It's been a while since an update but I've been busy playing with plants. The tomatoes are Creole, Big Beef, Better Boy, Early Girl, Goliath Giant Early Bush and Big Red Cherry. The peppers are Big Bertha and California Wonder. I have hots and superhots going too, pics coming later.
Here's some picks Feb 13th
Here's some from Feb 16th, the heat made these grow fast. All but 2 trays of tomatoes are sold already and gone.
I transplanted some Big Mustard Mama and 7 Pot Primo's today. These were started in a 392 plug tray. It was an experiment to see how they would grow and I'm pleased with the rootball on these little plants, they should explode with growth now that they've been transplanted and getting some ferts.
I also tilled a row for some tomatoes, here's a pic when I was done.
I also planted cukes and a short row of Rattlesnake pole beans yesterday before the rain that never came so I'll be watering tomorrow.
I topped a few 7 Pot Primo's in the GH growing in Dutch Buckets, here's before
After the chop
FYI. I tried to grow these peppers through the winter to get an early crop but the freak winter we had just made them slow down too much but since it warmed up they're growing like crazy.
I planted 31 tomatoes plants a few days ago and dropped some bean and cucumber seeds yesterday waiting on the rain to water them in that we didn't get. Here's the row after I got it ready for plants, the soil moisture is right and makes it look good.
I hope we don't have another freak coldfront come through!!!
Everybody tops a little difference but one thing remains the same, it's hard to kill the plant and they only get that bushy look when it's done.
I top and cut leaves to open up the stalk, this allows light in to make the side shoots grow.
Here's a few pics of a 7 Pot Primo I topped on Feb 8th, you can see this plant was ready to start growing side shoots already. The topping and thinning leaves gave it light and it exploded with new growth. Not all plants will respond this good but topping always helps get more production down the road.
I talked to my uncle today, he's friends with a guy who owns a sandblast shop and that was my ticket to a free sandblast. I call him up and ask about it and he says the shop closed because the guy died.
I'm like WHAT? We were all together about 5 months ago eating lunch and the guy was only about 58. He had a massive heart attack at the hunting camp and his wife shut the business down to sell it. What more F'ed up is this was a family business and both of his sons worked there along with about 10 other employees. As it turns out, this was his 2nd wife so it's not her kids and she just closed that book and moved on.
He didn't have a will so if you learn anything from this make sure you update your will as life changes. She didn't have to shut the business down, they had contracts with a few oilfield companies and did major business daily. They didn't just sandblast, they had a paint booth too so it didn't matter what you wanted they could do it.
I hope that dude haunts her till she dies..
Later this week I'll find a shop to get it done, I'm busy now working on the garden, it's time to plant.
Mike, I already thought of that. I don't think it's gonna make a difference from what I saw today with the lid on. The intake only allows so much air and only the coals that get air burn and those are closest to the air intake. This was after I burned all that wood to make coals. And it would be great to make coals, I was impressed by how much was left after I covered it. It flamed up fast after I pulled the lid.
I've been burning it for about 4 hours now and it smells like a smoker, no off fumes except when I started and that was the butter oil. By the way that oil smelt like popcorn butter. I filled the barrel up twice with all hardwood branches and it had coals up to the bottom ring. The only paint burning is on the outside mostly around the air intakes. I'll do another burn tomorrow after I check to see if the paint comes off.
I did find this saying it's good to 400F.
After a while I set the lid on cracked to keep the heat up hoping it burns the lid but that didn't happen, not hot enough with it on there.
You may be right, I'll just use that butter oil that's in it.
Next question: It has a painted liner inside the drum, should I remove it? Thoughts/Concerns?
The inside of the barrel is painted/coated. I would think it's food safe and shouldn't be a problem unless it burns and gives off fumes. I'm researching it farther but I think I'm leaving it alone after reading a few forums about the liner.
Here's an example response
I bought a drum from you recently with the epoxy phenolic liner that I intend to convert to a smoker. I don’t anticipate ever cooking anything at over 400 degrees, mostly low & slow, 225 degrees. I know it is supposed to be safe for food but Is it safe for cooking bbq? Does this liner need to be removed prior to smoking on it? Thanks!
Hello, I must apologize for the delayed response. Thank you for purchasing a drum from Skolnik. Having the interior lined will not effect your smoker environment. The liner is similar to a high temperature paint and all the ingredients in the liner are food safe. After some use, the liner may begin to peel due to heat exposure. Just wire brush the peelings to prevent them from dropping onto your food. Hope you have many great tasting bbq’s!
I'm getting started and like always, as soon as I need my cordless drill it dies and needs a charge.
I'm not gonna burn it before running it through a basket of coals. I wanna see how long it will burn and how accurate it holds temps. I don't cook over about 315 unless the coals get away from me and I want to see how much paint will burn off the outside before I go crazy sanding it down to put high heat paint on it.
I'm guessing that Butter oil is what we all eat in Hot Wing sauce and there's still about an inch of it in the barrel. It didn't even run when I had it layed on the side to bring it home. I think I'll scrape it out and use that for a coating on the inside. I'm not sure yet but I know it has a use in this project, maybe mixed with some BBQ sauce to build a bark on the inside.
I would've replied earlier but I had to change the starter in the ride.
I stopped at Home Depot and picked up almost everything. I could've got it all but I didn't want the Weber grate with flip up sides. This is too easy for a generic smoker. I will play with it a little then start making it mine with some fancy additions.
Parts are cheap
I went off the basic design to get it going, here's the PDF.