1989 is not that old for Cookshack smokers. They have been making them for over 50 years. The Cookshack smokers will take a little to get used to. First off, don't soak your wood. These things are tight and cook on the moist side. I have an SMO66. These things are very wood stingy. Read the manual that you were sent, and you will see the Recommended amount of wood. I would stick to that amount of wood. Go much over it, or keep adding wood during the smoke, and every thing you produce will taste like Creosote, I have done that and been there. One of our former members wrote some 101's on using these these smokers. He said that meat only takes in smoke until the internal temp of the meat reaches 140 degrees. Believe me, you can get plenty of smoke on the meat by the time it reaches 140 degrees.