Fuel Tank Questions?????

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by coachin&smokin, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. Hey guys it's been awhile since I posted. I'm looking to start building a reverse flow tank smoker and have been looking for tanks. I've found a 250 gallon diesel tank for $75 on Craigslist (I offered the guy $50 he didn't seem to happy with that) close to home. The owner said he just recently decommissioned the tank after about 15 years of use. He said there's light rust on the outside no dents and it was just emptied so hopefully not much rust on the inside. I have a some questions that I hope you guys can help with:

    1. What would the thickness of metal be on the tank roughly?

    I just bought a Lincoln Electric Flux Core Welder and it's only rated for 1/8" maximum. I bought it on Craigslist as well for $150 it's less than a year old I was excited about that deal especially when Home Depot sells them for $269.

    2. What would the dimensions roughly be?

    3. Should I look for a tank that's been emptied longer? Fumes and leftover diesel fuel are a little scary when you consider welding, cutting, and grinding even after the clean out.

    4. With safety in mind is this a good choice or should I pass? It seems the area I live there are lots of these types tanks.

    5. Should I use a propane tank instead? I'm worried my little welder won't be able to weld a heavier tank.

    I need to decide by Saturday if I'm going to get it or not. I appreciate any comments or suggestions. The SMF was the place I learned how to BBQ 2 years ago and is the first place I turn to for this kind of advice.

    Coach em Up!
  2. bcfishman

    bcfishman Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Not super familiar with diesel tanks but I think they are thinner than propane. Propane tanks hold pressure meaning they should be thicker. Diesel tanks just hold a volume of liquid that is not pressureized. That said, propane tank should be thicker than the diesel.

    Not sure how the welder will handle the thicker material, but there's only one way to figure it out. Put it to work.
  3. Your little welder is fine! As long you can run a good bead. For thicker metal just use multiple passes. try one of the welding forums. my propane tank is 3/16" most fuel oil tanks are thinner sheet metal
  4. Thanks for the info on the difference of the tanks that makes a lot more sense now. I definitely intend to put the welder to work. The guy I bought it from said he only used one spool of wire through it.
  5. That's what I was thinking to. I read somewhere that if you weld on both sides it will be much stronger. I think a thinner metal might not be a bad thing for my first build.
  6. I found another tank the same size. He guessed about 3' x 5'. The owner is going to check the dimensions and let me know for sure. It used to hold heating fuel oil and is perfectly round with light surface rust. He wants $75 for it which I think is fair. He's an older gentleman who had bought the tank with the intent to make a cooker but never got around to it. I think I'm going to jump on this one. It's sat empty much longer and won't have the diesel fuel smell. I wasn't real excited about the diesel tank and all that came with that especially since it just now got emptied.
  7. bustintires

    bustintires Smoke Blower

    the tank will be thin less than an 8th inch so ur flux core welder should be fine, you can probably add a gas valve to the welder if its a well known brand such as miller or liincoln. i bought a valve for my lincoln 115 at sears for 78.00 bucks. i have welded thicker metal with it as long as i dont use to long of an extension cord. also if you do need to weld thicker stock if you heat it red hot with a torch first you will get good penetration.
  8. rio_grande

    rio_grande Smoking Fanatic

    If you have dificulty finding one, Get ahold of me. I have 3 oval fuel oil tanks. I get 15.00 a piece for them. I am probably an hour from louisville. Jerry just set me up with replacements for these so I dont need them anymore. I kept them around because folks want to buy them on occasion.

  9. Thanks Jeff. I think I'm going to go ahead and get the one that's been sitting. I'll definitely be giving you a holler if I completely screw this tank up! You sell them for $15? That's a heck of a deal. Whereabouts are you in KY? We used to live in the Lexington Area as well as L-Ville.

    Let me ask, I've found a Jon Boat trailer cheap and the guy said it used to haul a 17 foot Basstracker. I'm guessing the trailer would be at least 15ft long if not longer. The one thing I'm worried about is the total weight the trailer can hold. What do you or others think?

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