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My first RF smoker build

Joined Sep 24, 2016
I started getting interested in smoking the beginning of this year, so I have been learning all I can about building by reading lots of posts on here and getting a lot of great ideas. I wanted to post my progress this fall/winter to let the experts give pointers where need be or just enjoy watching. My dad had two of these air compressor tanks in a shed at his house that he always planned on using for actual air compressors had he ever come across an engine and compressor for them. I believe they are 120 gallon tanks, they are around 64" long with about a 20" diameter. I picked the better looking of the two to use for my CC. Still debating on cutting up the second tank and using it for a FB or buying 1/4' plate steel and making a square one. The money is the only thing stopping me from making a square FB at the moment, but who knows maybe this winter i will have the extra funds to do so.

Anyways... here are a few pictures from my first day of working on it. Basically just cutting the top bracket off the tank, cleaning up some of the welds and laying out my door and exhaust stack.

 M biggest problem now is trying to decide what to do with all the holes in the tank. The on on the top right will be taken care of because the 5" exhaust pipe will be there. The two big plugs on the back of the tank I may leave or do something as decoration off of them since they will not mess with the function or be in my way.  As fro the two in the lid I am at a loss as to a possible use fro them, will probably end up filling them in. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks for looking guys,



SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Nov 12, 2010
Some builders like this door cut-out idea....   A square ish FB is much easier fit up...  Install inside the tank weld seams to ease fitment...  Set the top of the FB at the RF plate height...  allow for tank and FB steel thickness...  weld the RF plate to the top of the FB....   

Following this tutorial will get you an excellent RF smoker..... 


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Smoking Fanatic
Joined Aug 28, 2015
Cut the fittings out using a grinder with a cutoff blade. Cut square holes as it is MUCH easier .  Cut out a some steel plate 1/8" smaller than the hole .  Try to beat with a BFH some curve into the plate before welding in.   Use heavy tacks on 1 side then beat to the curve of the tank and tack the sides as you go.  

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