Antique Smoker Restoration

Discussion in 'Building plans, blueprints, and finished projects' started by Hobie, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

    Messages:
    1,399
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My Dad gave me a beautiful antique AI Root smoker for Christmas, but the bellows is completely gone. Does anyone have a template/ pattern to make a replacement bellows? Otherwise, I'll just have to wing it.

    Any info anyone has on how the bellows folds or is attached to the boards would be very welcome.

    Also, is it just a bellows, or are there any little flaps inside? All I have ever seen is the outside of my new one, and don't really want to tear it apart to see how it works!
     
  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes there is a flap on the inside. If you look at the board that is closest to the barrel of the smoker it will have two holes in it. A smaller one at the bottom that blows air into the bottom of the barrel and a larger one above it that the flap on the inside covers to let air into the bellows. The flap is usually made of the same material as the bellows, naugahyde. The flap is held in place by a staple at the top of it and acts as a check valve, opening to allow air in and closing to make the air blow out the bottom.

    My old smoker bellows is held in place on the boards by a few staples and then trimmed with a piece of galvanized sheet metal bent in an "L" shape and more staples.

    There is a large diameter spring inside of the bellows also.
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Look on ebay and you might find an old smoker that has a bellows that will fit. Maybe at least you would have the boards and spring.
     
  4. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Keep in mind that a nice series of "before-during-and-after" the repair pictures will be very welcome.:wink:
     
  5. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

    Messages:
    728
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have repaired bellows on a couple of occasions.

    Detach the bellows from the rest of the smoker. May be screws or nuts and bolts.
    Carefully dis-assemble the bellows, retaining the various components.
    The main leather piece is used to make a template for the replacement.
    For my last make-do job, I obtained a piece of 'leather' from the local car-breakers.
    After cutting the 'leather' to the template, the bellows can be re-assembled.
     
  6. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

    Messages:
    1,399
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for all the info, everyone! I appear to have all the non-leather parts: Have the smoker, both wood sides of the bellows, and the large spring. Unfortunately, there is not a scrap of leather attached to it, so making a template is not an option. I'm pretty good with fabric, so I can probably get reasonably close. Good to know about the little flap inside, G3! And Efmesch, I will definitely take photos - that's a great idea that I never even though of.
     
  7. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

    Messages:
    728
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Leather size

    If you post the size of the wooden plates perhaps a member has a similar size smoker and would be able to give you some leather dimensions.
     
  8. Fuzzybeekeeper

    Fuzzybeekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You can get a new bellows from most supply houses. You just have to make sure it has the right connection. (one bolt/two bolts) If you want to keep original parts as much as possible, you can still order a new one and then take the leather off of it and attach it to the old frame. That would probably be a lot easier and cheaper than spending your time re-inventing the wheel.

    Fuzzybeekeeper
     
  9. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

    Messages:
    2,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I will look thru my collection I think I have an old root one some where. All you need it the dimensions of the bellow at the top and at the bottom. the bellow material over laps at the bottom.
    Please post a side view picture of the smoker so we can see the top design and the hinge design for the top. Also measure the bellow boards height and width, and post the size so can make sure we're giving you the size for the right smoker. thanks