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AKORN lower damper - winebottle shape - materials and temperature tolerance?


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in looking at the lower damper mod with winebottle shape

http://www.kamadoguru.com/topic/551-akorn-mods-fixes/page-25

 

I am intrigued by the various materials used

- aluminum (very high heat resistance of course)

- Nomex (looks like a little over 400 degrees Fahrenheit)

 

Why wouldn't one just use one or two strips of Kapton tape to form the desired shape?

Kapton appears to have a higher temperature tolerance than the more commonly used Nomex.

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Welcome machenmusik, I have an Akorn that's a little over a year old and I haven't done or needed to do any mods. Play with the temperature control and you may find out that your kamado will cook great without changing anything.

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Thanks jackjumper101 and Edsland.

 

Not sure our Akorn will need any of the mods to plug leaks...

but definitely interested in providing greater control for low and slow temperatures,

for which a shape change to the opening of the lower damper like ebijack's mod seems an obvious improvement.

Since I already have some half-inch Kapton tape from 3D printer stuff (a little over $6 from Amazon),

it seemed an obvious way to do a quick approximation of the proper shape,

and if it works, a cheaper faster way for others to do it as well.

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My wind bottle mod using aluminum flashing from HD works great. I sold my Acorn to a friend who is able to control temps very easily, his first try and loves the Acorn. And you don't have to choke down the exhaust to get lower temps which give a better/cleaner burn IMHO. Since you have Kapton ( not sure that that is) try it, you have nothing to loose.  And with that mod, you can keep from going over the 700 degree threshold (nuclear) since it does restrict the intake by maybe 1/3.

But a lot of folks on here are resistant ( to put it mildly) to doing any mods to anything. It is your cooker, do what you want to improve it.

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The lower vent tends to run cooler, as it is where the fresh cool air comes in.  Kapton will probably work.  There are many who resist doing mods on the Akorn; they view any changes as a statement it isn't "perfect".  I tend to view that most things can be improved by the end user.  Most of everything I own has been tweaked in some fashion or another.  The Wine bottle shaped slot does tend to improve the fine control for low-and-slow cooking.  This isn't to say the standard lower vent won't work fine for this application, as it does work well.  The mod just makes it to where larger adjustments make smaller changes in temperature.  Most Akorns come from the factory with decent sealing, however, the nomex sealing mod makes it to where any Akorn is perfectly sealed, which makes temperature control spot on.

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FYI, product description of the tape in question...

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DVBLKZE

 

ProTape pro 950 polyimide film tape. It is an ideally suited for continuous high temperature operating conditions. It is used as a ground, barrier and phase insulation in high performance torridal coils, high frequency motors. It can be used for end turn bundling and connection insulation in small motors. It is also used for cross-over insulation and out wraps on bobbin wound and form wound coils for large rotating machines to bundle conductors and reinforce insulation and it can also be used as wave solder masking of printed circuit boards. It combines a thin conformable backing with outstanding puncture, tear and abrasion resistance at high temperature levels. Thermosetting adhesive provides solvent resistance and outstanding high temperature adhesion. Features includes good adhesion, good tensile strength, low temperature application, short term, high temperature resistance, clean removal, good chemical and solvent resistance, UV resistant, easy unwind, good abrasion and moisture resistance, waterproof backing. Applications includes surface protection, powder coated surfaces, splicing, coil wrap banding, ciruit board protection. Polyimide film/kapton backing. 1-millimeters backing thickness (D-3652). 2.5-millimeters total tape thickness (D-3652). 24 pounds per inch tensile strength (D-882-91). 50 Percent elongation (D-882-91). 20 ounces per inch adhesion to steel (D-3330). 7500 Volts dielectric strength (D-149-97). 500 degree F oven residue testing temperature resistance. 350 degree F/180 degree C insulation class, centigrade. Measures 36 yards length by 1/2-inches width.

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Unfortunately I don't have the right tools to manipulate aluminum, so my thought was to very simply place two straps of kapton tape to approximate the wine bottle shape first given the minimal effort required; the tape is thin enough that I may be able to do that directly atop the existing lower opening with our any mods to the sliding door - although from some of the other threads, I wonder if it would be better to reverse the door slide so the handle is on the right instead of left. Then again, we may be able to hold 225 to 250 degrees as-is, in which case we probably won't do anything until/unless we need to go lower.

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The original slider won't install reversed. There are compound curves in the intake slider due to the shapes of the ash pan. Once removed you will see what I am talking about. As far as the aluminum flashing, you can cut/trim it with regular scissors, exacto knife. No special tools required. If your intake slider is loose in the channel, it should easily fit/slide over top of the aluminum flashing. Trace the shape of your intake slider onto a piece of the flashing, trim it to slide into the channel easily. Then you can cut out your wine bottle shape. This mod just makes it easy to adjust temps to where you want and repeat. And have the exhaust vent 1/2 way open running low temps not open to just the "D" shape. I always closed the intake before opening the lid to help stop temp spikes. Then reset the intake after closing. With the original slider/intake adjustment, 1/32" difference you can gain/drop 75-100*. Mine was extremely hard to set/maintain/repeat temps before the intake mod. Not saying you have to, just if you would like easier temp control. This works. Cheap and easy.

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The original slider won't install reversed. There are compound curves in the intake slider due to the shapes of the ash pan. Once removed you will see what I am talking about. As far as the aluminum flashing, you can cut/trim it with regular scissors, exacto knife. No special tools required. If your intake slider is loose in the channel, it should easily fit/slide over top of the aluminum flashing. Trace the shape of your intake slider onto a piece of the flashing, trim it to slide into the channel easily. Then you can cut out your wine bottle shape. This mod just makes it easy to adjust temps to where you want and repeat. And have the exhaust vent 1/2 way open running low temps not open to just the "D" shape. I always closed the intake before opening the lid to help stop temp spikes. Then reset the intake after closing. With the original slider/intake adjustment, 1/32" difference you can gain/drop 75-100*. Mine was extremely hard to set/maintain/repeat temps before the intake mod. Not saying you have to, just if you would like easier temp control. This works. Cheap and easy

 

With the original slider/intake adjustment, 1/32" difference you can gain/drop 75-100*. Mine was extremely hard to set/maintain/repeat temps before the intake mod. Not saying you have to, just if you would like easier temp control. This works. Cheap and easy.

 

That was my experience exactly.

 

Well said

 

. The slide should have been set up the opposite direction so it was easy to see the  size  adjustment you are making.

 

I never did do this mod but I know it would make temp control easy and would be far more durable than the self adhesive tape that I used.. Mine was so loose that that strip of aluminum would have fit behind the slide easily.

 

If the slide is loose and temp control is difficult then IMO this is the best mod in this section.

 

I attributed the huge change in temp to such a small movement of the vent ---  to the flop in the slide changing the seal of the slide its self to the track it slid in. The  seal along the entire length along the track can create a large change in the setting and you can not even see it. What you are seeing is the opening that you made by sliding it,  The seal along the whole track can amount to a huge difference in air and temp in the Kamado.

 

I check the fit of the bottom vent on any display unit that I see and some are the best they can be and some still are very loose like mine. The quality control on this detail is not consistent at least in the ones I have seen. When you can push it and make it rattle then it is not good.

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