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Which is the best construction method for a smokehouse  RSS feed

 
Ian Taylor
Posts: 59
Location: Grafton NY, 25 Miles east of Albany
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I'm having trouble deciding what method I'd like to use in building my smokehouse. I'd like a structure where I can both smoke and store estate size quantities of meat like would have been done in my area in the 19th century and earlier. I want at least enough space for smoking a few butchered lambs and some fish all in one go.

Both designs have a detached firebox attached by a short chimney to the locker/structure.

Method 1: Round with fieldstone stone structure and walls, timber octagon roof, D=8ft C=25ft A=50ft H= Stone 6ft + roof.

Advantages of this is cost and uses a skill set i'm semi familiar with, I'm not an expert mason but I'm confident I could do this. Also the durability is basically as high as a structure can be and it's completely fireproof.

I would stack the stone and "mortar" it with clay, kind of like an Irish peasants house. The walls would taper from about 18inches thick at the bottom, the dimensions are ID. As for the roof I think I'd use wood shingles or maybe slate if I can buy that small a quantity. I would need someone to cut and join the timbers for the roof, but after that's done I would only need to lay it on top  of the building with a loader.

The disadvantages is that it would take a lot of time gathering the stone and laying it, more than wood anyways, and I would have to build it on a pretty thick slab, not just on pylons like a wood post. I dont see how i could build a frost wall that small in diameter so id probably just do a concrete slab on grade, I'm not sure how thick yet. The structure would weigh about 11 tons but we are on heavy clay soil, stuff doesn't settle much here, especially on the subsoil which is hard packed gravelly clay.

Method 2: Square timber frame with cob walls, 8ft each side P=32ft A=64ft.

Advantages are that I don't need to pour a thick slab, read not renting an excavator, I can just drill 4 post holes with my post hole digger on my tractor and pour a thin floor on top. Also it would go up much faster.

The disadvantages are that I know nothing about timber framing or using cob to fill walls so I'll be paying someone to frame and assemble it as well as working with cob which I've never tried. Also... it's made mostly of wood and clay, stone is an inherently better material in most respects. I'd be worried all the time about stuff rotting, I'd like for this building to outlast me without much maintenance.



So if anyone with some experience, either having a smokehouse or building something like this, could chime in I'd love any input.
 
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