Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by bbower1, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. This is my very fist post, and my very first build.  I am looking for as much advice as I can get, from the people that have learned.  I just purchased a 500 gallon diesel tank that has sat empty for the last 7 years.  I do not know the dimentions yet even.  I will hopefully pick it up tonight or tomorrow.  I will also get a boat trailer later this week. I know I want to do a reverse flow.  The questions that I dont have answered yet are...firebox in the back, or to the side.  A tank of this size unless mounted in the center of the trailer will be side heavy unless counter balanced with the firebox in the rear.  I could center mount it and have the firebox on the end, but want easy access to the meats inside.  I am also thinking of adding a vertical smoker to the end as well.  I am in no rush to complete this project, but want to have an amazing smoker when completed.  I will probably add lights as well.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. 
  2. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to SMF....
  3. Thanks Roller.
  4. bluebombersfan

    bluebombersfan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  5. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

  6. hardslicer

    hardslicer Smoking Fanatic

    now that sounds like a project......I have no advice, but hope you will keep us up to date with your build.......good luck!!   [​IMG]
  7. Thanks.  I will post pictures all the way through.  Advice would be nice however.  I have not heard meantion of anyone incorporating a water pan into their smoker. Is this not a good idea?  What bout RF combined with tuning plates.  Best of both worlds?
  8. OK...i have the tank at home now....all the pipes removed and good news.  No fuel smell what so ever.  Did some surface grinding and the tank is in great shape.  Took a couple pictures that I will post soon.  Time to get started.
  9. jason davis

    jason davis Newbie

    It's looking good already. Sorry I wasn't able to help much today. We'll get a good jump on it next week.
  10. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  11. fourthwind

    fourthwind Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This is one heck of a project your startin, and I am sure it's bit daunting.   We always mount the fireboxes on the end, so if it's a side mounted firebox you want then I can't help a lot.   Reverse flow is all about the balance of airflow.  Everything from the inlets to the exhaust stack needs to be within certain perameters or it will not flow well.  Especially on a build this size.   Post the dimensions of the tank, and I can work up those numbers for you.   As for the boat trailer, you will likely need to beef up the suspension.  Most boat trailers are built for low gross weights and will not work for smokers this size without some modifications.  The trailer ID plate should have a gross weight shown on it.  That number was also created based upon when the suspension was new.  Another thing to look at is your states trailer brake requirements.   This build could easily top most states requiments.  At the worst case scenario you can replace the axle with a 6,000 pound torsion axle that has the brakes and such for about 600 bucks.    Welcome to the SMF!  [​IMG]
  12. Thanks Fourthwind.  I believe the size is 48.5" x 73".   I will verify when I get home.  Thanks for your help.
  13. hmcm

    hmcm Smoke Blower


    bbower1,  sounds like you are about to have a ton of fun with that project!  Keep us up to date on that build and don't forget the photos!


    Good luck!
  14. fourthwind

    fourthwind Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ok so based on those numbers, here are the perameters you should work towards.

    1.  Firebox 36 inches square

    2.  Firebox to Cook chamber opening 50 to 60 square inches

    3.  Use 3/16 or 1/4 plate for the baffle and make sure it is sloped down and away from the firebox about 3 to 5° to your drain.  The baffle should start at the top of the firebox opening so that you have a consistent space under the baffle plate to the end where the air wraps around.

    4.  You should have about an 85 to 95 square inch gap between the end of the baffle plate and the tank for the smoke and heat to make it's way into the cook chamber.

    5.  The exhaust stack needs to be 24 to 27 inches above the tank if it's 10 inch pipe, and 42 to 45 inches if it's 8 inch pipe.  This is area OUTSIDE the cook chamber.  You will want the outflow into the pipe to be about midway down into the tank so that smoke makes it down to your food.

    6. You will want about 120 to 140 square inches of controllable air inlet to the firebox.

    7.  Your first cooking grate level should be about 4 to 5 inches from the baffle plate.  4 inches will give you more searing action.  I do 4 inches when it's going to be used for comps because you can get great chicken skin without bumping up your heat.  Spacing is up to you after that.

    Should get you where you want to be.  [​IMG]
  15. [​IMG] Sounds like a fun project. Can't wait to see some pics.
  16. sunman76

    sunman76 Master of the Pit

    Sounds like this is going to be a great build.   can't wait for some pics
  17. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    The trailer is really the biggest concern imho. You are looking to split the weight 60/40 with 60% of the weight being in front of the axle(s) and 40% behind. You will want to shoot for 10 - 15% of the total weight being on the tongue. With the firebox, remember it generates a lot of heat and wherever you place it has to be able to deal with that heat. Be careful about being too close to the tires unless you intend to jack the trailer up and take tires off. Those considerations affected my design decisions for the 500 gal RF we just built.

    One other design consideration I would throw at you is a gravity feed and stoker so you can get some sleep at night instead of having to toss another split into the firebox every 20 - 30 minutes. That is the only regret I have.

    Good luck and post lots of pics!
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  18. sunman76

    sunman76 Master of the Pit

    Can you tell me about this and how it works please
  19. jason davis

    jason davis Newbie

    I've seem automatic feed on pellet burners. I've never thought about on a stick burner. I guess if all the wood was roughly the same size it could work. I'll have to put some thought into that. Until then that's what the kids are for.
  20. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member


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