We like to eat good, local meat, fruit and vegetables, and we enjoy making food from "scratch," or as close to it as possible. I've wanted to cure and smoke our own bacon for awhile, so I read a bunch of good articles on the Interweb.
I made this in about 2 hours, including photography, for about $25 total, including the pump. If you use simpler materials (coffee can/bean can, etc), it should cost a lot less and take you less time.
The idea came from http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/diy-venturi-cold-smoker-320916/, after viewing MissBetsy's excellent Instructable on a cold smoke generator: http://www.instructables.com/id/Miss-Betsys-Cold-Smoke-Generator/
This is a great explanation of the venturi principle and how venturi smokers work http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/smokehouse-plans/smokehouse-smoke-generator ,and their last diagram explains why I installed the smoking-blowing pipe at the top of the smoke generator, and why it is attached to the bottom of my smoke chamber (where the bacon and cheese live).
This type of smoker is known as a venturi-type smoker, and relies on the venturi principle.
The main focus is to generate cold smoke, you don't want to cook the food, just flavor and further preserve it. That means we want a slow burn, not a hot smoke. Hot smoking is a different process.
Issues with Safety: wear goggles when drilling, grinding, scraping, wiping, mincing onions, swimming, etc. Remember: sharp things are sharp, burny things burn and cutty things will hurt you. Be prepared, be safe, do it right, save $$$ on Emergency Room costs.
Careful with that open flame!
Do not leave the smoker unattended. Have a fire extinguisher handy. Only use this outside; dangers include fire risk and carbon monoxide (CO) inhalation, which leads to CO poisoning. That is a Bad ThingTM
Wear gloves, as stainless steel edges are sharp.