I've been reading threads and browsing the forum for the last couple years and decided it was time to join up and get smoking.
I live in the Black Hills of South Dakota and am a transplant from West Texas. This area seems a little frustrating because it is cattle country but no one eats barbecue. I don't understand it, they eat lots of steak and there are lots of steak houses but every time a barbecue place opens up it closes down within a couple months. I am starving for good smoked meat and have decided to take matters into my own hands.
I've got some limited experience smoking meat with my little cheap-o Brinkman vertical charcoal smoker, but the thing is such a pain to use that I rarely use it. My folks down in Texas have an offset smoker that I've used with good success and I like it much more than the vertical so I've decided to build a horizontal smoker.
I have wanted to build a smoker for years but I've never had the extra cash in the budget to make it happen. As it happens I was taking a load of construction waste to the dump and after unloading my junk I spotted a 100lb propane tank sitting on-top of the garbage. I loaded it in the back of the truck not knowing what I would do with it but knowing it had to be of some use. I later came across another one for $25 and bought it. My plan is to weld the two of them together in a sideways "T" shape and make a combination vertical/ horizontal reverse flow smoker. Its not going to be very big by the standards of the builds I've seen on this site, but I'm only going to be using it for family and friends so it doesn't need to be big. I have started work on the tanks by going over both of them with the twisted wire wheel and the angle grinder, to remove all the years of spray paint,rust and garbage from the dump. After I transferred all the crap from the tanks to a stinky dust covering my clothes, garage, truck, house, neighbors and neighbors pets, I. painted the two tanks with grill paint. after reading horror stories about guys blowing themselves up cutting into tanks I was pretty nervous about starting any real work on the tanks. neither tank had a valve or cap when i got it and both seemed pretty old, but I had no way of knowing how long they had been open or if there was nay residual propane in there. After reading that propane is heavier than air I propped both tanks up so that the openings were down and let them set a long time. It may have been a few weeks before i got back to doing anything to the tanks. I finally worked up the nerve to weld some legs on to one of the tanks and since didn't die i figured it would be okay to cut into it. I did my best to notch out the end to mate up with the other tank but did not do a very good job and there are some big gaps. I only had a angle grinder and cutting disc to cut the tanks and it is not very easy to cut a radius with a flat cutting disc. I now have my Oxy Acetylene set up back from my dad and I'm getting anxious to get back in the garage and get a better fit on the cutout so i can mate the two tanks together. I guess that's probably is enough for the hello section.