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Thread: Off Topic - Build Mod for HM

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKalchik View Post
    Just out of curiosity, how's the temperature distribution? Left/right, front/rear, top/bottom? I could go nuts instrumenting that chamber on a test smoke. With the insulated chamber, I would expect a much more even temperature.
    Not sure yet. I just did a test with probe in the center of the center rack. I'll do more detailed tests when I finally get the door on. I did the previous test with a piece of insulation taped inside the CC opening. Still A LOT of welding and grinding to do.

  2. #22
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    I'm fairly well convinced that this style of smoker is where I want to go, now that I grok the gravity feed system. With the stack flow into the chamber, and the fairly well insulated cooking chamber, it's gotta have better temp control that what I've currently got.

    I'll probably pull the trigger on it the project next spring. I'm not sure how I'm going to end up with cut sheet (maybe rent a self-contained plasma cutter? or find a good semi-local shop with an NC plasma table,) I can cut the smaller stuff already with a powered hacksaw & cutoff wheels. Welding isn't an issue, I've got stick, MIG & TIG covered. I'm also seriously considering going up one step in size. There's little penalty in fuel usage, but I can't use volume that I don't have.

  3. #23
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    After looking this thread, I'm seriously thinking about building one, lol, without my wife knowing about it, well for at least until I start building it.

    What grade of steel?
    How did you cut the steel, did you use plasma?
    I have access to plasma at work, but may get one, to use at home.

    I never welded before, but I do know how, so this would be a slow, learning project for me.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Bostwick View Post
    After looking this thread, I'm seriously thinking about building one, lol, without my wife knowing about it, well for at least until I start building it.

    What grade of steel?
    How did you cut the steel, did you use plasma?
    I have access to plasma at work, but may get one, to use at home.

    I never welded before, but I do know how, so this would be a slow, learning project for me.
    1/4" and 1/2" pieces were just normal carbon steel plate. Nothing fancy. Square Tubing is 1 1/2" 16 Gauge. Sheet is 16 Gauge.
    I had a local fabrication shop cut the 1/4 and 1/2" pieces. If I had to do over, I'd probably have them cut the sheet as well.
    Cut the tubing with a cut-off saw (abrasive disc)
    Cut the sheet with a combination of plasma cutter and grinder with cutoff disc.

    If you've never welded before (like me), you'll definitely know how by the time you're done. There is A LOT of welding.

  5. #25
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    Well..... <scratches head> None of this is really structural in nature, what's more important is airtight chambers. 1/4" on MIG process is nearly trivial, 1/2" I don't think I'd want to tackle with a 120v welder (could be done here with a lot of passes, though.) The tubing? should be pretty simple without blowing through it. MIG process will almost certainly be easiest. Stick wouldn't be too bad, although some of the thinner material might be a little entertaining. TIG? Only on the thinnest material here, the majority of it just doesn't call for TIG capability, and will probably take rather more filler than I'd care to feed by hand.

    Gotta admit to being very, very tempted to build the interior chambers out of stainless. My brother starting having his cherry harvest tanks made out of stainless (1 cu. ft. per inch of depth,) instead of mild steel and painting them. No annual maintenance (scraping, priming & touch-up,) and zero corrosion issues. It also helps that he's got a retired production welder half a mile down the road who did all of the welding for beer money.

    The big thing with welding is that it's like painting: preparation is key, you'll spend more time with fit-up and work up front before you start burning metal.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKalchik View Post
    Well..... <scratches head> None of this is really structural in nature, what's more important is airtight chambers. 1/4" on MIG process is nearly trivial, 1/2" I don't think I'd want to tackle with a 120v welder (could be done here with a lot of passes, though.) The tubing? should be pretty simple without blowing through it. MIG process will almost certainly be easiest. Stick wouldn't be too bad, although some of the thinner material might be a little entertaining. TIG? Only on the thinnest material here, the majority of it just doesn't call for TIG capability, and will probably take rather more filler than I'd care to feed by hand.

    Gotta admit to being very, very tempted to build the interior chambers out of stainless. My brother starting having his cherry harvest tanks made out of stainless (1 cu. ft. per inch of depth,) instead of mild steel and painting them. No annual maintenance (scraping, priming & touch-up,) and zero corrosion issues. It also helps that he's got a retired production welder half a mile down the road who did all of the welding for beer money.

    The big thing with welding is that it's like painting: preparation is key, you'll spend more time with fit-up and work up front before you start burning metal.
    I used/am using a Hobart Handler 140 (120V) MIG welder. It's only rated 4 1/4", but like you said, I did multiple passes on the 1/2" and chamfered all the edges previous to running a bead. Besides, nothing is structural.
    I learned the hard way to "stitch" weld the sheet metal, or it can warp pretty badly from the heat.

  7. #27
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    I'll have to admit to having a good welder for this project, an ancient Miller 200 transformer tap machine, 240v/50a service, with almost a 100% duty cycle. Welding up half inch should still have a good chamfer, though.

    I bought the TIG/stick welder primarily for the TIG process so that I could do fairly thin sheet metal. It's very humbling when I see folks cutting a soda can in half and TIG'ing it back together with a nice flat seam. Even with TIG, stitch welding is frequently necessary.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Bostwick View Post
    I actually bought the plans for the double tray gravity smoker. I asked for a BOM on their Facebook page and had it in my email within minutes. We then talked about the heatermeter for a bit, as he never heard of it before.

    My boss at work said I could order the metal through work and use the brake to cut the parts needed. I never soldered before so this will be a very slow project.

    Thanks, Wbegg for posting this, lol. My wife would also like to thank ya too, not, lol.
    That's Awesome!! Good luck on the build. It's been fun, and at times frustrating, but has been time well spent. Like me, you'll either end up being a very adequate welder, or a master at using a grinder. I probably fall into the latter.

  9. #29
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    John, keep your eyes open for maker fairs, SciFi conventions & the like in your neck of the woods. Chicago conventions have had build-a-blinkie workshops for quite a few years, introducing people to electronics, soldering, & the like. That'd be a good way for some quick instruction in soldering.

    Getting steel through the office *AND* use of a brake & shear? Don't get much better than that, make sure you still have all 10 fingers after, please.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by JKalchik View Post
    John, keep your eyes open for maker fairs, SciFi conventions & the like in your neck of the woods. Chicago conventions have had build-a-blinkie workshops for quite a few years, introducing people to electronics, soldering, & the like. That'd be a good way for some quick instruction in soldering.

    Getting steel through the office *AND* use of a brake & shear? Don't get much better than that, make sure you still have all 10 fingers after, please.
    Oops, I meant welded before. I solder everyday, lol

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