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Author Topic: Okay let's flame about smokers  (Read 15472 times)

Offline DBoire

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Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #40 on: March 12, 2006, 09:26:26 PM »
I have a wood burning pellet stove.  The pellets are hardwood and a 40 lb. bag costs about US $4.  40# will go along way.  However, if the gov't finds out that the pellets are not being used for heating fuel I'm sure I'll have to pay the tax and cover the subsidy :wink:

Offline RayJay24

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Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #41 on: March 13, 2006, 02:43:24 AM »
I usedto have a heck of a job keeping the smoker alight, thought it was the hardest thing in the world until.... I went to a local coffee shop that imports coffee beans in sacks to be roasted.  The sacks cost me $2 for clean ones. I cut them into strips and roll them into loosely wound logs. Up through the middle I put in some old clean cotton. Sack takes awhile to burn, cotton by itself is too quick. So the cotton catches alight and keep the sack hot until it catches and stays lit.  Ive gone from 5 minute smoke to 40 minute smoke.

I figure in Florida coffee sacks should be easy to find ?

cheers Ray

Offline mj1angier

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Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #42 on: March 13, 2006, 10:56:26 AM »
for something that will start a good fire, use the lint from your dryer trap. This stuff is super dry, easy to get, and will burn fast. Just add your smoker fuel on top!

Mickey

Offline Understudy

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this isn't going to sound good
« Reply #43 on: March 13, 2006, 06:54:56 PM »
Without trying to sound like I live like a bum. I don't  drink coffee but I will see if I can find the coffee sacks. I don't have those connections yet. Also I don't have washer dryer because I haven't poured the slab yet for them because I am on the road so much and my wife and I usually take it to the laundry mat. Maybe I can steal some from them.

Keep these information bits coming.

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Brendhan
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Offline tillie

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Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #44 on: May 16, 2006, 11:30:45 PM »
In Girl Scouts, we always used dryer lint as a fire starter so after reading the  post above, I used dryer lint to start my smoker and then fed it with cedar shavings used in hamster cages - that worked great!  

I also use pine needles but we've had a lot of rain in Atlanta lately so my usual strategy of gathering it from the yard right before I needed it was not possible.  I also get the dryer lint going with a few pine needles in the bottom of the smoker and when the fire is burning, THEN I add more pine needles or cedar shavings to about 3/4 the way up the insides of the smoker.  

We also made GS fire starters by taking the ends of candles and wrapping them in waxed paper like little taffy logs, but I think the wax residue wouldn't be good for the smoker..... :?

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Offline Hi-Tech

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Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #45 on: May 17, 2006, 12:07:33 AM »
I have had a lot of luck with smoker fuel from Mann Lake ( http://mannlakeltd.com/catalog/page34.html ). it doesn't take long to get going and it is easy to add to if it starts to go out. I tried hay and pine straw but went back to the smoker fuel....
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #46 on: May 17, 2006, 04:24:10 AM »
Over the years I've tried most of the options mentioned that are available within my climate.  I prefer burlap and shavings and then put fresh grass on top to cool the smoke (moisture through evaporation) and give it an odor.  Adding a little fresh grass or leaves each time I move to a different hive opening the lid gives the fire a little flame and helps keep the whole thing going--short or tall smoker, but the taller is easier.
Since I have racing pigeons, chickens, and goats I get all kinds of sacks burlap and heavy paper.  I also save the wood scraps from making my own equipment.
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Offline randydrivesabus

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Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #47 on: May 17, 2006, 06:34:50 AM »
i've been using my old holey socks that i cut up into squares. it works very well. when i run out of them (this may never happen) i will switch to pine straw....plenty of that around.

i think one of the mistakes newbs like me make is to not get the smoker going real good before suiting up (meaning putting on the veil) and then working the hives.

Offline TwT

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Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #48 on: May 17, 2006, 07:35:29 AM »
I have used pine straw and it works good but builds up burnt tar on the inside of your smoker, I started using something else, "Cardboard",,,,, cut cardboard in 8 inch wide strips and role the strip up tightly, you want enough of a roll to just fit in the smoker, get a piece of paper and light it on fire and put in the smoker, hold the role of cardboard just over the fire till the bottom has been lite, then push it in the smoker and close the top, I have had this cardboard smoke for about 1-2 hours in the small smoker....
THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

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Offline KONASDAD

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Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #49 on: May 17, 2006, 11:49:02 AM »
What is the grate used for. Is it to prevent the fuel from lying on bottom, allowing air to circulate under fuel w/o clumping? Or is to prevent ashes from being launched into beehive as you bellow air into fuel?

As for liting smoker, it is the only thing in my short experience that has gone well. Mine stays lit for over two hrs.
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Offline TwT

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Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #50 on: May 17, 2006, 12:44:38 PM »
Quote from: KONASDAD
What is the grate used for. Is it to prevent the fuel from lying on bottom, allowing air to circulate under fuel w/o clumping?


exactly, to allow air flow under the fuel, like a log rack in a fireplace....
THAT's ME TO THE LEFT JUST 5 YEARS FROM NOW!!!!!!!!

Never be afraid to try something new.
Amateurs built the ark,
Professionals built the Titanic

Offline rdrclshad

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Re: Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #51 on: July 03, 2007, 12:14:27 AM »
  I know this post started a long time ago but it is great to be able to find this type of information in these forums. My smoker has been a large pain in the neck or the hand at least which is where the girls usually sting me when my smoker goes out on me. I have not been able to keep it burning correctly hopefully these ideas will help. Also found on another post about using a propane torch as the lighter that helps alot , and now I have more kinds of fuel to  try.

Offline doak

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Re: Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #52 on: July 03, 2007, 01:19:33 AM »
Get it going good and then pack it, while pumping the bellow every now and then. When going any length of time with out needing smoke, give it a couple of pumps now and then. I use my worn out blue jeans, which are 100% cotton. I don't use the pockets or anything else that is mixed. any old rags,100% cotton.
and some lawn clippings. My grass doesn't get sprayed.
doak

Offline Mklangelo

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Re: Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #53 on: July 03, 2007, 01:43:11 AM »
I bought a 50 # bag of wood pellets from Dadant for only $10.00.  They take allot to get going.  I loosely stuff some newspaper in the can, light it and pump like a mad man.  I put the pellets in.  Then I pump like a madman again. 

It takes way to long.  I'm starting to like the idea of burlap.  Either that or I'll try a propane torch.
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Offline wtiger

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Re: Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #54 on: July 03, 2007, 03:15:30 AM »
My favorite is sawdust shavings to get it started and hardwood chips.  Particularly maple, hickory, cherry that is very dry.  Those bags of wood ships you get for smoking BBQ work quite well and the smoke smells delicious.

Offline Cindi

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Re: Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #55 on: July 03, 2007, 08:44:04 AM »
Isn't it funny when old posts get resurrected  :).  I use burlap in my smoker, cool, white smoke, and I also use the dried Staghorn Sumac flowers.  I harvested the flowers during the wintertime and allowed them to dry for a long time.  My smoker stays going for hours.

I must give a word of caution with smokers that I have had advice given to me about.  Make sure that there is not alot of old ashes in the smoker.  When you are smoking into the hive, if there is too much ash, it actually can get into the honey itself.  That would be a bummer if the honey had ash in it, right?   :roll:  I always check my smoker each time I use it to ensure that there is not a whole bunch of ash in the bottom of it.  This actually means that I dump out the contents and rearrange the smoker material.  The old burlap that has not been completely burned up is the greatest for ease of start-up smoke again.  Have a wonderful day, great life.  Cindi
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Offline tillie

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Re: Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #56 on: July 03, 2007, 09:01:19 AM »
I've always used Dadant smoker stuff, but I now have a new way to start it - I use the wax impregnated paper from filtering wax in my solar wax melter - starts up immediately - I used to spend an inordinate amount of time starting the ^%$&%$^ thing. 

At Young Harris we had to start the smoker and my biggest problem there was that what they had to light it was a cigarette lighter - I couldn't do that - just don't have the flick in my thumb  ;)  but they let me get the long propane lighter that I used at home and I started it right away.  All we had in those "test" smokers was pine needles as fuel.

Linda T in the N Ga mountains.
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Offline Ross

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Re: Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #57 on: July 03, 2007, 10:33:58 AM »
The short answer is to buy the biggest smoker they make.  It's much easier to keep lit than the shorter models.
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Offline Sean Kelly

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Re: Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #58 on: July 03, 2007, 11:37:45 AM »
Some one else said this earlier in the post, but I use Pellet Stove pellets.  They're the same stuff that Dadant sells for $10, but you can buy them from Home Depot for $4.  Once you get these pellets going, you'll never get them out.  I had my smoker run for almost 4 hours.  I worked with my bees, came back to the house and set the smoker (still burning) on a concrete pad, went to dinner with my family, came home, watched a tv program, and went outside to turn off the sprinkler and saw smoke still coming from my smoker!!!  There was tar all over the outside and the nice chrome turned blue.  It would have kept going but I dumped it out in my fire pit.

I had a problem with the tar using these pellets, sometimes the tar would drip into the hive and burn the bees, but I discovered that if I stuff some green grass on top it cools the smoke and the tar problem went away.

Sean Kelly
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Offline tillie

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Re: Okay let's flame about smokers
« Reply #59 on: July 03, 2007, 02:26:05 PM »
I put a wine cork in the mouth of the smoker when I am done with it and it goes out in about 30 minutes after that.

Linda T in the N Ga Mountains
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