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Budget reverse flow smoker build.

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Ok. So as a few of you know, my dad works in the propane industry. This gives me an excellent resource for free materials. I am starting a build that consists of a 50 gal. tank and a 7 gal. tank that i will be marrying together to form a reverse flow smoker. I am also trying to do this for next to nothing. And i will be keeping a running tally on material expenses. So here we go. I have Purged and cleaned both tanks, and just got them back from bead blasting. I am working on the firebox today. I already cut the hole in the smoker for the firebox and the hole in the firebox for the smoker. Plus i have the door cut out on the firebox as well. now i am using the metal that i removed from one end of the 7 gal. to form a air intake on the other side. Since it matches the contour of the tank perfectly, no metal bending or flat intake mod is needed. Also, i was left with a hole in the middle of the tank where i cut the valve off, and i will be using it as the pivot point for the air intake. I am taking pics along the way, and will post what i have so far tonight.
Current tally on parts...
Two tanks= FREE
Bead blasting= traded for promise of meat.
cutting wheels for grinder= $5.00
Bolt for air intake door= .35
Total so far= $5.35
post #2 of 29
Looking forward to the pics and progress of the build!!
post #3 of 29
Can't wait to see the pics...PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Ok. Here are a few of the pics. The firebox is turning out great! This is all I can do until i can get over to my friends house with the welder. This is my first time playing with metal.. I'm a hardwood flooring installer, not a fabricator.

The donor tanks after a little bit of prep work.

Returning from the beadblaster.

The firebox.

This is the scrap from the other side of the tank that I am using to make an air intake door. Utilizing the valve as a pivot point.

And this is the door after i cut it out and mounted the slide inside the box.
More to follow soon. Next is welding the two tanks together and Installing the baffle for the reverse flow.
Running tally still stands at $5.35
post #5 of 29
Looks good so far. That was a great idea using the scrap from the tank for your air damper. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #6 of 29
just saw it in person... and its going to be a great smoker... REVERSE FLOW .. with a water tray and drip purge valve! .. more secrets too.. but thats not my thunder!.. Good work stretch!!
post #7 of 29
good lookin start for sure!!
post #8 of 29
Now we all know what you'll be doing for extra money now. You are doing a fabulous job on that smoker and it looks really nice I'm sure it will smoke as good as it looks.
post #9 of 29
Keep us posted!!! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif I have an interest in a project similar to yours down the line.
post #10 of 29
Looks like a fine job so far...PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #11 of 29
I love what I'm seeing so far! Please keep us posted...

I decided recently to search out "build" threads on this fine site, just for ideas on dreaming up the perfect trailer offset - and maybe having her made someday. tongue.gif

There have been some very good ones posted here, for sure, over the past couple years...this one has the potential.

Thanks for sharing!
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Ok. So after last nights wonderful Tri Tip smoke.. I was super anxious to get this thing up and running. Spent this afternoon getting most of the outside work done. I saw the hatchet used as a handle once before, and i thank whoever decided to do that first cause it definitely wasn't me! But i stole the idea anyways. I have a brass dog off of an old Mac Truck. My friend is going to take it to his work and core the feet, and tap them so we can bolt it to the top as a door stop. Today, i had to buy some 1 1/4" strap, some paint, and i got a piece of 3" muffler pipe at my buddys muffler shop and had him bend it for me. So todays tally on cost breaks down like this.
Exhaust tube-$10.00 (could have been free, but i appreciated him hooking me up so i gave him beer money)
New total-$48.35
Heres what we did today.

I got the wheels from my dad. Freebie!!

The Hinges were lying around the shop. Freebie!! The legs are from an old pallet rack. Freebie!! The Mac truck hood ornament was a gift from a friend. Its been laying around for 12 years. Finally found a use for it. Freebie!!

So there you have it. That's todays progress. I hope to finish it monday, and fire it tuesday. Want to be cooking in it by next weekend. Ill keep everyone posted as progress continues!!!
post #13 of 29
Sweeeet! Excellent progress!
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Alright!!! After a day of cutting and grinding, I have tbs flowing out of the stack. The following are a few pictures of what we did today, and the almost completed smoker.

Here is my friend welding in the water pan/baffle for the reverse flow.

I know this is a big jump, but i got excited about the build and didnt take pics. I made two grills that span the bottom. They can be removed for easy cleaning. The third grill surface... the one that looks like its just floating out there, is my ABT shelf. I wanted a place to put a tray of abt's if the grill was full of meat. This shelf is removable and simply rests on a ledge in the back and is slid inbetween two pieces of square tubing at the end of the smoker to hold it in place.

Fittingly, this handle is made out of a butchers block that was 100 years old and had to be moved with a crane. You could literally see where the cow would lay in this massive block of maple. My dad has been reclaiming the wood out of it for years. There is a lot of wood there. Who knew that it would serve as a device for cooking the meat after 100 years of butchering. We branded it with my brand that i use when i make furniture.

And of course... its very first TBS!!! I am burning out the insides, and doing a few seasoning smokes. Tomorrow i will sand out all the welds, and clean the outside of all residue, and paint it. Then, one more seasoning smoke, and i will be throwing some meat inside this bad boy!!!
The cost of materials today was minimal...
3/4" ball valve for water pan drain.-$7.50
6" Black Iron Pipe.-$1.25
Total for project =$57.10
I was able to build this whole smoker for less than $60.00!!!!! It really helps to know people.....
I will post pictures of it painted soon.
post #15 of 29
YOU SOB... That takes the cake! Can I put one on order for my birthday? so I can have matching sub box and smokers.. .. Looks great .. What colors are you going to paint it!! Orange and Blue? or just boring ole BlacK? Will be back in Boise on the 19ish .. MUST do a smoke! besides the turkey!

BSU vs. Idaho on the 14th... GO BRONCOS!

PS.. ATE AT REO's Ribs in portland (Aloha) today it rocked... REO is Snopp dogs cosin... very missippi stlye WET BBQ... Good and smoky..
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
You bet you can put your order in!!! But be forewarned.. Its a heavy sob! Took two guys to grunt it onto its side to get it into my truck. And yes... i will be painting it boring black. The blue and orange paints didnt match BSU colors close enough.
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Got it all painted, and its curing right now. Boy howdy.... i'll tell you what!! If there was one thing i would do differently on this build, it would be to get it professionally painted. But that would defeat the purpose of the "budget build" I will smoke meat on it for the first time this weekend. THAT is the true test of how well it works. My temp. differences across the cooking grate are about 10-15 from front to back. Thats without water or any other heatsink in place. Plus, its cold and windy right now. I am hoping that this will be a great smoker and give me years of woderful Q!! Again, i would have liked to have gotten this professionally painted, or better yet, powder coated. But high temp P.C. would have ran me about $250. Hey, for under $60 bucks...
post #18 of 29
What can I say apart from WOW!

That's some impressive work, if you get a chance to do some close up shots of the important bits (like how the ABT shelf slots in), they'd be appreciated.
post #19 of 29
Very nice build and cheap too. That is how much I spent on my UDS, but I didnt get any freebies for this one. I did however get two freebies that I am giong to be building more UDS's out of for xmas gifts. Keep up the great work. PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hey Rod! My ancestors are from Glasgow Scotland! You asked, and here you go. Here are a few pictures of how i get my abt shelf to sit inside my smoker for easy removal. Also, here are a few pics of my water pan and drain system.
Once a Scot.. always a Scot!

This is a bottom view of the abt tray.

All we did was weld two pieces of square tubing to the far wall. First i tacked the bottom one on, and the one on the back wall. Then i sat the tray inside and set another piece of square tubing on top of the rack. Then tacked it in place. The tray rests on the one piece of tubing along the back, and inbetween the two pieces you see here on the side of the chamber. It allows for easy in and out of a tray full of abt's. There is even room on it for two fattys if you so desire.

Here's the tray suspended inbetween the two pieces of square tubing.

This is the bottom of my water reservoir/heat shield for reverse flow.. The hole in the end is a piece of 3/4 black iron pipe. 6" Long.

This is the ball valve i put on the other end to empty the water pan.
I hope this has answered all your questions. If not, please ask and i will do my best to provide you with more photos, or techniques or whatever it is that you may want to know.
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