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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 07-28-2011, 09:24 AM   #1
GrillinFool
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Default I've got a 500 gallon propane tank, how do I make it into a grill?

I've got a 500 gallon propane tank, a trailer, and somebody who can use a cutting torch and welder. So, I need some design ideas for how to turn this into a trailered grill.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 09:31 AM   #2
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A friend of mine has done just what you're talking about. He used a hand-held grinder with fiberglass cutting disks to cut the doors/lids of the grill out. This makes a much nicer and much smaller cut than a torch. One thing he did was to cut all of the door out except the areas right next to where the hinges go, and a couple small spots on the opposite side. This allowed him to weld the hinges on while everything was in perfect alignment. He then cut through the remaining uncut areas and the door/lid functioned perfectly.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 09:33 AM   #3
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I'm also looking for ideas as to what to use for grill grates, how to design them. What to do for charcoal, but getting it in, and getting the ash out. Should we use fire bricks to retain heat? What about venting?
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Unread 07-28-2011, 09:37 AM   #4
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totally needs exhast like this

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Unread 07-28-2011, 09:59 AM   #5
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Chrome pipes!?! Definitely. We're think cutting some flames out of diamond steel and checking on high heat paint to trick it out. Custom rims are a must as well!
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Unread 07-28-2011, 10:32 AM   #6
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Don't forget neon street glow.

As for grates, its pretty standard to use 1" or so angle and expanded metal. Depending on the size you might need a support to run the length in the middle. This isn't the best pic but hopefully gives you the idea.

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Unread 07-28-2011, 10:49 AM   #7
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What do you think of this?

‪Super smoker #4 catering rig grill smoke box full door smoker BBQ‬‏ - YouTube
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Unread 07-28-2011, 10:53 AM   #8
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Nobody has mentioned being absolutely certain that the propane tank is empty before cutting into it. I've never done it but from reading here the best way to do it is to fill it with soapy water, drain it, then fill it with clean water and drain again. We don't need BBQ'd Brethren
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Unread 07-28-2011, 10:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fat_bastard View Post
Nobody has mentioned being absolutely certain that the propane tank is empty before cutting into it. I've never done it but from reading here the best way to do it is to fill it with soapy water, drain it, then fill it with clean water and drain again. We don't need BBQ'd Brethren
I'm pretty sure it's empty. It was slated for the junk yard. We rescued it. But that's a good tip on cleaning it out to make sure there aren't any residuals... Oh the visions in my head of a dozens of shoulders and briskies or a whole hog.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 11:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrillinFool View Post
I'm pretty sure it's empty. It was slated for the junk yard. We rescued it. But that's a good tip on cleaning it out to make sure there aren't any residuals... Oh the visions in my head of a dozens of shoulders and briskies or a whole hog.
can never be too safe around explosive gas in a sealed vessel
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Unread 07-28-2011, 12:29 PM   #11
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I would make *REALLY FARKIN' DANG SURE* that it's clean before cutting or welding it.

Even a small amount of flammable vapor can be absolutely disastrous.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 12:41 PM   #12
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I've heard of people filling them with soapy water and using a plasma cutter to cut the door while it is still filled with water. Also heard of dropping large quantities of dry ice into the tank to diplace the oxygen, making the tank safe to cut.
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Unread 07-28-2011, 03:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NRA4Life View Post
I've heard of people filling them with soapy water and using a plasma cutter to cut the door while it is still filled with water. Also heard of dropping large quantities of dry ice into the tank to diplace the oxygen, making the tank safe to cut.
More great advice...
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Unread 07-28-2011, 03:12 PM   #14
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A good way to make sure that the tank can not explode is to feed argon or another inert gas (I.E. CO2) into the tank. You can rent a full tank of argon or CO2 at a welders supply, and just feed the hose into the tank, and fill the tank, and keep the flow going while cutting. Of course a couple of rinsings with soap and water first wouldn't hurt...

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Unread 07-28-2011, 03:16 PM   #15
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as long as its been empty for a while you will be fine with just filling with water once you have a opening it wont blow if you have time let soak for a week full of water it you have access to a purging gas such as argon just purge it with argon and you will be good, I weld and cut tanks quite a bit and still have all my fingers and teeth
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