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2nd smoker, 1st trailer build.

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by harvey4804, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. harvey4804

    harvey4804 Newbie

    Hey guys, After a couple of years using my 80gal RF I'm definitely ready to build a trailer smoker.  I've lugged that thing around more than I thought I ever would.  

    After scouring Craigslist for nearly a month I FINALLY found a suitable tank.

    I'm assuming its a 255 gallon tank with 1/4" walls?  Can somebody spell it out for me? I can't seem to find any information on google that tells me what this all means other than it was built in 1957 by Butane Tank Corp.

       Here's the tag:

    the dimensions are 30" x 78".

    This should be a fun build !!!
  2. that's a nice tank to start out with,should hold heat great,cant wait to see pics of your build!
  3. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Can't wait to see some pictures

  4. Awesome find.
  5. Great find Harvey. You have bought a ASME U stamp coded vessel. It basically means this pressure vessel meets a set of engineering criteria in design and construction. If you took the serial # to Butane they could provide a drawing. Its so old I bet the company and drawing are gone.

    This tank has a max allowable working pressure of 150 psi at 650F. I think the shell (straight pipe section) is .255" thick the heads (domes) are 1/4" thick elliptical shaped.

    I would save the tag and not cut it off. It gives your smoker character!
  6. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I to would save the tag maybe buff it out where you can really see it.

  7. harvey4804

    harvey4804 Newbie

    Thanks Rico,

    I was planning on having the tag on the center bottom of the door. It's quite cool being from '57 and all.

    I'd love to clean up the tag but I'm worried because the stamping isn't that deep.
  8. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    They have a synthetic material on a wheel you can use in your drill or grinder. Tell your local welding shop (show them a picture) and see what they recommend. I had one of those wheels I used to clean something I didn't want to damage best I can remember it worked.

  9. bkleinsmid

    bkleinsmid Smoking Fanatic

    Harvey.........great find. Mine is a 1941 butane tank from the same company. Yours should make a great smoker.

  10. harvey4804

    harvey4804 Newbie

    It looks as if Butane Tank has been out of business for a long time. I can't even find their history or anything.  Any guesses for the capacity? I calculate the shell to be 238 gal and I'm guessing the domes (which are 8.5" from the center of the weld see below) bring it up to 272ish? I used the dome calculator below:


  11. You can hit it with emory cloth since it is a small area. Need the diameter or circumference of the tank to help with the volume.
  12. harvey4804

    harvey4804 Newbie

    Oh yeah I guess that would help huh?  It's 30" dia.

    Thanks for the help!
  13. harvey4804

    harvey4804 Newbie

    Yeah, I think I was a bit off with my math.  I'm thinking its more like a 210-220 gallon tank.
  14. I agree, did the calcs a few days ago and got 227 gallons. I got distracted before I posted it. When you going to start your build? 
  15. harvey4804

    harvey4804 Newbie

    Yeah, I've been to several different websites for tank calculations and they all seem to be different.

    I'll start cutting off all the unnecessary junk this weekend. I just need to bring home the plasma cutter from work.  Which reminds me, I need to figure out my hinges.
  16. harvey4804

    harvey4804 Newbie

    I finally got around to hacking off the pump.  It's a good thing my father in law has a tractor because that behemoth weighed a ton and I couldn't have gotten it off with out it.  The mounting plate for the motor/compressor is 1/4", I think I'll save it for something... maybe I'll waterjet out a design and use it as a fire grate?

    Side note: always have water at the ready when plasma cutting outside in the grass, especially living in San Diego, fires start easy.  ...oops

  17. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Nothing like getting started

  18. harvey4804

    harvey4804 Newbie

    The 1st cut into the tank. I drilled a starter hole for the plasma cutter then drug it along the line.  It's not as smooth as I had hoped for but it'll get the job done.

    I was trying to engineer a slick way for the door to open up with internal hinges but I gave up and cut these guys out. (K.I.S.S.!!!)

    They have brass bushings with an internal 304sst hinge pin.

    The center of the lid between the hinges bowed up on me and I'm hoping that I can take a dead blow to it to straighten it out.

    Now I'm just waiting for my back to get back to 100% after it went out on me.  (31 and realizing I'm not my 21 year old self anymore -this sucks)