My build will be a patio build with a 1947 100 gallon propane tank approx 23" x 62" x .28". The fire box will be 22" wide to fit the cut in the tank x 20" x 20" x .25". This will be my first smoker build and I plan on doing plenty of pictures to go along with it. I am also going to try and put a lot of how to info, to make it easier for someone else to build their smoker.
My wife, let me buy a plasma cutter for our 16 year anniversary. I started to buy a Chinese brand "ever
last", but could not spend that much money without getting the best for a couple hundred more. I bought the hypertherm powermax 30. It works and cuts great, I am so glad I went with hypertherm.
I read quite a bit on how to safely cut the tank and I spoke to my local propane company about how they cut them up. Take this as how I did it, not as advice on how to do it. (do not try this at home :). reading the net I filled and drained the tank twice. the first time I put Dawn soap the second time I put TSP and let it set for a few days until I was ready to cut. During this time I spoke to my local propane co. and asked how they cut them. He said they fill them with water and then as soon as they start to drain them, they make a cut at the top of the tank, with a torch. So I let a Little water out and cut the valve threads out. then I let a little more water out and cut a hole within the area of where I was going to cut for the fire box.
I then drained the rest of the tank and then dragged it into my garage. I do not think I needed to, but I also stuck my leaf blower in the hole for a couple minutes, before my next cut. I measured the fire box and baffle plate to set about 4-5" below the cooking grate.
I then flipped the tank over and cut the legs off the tank and ground them smooth. I then put a level on the fire box cut. Once I had it level, I chocked the tank with a couple 2x4's and marked out my doors. I may have messed up on the top cut putting it at almost 12 o'clock. I am still not sure if I am going to change this or not. I have read it is better to move the cut a couple inches off of 12 o'clock and I also read that on smaller tanks with smaller doors, if you put you cut closer to the top, it will keep rain from entering the smoker.
This is as far as I got, within the couple hours i had to work on it. The next picture is just to show the cut with my plasma cutter. It is so nice compared to my torch and metal cutting saw.
I need to make some hinges out of the legs I cut off the tank, before I finish cutting my doors.