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Build My Pit 101
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Maniac
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Joined: 02 Oct 2010
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Location: Pa

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22 16 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to see you have the foundation almost done Very Happy
I have used electric saws , just wondering how well an 18v one does , I love the convenience but they usually let me down Embarassed
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dwilliams35
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22 16 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maniac wrote:
Good to see you have the foundation almost done Very Happy
I have used electric saws , just wondering how well an 18v one does , I love the convenience but they usually let me down Embarassed
. I had my doubts initially, but I've been really impressed with the Milwaukee 18v platform for the 2-3 years I've been using it. Just kind of rolled the dice with this saw after I tried one out briefly at work, i was quite pleasantly surprised at how well it did.
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Smokin Mike
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22 16 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, those cold saws are da bomb. I got two, a circular saw and a 14" miter saw, and the poor old band saw has been sitting idle since. Looks like things are slowly coming together for you.

That's a lot of rain in 12 hours Shocked
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dwilliams35
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26 16 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, trailer done, wheels on and it's flipped over: I cut down the cooking chamber to its final length, and am now working on the mounts: I know it's got to have been covered here a billion times, but I've been pretty unsuccessful searching for it: how high do you guys generally like to have it? My old smoker has the cooking grate at right about 36", and that's fairly comfortable: any thoughts one way or another besides "fairly comfortable"?
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castrovillecowboy
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26 16 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the grate at about belly height - that way the meal can see where its going Shocked Very Happy

Seriously, about there so when opening its comfortable with out having to stretch to full open and I am not bending over it when lifting the large pieces. If you have a second rack, its nice to reach straight in so not burning yourself reaching in at an angle.

JM2CW
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dwilliams35
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07 16 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, finally got back on it.

I had a little problem over the last few days: here's a nice shot of home:




Now, that's gone back into the river where it belongs, so everything's just too wet to do anything but work on this:


Tacked the firebox together, I'm going to haul it up to work and use one of the big welders that will do this in one pass... I've just put the back on, and will cut the FB>CC hole as needed in that.

I shaped the radius on 4 pieces of the leftover 2 x 3 x 11 ga from the trailer, and got them tacked on for CC "mounts" and the CC tube set on there: As it is right now, it just looks high to me, but it seems to be just about the right height for me, anyway, to work with: centerline of CC will level out at 40", minus whatever the springs settle as I finish this out, which is right about where my elbows hit: grill would be right at the belly height, as Castrovillecowboy mentioned.. It might "feel" just a hair high, if anything, but again, it should settle just a bit..

It's 10" off the trailer deck, so I shouldn't have any significant "departure angles" with the 18" firebox hanging underneath the trailer there: I'm thinking it'll land right about at the top of the trailer, and it leaves plenty of room underneath for storage, as well. Shouldn't have any problems fitting fenders/work surface/etc. either...






Any thoughts?


edit: after sleeping on it a bit, I'm leaning toward grinding those off and lowering it somewhere in the neighborhood of 4".. pain in the butt, but at least I haven't welded or even tacked the CC on yet..
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GreenSmoker
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03 16 12:07 am    Post subject: Were did this go...... Reply with quote

Dam nice start.......needs a dam nice finish.........
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dwilliams35
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07 16 11:24 am    Post subject: Re: Were did this go...... Reply with quote

GreenSmoker wrote:
Dam nice start.......needs a dam nice finish.........
. Unfortunately, that's about where it still sits; first a month or so patching up things from the flood, then the father in law moved in with us, and I've spent every spare moment over the last few months building him a house out back.. I'm within a week or so of wrapping that up, at which point I'll knock off the rust and get back to it...
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GreenSmoker
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14 16 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stay the course my man...life and family and comfort while important, does not come between a man and his Q....oh wait....prolly the better half and pa would disagree...

Be safe and well...we and the Q can wait....
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dwilliams35
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 28 16 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, after not being able to touch this thing since July, I finally said heck with it, I'm doing something besides just "planning"..

Put one end cap on, just did some 2" or so "stitches" on the weld, I'll go back and do some more tomorrow; just trying to keep the heat down on it until I cut out the doors..

Got that as far as I was going to take it for tonight, then welded on the tongue jack; I had a few days last week that I could have worked on it, but the freezing 25 mph north wind talked me out of it; it should be "mobile" to the point that I can take it in the shop if that happens again, so I wanted to get that jack on there to facilitate that..


I've come to the conclusion after looking at a bunch of rigs on this forum that I'm going to just make the grill on the opposite side of the trailer a parilla/Santa Maria type grill; I've got a clean piece of 1/4" plate that would make a 24" x 40" or so grill quite nicely, and a similar size piece of 11 ga. to make a lid. Just seems like that'll be a very efficient use of space (usable grill space per square foot on the trailer) as opposed to just making one out of that compressor tank or one of my other chunks of pipe...

It ain't much, but I gotta start somewhere to get back on this thing...
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dwilliams35
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29 16 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, a couple of questions here:

Here's my calcs:

Link

On the firebox-cook chamber opening, just how critical is that dimension? I added some length to my firebox just to allow for the standard length of wood around here, and ended up at 132%: from looking around here, I'm still reasonably okay on that. The opening, however, is going to determine one of my next moves, hanging the firebox. Is that 62.2 ci a hard and fast dimension that I need to chase, or do I have leeway one way or another?

With the 20" cook chamber, I know I don't have much room to give without really affecting grill height; It looks like I'll be right around 5.5-5 3/4" to the top of the throat.

Just wondering just how much tolerance there is on that dimension...
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smootz
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Joined: 12 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29 16 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watching your build, particularly because I am still in very early stages of a 20"er myself.

Looking forward to tracking your progress.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29 16 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I try to enlarge the opening a bit knowing I am adding a grease bridge to the bottom. If you decrease too much you get a blow torch effect coming into the cooking chamber.
You can manipulate the hole to fit your needs. Here is a link to Pete's calculators for different throat openings.
http://thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=68625
Something to also think about is size of wood needed to fuel your cooker. My 24" x 55" uses half splits to maintain 250° to 275° that is one 10" x 4" piece about every 30 to 45 minutes. If I fed it a full split the coal base to maintain that log would have me cooking at 300° plus.
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dwilliams35
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30 16 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KAM, I had run those calculators with the grease dam included, so I should be good there I believe.. I had assumed that there would be more of a downside to undersizing the opening than oversizing it, but wasn't quite sure what that downside would be, if any, to an oversized opening.

Good point on the wood size, I hadn't thought of that; i haven't really seen that problem with my current pit, but this firebox is a good bit larger just from going to a plate firebox from a pipe one: I'll have to keep an eye on that..
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dwilliams35
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09 17 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got a little more done this week;



Cut the firebox-side end plate, hoping I did my math right..


. Tacked it up




Some drunk that couldn't run a plasma cutter slopped out the CC-FB hole in the firebox. Should be a hair over from recommended by the calculators..

FB mated up to CC with the help of a friend and a floor jack... grease dam is just a hair shorter than I wanted, not sure what I measured wrong there.. I'll just weld a piece in there to make up the difference later..








Got a sheet of 1/8" diamond plate, measured and cut holes for the riser mounts for the smoker, cut it to length and dropped it on for the floor deck.. next is weld that down, then finish welding up the firebox to the CC and set that on the "cradles" and weld that up.. I'll have to penetrate that diamond plate a few more times for the grill, wood boxes and such, but I'd rather do that than have it just pieced together..


I did the math earlier, with my grill made out of 1/4" plate, I should be at 1080 lbs. so far; I'm not thinking I'll have more than 200-300 lbs. worth of other steel to finish it out, so my 3500 lb. axle is looking okay: tongue weight is doing about what I intended so far as well, with the grill "cheated" toward the front more, the trailer balance should be about where I want it...
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dwilliams35
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12 17 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the last two nights, I got the smoker mounted on the trailer, and started putting together the grill for the other side; basically doing a Santa Maria type, as I mentioned before:

Question; pros and cons of either, grill made of 3/8 or 1/2" rods as opposed to just expanded metal for that grill? I've never really used "rods" besides just the commercial wire grills, and have been using expanded metal for years: however, I see a lot of these style grills with the rods; is it worth the extra effort and why? Expanded metal is pretty quick and easy by comparison...
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
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Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12 17 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your project is looking great dwilliams35. Very Happy I prefer expanded metal for my grates for a number of reasons.
The ease of using it.
Weight is another factor.
The width of the rod reduces air flow.
The thickness of the rod takes longer to heat up.
These are some I am sure there are other reasons
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dwilliams35
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12 17 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KAM: I definitely agree with you on all those points: do you happen to know just what the upside of using it is? I would imagine there's some service life issues just from having heavier metal on there, and heat retention certainly has some of its own cooking properties. Looks kinda cool too.

I'm definitely leaning heavily toward the expanded metal, though; just go with what you know more than anything else..
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12 17 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I honestly cannot say I know of an upside. My grates have been on Bahama Mama for 5 years and look great.
If you want a little heavier then move up to #9 3/4" raised expanded metal. Pretty much the same weight except the metal is not flattened and retains its #9 thickness.
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dwilliams35
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12 17 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always had a hard time with meat, especially hamburgers and such, sticking to non-flattened expanded metal, mainly just an inability to get any spatula in there "flat" to flip it..
You ever have any experience like that?
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