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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.

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Old 03-18-2014, 07:40 AM   #31
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Join Date: 11-23-10
Location: Monson, MA

First off, you're smoker is just too big to burn charcoal in it to get it up to temp. You need to burn wood. I'm willing to bet if you got some nice oak going in there you'd see the temps well over 500° no problem. I dont think the firebox is to small at all. There's a lot of volume to heat up, and being 30° out doesnt help, so you need to produce a lot of heat.

Second, the stove pipe sits way to high in the cooking chamber. It should be as low as possible. If possible, raise the cooking chamber and re-plumb the pipe into the base. But, try burning wood first and see what happens.

And get rid of the damper in the pipe, it's deffinately not needed.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:45 AM   #32
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Join Date: 12-18-12
Location: Dearborn Mi, Manton Mi

I agree with Zak.

I have a wood stove in my cabin in Northern Mich about that size.

It will heat the whole thing to 80 degrees with only a few pieces of wood no problem.

I know that thats not the same, but the thing gets freaking hot!!!

I would think you can make that firebox work if setup right.

Might have to feed it more often, but i think it would work.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:18 AM   #33
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Join Date: 06-29-12
Location: Detroit, MI

I had kind of the same problem with my offset. The problem ended up being fixed by increasing the exhaust size. I went from 2 4" pipes, to 1 6" pipe. made all the difference. Now it takes about 30 minutes to get up to temp.

I would remove the 3 little exhaust pipes you have. Replace them with 2 larger diameter pipes. I would put them in between what you have now.

I would also move the inlet from the firebox to the chamber to below the grates. Plug the whole up top and put a new hole behind and up to the bottom of chamber.

Good luck!
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:15 PM   #34
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 03-06-14
Location: columbus ohio USA
Default Weekend update!

after a grueling day of grinding and drilling I am very happy to say that we got this beast up to 275 degrees on saturday!!

Turns out the wood burning stove was a bit of a hinder because it is desinged to radiate the heat and not necessarily exhaust hot air. Once I realized what was going on we got the trusty cutting wheel out and basically gutted the inside of the box (DUH) From there I took everyones advise and drilled out a bunch more holes near the bottom of the firebox for intake. After that we lit her back up for another test run with much greater success

With having said this, there are still some kinks.

As someone mentioned I would constantly be adding fuel and he/she couldnt be more correct. This won't be an issue on short cooks but obviously with a cooker of this size I not just making chicken wings all day. The original plan was to be able to do a whole hog+. Although it would be awesome to have whole hog capabilities i dont see me actually doing it more that once a year (if that). Therefore I am thinking of ways to modify the inside of the cook chamber in order to reduce the volume of actual heating space, with out taking away too much from the outside appearance.

I am thinking something on the line of welding a steel plate across the entire inside of the cook chamber just above the door. I am also thinking of welding a plate vertically in between the doors and re routing the intake so that its only going into one side vertually cutting the cooking space in half then just using the other side as a heating box... or something...

Any thoughts on this? I know the odds are against us but we've had a great time building it so we would like to see some success. Where theres a will theres a way. (Especially when you have access to Brethren Expertise)

By the way I couldnt just stop BBQ all together so while we were working on this I pulled out my Very Ugly Drum Smoker and cooked for the family.. posted a couple pics for everyone
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:52 PM   #35
somebody shut me the fark up.

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Join Date: 08-09-13
Location: Round Rock, TX

Glad you had some success! I like the idea of one HOT side and one HOLDING side!
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:52 PM   #36
somebody shut me the fark up.
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Join Date: 07-17-13
Location: Burleson Tx

Do the Vertical plate between the doors but make it removable. Bolt in........... weld some angle or plate in on all four sides to bolt to.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:39 AM   #37
Knows what a fatty is.
Join Date: 03-06-14
Location: columbus ohio USA

SmittyJonz, you sir are a scholar! thats a great idea, and a fairly easy fix at that. Thanks to EVERYONE for all of the great advice. I will keep posting at the build progresses.

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Old 03-24-2014, 03:00 PM   #38
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Join Date: 03-26-13
Location: Barberton, Ohio

Being from Ohio(Akron). You were playing in about 20-30 degrees yesterday. The main chamber is huge and very thin walled.

The best way to get temps up with only a small cost is - Insulation. I use an Akorn because it is insulated (the reason I didn't go WSM).

Oven insulation under some wool (fire proof) blankets should get your temps up. During summer your heat will still be an issue but heating to 200 from 90 is easier than heating to 200 from 20. (Your fire box can keep up with it - maybe.) This will get it working now.
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