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Making your own smoker

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am beginning a new project. The construction of a new smoker from a 350 ga. propane tank. I have never made anything this big in the past but I am the vetern of several sucessful home made smokers and grills. I am considering a reverse flow setup, any comments/sugestions on the best way to achieve this? Any sugestions on the general construction of this smoker??

I hope to post pics as the project unfolds...and my budget depleats.

post #2 of 11
I'm not real fond of the side firebox. I prefer a rear or under firebox.
post #3 of 11

Plans and pics are nice, but

Plans and pics are nice, but if i were you, which I may be if I decide to build another bigger smoker in the future, I would find someone in your area that has a Lang Reverse Flow cooker and spend a few hours taking measurements, photos, etc. Of course, you would want to consider the safety issues of cutting a propane tank and also take your time planning the cutting and welding so that warping of the doors is not an issue.

What are the dimensions of your 350 gl tank, length and diameter?
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

good advice

Good advice Steve, Thanks.
I don't have the tank yet, I am picking it up this week.
I am having a Fabricator cut it for me since I don't own a Plasma cutter and I want nice, clean cuts. The safety issue is a definite concern, thanks for bringing that to the forefront of the conversation. I have inspected the tank, it has been open to the outside air for about six months now so any residual fuel should be gone. There is ZERO oder of propane in the tank so I think we are safe.
You mentioned cutting the tank in a way that avoids warping, can you expand on that? what would be a cutting technique that would cause it to warp?

As for a rear fire box, that is a future plan. I have the ability to create this smoker now so as you figured out already, it is going to be a side fire box. BUT when I find a smaller tank or another box to use for a rear box, I will go that rout. With the current price of steal, having to buy enough steal to build a suitable side box would put me out of budget. (About $300)
post #5 of 11
Warpage could occur by using a cutting torch (oxy-acty), but shouldn't with the plasma torch. Even though that tank has been sitting open that long, chances are there could still be residual gas in the steel. I would cut with as much water in the tank as possible just to be safe. If a profesional is cutting it for you, he should know how to to so safely. It is amazing how long that propane can remain in the steel. I have a very old 100lb tank that if closed up will still stink of propane when you open it. Just don't wan't any of our members blown themselves to smiterines! Keep us posted on the project!
post #6 of 11
post #7 of 11

I agree with travcoman45

I agree with travcoman45, but also, when welding the flat bar around the door so that there is an overlap between the door and the smoker, you must take your time and alternate so as not to overheat one side of the door which could cause warpage as well. There are some pretty good reads out there on fabricating smokers, although they are not usually reverse flow, but I think a lot of the main principles still apply for the build. Let me know, And I will try to dig out a few for you tomorrow. It s time for bed tonight, been removing snow all day and losing my ability to think:-)

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
I understand what you are saying about the uneven heating of the steel. I will take care not to create any "hot spots" when welding on the various door trims. I will admit, I am a bit nervous about the initial cut into the tank. I think I will bring it to the fabricator 1/2 filled with water and cut the top doors first. This will open two huge holes in the tank. After that point, I can drain the water and make the remaining cuts.

"There are some pretty good reads out there on fabricating smokers, although they are not usually reverse flow, but I think a lot of the main principles still apply for the build. Let me know, And I will try to dig out a few for you tomorrow."

Thanks Steve, any info you can offer before I get started into this would be great!

Richtee - I will check out that link you sent me. Thanks man!

I will keep you all posted as this unfolds
post #9 of 11

more info

Here is a few links on some builds. One of the links is to buy plans. I bought the plans and they were well written which helped me build the "baby" smoker I have in my "Lang 60 mods" thread. The plans are not for a reverse flow, but they cover the basics as what to do or not to do:-) The cyclops link has a lot of good info too.

Talk later,


post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Back at the build and back on the forum.

Hello again to everyone!
Its been a while since I have been on here. I hope I can fand some of my "old friends". Life has taken me in a direction I didn't see comming and I have been pretty busy for the past year or so. BUT, Live is GREAT! and I am back working on the grill again. I have a trailer now (an old pop-up camper trailer) and have the tank cut and the fire box about 90% built. The total precentage of completion of the project is about 70%. A buddy of mine got a plasma cutter and things have really gone into high gear now. Looking for some 6" pipe for a stack and still working on the way to create an air intake. Any siggestions or photos of how you did yours would be great!

Hope all is well!
post #11 of 11
Howdy John, Welcome back and I hope everything is well for you. There is another thread here that has excellent pics of a reverse flow propane tank build another member is building. I don't know how to get the link for a thread to post here but here is the info for it, "Reverse Flow Build " by ClinchMtnBBQ. If you go to the search engine I think you can enter either the thread name or the members name. Either way should work. Good luck. Peace, Wanbli
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