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View Full Version : **NB Bandera Mods - Input wanted**


swamprb
05-08-2009, 10:48 PM
The rain finally let up and I got the Bandera outside to work on. I slapped a quick paint job on it last week to keep it from rusting and it is not tightened up while I do a few mods.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/NBBandera/IMG_0307.jpg

Firebricks in the firebox and smokebox and a stainless steel baffle.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/NBBandera/IMG_0390.jpg

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/NBBandera/IMG_0389.jpg

I'm considering this for a charcoal basket - 12"x12" with 1.5" bottom clearance.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/NBBandera/IMG_0391.jpg

The chalk mark on the basket is level with the top of the fbox and I'm planning on a heat shield on the lid. It will be cut to fit-should it be much lower than that? Should it butt up to the opening?

What do you think of the baffle?

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/NBBandera/IMG_0392.jpg

I'm really open to suggestions. Am I on the right track? Nothing here is set in stone. Let me know what you think.

Meat Burner
05-08-2009, 11:01 PM
Looks like you have done your homework and that bad boy is ready to go! Fire that bad boy up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

McClung
05-09-2009, 09:29 AM
I like your baffle, looks like it'll get the heat to the center really well. I made up the one from the 101 doc and it doesn't go in near as far so I was kinda wondering about that.

The BSKD firebox only has 4 bolts protruding into the inside to hold the charcoal grid so I put my side bricks in soldier style. Otherwise looks the same as what I did.

I gotta figure out a basket today, think I'll just copy yours.

Any thoughts on a door gasket?

swamprb
05-09-2009, 10:42 AM
I like your baffle, looks like it'll get the heat to the center really well. I made up the one from the 101 doc and it doesn't go in near as far so I was kinda wondering about that.

The BSKD firebox only has 4 bolts protruding into the inside to hold the charcoal grid so I put my side bricks in soldier style. Otherwise looks the same as what I did.

I gotta figure out a basket today, think I'll just copy yours.

Any thoughts on a door gasket?

Firebox or Smokebox door gasket?

Mine both feel pretty solid and I am seriously considering a BGE felt gasket on the smokebox door and a Rutland gasket between the f/box.

swamprb
05-09-2009, 11:10 PM
I did a table mod to the Bandera

These are fold down shelf brackets from Woodcraft that were previously on the ends of my old Egg table. The wood is Ipe (Ironwood) decking with a natural finish.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/NBBandera/IMG_0397.jpg

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/NBBandera/IMG_0396.jpg

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/NBBandera/IMG_0395.jpg

This thing is getting heavy!

traildust
05-09-2009, 11:30 PM
The beast is looking good. That's an interesting combo of things going on in that pic. A dolly for a UDS(?), leaf blower and a safety cone. Oh ya, those are some clean lines on that lawn!
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/NBBandera/IMG_0395.jpg

Brauma
05-10-2009, 02:27 AM
Brian, the only issue I see is your lack of an ash tray. That will prove to be a pain after a long burn. But the firebricks will assist with maintaining temp. Its a trade-off.

Some people cut a piece of 1/8" plate and block off that big empty space in the top of the firebox lid. You would have to cut down your basket if you want to do this mod.

Man, I wish you were my neighbor. You do great work.

Brauma
05-10-2009, 07:28 AM
Brian, the more I think about, those firebricks that will be under the charcoal basket aren't going to do you much good. If you could figure out a way to line the sides more that will help with what you're trying to accomplish - temp control and heat retention.

Think of a wood stove - once a bed of ashes gets built up, you can put your hand on the bottom of it. The heat radiates out & up.

The firebricks on the smoking chamber side look great!

Bill-Chicago
05-10-2009, 08:27 AM
Are you considering doing the door mod ala rbinms33 to use those POS meat hooks?

swamprb
05-10-2009, 08:48 AM
Brian, the only issue I see is your lack of an ash tray. That will prove to be a pain after a long burn. But the firebricks will assist with maintaining temp. Its a trade-off.

Some people cut a piece of 1/8" plate and block off that big empty space in the top of the firebox lid. You would have to cut down your basket if you want to do this mod.

Man, I wish you were my neighbor. You do great work.

Brian, the more I think about, those firebricks that will be under the charcoal basket aren't going to do you much good. If you could figure out a way to line the sides more that will help with what you're trying to accomplish - temp control and heat retention.

Think of a wood stove - once a bed of ashes gets built up, you can put your hand on the bottom of it. The heat radiates out & up.

The firebricks on the smoking chamber side look great!


Thanks Mark!

The firebasket has a chalk line that shows the height if I cut it level with the firebox. I'm aware of the lid mod, so the basket would be cut below the line to accomadate that mod.

Completely lining the sides of the firebox would definitely make it more efficient, so I'll remove the grill grate racks to do that!

I hadn't seen any ash pans, I figured I would use an ash tool to scrape them out. I'll look into something to use for a pan.

swamprb
05-10-2009, 08:57 AM
Are you considering doing the door mod ala rbinms33 to use those POS meat hooks?

Bill-

This Bandera has no cooking grates, rib racks or meat hooks. I saw that mod but was not completely sure of what part is used to hold the grate, or whether I had it. Here is the original thread and what it looked like.
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=60931

StLouQue
05-10-2009, 09:49 AM
Some people cut a piece of 1/8" plate and block off that big empty space in the top of the firebox lid.

Strangely, I have never gotten around to doing this lid mod. If anyone has, and would care to report their results, I'd appreciate it.

I've had firebricks in both chambers for several years. Mark's science seems sound perhaps I'll experiment with the firebox a bit more. Meanwhile, I just keep the stock Bandera ash pan on top of the firebricks. Clean up is relatively quick and easy.

Brauma
05-10-2009, 10:13 AM
I havent done the lid mod either but I have a piece of steel ready to go. I'll tack it in place and try it.

I dont understand the science (although I did sleep at a Holiday Inn last night) but I placed two firebricks in my basket and I have been getting super temp control.

http://i63.photobucket.com/albums/h123/Brauma54/BBQ/PTsmoke040909001Medium.jpg

The one you see on edge is sitting on another laying flat. I made a "U" to channel the burn and its been working great!

McClung
05-10-2009, 10:19 AM
Thinking I'll wait and see how you attach the door gasket on your smokebox. I made the charcoal basket yesterday; expanded bottom and ends and solid sides. Made it 16x12x6 so as to have the least amount of cutting to do.

I know just how you feel about it "getting heavy"! I pulled the bricks out to paint it yesterday and was thinking the same thing! Started wondering if I was going to have to put a kilt on and treat it like an atlas stone to move the thing!

Saw something in the 101 about just lining the bottom of the firebox with foil, thought I might do that until I make an ash pan. Said to do the same thing for catching grease in the smoke box. Considering I am still using my temporary ash pan I made out of a foil turkey roaster in my drum, I might be using foil for a while!

seattlepitboss
05-10-2009, 11:17 AM
I was hoping some of you clever Brethren would come up with an elegant grease drain mod for the Bandera.

Brian, have you installed the water pan along with your baffle? It looks like they might not both fit ..

Thin firebricks make for a little more room for airflow, but ya gotta use whatcha got too ..

seattlepitboss

StrikeEagle
05-10-2009, 12:15 PM
In regards to your basket design, I still think "Big Al" had it right.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=album%3A-Big-Al-s-Basket

swamprb
05-10-2009, 12:21 PM
I was hoping some of you clever Brethren would come up with an elegant grease drain mod for the Bandera.

Brian, have you installed the water pan along with your baffle? It looks like they might not both fit ..

Thin firebricks make for a little more room for airflow, but ya gotta use whatcha got too ..

seattlepitboss

The waterpan holders moved up one notch and the pan fits fine.

Bandera 101 has shows a drain mod.

I noticed that the previous owner had pounded an indentation in the smokebox-my guess it was for a grease trap. The bottom will be lined with foil for my cooks.

swamprb
05-10-2009, 12:29 PM
In regards to your basket design, I still think "Big Al" had it right.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=album%3A-Big-Al-s-Basket

Can't argue that!

Just using what I've got on hand. I can fab some dividers for my basket and mimic Big Al's design and hope for the best.

I could probably buy a new Bandera for what I will undoubtedly pump $$ into this-but I wouldn't have the same satisfaction I'm getting out of it!

liquorman
05-10-2009, 03:20 PM
Looking good cant wait to hear how long a burn you get!

Brauma
05-10-2009, 04:06 PM
I could probably buy a new Bandera for what I will undoubtedly pump $$ into this-but I wouldn't have the same satisfaction I'm getting out of it!

I disagree. The new ones are [thin as] tin foil compared to the old NB units. Thats why yours is so heavy!

If you compare this Bandera to your Eggs and UDS's you're gonna hate it. Just keep in mind: this is a stick burner. Let the inner pyro/caveman come out and you'll love it. Start with chacoal and switch over to oak splits and a fruit wood. Good times :wink:

JohnMcD348
05-10-2009, 04:12 PM
I made a gasket out of high temp silicone. I cleaned the edges well with a wire brush down to bare metal and then used a caulk gun to lay a bead of silicon around the edges. Once it dried It seals off pretty well when I close the door.

The bricks in the fire pit probably won't do you as much good as they do in the smoke chamber. One thing I did with my firebox was to use plate steel and place it just under the lid so it blocked off the upper dome area and acts as a heat shield and directs more of the heat into the smoke chamber instead od circulating around in the lid and then vented between the cracks of the lid and box.

That and the BigAl firebox that I got from Spicewine and I've had nothing but good come out of my SKD.

McClung
05-10-2009, 07:48 PM
Doing my burn in now and door gasket is going to be a for sure thing. You really gotta close the fire door damper down to keep the temps down!

swamprb
05-11-2009, 10:31 PM
Big Green Egg felt gasket that is!

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/NBBandera/IMG_0404.jpg

This may work to seal the Smoke box door. I cleaned the perimeter of the door and ran beads of Permatex and laid the gasket sticky back down and pressed into the high temp silicone.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/NBBandera/IMG_0398.jpg

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/NBBandera/IMG_0399.jpg

Very snug fit, I'm happy with the early results.

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/NBBandera/IMG_0400.jpg

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/NBBandera/IMG_0401.jpg

Submitted for your approval-Humbly bowing down to the Bandera Modders that have come before me.

early mornin' smokin'
05-12-2009, 07:30 AM
the new one has a shipping weight of 290lbs...is the old one really that heavy and is the quality that much different

Mark
05-12-2009, 09:49 AM
Brian, the more I think about, those firebricks that will be under the charcoal basket aren't going to do you much good. If you could figure out a way to line the sides more that will help with what you're trying to accomplish - temp control and heat retention.

Think of a wood stove - once a bed of ashes gets built up, you can put your hand on the bottom of it. The heat radiates out & up.

The firebricks on the smoking chamber side look great!

This is correct. My firebox is lined with stainless steel sheet. The ash tray is seperated from the bottom by inserting a spare grill plate from a salvaged propane grill. I think I have some pics.

Also, Mirro makes stainless steel mixing bowls that are a better than OEM replacement for the water bowl; They're deeper and will never rust out.

swamprb
05-12-2009, 10:10 PM
Mark-
Did you drill into the firebox lid to secure the diverter?

Mark
05-13-2009, 09:36 AM
Mark-
Did you drill into the firebox lid to secure the diverter?

No. I think you a rereferring to the piece in the front of the fire box that serves as the front heat shield and holds the 2 side heat shields apart.

My diverter isn't shown. It is about a 3" by 10" piece of stainless sheet with 2 holes that allows for the right-hand water pan bracket to slip through. So my diverter is easily removable.

Mark
05-13-2009, 09:40 AM
PS: If your talking about the insert in the lid; thats a commercial aluminum baking sheet with another just like it on top of the lid. and those are bolted together.

Since then (and also not shown) I've added some stainless to the lid cavity. This is bent in an arc and inserted. The force of it trying to spring back flat holds it in.

swamprb
05-13-2009, 11:05 AM
PS: If your talking about the insert in the lid; thats a commercial aluminum baking sheet with another just like it on top of the lid. and those are bolted together.

Since then (and also not shown) I've added some stainless to the lid cavity. This is bent in an arc and inserted. The force of it trying to spring back flat holds it in.

OK- I got it!

Do you use your Bandera much or has the drum taken its place?

Mark
05-13-2009, 11:13 AM
I use them both alot. The drum is much more portable so I use that when I'm smoking away from home.

a55bag
08-30-2009, 01:10 AM
I will say guys I found this site a few days ago in search of a good smoker. Seeing how much effort you go through in customizing your smokers made my mind up for me. I would like to say thank you in advance for the nagging I will recieve from my wife when I spend endless hours on this site and in front of the smoker....

seattlepitboss
08-30-2009, 01:18 PM
I wanted to say that I use my Bandera as a stick burner, and when I start the fire I do the Boy Scout thing of standing the logs up in a tepee shape, kindling under, paper under that. It sticks well out past the top of the firebox. I light it, wait a coupla minutes for it to get really going, and just shut the lid. The domed Bandera firebox lid fits down over the fire and it all works great. I would never use any mod that does away with the domed firebox lid.

seattlepitboss