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Author Topic: my mini WSM  (Read 5301 times)

addicted-to-smoke

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my mini WSM
« on: April 26, 2016, 02:32:31 PM »
Many thanks to WKC members past and present for ideas here. For most of 2014 I wanted a small smoker and the 14.5" WSM was out of reach. (Today, the 14.5" WSM can sometimes be found on craigslist for $100-$125, making these mini WSM's less attractive if you're patient, unless you just dig customizing your own.)

But it wasn't a priority until a few Vasconia tamale pots were briefly available and I picked one up as well as most other parts.

It's been just over a year since I started and abandoned this project, only finishing (for the most part) this past week.


I had to cut the legs off at the bolt heads with the angle grinder to clean them. They were really rusty, but I wanted them so that I could secure the smoker to my Weber table later/lock it in. After pricing new legs, almost half the price of a new SJ if shipped,  I decided to just use up some of the chemicals I had and some elbow grease. They were a LOT worse than this prior to hitting them with a wire wheel and SS pads. I managed to step on two of the three bolt heads immediately after they fell on the ground. Each seared themselves into a shoe sole. My shoes clicked like tap shoes walking around and I had to look and see why ...




After a soak in CLR and light scrub. All rust gone, only pitting left. That's what looks black still. CLR is amazeballs!





Generic threaded "BBQ knob" used for the intake lever.




I left tabs from the otherwise cutaway of the tamale pot bottom, to support a clay diffuser pan. Got one of the last available Vasconia's early last year.  8)




My skills in connecting the two pieces of expanded metal aren't pretty but it seems to hold together. I'm using SS cotter pins, cut-up, to secure them into the charcoal grate.




Slowly working through my two half-bottles of lighter fluid that came with a recent rescue. This is about 8-9 lighting up. As you can see, it's far from fully loaded. I had about 1 charcoal holder's worth of used coals in there, barely covering the bottom of the grate?




This SJ was a $5 craigslist pickup. I didn't know it when I drove the HOUR to pick it up (dumb) that the lid was dented. So I added a WSM thermometer into the void.   ;D




I added some alder chips to add to the "seasoning" but because it's clean inside it's not as if anything but smoke is being added. I mainly wanted to burn off or seal the paint. That's Chevy Orange w/ clear gloss over it, but it's not glossy actually. The legs took a decent gloss however.

I only saw smoke coming from the top vent. Huzzah!




So I let it run full open, empty but for one cooking grate and clay saucer (no water.) I wasn't trying to see how well it held a smoke temp.

At 2:20 after the center coals had begun, the lid thermo said 215.
At 3:00 it was at ... 325.
At 4:30 it was at 275.
At 5:15 it was at 215 and I shut it down. No ash escaped.



It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

addicted-to-smoke

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Re: my mini WSM
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2016, 02:37:52 PM »
I think I may use up some black BBQ paint and gloss coat on the ash pan, and add a lever of some kind to the top vent damper. I don't know where the wood handle came from, maybe it's from this SJ or an older one I have. The "Weber" script is mostly worn. I cleaned it and added a few coats of spar varnish.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

Bbqmiller

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Re: my mini WSM
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2016, 04:32:55 PM »
Nice!

WNC

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Re: my mini WSM
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2016, 05:15:13 PM »
Great mini build! 
I've got one in the works too, if I ever get around to it...
I was planning on cutting out the little tabs too to hold heat deflector, would love to know how it worked out.

addicted-to-smoke

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Re: my mini WSM
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2016, 05:58:47 PM »
Thanks guys. Pretty much all my machines here look "great" online. Up close, eh not so much necessarily. I didn't include one image that showed the handle up close because you could see globs of varnish ....

... I was planning on cutting out the little tabs too to hold heat deflector, would love to know how it worked out.

Did that part a year ago. I drilled holes to let a jigsaw get access. Fairly easy and fast, but the tabs aren't pretty nor exact. They are strong however, and don't bend at all under the weight of the clay plate thing. If it's not clear in the picture I have 3 tabs bent upwards from what I cut out.

After I shut it down it got cool pretty quick, better than any of my bigger machines can manage. Since it already seals well I may go the next step and look into getting an insulating blanket for it, too. Less fuel and ash during a smoke is always a good idea.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

Josh G

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Re: my mini WSM
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2016, 12:35:26 PM »
Great job.  I love my mini.   I need to fire it up again, thanks for the inspiration.

Jason

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Re: my mini WSM
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2016, 05:50:15 PM »
Nice work man! Did you happen to save the lid from the Vasconia pot? If so, you can attach it to the bottom of the pot. This makes it even more stable on the bowl and also gives just a bit more clearance for charcoal.

addicted-to-smoke

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Re: my mini WSM
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2016, 09:10:18 PM »
For whatever reason I have the steamer part, with the holes but don't know where the lid is. I might have pitched it because I couldn't see myself cutting out the ring and attaching it to the pot, if I understand that modification. No rivet tool or whatever.

The pot does wiggle a little but not bad. And it seals like a champ against the bottom bowl as-is, so there's that.
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

wyd

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Re: my mini WSM
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2016, 06:14:00 AM »
Looks great.  Nicely done.
Platinum Performer Kettle (In Blue), OTG (In Blue)
Genesis Gasser (In Blue), Smokey Joe (Uline Lime)
Looking to buy (18.5 blue or brownie and blue lantern)

Lemans

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Re: my mini WSM
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2016, 06:42:46 AM »
Fantastic.  I love my mini
I can't stop lovin my Weber!!!
2-22 WSM, 22.5 gold, 22.5 MT code EE Red Head ,22.5 AH in Green ,18 silver , Green SSP code EI,Weber Ranch,mini WSM black,4-smokey joes black, lime, copper, crimson Sjg  IQ120 electric 22.5 silver economy 2004..that makes 15. I know WEBERITIS !!

DirectDrive

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Re: my mini WSM
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2016, 06:07:23 PM »
Very nice !
So what is the story on the favored Vasconia 32 qt tamale pots.
Never to be seen again ?

addicted-to-smoke

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Re: my mini WSM
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2016, 06:05:52 AM »
Very nice !
So what is the story on the favored Vasconia 32 qt tamale pots.
Never to be seen again ?

I haven't seen any for sale since 2014. I just now emailed the U.S. distributor (Lifetime Brands) about it.

Manufacturer: http://www.grupovasconia.com
U.S. distributor: https://www.lifetimebrands.com/Vasconia/Vasconia,default,pg.html
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

addicted-to-smoke

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Re: my mini WSM
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2016, 08:03:18 AM »
"Thank you for contacting Lifetime Brands! The vasconia 32 qt steamer is no longer being made.

Sincerely,
Lifetime Brands Customer Service"
It's the iconic symbol for the backyard. It's family/friends, food and fun. What more do you need to feel everything [is] going to be all right. As long as we can still have a BBQ in our backyard, the world seems a bit of a better place. At least for that moment. -reillyranch

Winz

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Re: my mini WSM
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2016, 10:53:52 AM »
"Thank you for contacting Lifetime Brands! The vasconia 32 qt steamer is no longer being made.

Sincerely,
Lifetime Brands Customer Service"


That is really too bad.  It was the perfect pot for this conversion.


Winz
In an ongoing relationship with a kettle named Bisbee.