Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Coming out of hibernation

It's been years since my last update, so I thought it was time to start posting again.  I'll probably start posting soon about my adventures as a new beekeeper.

That's all I have for now.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Vertical Drum Smoker - Part 4

I took a couple of weeks off from working on my smoker to get some other work done.  I did manage to cook a small Boston butt as a test before my break.  It turned out really well, but I also learned a few things to improve upon for next time.  I don't have a custom fire basket yet, I simply put a small Weber table top grill in the bottom of the can and used it as my firebox.  It worked pretty well, but I think a basket with an ash catcher would allow for a more even flow of air and better cooking.

I resumed work on it today by putting a coat of semi-gloss black on it.  I also installed a single valve and 2 caps on the bottom vent holes.  I may replace one of the caps with another valve after a few more test burns.  It depends on how hard it is to control the temp the way it is now.  I also installed a second rack for holding a water pan, or for extra cooking space.
 I still need to paint the lid and maybe make a vent system for the top.

I may work on the improvements later.  I'm not real happy with the thermometer I bought, it seems to read about 50 degrees too hot.  I've been shopping around and reading reviews, so I'll see where that takes me. 

I may put some pipe elbows on the two side vents and place valves closer to the top.  I've seen other design with this configuration, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort.  It's not like it's hard to bend down and adjust the valve at ground level.  I'm still considering custom paint options as well.  Hopefully the 3 coats I have on it now will keep it protected from rust, but I may spice it up a little bit.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Vertical Drum Smoker - Part 3

I finished up the sanding tonight and applied one coat of Rust-Oleum High Heat Flat Black paint.  This is just a bottom coat to protect the metal I've been sanding.  It took an entire 15 oz. can to cover the sides of the drum and part of the bottom.  I'll pick up another can to finish the bottom and to do any touch up work with.  I have to strip and paint the lid as well.  I also picked up a can of dark blue engine enamel today and the auto parts store.  I plan to use it for my top coat.

Here is a photo with most of the paint gone, I did a little more clean up work before I wiped the whole think down with alcohol to prepare it for the paint.
Flat black High Heat paint on the sides.  The top is still original.
Not very pretty here, but it was important to burn away and sand off any of the original paint before I use it for cooking.  As you can see, I haven't done the lid yet, but it will get done too.

Vertical Drum Smoker - Part 2

Sunday turned into a short day for working on my smoker.  Most of my day was committed to doing other things and I only had a small window to work on my drum.  That window was interrupted by a sudden thunderstorm making for an even shorter day than planned.

It started the day looking like this.  One of my kids asked me why I couldn't leave it green, but the paint it came with cannot stand even the relatively low heat of smoking.

Note, I removed this photo from my Google+ account.

The black color is from the burn to start removing paint before I did any sanding.  The silver is the bare metal after a bit of sanding..  I did manage to get it about 95% sanded down to the metal, but I still need to clean up the edges, dints, etc.  It took about two hours of work over Saturday and Sunday to get the whole drum looking like the middle section pictured above.  The bottom and lid still need to be worked on.

I'm still trying to decide what type of paint job to give it once I get cleaned up and a base coat applied.  Right now I'm toward a TARDIS style paint job.  Assuming I can find the paint colors I need.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Vertical Drum Smoker - Part 1

I've been wanting a meat smoker for a while now but the really nice ones I like are a lot more expensive that I want to spend.  I noticed a quite a few DIY smokers on a number of websites.  I considered a several different designs, but finally chose to build a Vertical Drum Smoker.  It is also called a Ugly Drum Smoker, or UDS.  I'm not going to call my an Ugly Drum Smoker because my wife told me it can't be ugly if I want to keep it in our back yard.  So, I hope I can make it look pretty nice.
Here is the first photo of the drum I bough yesterday.  I wish I had been a little more careful picking out on with fewer dents, but this will do.  This one originally contained apple juice concentrate.

Note, I removed the photos because there were stored on Google+ and I'm still evaluating their recent changes to the terms of service.

Here it is with an electric hot plate smoking a few apple wood chips on a cast iron skillet.  I'm toying with the idea of making this one run on either charcoal or with an electric element.  I'm not sure if I'll be able to reach 225 degrees with this electric hotplate.  I'll have to test it again later.

I've started removing the paint and sanding the exterior so I can give it a fresh coat of heat resistant paint.  I was going to take another photo, but I ran out of daylight.

Tomorrow I hope to finish sanding and if I'm lucky, I'll get a coat of paint on it..