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BrewerDJ 10-25-2011 08:13 PM

New Build: Reverse Flow 250 gallon Oil Tank on a Trailer
10 Attachment(s)
So now that I have the Brick pit working well I have turned my focus to a Mobile smoke machine. I found a used 250 oil tank on CL and bought that for about $100. My BBQ buddy, Jeff, found an old boat trailer at his brother in laws. That is gonna cost us some ribs & a butt when it's done. I stripped all the boat stuff off the trailer. Took off the old broken lights. Replace the beat up & rusted 8" tires with new 12" tires. Replaced the bearing in the hubs and added a trailer jack to the front.
Attachment 58366
Here's the trailer.
I have been looking around for ideas for a while and the fire box had been giving me a lot to think about. I had read different things about the size and I was thinking a 30 gal air tank would do a good job. But those are expensive. The I thought about oil drums. 55 is too big. And then I found 30 gal drums. And there is a company in Newark that sells reconditioned ones...for $30. I found me a fire box. And it has an open head so it will be easy to clean out. I welded up some rebar for a log rest and I'm on my way.
Attachment 58367
So Jeff came down and we put the tank up on the trailer and layed out the doors using masking tape.
Attachment 58368
We made the cuts where the hinges are going with an angle grinder. I then welded the hinges on.
Attachment 58369
Jeff then cut the door the rest of the way.
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Attachment 58371
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Jeff had to hit the road so he drank my beer and left me to finish the second door.
Attachment 58373
I took the tank off the trailer and filled it a couple of busted up pallets.
Attachment 58374
And set if on FIRE!
Attachment 58375

So that's it so far. The weekend is looking good so far so hopefully get more done. It's moving along well and working with metal is a lot faster and easier than working with Brick & Mortar. This should be down before Thanksgiving. It has to be done before Christmas because we're taking it to the tailgate in the Meadowland for the Jets/Giants game.:becky:

So...any Questions?

smokinb 10-25-2011 08:29 PM

Are you going to add a water pan?

BrewerDJ 10-25-2011 08:38 PM

No. A water pan should not be necessary.

BBQ Bandit 10-25-2011 09:01 PM

One small concern... have you found the weight carrying capacity of that trailer?
Have you estimated the project's weight?

On the other hand... good start!

scm1226 10-25-2011 09:03 PM

Keep the updates coming . I have the same possible set up and really couldn't get much info, wish you luck and hope u don't mind me asking questions when I start that same project in the spring.

BrewerDJ 10-25-2011 09:16 PM


Originally Posted by BBQ Bandit (Post 1829539)
One small concern... have you found the weight carrying capacity of that trailer?
Have you estimated the project's weight?

On the other hand... good start!

It's suppose to be a 2000lb trailer. The limiting factor is the tires. They are rated at 800lb each. So 1600lb. That should be more than enough. That was also one of the reasons I went with the 30 gal drum for the firebox. Doesn't weight much and is pretty sturdy.

ianjoe 10-26-2011 12:51 AM

Looks like a good start. I'm looking forward to your progress.

Phrasty 10-26-2011 02:12 AM

Nice start Brewer! I'll be tagging along for this one...


bluetang 10-26-2011 08:01 AM

Lookin' great! Gonna be one bad arse smoker.

Johnny_Crunch 10-26-2011 08:19 AM

Great start, looks like a fun project for sure! :thumb:

BBQ Bacon 10-26-2011 08:22 AM

Nice. I certainly don't have those skillz, but will be working closely with my dad when I get the chance to build a custom smoker. Even with one arm, he can build stuff better than I.

Sean "Puffy" Coals 02-15-2012 05:43 AM

Awesome. I'll be taking notes- might be in a position to get a tank this size in a month or two :grin:

CarolinaQue 02-15-2012 07:32 AM

How thick is the steel on your fire box drum? Is it a standard 30 gallon drum? If it's really thin like most drums, another option may be a petroleum yard. I have found vent tubes for underground tanks for fire boxes for free usually...or a very small fee at worst. Some thing like that will last you a lot longer than a drum and doesn't weigh to much. Just a thought.

jimmyjames 02-15-2012 08:48 AM

I am very interested in watching this build. So please continue to update as you progress!

My father has a tank that almost looks identical to what you have here. Same color, just not as rusted... The reason we shied away was that it held gas. Now that was 20 some odd years ago and it's sat in the back yard empty since. I've heard never use anything that had stored petroleum because it will give off odd flavors... Is this really a concern if you wash it and burn it out?

I'll be interested in seeing how you build the fire box and attach your shelves...

Hope it works out for you!

mr dirts bbq 02-15-2012 08:57 AM

i would reconsider the drum firebox as carolina que said the metal is very thin, call lewisohn ( 201-864-0300) they are cheap and free delivery after $250 order and they will cut to whatever size you need for a price, i would definately use at least 11 gauge steel, and i build fire boxes for 275 tanks at approx 20" x 24", if you want picks i can send them to you for ideas

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