New project as a humble beginning

Discussion in 'Wood Smokers' started by fourashleys, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. fourashleys

    fourashleys Smoking Fanatic

    Picked up this 250 gallon diesel fuel tank for $100.00 yesterday. Trying to decide to go vertical or lay it over and put buttrfly lids on it. Should have a trailer by Sept. and a buddy is looking to give me his fried 30 gallon air compressor for a firebox.[​IMG]
  2. soafung

    soafung StickBurners

    i don't think the diesel fuel tank would be a good idea, but i bet it has been done before.  i would be concerned that the oily fuel would have impregnated itself into the steel.  i passed up on a 250 gallon tank that was used for anti-freeze storage for that reason, but i'm not a builder.  maybe someone else with better knowledge than i will be along shortly to help you with this.
  3. tom37

    tom37 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I would not hesitate to use the diesel tank for a second. The SFB that I have now was a diesel tank in its first life. I washed it with dish soap and cut it right open. By the time I was done building I couldn't even smell the diesel any more. I did have a nice hot fire in the cook area just to make sure.

    I have not messed with the propane tanks yet but I would think it would be more of a chore to get the propane fragrance to leave then the diesel.

    I would vote for setting the tank upright with the flats on either side. It makes for a really nice place for your doors and still leaves room for a reverse plate if you like. No matter which way you choose, you are going to have tons of room.

    Good Luck and happy building.
  4. thebeav

    thebeav Newbie

    Wow so cool!  Maybe one day I can get one of those.  I would have to agree with it being finished in the up right position.  But Im just a newbie.
  5. randya

    randya Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Nice tank!  I would position based on what I wanted to do with it.  If grilling is your main forte, flat.  If you lean more toward smoking, then upright!  Either way, this will make a nice build. I am looking forwarded to seeing it grow.

    On getting the smell out, it will always burn out.  Diesel is easier, but propane cleans up good too.  You just have to make sure it’s flashed well before you cut.  I always fill with soapy water and let stand a few days, drain and repeat, drain and I go to work on it.  I have never had any safety issues at all.  When I am done and ready for the burn out, I get it as hot as I can, then it ready to sand blast and paint.

    Good luck and have fun. 

  6. fourashleys

    fourashleys Smoking Fanatic

    I've used the soapy water twice and plan to again a day or two before I start cutting. I hope to start cutting in a couple of weeks as the family commitments slow down for the summer. I will keep the pics coming as I progress.
  7. matts

    matts Smoking Fanatic

    I almost used one of these on my last build.  I was going to lay it flat to make one big rack with doors on both sides.  But standing it up would give you the ability to add a couple racks or three.  If building a reverse flow, it would be A LOT cheaper do it upright as it would use half the amount of steel.
  8. fourashleys

    fourashleys Smoking Fanatic

    Seeing how cost is an issue I have decided to go with an upright. I am getting jumpy to get my other commitments done so I can start working on it. I hope to be able to use it come bowl season.
  9. harryho

    harryho Smoke Blower

    Either one of those tanks would have been excellent candidates for a smoker build.

    Diesel and anti-freeze both will boil away during the first heatup.....much more during the extreme heat of the burn-in.

    Fourashleys......cut away my friend. You should be just fine.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  10. fourashleys

    fourashleys Smoking Fanatic

    Ok, tossing some ideas around. I'm thinking of setting my firebox centered on the backside of the tank instead of on the end. This would shorten my trailer length a bit. I was also thinking it may help distribute the heat more evenly. I thought I could slant my RF plate from back to front and then put my stacks on the backside corners. The tank is 60" long and 45" tall and 26" deep. I would leave my gap for the smoke along the front edge. Any advise or suggestions are more than welcome.
  11. harryho

    harryho Smoke Blower

    I had though about that for quite a while and would like to hear what people's comments were regarding such a design. I personally would think that it would work, but that you would have to place multiple exhaust pipes (3 or more smaller ones) on the other end to make sure that you have even distribution of smoke.
  12. fourashleys

    fourashleys Smoking Fanatic

    I was thinking about four evenly spaced across the length. It doesn't hurt that it would look good too.[​IMG]
  13. harryho

    harryho Smoke Blower

    I'm confused as you mentioned that you will set it upright. Can you provide some details? Measurements? How will it be oriented?
  14. fourashleys

    fourashleys Smoking Fanatic

     It will sit like it is in the first pic. 60" long 45" tall 26" deep. That will give me room for multiple racks.
  15. harryho

    harryho Smoke Blower

    Ok....much better visual. Upright to me was the entire unit standing tall.

    If you go with 4 exhaust pipes, you might want to make them of smaller diameter pipes with adjustable dampers on each one. When you are ready, you can place 4 separate probes closer to each exhaust and adjust the dampers to even out the temperatures.
  16. fourashleys

    fourashleys Smoking Fanatic

    Didn't think about that. I will put that in my fab notes for my build. thanks for the idea. Haven't seen one bulit like this except for a rotisserrie. I'm taking all the advise I can get. Thanks for the input.
  17. fourashleys

    fourashleys Smoking Fanatic

    [​IMG]  This is the one I'm using now. I'm trying to get the pics larger from photbucket.
  18. fourashleys

    fourashleys Smoking Fanatic

     finally got a chance to start working on it yesterday. Got the door marked and cut.


  19. fourashleys

    fourashleys Smoking Fanatic

    So far I'm happy. I saw someone talking about welding the hinges on before cutting the door loose. It makes sense to me as my build partner is my 5 year old daughter. Lots of advice and little physical help. Gotta love her though, she always wants to help daddy. I hope to find some hinges Thursday and have them on by Friday. Thanks all for the help and advice. I will keep the picks and progress coming.
  20. rgacat

    rgacat Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Just thinking out loud here. Have you given any thought to cutting your door in half length wise so you could open the top up and the bottom down. This might help on heat recovery time. You could open only the door you need to. Course I have never built a smoker before so take it for what its worth. Keep the pictures coming I'm looking forward to the finished build.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010

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