I'm ready to build a smoker but i need some help

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Oct 10, 2012
Silver Lake, KS
So, I'm ready to start my first smoker build but i'm having trouble finding a tank to begin with.

I want to build a 50-75 gallon reverse flow rig that I can put on wheels to make it easier to move from the garage to the patio. I already have a large 125 gal tank smoker that isn't very efficient for smaller cooks. Plus, It's too large to move inside when it's not in use.

My first question is about the tank. I'm having no luck finding a 60gal air tank for sale in my area, but i see a lot of used 40-80 gal water heaters for sale. Will a water heater tank work for a smoker? I couldn't find a smoker build using a water heater tank.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hello Ed.  There is a REALLY good reason you can find no posts.  A water heater is glass lined.  I'm not sure of the proper name, I don't know if it is glass or a fiberglass gel coat but it is impossible to do anything with.  You can cut the metal with a torch but it blows back in your face because of the lining.  Keep searching.  Good luck.  Keep Smokin!

Ed You will have a better chance finding a old propane tank then a air tank.Propane tanks have to be taken out of service on a certain date.Try a propane bottle dealer especially smaller towns.

Check with your propane dealer and places that fill bottles, they probably have something laying around you can use.

Be careful with using metals that have been used for such things as propane or pipe that may have been used on a pipeline.... Not knowing exactly has been in or passed through them could be bad. Fluorocarbons can imbed in the pores of the metal and release once heated. Hi heat from burning it out may clean it up but be careful. If you have any local fab shops you should be able to get a sheet of plate rolled and seam welded to the diameter of your specifications.
If you do find a propane tank be sure and look at a few of the builds, it will show you how to prepare your tank, cleaning and burning out so it will be safe to smoke in.

Ed, water heater tanks can be pretty hard to work with. I built a stove for my wall tent with one.

You will need a plasma torch to get a decent cut, and the glass lining will crystalize and pop of and shatter when you

weld it. I have not checked, but bet it does the same thing when the fire is built.

stick with your search for a compressor tank. (just my opinion)

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