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RF vertical smoker, Finished with pics!!!!!
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killswitch505
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29 10 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

man you have her chugging right along Very Happy
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McSmoke
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29 10 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is looking great, I am really looking forward to seeing the doors and insulation on.

ggarner you do great work!

Mac
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ChuckieD
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02 11 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ggarner,
It looks like another fine build to me bro! Very Happy
I'll keep watching your progress. Nice work! Wink
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ggarner
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Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 04 11 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trailer Builder: Thanks! I am trying to keep the momentum going.. just seems like its taking for ever!

Chuckied: Thanks man!

McSmoke: Thanks! I try, if I was not such a perfectionish I probably would have had this thing done a couple weeks ago!

Killswitch: I just keep thinking the little engine that could! HAHA


So I have not had an update in a while because of the holidays and all, so here is what I have gotten finished since the last update:

Firebox door going together. Insulation is already inside of it and getting ready to do the plug welds


Here is the main cooking chamber door getting ready to be buttoned up


A different angle


Starting to make my plug welds


There were 60 plug welds on the main door, so it took a little while. Actually just finished welding the last of it a few min ago. I will get some pics of the finished door tomorrow before I grind the welds off flat.

I was thinking that instead of painting this smoker I might sand the entire thing and then get some polishing compound and get it to be either like a mirror type finish or maybe leave in some nice consistent swirl pattern. Then either have it powder coated with a clear coat, or spray it with some quality clear lacquer. When I did my grill I used some clear lacquer and it still looks great after sitting outside in the elements for 6 months so far. Plus i figure if it goes to crap I can always still paint it.
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ggarner
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06 11 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I hit my first real setback today! I finished welding the large cooking chamber door yesterday and let it cool overnight. Then this am when I went to grind all the welds flush I noticed that while I was welding the entire seem where the 12ga sheet contacted the 1" tubing the sheet metal had cupped and there was about a 1/4" bow in it. Being the ever perfectionist I decided that I could do a little heat shrinking in it and bring it back to perfectly flush....

Long story short that was the wrong answer. I should have just left it, as I doubt anyone would ever have noticed. Well its all wavy now and I am super annoyed. 1 side is pretty square but the other side is no bueno. I think I am going to cut off the bad side and buy another sheet of steel and do it over again. Or I might just use it for now and replace it further down the road. I am not sure, just really frustrated right now because I spent about 5 hours getting it perfect, then messed it up in the blink of an eye.
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DesertPits
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06 11 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ggarner
I am really impressed with your build. Your door problen comes from not moving the heat around. You need to start in the middle and move to each side middle moving to the corrners. Let it rest after a few tacks. I am going to build one like yours but I am going to build the door and frame frist that is the most difficult part, Iam hopping to make it like a refridgerator door with a rope gasket from a wood stove. As we start we will post as we go
Try again I am sure it will be better
Dave and Mike
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TrailerBuilder
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06 11 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ggarner, there will ALWAYS be days like that man! It sucks, but it happens! Step back and take another look and go from there. You have a great build going on my friend and I have said it before, you have some serious skills on your builds.
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k.a.m.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 06 11 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ggarner, your plug welds look nice. Very Happy Sorry to here about your door waving on you. Sad I know it bothers you and fixing it now will probably be your only salvation. I had a similar problem on the R/F build when I was building the wood box. I had a perfect fit and when I welded out the top sheet it pulled in several directions. Long story short I just got in a hurry. I beat and banged on that lid heated and what ever to repair my mess up. I finally got it to an exceptable medium but I still lost a lot of sleep over that one. I guess what I am trying to say is it happens and unless your willing to say oh screw it its just a cooker then you should probably fix it now. You do very nice work and your pride in your work shows.
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ggarner
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07 11 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for support and kind words KAM, TrailerBuiler, and DesertPits!

I am about to call up my metal supplier right now and purchase the last bits of my materials, and am just going to add on some extra tubing a sheet metal to redo the door.

I will explain exactly what I did so that other people hopefully dont make the same mistake. First I fabbed up the door frame, and welded on the front of the door from the inside of the frame with a tac weld about every 1.5-2". When I did this i was very careful to move around starting from the center, making quick welds so that the heat would not bend up and warp the sheet metal. I then placed in the insulation and drilled all the holes in the other piece of sheet so that I could make the plug welds. I lined it up and did all the plug welds starting from the middle of sheet metal and jumping around again to keep from too much heat building up.

At this point the 2 faces of the door were securely welded to the frame and both perfectly flat. The problem came when I decided I needed to weld around the entire frame where the sheet metal contacted the frame. I was worried that from weather water would get into the inside of the door and collect at the bottom and slowly rust it out. So I welded the entire seem where the sheet metal joined with the edge of the frame. I was not really worried about warping the sheet metal at this point because all the welds I was making were 1/2" behind all the welds securing the sheet metal to the frame. Somehow the metal still managed to expand and cause a cupping of the sheet.

I think 1 problem that may have lead to this is that instead of using 1/16" rods which I originally started with, I switched to 3/32 which obviously put more heat into the sheet with the additional amperage required to weld with them. If I was smarter about it I would have used a large piece of metal as a heat sink next to where I was welding to pull more heat out of the base metal.

Oh well, live and learn I guess!
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TrailerBuilder
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07 11 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

g, I did some 24ga sheet metal work once and used a wet towel to help keep the heat down in the metal. I propped the edge being welded up and placed the wet towel below the welded area. This allowed any water to run down away from the weld. I would stitch weld in different places and if I heard the moisture in the towel start to sizzle, I'd stop, have a beer break and then continue.

A thought on the door leaking. Can you just weld up the top edge where it's more prone to leak and then drill a drain hole in the bottom to drain out any moisture that might get inside? I'm not sure, but just a thought.

Just chalk it up to lesson learned and move on buddy. Your doing a great job on this build and like all the others here, I'm anxious to see it up and smoking.
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ggarner
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 10 11 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TrailerBuilder: Thanks for the suggestions. I am def going to take it a lot slower when I do the rebuild on the door.

Here is a pic of what the door looked like after i finished welding up the seams



Here is a picture of the drain for the water pan/grease collection area. This is 1" black pipe. I drilled a hole in the corner of the fire box roof and another in the side wall of the firebox. Obviously the pipe will be trimmed to length, this was just for example sake.



Here you can see where the elbow directs the pipe out the side of the firebox.


Here is what the inside of the door looks like after I tried to do the heat shrinking. Basically the concept is that you use an acetlyene torch and heat up the metal until it is red hot and then quickly quench it with water. The metal expands when its hot and then when it is quickly cooled it shrinks to smaller than in was before heating

I heated up about 30 different spots, and it gave an ok effect, but it was not completely flat which is what I was going for.


Here is a side view where you can see where a bubble remains Sad


But one nice thing is that the high temp insulation worked well. After heating up and quenching all these spots the bottom of the door was still at ambient temperature. Now I just have to cut the door open to salvage the insulation out! HAHA.
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ggarner
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12 11 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I have made some progress, even though my local metal supplier is currently out of 12ga cold rolled steel, that I need to button this bad boy up.

After fitting up the doors they ended up being thicker than I origonally anticipated, and I did not like how it looked with the doors sticking out past the frame. So to create more work for myself, and just to keep busy I modified my original design. I am going to be adding some 1/2" solid square stock to frame in the door. And since I am still waiting on the sheet metal I am going to have the pieces cut a couple inches longer so that I can score them and then wrap them around the front of the cooker. The metal at the front of the cooker will be angled from the corner to the edge of the 1/2" square stock and should make for a pretty cool looking design.

I finished up a little early today and made a new drawing of what it should look like once I finish it up.



Those are not the latches I am using but I was too lazy to draw my own

Here is a view from the side to give a little better idea of what I was talking about above.

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RamiDaddy



Joined: 11 Dec 2010
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Location: Odessa, TX

PostPosted: Fri Jan 14 11 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GGarner you have an amazing build going on sir, I have plans drawn up for one similar, different dimensions.

Question: For your back wall you did the "key hole" plug welds, but your remaining plugs you are doing round, do you mind me asking why?
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ggarner
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15 11 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RamiDaddy: Thank you very much for the kind words! There is a very simple answer for the question on the plug welds. Originally My holes that I drilled for my round plug welds were not large enough so I had trouble getting fusion between the sheet and the frame. So when I did the rear piece I tried to do the Key hole plug welds. They worked great but there were 2 problems I noticed with them. The first was that grinding them flush after welding was a huge pain in the butt due to the additional amount of material deposited. The second was that since i was traveling linearly, when the weld cooled it tended to pull the edge of the sheet metal away from the frame at the edge. So I had to beat it back down with a hammer. So the round plug welds avoid this problem and there is much less material to grind off so things go much quicker!

So I got one of the side walls mostly completed today. The metal supplier was out of 12ga cold rolled so I went with 14ga cold rolled instead. I made my measurements and then scored the sheet and bent it to meet with the 1/2" square stock that I welded in a few days ago.



another view


yet another view


I still need to drill all the holes to make the plug welds and finish trimming the piece to size but hopefully I can get that finished up tomorrow.

I also finished cutting up all the expanded metal and got it welded to the frames which I made a few days ago.

Finally it is actually starting to look like a cooker!



I also got new steel to remake the door that i screwed up. Since they were out of 12ga cold rolled I ended up going with 10ga hot rolled. I think since its thicker there should be less issues with it cupping, and it was in the surplus area so it was only 50c a lb. The first issue will be getting all the mill scale off. Since I dont feel like having it blasted I am going to spray it down with concentrated hydrochloric acid (muriatic pool acid) and that should do the trick. Then i can go about making the frame again and doing all that fun stuff!
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Gray Goat
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15 11 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great looking build ggarner and that's a beautiful Aussie Very Happy
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Soapm
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15 11 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How does the heat and smoke travel in a vertical RF? I'm trying to picture how it works?
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ggarner
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15 11 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gray Goat: Thanks! She is a great dog, very well behaved and just a ton of fun! Thats a very cute dog you have as well! Is it an Aussie too or border collie? Hard for me to tell from your avatar, but I am guessing an aussie from the markings.

Soapm: The smoke travels up the back of the cooker between the rear wall and a false wall. The exhaust is extended all the way down both sides of the cooker to about 6" from the bottom of the cooking chamber. The heat from the firebox hits a 3/16" steel plate that is at a slight angle and channels the smoke up the rear of the smoker. So you get the radiant heat coming up from the bottom, and the smoke with the heat entering the cooking chamber from the top. Hope that helps clarify things.
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Cat797
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15 11 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ggarner, she's coming along nicely........very cool build.
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erniesshop
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15 11 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

g.......That will be a work of Art when you finish it !
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Gray Goat
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15 11 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks ggarner, she is pure bred stubborn Aussie Laughing We are thankful she lets us live with her Laughing
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