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    I am planning on building a smoker out of 24" pipe that is 1/4" thick and about 48" long. I was wondering what would be the idea size for a fire box. I was thinking about 24"x24" x24". I am also wanting to build a small trailer for the smoker to be on. I was thinking about building it out of 4" c channel for the frame and building a rack on it to put firewood. I thought about flooring it with expanded metal but wombanized flooring would be cheaper. I am not an expert at this by any means, so i have a few questions. I have not bought any material yet so all feedback on different material types to use would be appreciated. The first question i have is about the firebox size, what would be the optimum size, I know that is a probably a question of personal choice but maybe somebody has some input. i am on a somewhat tight budget so any tips to save money would be appreciated. I am planning on stick welding most of it, because that is what i am most comfortable with, but may also mig some. i wanted to build the actual grating out of SS expanded metal with 3/4 inch angle iron around the edges, but SS is too high. Well I have went on long enough, but any input is appreciated.

  • #2
    I don't think the size of the firebox is critical. It is more a function of what you will be using for the smoke - size of the wood. I use to smoke a lot of meat on a smoker I bought from Brinkman. It was an upright model and the only complaint I had was that I had to usually put charcoal in it several times to finished what I had cooking because it didn't hold much charcoal. This usually upset the cooking process because I had to open it up to load the charcoal, and then there was the lag time for it to reach a point where it could bring the temperature back up. A firebox off to the side would eliminate this problem.

    A fire box mounted on the side that could take a couple of pieces of wood around 6 inches in diameter and some charcoal would probably be ideal. I just bought another Brinkman from Wall mart with a firebox off to the side. I can measure it if you would like. I had (3) 55 gallon drums that had never been filled with anything and planned to make a smoker out of a 2 of them. I thought about it a long time, and then went up to Wall mart and bought the Brinkman. Please don't kick me off the message board for making this decision.
    sigpic 6010
    If I had know I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.

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    • #3
      PS

      On the Brinkman the firebox is mounted on the side, and I have seen a lot of them made this way. But I have also seen some with the firebox mounted underneath and this seems to be a better location for me. Heat rises and I think it would give more even heating. That is just an opinion I have and don't really have anything to base it on rather than a gut feeling.
      sigpic 6010
      If I had know I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.

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      • #4
        Hot or cold smoke?

        If the smoke chamber is mounted under the smoker the smoker is a hot smoker and the smoke and heat cook and season the meat. If the smoke chamber is mounted to the side the smoke only seasons the meat and you need to rely on some type of brine solution to cure the meat. So what I am getting at is it depends upon the type of smoking you are looking at doing. I personally have both types and for meat I like to cold smoke for a few hours and then finish cooking either in the oven or on the grill. For fish or jerky I prefer hot smoking.
        Just some food for thought.
        Millermatic 130
        Millermatic 251
        Miller Thunderbolt

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Agri04 View Post
          I am planning on building a smoker out of 24" pipe that is 1/4" thick and about 48" long. I was wondering what would be the idea size for a fire box. I was thinking about 24"x24" x24". I am also wanting to build a small trailer for the smoker to be on. I was thinking about building it out of 4" c channel for the frame and building a rack on it to put firewood. I thought about flooring it with expanded metal but wombanized flooring would be cheaper. I am not an expert at this by any means, so i have a few questions. I have not bought any material yet so all feedback on different material types to use would be appreciated. The first question i have is about the firebox size, what would be the optimum size, I know that is a probably a question of personal choice but maybe somebody has some input. i am on a somewhat tight budget so any tips to save money would be appreciated. I am planning on stick welding most of it, because that is what i am most comfortable with, but may also mig some. i wanted to build the actual grating out of SS expanded metal with 3/4 inch angle iron around the edges, but SS is too high. Well I have went on long enough, but any input is appreciated.

          4" channel seems a bit overkill for your trailer unless you plan on hauling a lot of weight. I would drop it back to maybe 2-1/2 or 2" angle iron or some light tubing. I would still use the expanded metal , not SS , just steel, 3/4 #9. SS expanded metal is terribly expensive. If you use expanded metal, you may also want to consider some kind of ash pan for underneath the floor to catch any ash that might accidently fall out.
          Ken

          What else is there besides welding and riding. Besides that

          Miller Thunderbolt XL 300/200 AC/DC
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          Dewalt Chop Saw
          4" Air Grinder
          Die Grinder
          Rigid Drill Press
          Kellogg 10hp Air Compressor


          2009 FXDC

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          • #6
            smoker

            Originally posted by KBar View Post
            4" channel seems a bit overkill for your trailer unless you plan on hauling a lot of weight. I would drop it back to maybe 2-1/2 or 2" angle iron or some light tubing. I would still use the expanded metal , not SS , just steel, 3/4 #9. SS expanded metal is terribly expensive. If you use expanded metal, you may also want to consider some kind of ash pan for underneath the floor to catch any ash that might accidently fall out.
            I was looking at some 4 inch channel today at the shop and thought the same thing, plus i can save some on money. Thank you for the comments, everybody. Does anybody think that $25.00 a foot for 24" pipe is reasonable? I live in east texas, I know prices can vary greatly in different locations.

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            • #7
              i just got finished adding a firebox to a 24'' x 3' long grill the box is 18'' sch 40 pipe 24'' long i thought at first it was overkill but once i did a little tweeking in the cooking chamber i can hold between 275 and 300 deg. my intake hole was a bit large so i choked it down untill i achieved what i wanted here are some pics hope this helps.
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                The pit looks good, mine is going to be mounted on a trailer but other than being a little bigger it will be similar. I am planning on building the firebox out of plate instead of pipe though. I have to build it for an Ag. Mech design and fab. class. I was going to build a nice welding table, but it will be a few years before i will be able to afford a shop and would not have anywhere to put it. So i am building the pit instead. If i get where i do not use it i can always sell it later. Anyway thanks for the responce

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                • #9
                  plate is great i just coulnt swing the price the pipe was a gift if i were you i would aim for the same diam. box as my pipe strictly for looks though. the tweaking will come after you cure it the first time then you can learn about your stack and damper settings good luck if you need any help let us know

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                  • #10
                    Well I got some material to start my pit this weekend. I have deciede to go with a round firebox, simply because i was given an extra piece of 24" pipe. I was wondering how long i should make my baffle from my firebox to my grill. My smoke stack is going to be at the end of the grilling section so it cannot be too long. I guess it is a matter of personal choice. But any pictures or input would be appreciated.

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                    • #11
                      Smoker

                      Agri04,

                      You might want to search and read on these 3 forums. Lots of info about design and building of smokers and how to cook with them also.

                      http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/index.php

                      http://www.phpbbserver.com/phpbb/ind...orum=smokinjim

                      http://www.oscarenterprises.f2s.com/build_a_pit.html

                      Have a great week,

                      Jerel
                      Last edited by Jerel; 09-17-2007, 07:44 PM. Reason: added 3rd web site

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                      • #12
                        i didnt use a baffle between my firebox and cooking chamber i did however weld a chute so to speak in my cooking chamber after using it i had to reduce the hole size down some to fine tune the flame in the cooking chamber remember what ever side you mount the firebox to the opposite side of your cooking chamber is your slow cook side mine will avg 25deg diff. across the cooking grill the left side will be 275 while right over the end by the firebox will be around 325 here is some pics the drawing is an idea that i saw on a largersmoker the other day the pipe between the two was around 12'' long the handle came up between the cooking chamber and the firebox. my box is welded directly to the smoker i reduced the hole in the pic to 2'' from the bottom while on the fire box side there is a 1'' riser to keep drippings out of the firebox any more questions feel free to ask. also my stack is 4'' pipe iam not sure exactly how tall around 2 feet plenty of draft though
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          sorry i fogot a pic the drawing of the damper
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            Once again thanks to all for info. I have got a good idea of how i want to build it. Also the websites that Jerel put me onto were great, I found a lot of info and ideas on them. Once I get started i will put some pictures up for criticism and pointers. Thanks to all.

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                            • #15
                              k.a.m.,

                              thank you for all of your information it is very useful.

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