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  #1  
Old 07-04-2009, 11:18 PM
DaveNH DaveNH is offline
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Default Gravity feed firebox build

Wanted to try my hand at some welding, first time...lol, so not the prettiest job. A buddy of mine offered a free chunk of 1/4"x8"x8" tube and I figured why not make a gravity feed out of it :). Just hope the damn thing works ok . I actually had a lot of fun with the torches and welder (old AC Miller).

Funny thing...I was scouring the scrap yards for some 1/4 steel plate and could find nothing. My buddy says lets try the fabrication place around the corner, I'm thinking yeah right, they are just going to hand me a hunk of plate steel for next to nothing. So he and I wander through the shop and ask the supervisor. The guy pulls out a nice new chunk of 1/4 plate 28X38 from the cutoffs rack and says $10, plus gives me some 1/2 bar to boot! Never hurts to ask :).


Here's some pics of the progress.


I'll be pulling the SFB off my vertical and adding the chute in it's place.





The gravity feed firebox is 8x8, 48" tall. The area that holds the charcoal above the grate is 36" long. Still need to add the doors, 2" ball valve, latches, mounting flange and wrap it with insulation.
























My adjustable work table :).



Will add more as it goes :).
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2009, 07:16 AM
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Nice work looking forward to seeing it all finished and fired up.
I started building a vertical smoker but the work slowed down when I couldn't decide on a heat source.
This could be the solution keep us updated.
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:39 AM
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This should be interesting... What is going to be your heat source?? LP or Electric?
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:58 AM
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Looks like that grate should last a few smokes ;{) HD stuff there!
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas-Hunter View Post
This should be interesting... What is going to be your heat source?? LP or Electric?
The primary heat will be charcoal. The 6" or so area above the grate becomes a firebox filled with burning charcoal, with a 2" ball valve on the bottom door controlling the air flow. Doors with gaskets will keep it air tight so all the charcoal in the chute doesn't catch. Only enough air to keep the fire box burning. The chute idea came from what Stumps uses in their gravity feed cookers.

Was poking around a site with a lot of clone builds and thought it would be a good project. Everything you always wanted to know about stumps clones.

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

Just scored a 2" ball valve on ebay for $15
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Old 07-05-2009, 10:48 AM
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Wow: That's a pretty cool build so far... Keep us posted...I have to see how this turns out...
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Old 07-11-2009, 08:49 AM
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Well...here she is mounted. Still waiting on the 2" ball valve, should have it today I hope. I made a temp orifice out of some heavy duty foil..lol. Definitely needed some insulation to help the chute temp stabilize quicker. I gave it a quick wrap of fiberglass insulation and will do a better job later with some mineral wool. The fiberglass is good to 1000F which will be a little close around the firebox area. It will work ok for a temporary blanket :). I'll pretty it up later.

I left the element in the chamber off to see what the chute would do on it's own. I dumped around 12lbs of lump and hickory chunks in the chute. Still had 10" or so empty so capacity is around 15lbs of lump along with wood chunks.

It took about 1.5hrs to get the temp stable with the valve wide open. The first 30 min was with no insulation.
Once stable it cruised at 235 for 14hrs . So I'm very happy with it .

I tossed a Chuckie on after letting it burn out 4hrs. Finished in 10hrs to 195. I still have about 5" of lump going in the chute, shutdown the vents to see if it would put it out.

More pics.




















Some new wheels :)




And the chuckie






Last edited by DaveNH; 07-11-2009 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:28 AM
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That is super cool! Nice job!!
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:43 AM
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Really cool build and nice work too!! points for you Dave!

I think gravity feeds are pretty cool and it looks like you got that one all figured out:-)
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Old 07-11-2009, 05:34 PM
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Thanks guys :).

I really enjoyed getting to do some metal work. Got to call a couple insulation guys tomorrow to see if I can get a few mineral wool sheets. Then I'll skin it in aluminum to match the rest.
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Old 07-11-2009, 05:46 PM
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That is a Real sweet job you did on that puppy...Kudos bud...
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  #12  
Old 07-22-2009, 09:17 PM
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Here's a few more pics. Got the valve and mineral wool insulation on. Mineral wool is 3" thick. Still need to put a skin over the GF firebox. Held the insulation up for now with a few wraps of foil tape.

So far I've done a smoke at temps of 235 and 325. 2.3" of chute height = 1lb of lump. At 325 I use about 1 lb of lump per hr, maybe a little better than that because I didn't figure in the wood chunks mixed in there.

At 235 I used .65 lbs per hour not counting the wood chunks.

I did have the chamber heater on which I set to help out with the last 50 or so. Basically set the ball valve for 190 ball park temp and let the electric heater carry it up the rest of the way to 235. This way I get precise temp control and don't worry about any fluctuations while the chute temp stabilizes. Works awesome.


Chute wrapped in mineral wool insulation.




Ball valve.




Opening to control at 235.




Opening to control at 325




Welded me up a box to catch the ashes.




I drop a fist sized chunk in the chute every 5" of coal.




Couple of 12lb turkeys done at 325, finished in about 2 3/4 hrs.







Thanks for looking :).
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:36 PM
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Watch that mineral wool- it's some itchy shit! And an inhalation hazard as well. Might behoove ya to come up with an aluminium sheet jacket for the chute.

Sounds like she's working great tho!
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  #14  
Old 07-22-2009, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richtee View Post
Watch that mineral wool- it's some itchy shit! And an inhalation hazard as well. Might behoove ya to come up with an aluminium sheet jacket for the chute.

Sounds like she's working great tho!
Great..now you tell me...LOL. It was itchy, between peeling off the fiberglass and replacing with the mineral wool it made for a little scratching .

Planning to skin it with some aluminum sheet as soon as I can, got to see what scraps I had leftover from the build.

I even think the smoke quality is better with this thing. All the smoke has no choice but to pass through a filter of hot coals before getting into the chamber. Get nice thin smoke the entire cook. Very pleased with this add on :).
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  #15  
Old 07-23-2009, 04:32 AM
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Nice job Dave...Sounds like the gravity feed is working well.
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:33 AM
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Great job on everything Dave!....and your welds look a heckofalot better than mine.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:09 PM
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Thanks guys :).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowgirl View Post
Great job on everything Dave!....and your welds look a heckofalot better than mine.
Thanks Jeanie...I'm sure you do just fine..lol. You should have seen the first few...man they were bad...like something exploded.... I almost quit. After lots for internet education, youtube welding vids, I somewhat got the hang of it. Then a few more burns later I was welding :). Found out the hard way why you need sleeves over your arm...got a pretty good sunburn on the forearm..glowed like a cherry...
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNH View Post
Great..now you tell me...LOL. It was itchy, between peeling off the fiberglass and replacing with the mineral wool it made for a little scratching .

Planning to skin it with some aluminum sheet as soon as I can, got to see what scraps I had leftover from the build.
There is a company (several probably ) that makes 4x8 sheets of insulating board that is foil backed on both sides. Unfortunately I can't think of the name but I have bought it at our local Tru Value hardware store. The stuff I got was 1.5" thick and you can cut it with a handsaw. Works very well on flat surfaces. Seems like it would work great on the chute.

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Old 07-24-2009, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDave View Post
There is a company (several probably ) that makes 4x8 sheets of insulating board that is foil backed on both sides. Unfortunately I can't think of the name but I have bought it at our local Tru Value hardware store. The stuff I got was 1.5" thick and you can cut it with a handsaw. Works very well on flat surfaces. Seems like it would work great on the chute.

Dave
Hi Dave...I looked into the foiled back foam board insulation when I built the smoker and it was only good to 250~300 degrees. I think it's made out of polyurethane or polystyrene. If it's the stuff I'm thinking of, it's pretty flammable too. The fiberglass was barely holding up around the fire area of the chute. This thing gets hot around the coal area...lol. Mineral wool is a little tougher to find locally, but has a melting point of 2000 +. Cost wasn't that bad, $34 for 64 sqft, 3" thick. If I knew about this stuff when building my smoker I probably would have used it instead. Supposedly doesn't absorb moisture, grow mildew or rot.

Got 5 extra batts if any one local needs any :).
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