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in too deep? only a little...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello all, I am brand new to the art of smoking. I have helped a friend of mine several times, and decided that i would jump in head first into it.

I am building a smoker that is a bit... different from some that i have seen. The smoker chamber is a 375 gallon fuel tank (yes, going to light it up to burn out any thing left before i even think of cooking in it. the fire box is a wood stove with a blower that i am going to use for a warmer. the blower is separate from the main fire pit. the pipe into the smoker is a 6 inch that i am mounting in the bottom center, and 2 3 inch pipes out at the top. the two doors are going to be top open, with ability to open one or both. i am putting in 2 doors - 8 inch fire doors in the main doors so i can check temperature without having to open the main doors. i am putting in a water pan above the inlet which will have a pipe in from the outside, as well as a drain that i can control outside as well. the main areas i am scratching my head on are... i am going to be putting in several shelves that i can remove depending on what i may do with it. i have several vertical rib racks that i plan to use.

any ideas on what would be good height for the shelves? i want to put in as many as possible, because i want to be able to use the smoker for fund raising for a few local fire departments, and i figure if i can cook a lot o ribs or chicken, etc that may be an option for them. i am going to set them up so they will be removable, so i can cook larger meat if i want to.

i am also trying to decide what the best pipe placement for vent out is - i am leaning towards sides, top center so i can reach the dampers easier.

i am putting a small work bench to the front of the pit - i am guessing that 12 inches would be deep enough, and still get to the grill. the wood is stained, and i am using a cutting board for any meat contact rather than directly on the wood counter.

the rest of the trailer is a bit... different. i am making it look like a fire truck. hose bed, ladder, light bar, kitchen sink (it was available, free, i couldn't turn it down) and several shelves for coolers and such. the warmer will be on top the fire box - there is a 10 inch opening that i will be putting a box around and damper in, but that will be done over the winter.

there are a few photos of it at:
post #2 of 13
Welcome to SMF! Glad you found us. Hope you can keep a photo record of your "little" project. We'd love to see it!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #3 of 13
Glad you're part of the SMF. Looks like you've got yourself a project on hand. We have plenty of qualified stick burnin' members who'll be glad to offer you help with your project. Best of luck.
post #4 of 13
Guess ya won't be taking that on any backpacking camp-outs...good luck with it...PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #5 of 13
Welcome Chris -

That's quite a rig you've got going. Please be careful about using containers that are not food grade they can be harmful.
post #6 of 13
Welcome to SMF,can't wait to see that thing finished PDT_Armataz_01_08.gif
post #7 of 13
Welcome to the SMF the best BBQ site on the net glad to have you icon_exclaim.gif

Nothing like jumping with both feet head firstPDT_Armataz_01_05.gif. Good luck & looking forward to your progress reports.
post #8 of 13
Awesome Idea nothing like seeing a masterpiece in the making. I have what I call my baby book, pictures of the general from start to finish. Keep us updated and show lots of pics.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks all for the welcomes!

I spent most of the day today painting the skin for the shelves. I am scratching my head with a possible concern for pipe placement going into the pit. the pipe out of the fire box is about 6 inches higher then where it will be going into the bottom of the pit. will a downward slope of about 6-12 inches over a 2 foot distance (max distances, to be safe on the measurements) be a problem. i can set it so the pipe will be even, but then i run into a small problem with being able to move the firebox if need be.

any thoughts?
post #10 of 13
welcome to smf. i hate to be the 1st downer- but if it ever held any kind of fuel- i wouldn't use it - you will never get all the bad stuff out of the pores no matter how hard or high ya burn it.i'm not the only 1 here that will tell you this- we care about people- but if you must use it- do send pics-now you can talk to a member here named ultramag that can hook ya up w/ brand new 55 gal drums just for the purpose of smoking. or you can find a local me on this- i used to work hazmat,spill response, & refineries- anything that ever held any kind of chemical or even(especially) diesel or kerosene---- bad mojo-you'll never ever get rid of the residue...just my 22 cents worth.
post #11 of 13
I agree with Gypsy, I do beleive this smoker project has been preseasoned in a way that will always add an unwanted taste and/or odor.
post #12 of 13
Welcome aboard the SMF! Talk about a project... you certainly got one going on there!

I'm on board with what Gypsy sez... find a new tank and call the used one "practice"... biggrin.gif

Good luck!
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
hmm... the drum is a 375 gallon tank, and i was told by a haz mat tech that with sand blasting and good burning out in the tank that i should be ok. not trying to argue, just background as to why i chose that tank. it had been empty for about 8 to 10 years before i had gotten it. are there places that i can get new tanks that are that size?
[edited] I just called a tank manufacturer and he told me that since i was already cut open as long as i burnt it out that would take care of anything left in the tank. he would sell me a new tank for $354.00, but he has only ever sold one new one, and everyone else that has bought from him has bought used tanks. i am thinking i might try the used tank to make sure it all works, and next spring consider a new tank if there is still any extra taste left in the tank *shrug* please note i am NOT trying to argue or discredit anyone here, just passing what i was just told. by doing it that way i can make sure i am all set, then put the new tank in in the spring.
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