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Thread: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

  1. #1
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    My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    Hi Everyone,

    I am starting to build a smoker. It is a 135Gallon oil tank and I am building the firebox out of 3/16" plate.

    One question I have is about plasma cutting. Do you find that plasma cutting toughens the mill scale? I noticed when cleaning to get to bare metal that my 40grit flapwheel almost polished the mill scale near the plasma cuts but on the factory edges it came off really easy.

    I have also included a pic of my workbench: 5/16" top bent down at the front and up at the back with 2x2x1/8" frame.

    As you can tell my new garage needs an exhaust fan in a bad way!

    I have been having some trouble with my M10 gun "hesitating" so I took out the liner, blew everything out and reinstalled it (I had a new one but the old wasn't kinked or anything) then used a small allen key to align the tip of the liner with the end of the gun. Working much better now.

    Should I expect that much splatter for this voltage? I was following the guide on my machine for 3/16" with 0.030 wire, 25cfh of CO2/Ar, I think 64ipm at voltage 5. It was quite loud but sounded smooth, like bacon frying.

    A question about the other side of this but joint should I try to weld it? I had about 1/2" of penetration showing on the outside of the box so the inside weld should be strong enough but welding in the crack on the outside might be tough to keep looking good since I will be welding along the edge of one piece.
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  2. #2
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    This is one of the reason I am learning to weld. I want a smoker, I want it done my way so I figure learn to build it myslef.

    Looks great so far.

  3. #3
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    Your gonna love da 'Que.

    Here's a sample to make everyone hungry..............
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    Mark
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    Is that an Upright Drum Smoker you have?

  5. #5
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    Open the doors! Looks good tho.

  6. #6
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    Quote Originally Posted by jreynoldswelding View Post
    Open the doors!
    Or wear a respirator.

  7. #7
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    I just ordered a 24" exhaust fan and I have a window on my mandoor to keep things ventilatinated, then the fan will pull the welding fumes out and fresh air can come in the mandoor window.. Don't want to leave the door wide open when it is winter time!

  8. #8
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    Those samples sure made me hungry!
    safety last

  9. #9
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    Quote Originally Posted by salem747 View Post
    Is that an Upright Drum Smoker you have?
    Yes, I'm too cheap to buy all that steel. 'Sides I don't have the room for a trailered smoker.
    Mark
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    Can't really say for sure but the one inside beeads looks pretty wet, soooo could be you were approaching or in globular. And yep that'll make a bit more spatter.

    As for that outside edge, I always end up welding them shut, even if you have to grind a big percentage back off. Just looks better. Real carefull like run a narrow grinding wheel or a cut-off wheel down the slit to open it up some to accept more filler. Less to grind down that way.

  11. #11
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    I have a UDS also. I'm into it for about 15.00 and it works outstanding. Pulled pork sandwiches off of this thing can't be beat. I built it back in July and use it at least twice a month and sometimes more
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  12. #12
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    I wonder if there have ever been any studies on how safe those things are? I'm thinking that the oil had to have penetrated the steel. How can you be certain that there are no carcinogens leaching out?
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  13. #13
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    Well, blackened meat is a carcinogen anyway! I forget the name of the stuff but when I was taking Physical Chemistry we covered the stuff that they dug out of the Expo lands in Vancouver that was pretty nasty stuff and out chemistry prof said it is basically the same stuff you get with blackened BBQ meat. He said BBQ shouldn't be your main diet. I guess I mean grilled food vs BBQ to be PC about it.

    Also this oil tank is BONE dry, it looks like it had been sitting for YEARS before it was brought to the scrap yard.

    I bought a couple of barrels to make a small offset and a UDS but the ones I chose were for some kind of rubbery substance and the drums had a liner so I gave up on that. I should have taken the ones that used to have Jet B in them but I was worried that it would be dangerous burning them out.

  14. #14
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    Once built, burn it out with a hot, HOT fire. Use a load of firewood or cut up pallets to burn it out.

    Mine started out as a Mobile Grease barrel. Pressure washed it with soap & hot water, then burned it out with a nice hot fire. Pressure washed it again, then assembled & brought it up to temp of about 400* for 3 hours.

    Que turns out just fine, nobody's died from it yet.
    Mark
    I haven't always been a nurse........
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  15. #15
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    Once I have the stand built and the cooking chamber mounted I was planning to have a fire right inside the oil tank too. Then once assembled I was going to run a really hot fire through the firebox.

  16. #16
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    That's the way ya need to do it. After it's totally built, run it about as hot as it will run without any food in it. Let it cool then spray the inside of it with Pam or coat it with veggie oil on the inside. Then fire it up again to "season" the metal.

    I used spray olive oil on my UDS. It just get's better and better with each smoke session I run through it.
    Mark
    I haven't always been a nurse........
    Craftsman 12"x36" Lathe
    Enco G-30B Mill
    Hobart Handler 175
    Lincoln WeldandPower 225 AC/DC G-7 CV/CC
    Add a Foot Pedal to a Harbor Freight Chicago Electric 165A DC TIG
    PapaLion's Gate Build

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by salem747 View Post
    Well, blackened meat is a carcinogen anyway! I forget the name of the stuff but when I was taking Physical Chemistry we covered the stuff that they dug out of the Expo lands in Vancouver that was pretty nasty stuff and out chemistry prof said it is basically the same stuff you get with blackened BBQ meat. He said BBQ shouldn't be your main diet
    Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are one of the carcinogens that come out of barbecuing meat-smoke. You gotta know- if it tastes great, it's probably bad for you in SOME way!
    Lincoln AC225 & MigPak 140, Lincoln Magnum SpoolGun, Miller Spectrum 375-X Plasma, Syncrowave 200 TIG, Millermatic 252 MIG, Miller Digital Elite, General 7x12" horiz/vert bandsaw, 3' box/pan brake, 20 ton press, milling machine, 12x28 lathe, etc.

  18. #18
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    The slag from the plasma cutter is really hard to grind. I usually bang on the edge of the cut with a small sledge hammer (4lbs or so). Most of the slag will pop off this way. You can then do a quick pass with the grinder to clean up anything remaining. Another plus of the hammer is any of the little bits sticking up because of an unsteady hand with the plasma will usually get knocked down. This will get you a closer fitup.

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  19. #19
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    AndyA: that's a good idea about banging the dross off instead of grinding it. I noticed though that the mill scale seems to be harder to grind near a plasma pass. it seems like I am almost polishing it with the flap wheel, it changes colour to a bit darker with grinding then gets shinier and takes a LOT of grinding. On the factory edge I only need to do like one quick pass to get to shiny steel! Weird.

  20. #20
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    RE Inside outside welds on corners

    I think it's a good idea to weld both sides if you've noticed some distortion after the first weld. I'd of sequenced the welds with the outside corners first because it's a full profile weld, and generally adequate for full strength. Would really be the only weld needed.

    If, after welding the outside corners, you notice that you have bowed the plate, then do some stitch/skip welds on the inside to draw it back flat. The welds on the inside would only be for the purpose of shrinking to draw the metal back down.
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    Last edited by farmersamm; 12-16-2009 at 09:33 AM. Reason: forgot the obligatory smilie ROFLMAO
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  21. #21
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    Re: My first smoker. (Dec 13-09)

    OK. It seemed easier for me to do the fitting and then weld on the inside. I laid the one plate on the table then used 90degree magnets to hold up a side then tacked and finish welded along that inside edge. It did have pretty good penetration, about 1/2" of discolouration on the outside of the joint.

    I think I will try what somebody else recommended, to grind out a bit of a vee in the outside of the joint and zap a bead along the outside too.

    I was surprised how much more power these passes were taking. I usually work with 1/8" at the most but this 3/16" was on setting 4 or 5? I think and it was LOUD, especially when I was welding the last side on and had my head stuck in there!

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