too big and had way to much charcoal burning hot at one time. It worked OK for a seasoning burn to get to the higher temps, but I think something like this layout and only 3 or so briquettes deep would work much better for cooking.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-27164450_zpsfa0fb9bc.jpg

Anyhow, fired it up from a cold start with intake damper and exhaust dampers wide open at 9:30 this morning. It heated up to 400* in about and hour and 10 minutes, then I started controlling the intake damper, first to 50% and the temperature stopped increasing immediately, like within 2 minutes. Here are a couple screen shots of the iGrill graphical output that cover pretty much the whole cook. The cooker is very responsive to intake damper adjustments, the exhaust is open the whole time.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-27161124_zps39b0a007.png

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-27161108_zps6fadf186.png

Added bacon to the cooking grates at about the 11:45 mark to get an idea of the temp distribution. You can see the temp fluctuation as I fooled around opening and closing the door to check on the bacon, I guess I'm impressed at how quickly and consistently the temps recovered each time.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-27115145_zps3e364d46.jpg

The bottom cooking rack was running about 20* hotter that the middle and upper racks (they were about the same) so the bacon on the lowest racks finished in 30 minutes, the other 2 racks 15 minutes later, just in time for lunch.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-27131959_zps97d458a4.jpg

Once the bacon was off I just left the door closed and the intake damper alone. Here is a shot of the intake damper setting, almost closed.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-27131809_zps217572c7.jpg

It settled in to about 255* for a little over 3 hours and I think it would have cruised along this way until it ran out of fuel, but at about 3:00 PM I shut down the dampers to kill the fire so it would cook down in time to get cleaned up for delivery.

So, bottom line seems like it will be easy to manage for a variety of cooking temperatures, easily adjusting anywhere between 225* and 350*. It reacts very quickly to input damper control. I'm better at cooking with wood and feel comfortable it will be pretty easy to manage a wood fire and with a little experimentation it looks like we can expect 8-10 hours (maybe more) out of a properly sized charcoal "snake". All in all, it is going to make a damn fine cooker. It was delivered to the new owner about an hour ago and he seems pretty excited with his new toy.

http://i1311.photobucket.com/albums/s661/dwf703/Vertical%20Build/2014-01-27130235_zps9b932f1b.jpg

Thanks for watching.

SmittyJonz
01-27-2014, 09:10 PM
So are the doors gasketed ? I like the Antler handles.

dwfisk
01-27-2014, 09:15 PM
So are the doors gasketed ? I like the Antler handles.
No, they are not. I intended installing 3/4"X1/8" gaskets, but the doors did not leak so I did not put the gaskets on. I sent the gasket material out with the cooker so the owner can add them if he wants (or I can go put them on for him).

THoey1963
01-28-2014, 05:02 AM
The only bad thing about this is that you are in Florida, not Texas. Otherwise, we might have to have a little talk...

Nice looking rig and sounds like it burns great...

TuscaloosaQ
01-28-2014, 06:47 AM
brother again I really like it and have been wanting to build me another vertical cooker since my hit the dump last summer... I have no desire to insulate mine either....... looks really nice Dave!!!!!!!!

Diesel Dave
01-28-2014, 06:55 AM
Well it seems like you really nailed it there Dave!!!!!!
Temp control and recovery are really important, nice to see they are both there with this cooker.
You and your boys did a great job, not only does it cook good it looks good too :thumb:

Good luck in your venture to get these on the market

dwfisk
01-28-2014, 07:07 AM
The only bad thing about this is that you are in Florida, not Texas. Otherwise, we might have to have a little talk...

Nice looking rig and sounds like it burns great...

Sent you a PM, you have a Brethren nearby in Tuscola that does great custom builds.

brother again I really like it and have been wanting to build me another vertical cooker since my hit the dump last summer... I have no desire to insulate mine either....... looks really nice Dave!!!!!!!!

Thanks Paul, I'm getting to really like these verticals, big cook area for minimal footprint and they cook good too.

Well it seems like you really nailed it there Dave!!!!!!
Temp control and recovery are really important, nice to see they are both there with this cooker.
You and your boys did a great job, not only does it cook good it looks good too :thumb:

Good luck in your venture to get these on the market

Thanks Dave, we will see about developing a real business. I thought I was retired and not sure about jumping in, but I really like the challenge of designing and building with steel, especially stuff to help out here on the farm and cookers. Probably just keep doing custom work for now but who knows.

64Driver
01-28-2014, 07:35 AM
I'm not a vertical guy, but that is a sweet looking rig! Love the antler handles...

How do you like the iGrill? I ordered one for myself last month as a Christmas present, but it said there is a 6 week wait before it's delivered :(

dwfisk
01-28-2014, 08:06 AM
I'm not a vertical guy, but that is a sweet looking rig! Love the antler handles...

How do you like the iGrill? I ordered one for myself last month as a Christmas present, but it said there is a 6 week wait before it's delivered :(

My first love is still my big horizontal RF offset, but these verticals really fit the bill nicely when someone wants max cooking real estate with minimum footprint and mobility without a trailer.

I really like the iGrill. I guess I was an early adopter and have had mine for almost 2 years now without any issues, just careful to not submerge the probes. It takes a while to figure out all the features but I really like being to have lower and upper alarms on both probes (you need to define your own presets to do this) and the data logging and download to a spreadsheet capability. I don'y have WiFi where I usually cook (yet) so the bluetooth is really my only option, it works good.

Edit: just saw you have one of TQ & Tyler's pits on order, man you are gonna love it!

SmittyJonz
01-28-2014, 10:35 AM
DWFisk, do you see any advantage - cooking/ heat wise not rack ease -round body vertical vs sqaure body vertical.

64Driver
01-28-2014, 10:45 AM
Thanks for the tips on the iGrill. I've read/seen others love them, and others hate them. It looks like something I would like, hence why I ordered it. My Maverick works great still, I will use the iGrill in conjunction with it, and also have it serve as a backup to it (or vice versa).

My SF won't be done for some time, as I am on the waiting list. But man, I can't wait! The good thing about having the wait is I get an opportunity to try and save more money to add a few more customizations on it before the build starts. She's gonna be perrty!

dwfisk
01-28-2014, 10:51 AM
DWFisk, do you see any advantage - cooking/ heat wise not rack ease -round body vertical vs sqaure body vertical.

No, I don't think so. This cooker seemed to hold heat better than Kyle's but I'm sure that is due to the steel thickness, this one is 1/8" (11 ga), probably 2-3 times thicker than Kyle's. That should also mean it is more fuel effecient but my guess is a 1/8" round tank vertical would be equivalent on both counts.

One caution that really became obvious with this build: 1/8" plate is about 5 pounds per square foot and 1/4" about 10 pounds per square foot (duh); these things can get heavy quick if you are thinking of a cooker to move around by hand.

BigHatBBQ
01-28-2014, 05:51 PM
I assure you this smoker will be extremely efficient and will serve your buddy for many years. I build and offset vertical (3/16") and only do so because it provides you a nice direct grilling option when you're not smoking, otherwise I would put the firebox underneath. I have recently created a small uninsulated "vault" style (11 gauge) that is very similar to your design here and it is a great alternative to the throw away $199 gas and electric smoker boxes. I laser cut and use computerized hydraulics to form almost every piece of my smokers. What you have done mostly by hand with little equipment should be very rewarding. In my opinion if you don't need the "grill" and are just smoking, there is nothing better than a vertical style box. Enjoyed your post, thanks.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7454/9940562293_9f645d1490_z.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7363/12094012544_fd71317c97_z.jpg

landarc
01-28-2014, 06:02 PM
Dave, that thing looks like it cooked great and ran very nicely. Certainly seems like a hit, get a manufacturing efficiency or two in there, and you have a nice business.

dwfisk
01-28-2014, 06:51 PM
I assure you this smoker will be extremely efficient and will serve your buddy for many years. I build and offset vertical (3/16") and only do so because it provides you a nice direct grilling option when you're not smoking, otherwise I would put the firebox underneath. I have recently created a small uninsulated "vault" style (11 gauge) that is very similar to your design here and it is a great alternative to the throw away $199 gas and electric smoker boxes. I laser cut and use computerized hydraulics to form almost every piece of my smokers. What you have done mostly by hand with little equipment should be very rewarding. In my opinion if you don't need the "grill" and are just smoking, there is nothing better than a vertical style box. Enjoyed your post, thanks.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7454/9940562293_9f645d1490_z.jpghttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7363/12094012544_fd71317c97_z.jpg

Thanks so much, I may be in the Austin area in mid-May and would love to come visit your shop.

BigHatBBQ
01-28-2014, 07:22 PM
We have moved all production to Fort Worth. If you are ever in our area give me a call I'd love to show you how we do things.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3742/12197365285_91ea96650a_z.jpg

samfsu
01-28-2014, 07:23 PM
Dave. Awesome work. Anyone want to buy two WSM 18s? I need seed money so I can drive up to Ocala and pick one of these !!

jgbmgb
01-28-2014, 10:50 PM
Nice job on the smoker!!

Grange
01-29-2014, 03:33 PM
Cool thread. I always get a kick out of custom builds. It's aways amazing how quickly a well built smoker can rise in weight.

SmittyJonz
09-01-2014, 03:10 PM
I like this one too! If I was to build my own I'd copy this one! But is buy wheels already made :heh:

BDAABAT
09-01-2014, 03:35 PM
@Dave: just saw this thread. Very cool looking cooker!

BTW: I'm one of those folks that would love to have a vertical, insulated cooker with that amount of cooking real estate (of course, larger would be more gooder :wink:) in that price range.

Q: is there a specific reason to use a pyramid shape for the top of the cooker? Many of the cabinet style cookers I've seen are flat tops. Would seem like extra work/extra material to create that shape.

Thanks!
Bruce

SmittyJonz
12-09-2014, 01:16 PM
Still one of my favorite builds I've seen on here. :mrgreen:

BB-Kuhn
12-09-2014, 01:46 PM
If I could find something like this for closer to 1000 than 1500, i'd be all over it. Though that's not saying that it isn't worth 1500...

But at 1500, you have to compete with similarly priced big name rigs, which is always an uphill battle for a smaller builder.

Would this talk me out of a Backwoods Extended Party which is in the ballpark of size/capacity, has insulation but is only 400 more? Probably not.

BUT, at 1000-1200, this thing has very little competition and would be outstanding value, pending that it burns well.

Either way, I think it's awesome. Great looking rig, great fab skills, and something to really be proud (and envious) of. I'd kill to be able to make something like that.

dwfisk
12-09-2014, 03:39 PM
@Dave: just saw this thread. Very cool looking cooker!

BTW: I'm one of those folks that would love to have a vertical, insulated cooker with that amount of cooking real estate (of course, larger would be more gooder :wink:) in that price range.

Q: is there a specific reason to use a pyramid shape for the top of the cooker? Many of the cabinet style cookers I've seen are flat tops. Would seem like extra work/extra material to create that shape.

Thanks!
Bruce

Sorry, just saw your question. I have a fear developed when cooking in a propane vertical (maybe not real for a charcoal or stickburner)) that flat top cookers will drip condensation if you run a water pan or otherwise have a lot of moisture in the cook chamber so I prefer some kind of slope or rounded top to help channel any condensation to the sides so it does not drip on the food.

If I could find something like this for closer to 1000 than 1500, i'd be all over it. Though that's not saying that it isn't worth 1500...

But at 1500, you have to compete with similarly priced big name rigs, which is always an uphill battle for a smaller builder.

Would this talk me out of a Backwoods Extended Party which is in the ballpark of size/capacity, has insulation but is only 400 more? Probably not.

BUT, at 1000-1200, this thing has very little competition and would be outstanding value, pending that it burns well.

Either way, I think it's awesome. Great looking rig, great fab skills, and something to really be proud (and envious) of. I'd kill to be able to make something like that.

Thanks. Quite frankly I agree with the price and have been trying to hit a price point in the $1,000-$1,200 range. This was my last version of a vertical

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=184141

I tried some new ideas, the french doors, rolled dome top and tried a fancy new paint (it's crap) that ran the price up into the same $1,500-$1,700 range but using the pre-fab blank idea, just a normal door, flat top and sticking with tried-and-true Rustoleum high temp paint, I'm pretty sure they would come in right at $1,000. I'm also working on a couple other options, vertical and RF offset, again trying to hit that <$1,000 price point.

SmittyJonz
12-11-2014, 10:38 AM
I really like this model. What if you just just did a single slope roof with exhaust still in center? Like a lil smokehouse. 3-4" drop from front to back.
That'd be enough so no drip on meats, rain water couldn't pool on top and be easier to Fab.

SmittyJonz
02-28-2016, 12:52 AM
I like It.!.

Roguejim
02-28-2016, 01:41 AM
So, if you were to burn straight splits, you would be emulating the smoke/flavor profile of a traditional offset, right? I didn't know you could maintain a clean burning wood fire in a vertical cooker. I'm learning!

dwfisk
02-28-2016, 07:26 AM
So, if you were to burn straight splits, you would be emulating the smoke/flavor profile of a traditional offset, right? I didn't know you could maintain a clean burning wood fire in a vertical cooker. I'm learning!

You just need a much smaller fire & splits/fuel. Once you establish a good coal bed and get the pit up to temp, maintaining it is just a matter of adding small splits, like the size of a 2"X2", 8"-16" long, no more than 2 at a time in this cooker with plenty of air to get ignition, you don't want smoldering fire.

Roguejim
02-28-2016, 02:09 PM
You just need a much smaller fire & splits/fuel. Once you establish a good coal bed and get the pit up to temp, maintaining it is just a matter of adding small splits, like the size of a 2"X2", 8"-16" long, no more than 2 at a time in this cooker with plenty of air to get ignition, you don't want smoldering fire.

Thanks. Would you say it's easier to maintain a reasonably steady temp in a vertical stick burner like this, compared to an offset? I'm guessing the vertical smoker would burn less wood, right? How would the temp at the lowest grate compare with the top grate temp?

dwfisk
02-28-2016, 03:34 PM
I don't think one is necessarily easier than another but the vertical uses a little less fuel than my offset RF. I tend to build verticals with a heavy baffle plate that separates the firebox from the cook chamber and reserve the lowest grate setting for a drip pan or water pan (personally I don't cook with a water pan much) so I usually position the first real cooking grate at about 6"-12" above the baffle. As such, temps are pretty stable from bottom to top especially at lower cook temps; at higher +300* cook temps it might vary by 20*.

SmittyJonz
02-28-2016, 10:56 PM
Thanks. Would you say it's easier to maintain a reasonably steady temp in a vertical stick burner like this, compared to an offset? I'm guessing the vertical smoker would burn less wood, right? How would the temp at the lowest grate compare with the top grate temp?

It is easier to get even temps than a traditional offset without a convection plate or tuning plates. Reverse flow offsets have pretty even temps across - that's the whole point of reverse flow. Verticals lose less heat than offsets so they will use a little less fuel as a smaller fire is needed.

Hillbilly BBQ
02-29-2016, 11:04 AM
Definitely some thought went into this, not just thrown together. Interested to see how it cooks, flows air, burns fuel, etc.

Some very cool touches that make you stand out in this build.

SmittyJonz
07-10-2016, 02:35 AM
I Like It. :clap2:

SmittyJonz
12-21-2017, 11:31 PM
:mrgreen: