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Smoker door for vertical cook chamber

 
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castrovillecowboy
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Joined: 26 Nov 2015
Posts: 268
Location: living in VA, heart still in TX

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04 16 9:07 am    Post subject: Smoker door for vertical cook chamber Reply with quote

So I am building a crazy pit for the neighbor. It is definitely a "scrapper". We acquired a few tanks to make his with. I have made my hickory pit with a vertical cook chamber on the side that is fed from a main cook chamber (horizontal). AKA Frankenpit (I posted pics in another thread and have had a lot of help from many on this site). anyhow, back to this build...

Neighbor found a "trailer" on Craigslist and we ended up with a front pivoting axle and fixed rear axle. Once I welded the firebox to the rear axle and then connected the FB to the CC with a "chimney" (5" pipe that feeds out of the FB top to the CC bottom), we had the makings of a decent looking pit. He then wanted to add a vertical cook chamber to the end.

This is where it gets a little sideways.(PUN). The tank we have is 12" O.D., so once I cut it open, we will be lucky to get 10" I.D. of usable space. My long way of to getting to the question - how wide can I cut the door? I normally would cut a 25% door (12:00 and 3:00 for example) but on this small tank it would be pretty narrow. I would think I could go out to 12 and 5? I plan on 3 hinges on the door welded on. There will be a solid round portion at the top and bottom. It will have a 4" feed coming into the tank at grate level on the horizontal with a damper to control smoke. The horizontal will also have a 4" exhaust on it.

On Frankenpit I connected the CC to the VCC with a 10" connector pipe. Since then I normally only have it open an inch or two and it still pushes hotter temps than I aim for on most items.

The neighbor seen me making jerky and a turkey in the VCC and that is what lead him to want this on his. We found the tanks and I explained how small the cook area will be but he still likes the idea.

Sorry for the long post. I will post pics once it comes around a little more. Right now it looks crazy, the 4" connector pipe for the VCC has another 4" pipe going down to the front axel. With small(ish) ATV tires on the axles it looks "odd".
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Smokin Mike
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Joined: 02 Dec 2008
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Location: Winston-Salem, NC

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04 16 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking out loud here but I believe the door cutout for a vertical tank cooker could be anything you want. The reason for the concern on a horizontal cooker is because gravity isn't your friend and if you cut too much beyond the 3:00 O' clock mark... it'll want to naturally hang open. On a vertical, the weight is on the hinges, the door itself is free floating, and it'll perform just like a normal cabinet door.... you'll just have to have a latching system to seal it shut.

On my 24" diameter tank I cut the door at 17" inches, roughly 1/4 the circumference. I would think 1/3 the circumference would be more than sufficient to access the inside. So on a 12" tank that would be close to 12-1/2". I would mark it out, stand back and see if it makes sense.

Remember the closer you get towards 1/2 circumference the more diminishing your return will be in gaining width. Try to find a balance between having access to the cooker insides and keeping the heat in there when you open the door.
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k.a.m.
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Joined: 12 Dec 2007
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Location: Southeast Texas.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04 16 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think 12:00 and 5:00 are a pretty good stopping point. As Mike mentioned the closer you get to half circumference the less advantage you gain by increasing the opening.
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castrovillecowboy
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Joined: 26 Nov 2015
Posts: 268
Location: living in VA, heart still in TX

PostPosted: Fri Feb 05 16 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kevin and Mike.... much easier to ask than to cut, fix and cut again. I wanted to go less than half for sure, like you said - heat loss. Good thing is, this will be fairly small and I plan on leaving a decent top and bottom. I think this is 4' tall and I plan on only 2 racks available inside. one at 6-8" from the bottom, another rack 12" above that.

Thanks for the advise Very Happy Very Happy
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