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Alastair

Turbocharging a smoker

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Used to be when I bought a new smoker, I would take the bellows off, throw them away, and put one of those Typhoon Bellows from Ceracell on. Those bellows could make any smoker perform twice as good.

 

But sadly, due to the influx of cheap imports, which btw are mostly junk, and the reluctance of people to spend any money to get a decent smoker, unfortunately Ceracell stopped making the typhoon bellows.

 

So now, my very last set of typhoon bellows has given out. 

 

So only option was get to work and make some, which I had a try at today. Unfortunately the spring I got was wrong so I was forced to make the bellows smaller than i would have liked, and not up to Typhoon standard. But, making it was a learning experience, and surprisingly easy.

 

If anyone knows where I can get some mattress springs please let me know!!

 

Anyhow below are the pics. The bellows have 2 holes this is important. One for blowing into the smoker, and one a valved inlet hole. One hole bellows are junk. Second pic with them screwed onto the smoker.

 

Once I can get the right spring, I'll make some bellows that even surpass the mighty typhoon! 😉

smoker bellows.jpg

smoker 2.jpg

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What material did you use? 

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12 minutes ago, Alastair said:

If anyone knows where I can get some mattress springs please let me know!!

Go to a Mattress manufacturer.  We have "The Bed Barn" down here.

If you don't have any luck.  Let me know and I will get you some.

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Yes I've been in touch with a couple here, unfortunately they were not helpful. Thanks for the offer Trevor, I intend to do some more investigation locally but if I don't get a good result I'll get back to you on it.

 

7 minutes ago, BRB said:

What material did you use? 

 

The vinyl? I don't know exactly what it is I just went to an upholsterer and got an off cut. Not sure how long it will last, I would like to know myself, what is a good vinyl for the purpose.

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Many yrs ago when I picked up my first wax melter from norm finlay he showed me his bellow making setup which was quite impressive. I understood he was making them for ceracell. 

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@Alastair have you got a pic of the old typhoon?

whats the difference between a normal valved smoker and they typhoon?

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It must be quite a flexible type. Hopefully it goes the distance for you.

Did it take you long to make it?

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1 hour ago, Alastair said:

One hole bellows are junk.

I had one hole bellows , they were junk .

I have some two hole plastic bellows now  . They are better .

But sitting the smoker fuel in the car in the sun with the windows up made the most difference.

We have pretty constant 60/  70% humidity here .

Edited by kaihoka

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Agreed Kaihoka, and keeping things clean makes a difference also.

 

Didn't take long to put it together BRB, the time was spent in finding the bits to make it from. I would imagine that if someone had proper sources for supplies, and a production line type setup for making them, a person would be able to bang out quite a few in a short time.

 

1 hour ago, Jamo said:

Many yrs ago when I picked up my first wax melter from norm finlay he showed me his bellow making setup which was quite impressive. I understood he was making them for ceracell. 

 

That's interesting Jamo, I'd like to have a chat with Norm Finlay but i don't know him, how can he be contacted?

 

1 hour ago, tristan said:

@Alastair have you got a pic of the old typhoon?

whats the difference between a normal valved smoker and they typhoon?

 

OK here's a pic, although it doesn't really say much, the real magic is probably on the inside. But i don't want to pull it apart just yet. Volume wise, i would guess it has probably 50% more internal volume than the one i just made, so that's 50% more air going through the smoker at each puff. What's the difference? Mostly size, if you hold the typhoon bellows against a dadant bellows, the typhoon ones are noticeably bigger. As to the valve, I don't know how the typhoon one works. But i have pulled apart the odd other types of bellows for a look and the valve is often jammed in a pertially open position, which would render the bellows a lot less effective.

 

 

bellows typhoon.jpg

Edited by Alastair
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Your shed looks like mine !

I have an old, round set of bellows I've been looking at renovating .... you've re enthused me , if I can find it.

Edited by jamesc

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9 hours ago, Alastair said:

Yes I've been in touch with a couple here, unfortunately they were not helpful. Thanks for the offer Trevor, I intend to do some more investigation locally but if I don't get a good result I'll get back to you on it.

 

 

The vinyl? I don't know exactly what it is I just went to an upholsterer and got an off cut. Not sure how long it will last, I would like to know myself, what is a good vinyl for the purpose.

replaced my vinyl with lamb skin leather, goes great, also added another inlet hole up higher and put a leather patch over it so it pulls in when releasing the bellows and pushes hard against the wood when pushing, the patch needs to be quite flexible to work, yell out if you want to try some leather Alastair,

the battery powered smokers with the fan goes pretty good, just pain changing batterys

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There used to be Gerrad Springs in Great South Rd, they make all sorts of springs, now they are called CMI Springs, address 7A Carmont Place, Mt Wgtn.

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I replaced my old smoker which was one with plastic bellows and cost around $50 with a Dadant with leather bellows.

id never used a dadant or the style of lid on the dadant but was swayed by beekeepers on the forum .

i won’t be buying another one !

not long after buying it two nuts that held one side of the bellows onto the body of the smoker came off and have continued to come off and the thingy that attaches  the smoker lid to the body came off so the lid is now seperate to the body which is a pain. 
I paid over $80 dollars for it and consider it a waste of money .

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You are exactly right Frazz, those 2 things are the main issues with Dadants. What i do is replace the lid pin with a longer nail and bend the end so it can't come out. The bellow retaining screws eventually seize on with rust in our damp Auckland climate 😮

 

1 hour ago, jamesc said:

I have an old, round set of bellows I've been looking at renovating .... you've re enthused me , if I can find it.

 

Do it do it! 🙂

 

1 hour ago, kevin moore said:

replaced my vinyl with lamb skin leather, goes great, also added another inlet hole up higher and put a leather patch over it so it pulls in when releasing the bellows and pushes hard against the wood when pushing, the patch needs to be quite flexible to work, yell out if you want to try some leather Alastair,

the battery powered smokers with the fan goes pretty good, just pain changing batterys

 

Those customisations show that you are a man after my own heart Kevin. 

I've also considered leather, now that I know lambskin is the way to go I'll see if I can source some locally. 

I did see a cheap imported smoker with cheap leather but the leather was porous and the smoker gutless. Would need to be a quality leather.

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My mate  down the road has a smoker with a round lid and bellows with two holes.

It is very old and puts out lots of smoke  and never seems to go out .

He just rolls up a bit of sacking , lites it up and stuffs it in.

My smoker never co operates that easily .

 

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9 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

My mate  down the road has a smoker with a round lid and bellows with two holes.

It is very old and puts out lots of smoke  and never seems to go out .

He just rolls up a bit of sacking , lites it up and stuffs it in.

My smoker never co operates that easily .

 

Borrow it permanently from the back of his truck

 

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I have tried a few different smokers over the years and while there might be better ones than dadant I have yet to find them. Like everyone has said the one hole Bellows you can get are useless. When you get a new smoker it pays to put Loctite on the nuts and when the lid falls off which they all do eventually I just put a split pin in their. You  do need to periodically clean out the blowhole on the bellows. They can look perfectly clear but get a 4 inch nail, bend it in the vice so that you can use the head of the nail to clean out the hole without removing the bellows from the smoker and it makes a remarkable difference. If I'm fitting a new bellows and they seem a bit stiff I will also reem the hole out with a slightly bigger drill .

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11 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Borrow it permanently from the back of his truck

 

He would really notice .

He gives me heaps of Schtick about my useless smoker .

 

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27 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

He would really notice .

He gives me heaps of Schtick about my useless smoker .

 

Yes.  But once you borrow his one.  Then you will not have a problem with your (his) smoker.

 

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Did not get 100% the results with the smoker bellows I made, so today I knocked up the mark 2. 🙂

 

This is bigger than anything you can buy and had the room so I put in two inlet holes. 

 

This puppy blows WAY more air than anything else I have ever used, and can quickly puff up a storm, which is a great boon, when needed.

 

 

mk1.jpg

mk2.jpg

.

 

On 14/11/2019 at 8:12 AM, kaihoka said:

My mate  down the road has a smoker with a round lid and bellows with two holes.

It is very old and puts out lots of smoke  and never seems to go out .

He just rolls up a bit of sacking , lites it up and stuffs it in.

My smoker never co operates that easily .

 

 

Show me a pic of your smoker.

 

If it is compatable, I will send you a home made bellows you can screw on, and then blow smoke all over your buddy. 😉

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1 hour ago, Alastair said:

This puppy blows WAY more air than anything else I have ever used, and can quickly puff up a storm, which is a great boon, when needed.

nice 😎

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Nice, they go well. You'll chew through the fuel with them.
Did you find a new spring for it?

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Nice unit ! 

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39 minutes ago, BRB said:

Nice, they go well. You'll chew through the fuel with them.
Did you find a new spring for it?

 

I found a spring, not ideal, but made it work.

 

The bellows are easier to compress than bought ones, but spring back quickly. 👍

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Reckon with that output, @Alastair you could use it instead of escape boards or a blower to clear bees from honey supers at extraction time, never mind smoking a good catch of fish.

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