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Starting my first build

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 



Trying to decide whether to lay it flat or stand it up. Either way was wondering if putting the firebox in the middle would work. Been doing a lot of looking on here but most tanks used are round. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. 

post #2 of 31

I would stand it up. I'd put firebox on end.

The center firebox has been talked about in other threads.

Happy smoken.


post #3 of 31

SS, morning and welcome to the forum.....   Ribwizzard has discussed at length, the problems associated with a center firebox....  Hot spots etc...    The link below may shed some light on a center firebox smoker......  




Here are some builds by Ribwizzard.....





post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 

Going to get a trailer for my build today now I just gotta figure out what to do with the boat sitting on it. Can't beat the price $60 for 20' boat trailer with a junk boat on it. Hopefully I can scrap some of it and come out ahead. Pics will follow later today.  

post #5 of 31

I feel your pain. I have been shopping for an axle, and just about bought a boat and trailer just to get the axle. Looking forward to watching your build.

post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 

Well here it is now to get rid of the boat so I can do some cutting and modifying on the trailer. Anybody need a motorless boat or parts?

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

I'm getting ready to start cutting wondering if I should just go with a side firebox instead of a RF. Can somebody help me out on the difference. There won't be much room for me to weld inside this thing is my main concern. Plus do I need to do something when I cut out the door so it don't warp or straighten out?

post #8 of 31

I always recomend welding in the firebox before cutting the cooking chamber door, especially with thinner materials.

post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 

The thing is I have an apprentice in class this week who can take it and acid dip it for me. I really don't have the time to fab the firebox and get it mounted. That's my problem little time a lot of work. Can I weld flat stock around the edge of the door as I cut?

post #10 of 31

Acid dip?   You sure that will be food safe?   Most usually sand blast.

post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 
They power wash it after the dip so I don't think it would be a problem.
post #12 of 31

Honestly, I don't know much about acid washing, never seen it done or had the need.


But I do know about paint stripper, and how it soaks into the metal.  Ive seen how decal remover will cause blemishes in paint jobs even after the metal has been completely media blasted after using it.


So, I would ask some questions about it.  Especially since you will need to be doing a lot of welding on this tank and breathing any gases that will be produced from that.  Also, I wouldn't be in a big hurry to take all of the paint off of the tank right away, its just going to start rusting on you and will need to be prepped again after fabrication is complete before painting and seasoning the smoker. I would recommend just a good pressure wash and flushing of the tank, and clean the areas you are about to weld with a flapper wheel right before welding. Once you get ever thing fab'ed up and do a test burn and it checks out o/k, then have it media blasted inside and out to white steel.


So have you decided on a design yet?

post #13 of 31
Thread Starter 
I'm going to stand it up just don't know about welding a RF plate in it. It's 25" wide so not much room for me to climb in and weld. If I cut it at 12 & 3 it'll be 12.5 x 16.5. That's why I was thinking about making it just a side firebox. Any ideas are welcome
post #14 of 31

Stand it up like it is in the pic or stand it up on end?   So, lets start with the exact demensions, and get on the same page here. The tank looks about 4 ft long, 36 inches tall and I think your saying its 25 inches deep, ...am I looking at this right?


Also, what do you think the metal thickness is? And do the end caps appear to be just as thick as the outer shell is?


I'm also going to ask you how many and the locations of all the weld bosses ( holes) in the out shell and if the tank has any baffles already on the inside.


Once we size up what your working with, your going to start getting flooded with all kinds of opinions and suggestions, so be ready!

post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
It's 64 x 25 x 37. I never thought about standing on end. There's 3 holes in the top and a drain in the bottom. Metal appears to be 1/8" all the way around.
post #16 of 31

You going to be mounting this on a trailer or  will it stationary. Forgot to ask you that earlier

post #17 of 31
Thread Starter 

Mounting on a trailer that's why I never thought about standing it on end. The boat trailer in my earlier post I sold the boat. If I do it vertical do I just build the firebox under it?

post #18 of 31

I am new on here but work with metal for a living and have cut a few of those oil drums. A sawz all or hand held jig saw works awesome no warping and neither really throws any sparks which can be an issue if that drum had any kind of fuel that could ignite

post #19 of 31

are you going to use any tuning plates or a continuous drip pan for reverse flow for the FB I am trying to learn more about that Those kind of drums I always laid them sideways for the most cooking surface but I used a separate fire box that piped the smoke in and used a gas burner to control temp It works great on a shallow drum but a lot of people say gas is cheating and doesn't taste the same I am building one now and am new on here trying to get some input for tuning plates or reverse flow offset smokers would like to get back to cooking strictly with wood its more work but I guess the meat should be pure and hopefully better

post #20 of 31
Thread Starter 
Cornbread I'm new here too that's why I'm trying to figure all this out before cutting. I'm pretty confused on which way to turn the thing. At first I was going to lay it down and put the firebox in the middle rear. Then some of the guys on here advised against it cuz of hot spots. I just want it right the first time without major changes later. The tank has been empty for several years so I was going to flush with water and cut with chop saw.
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