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Author Topic: smokers  (Read 3572 times)
Natalie
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« on: January 03, 2009, 07:54:27 PM »

I am trying to decide on a smoker.
I am wondering what the advantages are of having the insert in the smoker ( a perforated inner box) there is one that I have seen that comes with this insert.
The other difference is the shape of the top part of the smoker.
Some are angular and the others are more of a round top with a spout. Any difference between those two designs?

They are 10 and 11 inches tall.
The angular one also has a built in insulated heat shield that is riveted into the back of smoker to protect your hands, that is on top of the regular guard that is on all of them.

So basically, one has the inner box and the other has the extra heat sheild to protect your fingers.
Then there is the shape difference of the top.
Just wondering if anyone has any experience with either of these.


http://www.bee-commerce.com/detail.aspx?ID=1


http://www.gabees.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=43&products_id=283&osCsid=241e15507f374dfffb995d1c411a5065

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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2009, 09:01:56 PM »

It would be real nice if they combined the features of both models into one. 
In considering your smoker: 1. an insert helps in keeping it lit and burning as well as in cleaning. 2. The taller the stack the more fuel it will hold, the longer you can go without refilling (important if working more than 8-10 hives), and easier to stay lit.  3.  The shield keeps the fingers protected when not wearing gloves.  4. The guard gives air space around the hotbox, a nice safety feature.  5.  A hook under the spout lets the beekeeper hang the smoker onto the side of the hive.
Some beekeepers swear the domed top helps keep the smoker lit better, others argue to opposite, to me it's a wash, a novice is going to have lit smoker problems anyway. 
Buy the smoker that gives you the most of the above features in the same unit then buy it.  If you can see yourself with more than a dozen hives down the road, definitely get the larger, taller, unit.
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Natalie
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2009, 09:23:57 PM »

I agree it would be perfect it seems if they had those features combined.
I guess the major difference in the two then is the insulated built in shield offered in the one from Rossman's and the smoker insert in the one from Bee Commerce.I have to decide which matters most.
They are both about the same height 10-11 inches.
I don't know which feature is more important.
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justgojumpit
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2009, 10:16:37 PM »

You can make your own insert from a tin can and some method of cutting holes in it!

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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2009, 09:00:22 AM »

I dont have a smoker with an insert. Depending on what kind of smoker fuel you will be using I could see the insert getting all clogged up with creosote. Just an extra part to clean. Obviously the insert is not necessary as a lot of us dont have them, but it could be really nice to use I just dont know. I am sure that if the insert became a problem you could just take it out and use the smoker without it.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2009, 09:32:22 AM »

I do not use an insert. And I don't see the need for one.

It comes down to how long you will use it per lighting, the fuel you use, and your ability to start a fire that actually burns after you start the fire.

I do like my smokers that have the wire guards on the outside.

And I have no clue why, but never liked those "domed" models.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2009, 12:35:29 PM »

Buy a large one.  They are easier to light and easier to keep lit.  Make an insert if you want one from an old can:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmisc.htm#smokerinsert
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Natalie
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2009, 01:18:12 PM »

What do you think the benefits are to the insert? Also, any opinion on the shape, domed or angular make a difference?
Do you think the extra insulated heat shield built into the smoker is needed if you have the wire guard on it as well?
Thanks for everyone's input, its much appreciated.
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magnet-man
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2009, 10:12:24 PM »

At first I thought you were describing a Rauchboy Smoker. The insert is different unless it is upside down on the bee-commerce site. Check out the Rauchboy Smoker's insert here. http://www.thebeespace.com/rauchboy.html

The heat shield and the hook on front are a must in my opinion. As far as the insert I am mixed about it. I don't use one and for fuel I typically used shredded tree limb mulch I can pickup for free from the Tulsa's recycling center. It lights easily and doesn't go out. I have used the compressed cotton fiber and hulls, but you have to light that with a torch.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2009, 10:15:15 PM »

>What do you think the benefits are to the insert?

The purpose is to provide a source of oxygen to the fuel.

> Also, any opinion on the shape, domed or angular make a difference?

There are people who think it makes a difference.  I never paid any attention.  Some say one gets more clogged up than the other, but creosote will build up in both.

>Do you think the extra insulated heat shield built into the smoker is needed if you have the wire guard on it as well?

I don't know about that.  But if the wire guard goes all the way around it provides the benefit of being able to hold the smoker between your knees, which is otherwise not possible.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2009, 10:27:14 PM »

Quote
if the wire guard goes all the way around it provides the benefit of being able to hold the smoker between your knees

What did Forest Gump say?  grin Kenny Reed uses wood pellets for fuel which burns hot and melted a hole in his suit.  Cry
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2009, 10:38:46 PM »

I have a Rauchboy with an insert, and once lit,  it will burn for the 12 hours or so, whatever they claim.  It is really nice not having to worry about the smoker going out when your busy working and not continually pumping the smoker.  I don't however like the top on the Raunchboy because I can't seem to keep it closed.  It is a dome one with a very small lip/overhang and when you get a hot fire going or bump it the wrong way,  the lid pops open. It has a nice leather and wood bellow and is stainless, so it seems to be lasting forever,  but because of the lid issues, I'm going to replace it.

My next smoker will be a large stainless Dadant-style with heat shield and I will make an insert for it like Michael shows on his site.
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« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2009, 10:42:13 PM »

The insert is different unless it is upside down on the bee-commerce site.

Looks like the bee-commerce one has a top on the insert,  which is a great idea if using wood pellet.

I use wood pellets and find that the lit pellets easily come out of the smoker nozzle if you shake it or knock it over. embarassed
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Natalie
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« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2009, 10:03:31 AM »

I hadn't decided on what to use for fuel yet, I saw those rolled up cotton type fuel. Has anyone tried those? Is any fuel easier to light, keep lit and burn cleaner than other types?
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2009, 12:26:39 PM »

Smoker fuel: now that is a whole 'nuther thread altogether!

I don't use the rolled cotton type fuel...although I was helping a freind and he used it and I wasn't impressed.   I don't think clean burning is goal when generating smoke, I just stuff it with anything dry, pellets, leaves, pine needles, etc.  If I need more time I'll use wood pellets.  Lots of puffy white cools smoke...

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Natalie
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2009, 12:42:05 PM »

Hmmm, so if using pellets then the smoker with an insert would be a good idea then.
I can't believe all the stuff we just took to the leaf dump, could have saved all that.
Wonder if I should go cut some branches off of the Christmas tree we put out front for pick up before the trucks come pick them up.
I could let them dry out and use the needles,  what do ya think?
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2009, 02:36:11 PM »

Wonder if I should go cut some branches off of the Christmas tree we put out front for pick up before the trucks come pick them up.
I could let them dry out and use the needles,  what do ya think?

Buy a bag of wood pellets for less than $5, they work well and save a lot of grief.
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Natalie
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« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2009, 03:52:26 PM »

I am all about saving myself some grief, so I appreciate the tip.
Now for another stupid question, where do you get the pellets. Do you order them from the supply company or can you buy them other places.
Are these the same type people use in their pellet stoves?
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« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2009, 04:20:02 PM »

I use the pellet stove pellets.  Buy them at Lowe's or Tractor Supply.  A <$5 bag lasts me 2 years.  Not worth messing around with finding/collecting/drying other stuff.   I have a 3lb coffee can that I carry in my bee box,  when it is getting empty I just refill from the bag in the barn.

rob..
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Keith13
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« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2009, 05:28:55 PM »

You can also by a bag of mulch from your local garden center. But, I just find a dead knocked down tree and get all I need.

Keith
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