Started life as an air bladder type water well tank, 26 inches in diameter, about 4 feet tall (not counting the built in base) - about 120 gallons. That's my son Kyle, primary builder and prospective owner.
Laid out a vertical stick burner design & started cutting.
Very strange tank. Thin wall and its actually a tank in a tank. Imagine a 26 inch diameter 2-1/2 ft tank with another 1-1/2 ft extension welded on top. Made for some challenging cutting but we got it done.
And cleaned it up with grinders & sanders. Saved the original 1-1/4 inch plumbing fixture at the bottom of the tank to use as a drain.
The thin wall steel was a challenge, the doors lost their radius as soon as they were cut. But we found a really neat tool that was up to the challenge. This is a tubing bender from Harbor Freight shown experimenting with the angle iron die.
Put in the correct 1/2 inch square tubing dies and bent the 1/2 inch square tubing to the correct radius (26 inches), reformed the doors to the 1/2 square tubing and welded it up. Worked perfect. Added an air intake and some latches (thanks BBQ Bandit). Note the single 4 inch air intake added at the bottom, it just opens into the center of the tank directly below the fire grate. Added a damper a little later in the build. Really simple and very effective air inlet control!
Also used the tubing bender to fabricate some really neat grill grates that match the tank radius front and back. For reference, the cooking grates are like having 3 Weber 26.75 grill grates in the thing - lots of cooking real estate on a really small footprint. Can't see them but we also adding in some 1/2 inch steel rods to be able to hang meat.
Added a heat deflector - 5/16 steel plate w/ 2 inch radius cut front and back.
And a firebox grate.
Washed it down, painted the exterior, slathered peanut oil on the inside and fired it up for a burn-in. Came up to temp very quickly, ran it up to 470*-500* for an hour or so, played with draft and fire control for a few hours.
From the test burn, we can tell this thing is gonna cook great, If anything we will need to work with smaller fires, but managing in the 250*-350* range is pretty easy. Once we had a coal bed, a couple of splits threw off some nasty smoke for 5 minutes then went to clear blue for a couple hours. Final shot, going to be cooking something this weekend.
Thanks for looking.