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first build..... questions questions questions

Discussion in 'Side Fire Box' started by gkyork, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. Hi All
    I just got a 50 gal NG water heater. I intend to strip the sheet metal and use the tank to build a smoker. My questions are, should I insulate the cook chamber? Not sure of the tank gauge yet(I am guessing 12-14 is about average) I am thinking of using old propane tanks to make the firebox, should I insulate that as well? Does it matter what gauge metal use for firebox to cook chamber or for the chimney? I have used the pit calc and got my basic dimensions, but was hoping to draw on the experience of the other builders here.
    This pit will be my learning curve for my REALLY BIG pit later, I wanna build a whole hog cooker, maybe trailer mounted, ambitious I know, but I am too Cheap, er frugal to buy one of the thing especially when I can build it myself.
    All help is appreciated!!
  2. Hello gkyork.  In my experience domestic water heaters are lined with something like fiberglass gel.  Hopefully yours is not.  Either way you will find out when you attempt to cut it.  Insulation on a thin gauge tank will greatly improve the performance of the smoker. Good luck.

  3. OK

    Got the tank "skinned", sheet metal is outta here and to the scrap yard! Now... the whole 'shebang' is covered in a semihard foam(polyurethane?), so  stripping all that crap off is next.... then disposing of it properly of course ;-). Then on to layout and planning...

     Again  all help is apppreciated
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  4. Should I look into building a "double wall" type chamber? or just line firebox and cook chamber? I plan to douoble wall my fire box and will  probably insulate it with sand., but time will tell...