So my first Idea was to build a UDS because I have access to a few old castor oil barrels, but something interesting happened the other day. I was on the way home with my dad from picking up his new air compressor and we stopped at a local gas station for a bite to eat, and some guy in the parking lot saw the compressor and told us he was moving that day and wanted to get rid of a 60 gallon tank he used as a spare. Dad didn't have any use for it but I told him we'd take it, so we followed him to his house about 3 blocks away and we threw it on our trailer for free! Here's a picture.
I posted this a while back, with intentions of building a SFB or reverse flow smoker, and it's been sitting in the shop ever since. I've had plenty of time to contemplate what to do with it since working 60+hrs/week hasn't allowed me any time to do any real work at home, and I've changed my mind. I really like the idea of the SFB or reverse flow, but to build one is looking expensive. I've been looking at ideas from UDS's and the dimensions on this tank are very close to an 18.5" WSM. I've read how efficient both of these types of smokers are, and that is what I need, steady temps for long times!
The idea brewing currently is a UDS/WSM wannabe hybrid type deal. I have my cutting wheels and welder ready to go, and had to stop myself from making the first cut tonight b/c I want to be absolutely sure on my design. Right now, I plan to cut the top off and make a lid out of it, and cut 2 doors in the front, one for shelf access and the other for fire access. I plan to have either 3 or 4 mounts for shelves so I can smoke multiple racks of ribs or cold smoke slabs of bacon etc... I'll fabricate a charcoal basket from expanded steel and a weber grate. How high should the charcoal basket be elevated? I was thinking since the bottom of the tank is domed I can just set it over the seam and mount valves right underneath. The doors will be made out of the pieces I cut out and some flat steel welded on for overlapping. Then I'll use either oven rope/gasket or high temp sealer and some tight latches to seal them closed.
I plan on making the first cut this week! Will keep pictures posted as progress is made. Thanks in advance for help!
Edited by berninga87 - 12/6/11 at 2:53am