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It has begun

post #1 of 200
Thread Starter 

I have started sourcing a few things, well just  a trailer but my tank is in the works.  I plan on building a 250gal RF like the one here http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/126853/my-first-reverse-flow-build-125-gallon-propane-tank-plenty-of-pics/40   .  I got what I think is a killer deal on a boat trailer, but im thinking I might be too BIG. it is 5' 8" wide (inside to inside) and just short of 20' from back to tipoff tongue too big?.  From what  Iv read,  extra space for wood, coolers and such are sometimes overlooked. Im sure Ill have enough space,,,,, but will this be waayyyyy too much?      



post #2 of 200
Trailers are funny, some want huge in order to have room for everything they possibly need, some want compact. But they are the foundation for the build and before you get too far, it would be best to decide exactly what you want from the cooker as far as how much trailer in your going to do and what all your going to haul. If your just cooking locally around the house, I'd say go compact, but if you plan on catering or competition, go big as you can haul.

It really isn't that hard to cut it up and rebuild it exactly how you want it to be, you can even narrow the axle if it's too wide.
post #3 of 200
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply Ribwizz!  I like the design of the smoker build that I linked to in my first post and mostly because of the $$ you'd save on the fire box, but I gotta lot of thinking to do. By the time you cut 1/4 off the 250gal, it looks like you might have about the same amount of cooking surface as you would with a 150gal with a box built on it.   I checked on a 4x8 x1/4 sheet today and it was $190... not bad I don't guess.....   I did a little tradin today and scored a welder and the guy I got the welder from sold me a 150 gal tank for $50 but I still got my eye out for a 250gal... A lot of thinking to do!!!!!!!!!    Heres the welder I scored, it also came with a aluminum spool gun.

post #4 of 200
Cool, what are you planning on using the smoker for? Just cooking around the house?

Also, why do you like the style where they cut the end of the tank off? Are you trying to make it more compact?
post #5 of 200
Thread Starter 

Im dreaming big here but yes around the house and maybe id like to get a little more into it maybe local comps or something, just looking for something for me and the woman to get involved in. In reality, probably smoking some hamburgers or some of these :sausage:.  I liked the style where the end if the tank is cut off because I thought that it would shave on cost, but Im not sure that's the right way to look at it...  


post #6 of 200
Something like this, you should take your time and do it right, even if it means waiting for the funds to catch up before moving forward. Your going to have some sweat and blood in it before your done, but if your patient and do it right, it will last you a life time.

I've build a couple large trailer build believing I'd get into catering or competition and need it, but if you check out my newest build, it's all about compact and easy to trailer and store.
post #7 of 200



Ribwizzard is right.  You really need to think and plan the build out with all the factors involved taken into consideration.  How big does it really need to be?  How am I going to use it?  If I go big will this limit me using it as much for smaller cooks?  Will it be big enough for what I normally need to cook?  Where can I store it?  Will it be in the way?  ...... Below is a pic of my recent build that also involved using part of the tank for the firebox but a little different orientation than the example you showed in your post.  I like the way it looks but there are some special challenges in connecting curved pieces of metal to each other and cutting joints to line up properly on rounded material.  It can be done as evidenced by mine and other builds but probably requires a little more work and gnashing of teeth.  What ever you do think it all out and go for it but do it fight the first time.  Rework is time consuming and can be costly.



post #8 of 200
Thread Starter 

I picked up the tank today and it turns out that its a 120 and not a 150. got to thinking about what yall were saying and Im probably gonna go with this size and build a fire box on it. Truly im guessing its all Ill need.  I had read a few times that when you washed them out that  they were stinky,,,,,, I don't think that this could be said enough! Even though the tank was empty, after I took the valves out and started filling it up with water I guess it started pushing the "residual" gas out. The woman was not happy with that part,,,,,,AT ALL. Any way only $250 deep on the trailer and the tank so I don't recon that's too bad.

post #9 of 200
The tank looks to be in good shape! The bottom is usually where the rust is, so check that part out good. And put the worst area towards the back.

If you don't mind me giving a little advise....?

Don't get in too big a hurry to start cutting on the tank, I recommend getting the firebox fabricated completely first , then while the tank is still sitting on its legs, giving you a good reference point to get a level cut, cut and mount your firebox. ( installing the firebox upside down, because your going to want to flip the tank over so as the valve holes will end up on the bottom) . Now you only have to flip the tank once, and the firebox will now be your new level point. Keeps you from doing any overhead welding or from having to keep flipping the tank over and over. Once the firebox is completely welded in , then start cutting your door. Less distortion on the tank that way, giving you a better fitting door.
post #10 of 200
Thread Starter 

Ill take all the advice I can get. It will be a few weeks before I go any further, but that will give me a little time to push some numbers through the calculators and get a good Idea of how Im gonna tackle the box. I gotta wait till I get a little extra $$$$ so I can get some leads for the welder. I got a good deal on the machine, but no leads or feeder box.. I plan on doing this with stick. 

   The tank looks good, but there is a little surface rust on the bottom with minor pitting but no big deal.  Did I mention how bad this thing stunk? she made me leave my cloths outside.  Know where to get any good deals on lead lines????

 thanks to all for the help thus far!


post #11 of 200
Where you located at?
post #12 of 200
Thread Starter 

Sorry,,,, Tifton GA.  Ill try to fix my profile tonight when Im not late for work....

post #13 of 200

Sounds like you are off to a good start and cheap too!!!!    Like Rib said take your time do a lot of research look at a lot of builds on here and go look at some smokers, Take all the ideas you like and incorporate them into your build. Good luck


Gary S

post #14 of 200
Thread Starter 
Quick welder question. I want to make a extension cord to plug my welder into. I can plug it into the dryer outlet but I need it to be about 25' long to get out of the laundry room to m6 outside work area. From what I understand I need a 6/3 insulated wire to do this, but I know absolutely nothing about electricity. Is this wire something I can get at lowes or somewhere like that?
post #15 of 200
Extension cord for welder depends on a few things. What is the max current draw (amps) of your welder?
The more amps here mean fatter/ thicker wire...lower gauge size. What amperage is your dryer circuit fused? You want to do this safely and not burn your house down. You will not like the price of this fat wire.

post #16 of 200
Where is your breaker box located? Might be easier and cheaper to just do a drop out of it.
post #17 of 200
Thread Starter 

Here is what the welder says  volts 230/460       hertz 60       phase (1) 7.98kw  amperes 47.4 / 24.5       phase (3) 11.5 kw  amperes 30.5 / 18.9 .   

 here is a pic of the dryer circuit


 on the " 60 60" side there is a grey wire coming down going to the dryer. On the "30" side, the black wire going up is going somewhere else (Im assuming cooktop?)


 and here is a pic of the dryer plug (don't know if it matters)

sorry for all the picks but there worth 1000 words, so im told.



post #18 of 200
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Ribwizzard View Post

Where is your breaker box located? Might be easier and cheaper to just do a drop out of it.

about 3' from the dryer

post #19 of 200

You are probably wanting to do this a cheap as possible, But you want to be safe and not have a problem, I would talk to an electrician, about putting in a plug or wiring close to where you will be welding . Maybe some bartering, you never know. If you are going to be welding a lot that would be better in the long run. You can look on line and see what is recommended for a cord and that many amps. We want to see pictures of your build, so be safe my friend.



post #20 of 200

If the breaker box is that close I would look at running a new drop from it rather than having to go to the hassle of plugging into a dryer circuit that may be in use and hard to get to.  Only works it you have some vacant space in the panel.  If no space available in the panel then the dryer may be your only option.  Unless your up to it experience wise I would suggest getting an electrician if you need to go into the panel.  Making up the extension cord would be a little easier or you may probably know someone with the skill set to help with that.  Low'es or such will have the 6-3 wire which will carry I think about 50 amps and should have the outlet and dryer plug you would need. Should have the cable for direct burial which would be tougher and a better choice probably.  Be safe! 

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